We here at the Arkansas Times
are very excited to announce Trenton Lee Stewart
as the Guest Judge for our 2014 Fiction Contest
. A graduate of Hendrix College and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Stewart is the author of the New York Times best-selling "Mysterious Benedict Society" series as well as the Arkansas-set "Flood Summer" As we explained last week
, we're looking for original short stories by Arkansas authors; winners will be published in our first-ever Fiction Issue this December.
In response to comments on Facebook and our website, we also felt we should clarify the following:
1. Submissions should be fiction.
That is because, as its title suggests, this is a contest for fiction writers. We publish nonfiction every week and are always open to pitches for new and exciting nonfiction stories (really, we are). Stay tuned for potential future contests highlighting poetry or visual art or whatever, this particular contest is for short stories. On the other hand, and at the risk of wading into centuries-old aesthetics debates, we're really not interested in policing the actually pretty elusive boundaries between fiction and creative nonfiction and, for that matter, have no interest in verifying or falsifying the contents of your story. If you've got a piece that reads as a short story, submit away and we'll sort it out later.
2. Writers should currently live in Arkansas.
We were surprised by the number of questions we got about this, and we understand the frustrations of longtime residents who recently moved elsewhere and feel left out. As a publication in a small and often marginalized state, we try to keep the focus of the Times
on what's happening in Arkansas culture, news and politics. More power to the many talented Arkansas natives doing cool things elsewhere in the world, but we feel it's important to give priority to the voices of folks who are currently living the experience of being in the state, right here and right now. That being said, we're not going to be unreasonable sticklers about it, either. We won't hire private detectives to track you down. If you don't live in Arkansas but still feel the urge to get involved, well, use your best judgement.
Remember: the deadline for all submissions will be Monday, November 10, at 5 p.m. Send your short story (one per applicant, please) to firstname.lastname@example.org
, with the subject line "Fiction Contest."