Adrenaline kicks for creative types – Write a short story in one day

Writing handTime is racing on. We’re half way through August, the daffodils are coming out, the trees are producing buds in defiance of the winter weather and there’s only a week and a half to go until the  NZ Society of Authors’ One-Day Short Story Competition kicks off. I’m already sharpening my pencils in anticipation.

The One-Day Short Story Competition was run for the first time last year and you can check out some examples of work created on the Christchurch City Libraries‘ website. The event proved to be so popular, it is happening again and it’s quickly becoming a highlight on every Canterbury writer’s calendar. This year literary types, myself included, are invited to meet at the Christchurch Art Gallery at 10am on Sunday 29th August. Once registered, we will each receive a pack with everything needed to get started and have until 5pm to complete a 1,500 word short story. The event is open to everyone and there are Youth and Adult categories.

Sounds easy? Uh, uh. To make things interesting the clever folk who organise the competition insist that authors use various pre-selected places or phrases in their stories. These details are only disclosed on the day so it makes it totally impossible to write anything beforehand. You never know what will turn up. Your characters might have to have some connection to the door on the Law Courts and the Scarborough Clock Tower for example. Not easy, but then there’s nothing writers like more than the chance to get the cognitive thought processes firing. The fun is discovering how your mind will link these things together and time pressure forces you make creative decisions quickly.

Some people jump out of aeroplanes for kicks. I enter the One-Day Short Story Competition. It’s great fun and you’ll feel like you’ve run the Coast to Coast by the end of it. There are prizes for the winners and deserved recognition at an award presentation in the Conference Room at the Town Hall, but it is the challenge that appeals to me most. A big thanks to the team who ensure this event happens. The competition is open to everyone and costs $5 to enter. Maybe I’ll see you down there?

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