Do you keep telling yourself that you want to start writing but you're struggling to find the motivation? Well, if you're a resident of Ontario and you like the chance to win $5,000.00 then I've got your motivation. For the 41st year, Toronto Star is running their annual short story contest. You can find out about it on the link here. It is a great way to challenge yourself and have the chance to give your writing some major exposure. Plus I am entering and if you're the competitive type, you join to defeat me.
I'm not sure what I'm writing yet. As always, I have about a thousand different story ideas. The hardest thing I find about this particular contest is the maximum word limit is 2, 500 words, which for fiction is a really small amount. I often find I am still laying the foundation when I discover it is time to wrap it up.
My advice is pick a very specific act or event, and jump right into it. You can do all the background and character development while the small event unfolds. I know for me, that likely most of the time before the February 28th deadline is going to be devoted to chopping down the manuscript and make it more concise.
The genre and story can be anything. I am sure there are certain types that appeal more to the judges. I don't think your story leanings should scare you away from entering and at least putting your work out there. More importantly, actually writing something over the next two months. I'll try to do a few small updates over the next two months letting you know my own progress and the challenges that I encounter. If you live in Ontario, it would be great if you enter and I wish you the best.
If you don't live in Ontario, you can still read about my own process of trying to craft a story for the contest. I am very inclusive like that.