UPDATE: NYC Midnight Short Story Competition – Round 2 Results

This post is an update to the one I shared after the first round of the 11th Annual NYC Midnight Short Story Competition, back on March 23. The second round results are finally in! First, here’s a quick recap of the contest in case you don’t know what it’s all about:

If you’ve never participated in the NYC Midnight Short Story Competition, you’re missing out on one of the writing highlights of the year. You’re too late to enter now, but start thinking about 2018. There’s a hefty entrance fee ($45 early/$55 by deadline), but you get access to forums where you can workshop your piece and the judges send an extensive critique to each writer regardless of whether you progress through each round of the contest. Oh, and the contest part doesn’t suck either. If you’ve ever watched an episode of the Food Network show Chopped, then you have a pretty good idea of how this thing works. There are three rounds. At the start of each round, you receive (via email) a prompt that tells you what genre your story should fall under, a character you must use, and a situation that must inspire the story. Then the clock begins. You have a week to finish a 2,500 word story and return it to the judges. All writers are placed in heats and compete against roughly 30 other writers using the same prompt. The top five writers from each heat move on to the next round, with a new prompt and only three days to complete a 2,000 word story. The finalists selected from Round Two are given the penultimate prompt and have 24 hours (that’s not a typo) to write a 1,500 word story. Bottom line, this contest is amazing. It stretches you to your limits as a writer, forces you to meet strict deadlines, and pushes you outside of your normal comfort zone (see: outside of that damn genre of yours).

Now a quick, personal plug: my story “A Colossal Mistake” took first place in Heat 7 of Round Two! The assignment was to write a short story (2,000 words max) in the Romantic Comedy genre that included a personal trainer and a case of mistaken identity. Here is the short teaser for the story I submitted:

When Arnie Trundle finds his favorite professional wrestler moonlighting as a local fitness trainer, he’ll do anything to get close to her—even exercise.

I’ll be awaiting my new prompt for the Final Round tonight at the stroke of midnight, and I’ll have twenty-four hours to write a 1,500 word story. There are now just 80 writers remaining from an original field of over 3,000. Wish me luck and keep your fingers crossed!


To those interested (a few have asked), I will be making both “Extended Stay” (my story from Round One) and “A Colossal Mistake” available for readers at the conclusion of the contest, which ends this weekend.

Happy Friday, people!

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