It sounds too good to be true. It isn't.
I've always been wary of writing contests that require an entry fee because they're sometimes (but not always) money-making scams in disguise. So imagine my glee when Maria Schneider of Editor Unleashed approached me with the opportunity to co-sponsor a writing contest that would be free to all participants, and where actual readers would have some say in the contest's results.
And thus the Editor Unleashed/Smashwords Flash Fiction 40 contest was born. No entry fee, no strings attached or services to buy, cash prizes to the top 40 entrants, and a publication credit in the free Editor Unleashed/Smashwords Flash 40 ebook anthology.
Mark your calendars with these important dates:
• May 18th - June 14, 2009: Post your story on the Editor Unleashed forum.We briefly considered having me serve as one of the judges, but we decided it would be best for me to bow out because we expect many Smashwords authors will participate and it would be difficult for me to judge our authors' work fairly against others (of course only the most brilliant writers publish on Smashwords, I'd find myself tempted to tell myself!).
• June 15 - June 26, 2009: The Popular Vote. Stories ranked by members of the Editor Unleashed forum. Maria, herself the former editor of Writer's Digest Magazine, will be joined by an expert panel of judges (editors and agents), will evaluate the entries and help select the final winners.
• June 30, 2009: 40 winners announced! We'll publish the 40 winners in a free ebook anthology at Smashwords, offering great exposure to all the winners. All the winners will get plugs on the Editor Unleashed and Smashwords blogs, and the grand prize winner (in addition to receiving $500!) will receive a Q&A interview right here on the Smashwords blog. What more could you ask for?
So there you have it. The contest is completely independent. Fire up your keyboards, fill your virtual inkwells, guzzle some coffee and get busy today writing the most brilliant, mind-blowing 1,000 word-or- less masterpiece ever to touch a digital screen near you.
For additional contest details, please read the announcement for the Editor Unleashed/Smashwords Flash Fiction 40 Contest.