Saturday 9 August 2008

Cafe Doom

Cafe Doom's fourth annual writing competition has begun.

Here's the blurb, taken from the Cafe Doom forum.

The Fourth annual Cafe Doom writing competition is hereby underway. This year we’ve teamed up with Scott McCoy of Necrotic Tissue Magazine and Matt Schwartz at Shocklines to make the prizes even better than usual and, as per usual, it’s free to enter.

The winning story will receive a professional rate of pay ($0.05 per word), and will be published in the January issue of Necrotic Tissue Magazine. Matt is going halfers with me to award the first two runners up with Shocklines vouchers to the value of $100 for 2nd place and $50 for 3rd. Plus, depending upon how generous he’s feeling, I’m told Scott might throw a few NT T-shirts around, here and there.

Now the hard bit – you have to write a decent horror story. Note the word ‘horror’ here. Dark is not enough. It has to be dark and scary. Give us nightmares. The theme is open, so just send us your best story. Please read and abide by Necrotic Tissue’s EZine guidelines in respect of the story criteria for works they will and will not accept –

“Necrotic Tissue EZine Guidelines:

We are into horror, both speculative and psychological. We assume all stories submitted are fictional, so if they aren’t, don’t ever tell us. Any cross over genres with a strong horror element will be considered. Dark humor, that is done well, (how is that for subjective?) is always appreciated.

…dark is not enough.

What the heck does that mean? Well, besides sounding cool, it means that there are plenty of dark, edgy stories out there, but we require more. It's a short way to say first, the story has to be plenty dark to even be considered, and second it has to knock our socks off.

To get your story accepted, you need to meet the following criteria:
Stories should be well crafted, have merit and make an impact.
1st person will be considered, but are less preferred.
We will not take any stories that deal with the abuse, torture or rape of children or women. Also, stories that depict woman as helpless or powerless victims stand little chance.
We don't like memoir or journals, it would have to be incredible to be accepted.
No deus ex machina, that is rank amateur and you can do better.
If you have THE best serial killer story ever, maybe. Gore for gore’s sake is not our thing, but this is an ezine for adults, so if it is intrinsic to the story, do it well.”

We’re sticking with the same format as last year, which is a fairly unusual way to run a comp, because all the entrants get to have their say about the stories and pick their favourites. What happens is each entrant has to join the Cafe Doom forum (if they’re not already a member), then send their entry to blunted (at) via an e-mail attachment in .rtf or .txt format, single spaced, line breaks instead of indents to denote paragraphs, and use BB Code to format any italics, etc. In the body of the e-mail, they must state their forum name and the title of their story. On 31st October, the day following the closing date of the competition, all the stories will be posted anonymously on one forum thread by the forum admin. Thereafter, and for the following seven days (may be extended to fourteen if we’re swamped with submissions), the entrants must read the entries, and vote for their top three favourite stories on another forum thread. Failure to vote will result in the entrant being disqualified and their story being stripped of its points. Scott McCoy will choose the winning stories from the top ten entries.

To summarise –

Prizes as follows:

1st place - Pro rate of pay, plus publication in January’s edition of Necrotic Tissue.

2nd place - $100 Shocklines voucher.

3rd place - $50 Shocklines voucher.

Theme – open.

Word limit - 2,500

Closing date – 30th October 2008
****And all you have to do to enter is join the Cafe Doom forum. ****

1 comment:

Erik said...

You've got to love a free contest with cool prizes. Thanks for posting this!