This morning I heard the first cardinal of the year. He was singing his heart out in the cedar tree in our yard. (His song sounds a bit like a car alarm, but I love it.)
Spring means that it’s almost time to open this year’s Little Bird Story Contest!
I’m thrilled (and a bit gobsmacked) to say that after eight years, this little contest is going strong. It started on a whim, because of an experiment on Twitter. And now look at it!
This year, we have some Big News. Ahem…
Big News #1: Little Bird Stories will be published… in print!
Invisible Publishing will be printing our anthologies ON ACTUAL PAPER (imagine!), and distributing to bookstores this August. They’ll publish our newest issue as well as our archive, one by one — one old and one new issue each year.
Big News #2: Our judge is Giller Prize nominee Michelle Winters!
Michelle Winters is the refreshingly down to earth author of the beautifully weird novel, I Am a Truck. Her writing is warm, smart, and on the edge, and I’m excited to introduce her to our warm, smart, on the edge Little Bird writers. You know who you are.
Big News #3: We’ve changed the contest rules!
This year, I’ve created one very special story prompt for all writers.
Surprise! Yep, that means that you have just over one month to write your story around the prompt.
I used to give you lots of time to work on your submission. But then I thought, then you’ll make it too precious! The purpose of this contest, as always, is to get you to have fun with your craft.
I want you to loosen your perfectionism and take a risk — share your wonderful, never-seen-before writing without knowing what will happen. I want you to write what you want to read.
My wish is that the new contest rules will help you outsmart the voice of your inner critic this year, and that the tight deadline will help you submit your story before you have time to talk yourself out of it.
Are you ready? Let’s see what you can do with the Little Bird prompt this year!
This year’s contest prompt is:
Start your story with a balloon that has an unusual message. Use the words “lemon” and “ecstasy” somewhere in the story. End the story with an electrical storm.
Don’t overthink it. Submissions are open from May 1-June 1. Limit of 2,500 words.
Contest is open to all writers. First prize is $1000 and print publication.
With love and glossy feathers,