This must be the most generous prize in the world for writing contests – $20,000 for a story of no more than 100 words.
If you use up the maximum number of words allowed, that works out at $200 a word but there’s no reason why, if you’re suitably Hemingwayesque, you couldn’t win with a story of 50 words or so, which would be a whopping $400 a word.
The $20,000 prize is for the winner of the fourth edition of The Cesar Egido Serrano Foundation’s fourth Museum of Words international flash fiction contest. There are also three runners-up awards of $2,000 apiece, which is still $20 a word. The runners-up prizes are for one story in English, one in Arabic, and one in Hebrew.
The contest is free to enter and is open to writers around the world. Entries can be made in four languages – English, Spanish, Arabic and Hebrew.
There is a slogan for this year’s contest, which is ‘Mandela: Words and Concord’ but there are no subject or genre restrictions. All stories entered must be original and unpublished.
You are going to face a bit of competition for the twenty grand though, as last year’s edition of the contest pulled in 22,571 entries from 119 countries.
To give you a taste of the tone of the contest, here is last year’s winning entry, The Sniper’, by Armando Macchia:
Every day, while waiting for the bus, a child pointed at me from a balcony with his finger, and pulled the trigger as a rite his imaginary gun, screaming at me “bang, bang!” One day, just to keep the routine play, I also pointed at him with my finger, yelling “bang, bang!” The child fell to the street like struck down. I ran to him, and saw that he half opened his eyes and looked at me stunned. Desperate I said “but I just repeated the same as you did to me”. He responded then sorrowful: “Yes Sir, but I was not shooting to kill”.
The runner-up prize in English was for The Old Patient by Daniel Moreau:
The Old Patient
The old patient told me never to open the closet. “There’s a tiger in there and if you do it’ll devour us both,” he said. As an orderly, part of my job is to humor our patients so I abided by the old man’s wishes. When he died, months later, I bagged what meager possessions he had. The closet, though, I left alone. I too had imagined the tiger’s stripes, razor teeth, wire-like whiskers and luminescent eyes. I pictured it pacing back and forth inside the closet waiting to pounce on the first person foolish enough to open it.
The Cesar Egido Serrano Foundation is based in Spain and is a private, not-for-profit foundation which aims to promote understanding between different peoples, ideologies, religions and cultures.
You’ve got nearly thre months to get you 100-word stories in as the contest closes on 23 November 2014. Entries must be submitted by using the Participation Form. You write or paste your story on the form. An individual can enter a maximum of two stories.