The state of the world weighing on your shoulders like last week’s albatross? What you need, my friend, is a good injection of humour.
You’d have to be Visually Impaired Freddy not to notice that humorous stories do not, in general, do as well in literary competitions as serious, sometimes even a little, um, dull ones. Here’s a competition that seeks to remedy that:
The Best of Times short story competition #14.
Here are the conditions of entry. Note that payment can be made by Paypal, and entries may be emailed, so people outside Australia have no excuse.
What to enter:
Humorous short stories (any theme) up to 2500 words.
First prize: $200, second prize: $50. (That’s AUD.)
Third place, highly commended and commended certificates will be awarded too.
31 Oct 2012.
Conditions of entry:
Entrants can enter as many times as they like.
Each story must be written in English and be the entrant’s own original work.
Stories that have won a prize or certificate in previous Best of Times or Winter Surprise competitions are ineligible for entry.
Entrants retain copyright and all rights to their work.
No entry form is required. Include a cover sheet with your name and address, story title and word count, and where you heard about the
Entry fee is $6 per story. Send a cheque or money order made out to Chris Broadribb. Post your entry to PO Box 55, Blaxcell NSW 2142.
Include a large SSAE so that your story can be returned afterwards, along with a results sheet.
Please provide your name and address, story title and word count, and where you heard about the competition.
Email your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org
Entry fee is $6 per story. Use PayPal to pay email@example.com
For an electronic copy of the results, please provide your email address.
Winners will be notified by email or post by December 2012.
The list of winners will be displayed on the competition website.
Winning stories will be published on the website if the authors agree.
Competition webpage (Popups)
The contest is organised and judged by Chris Broadribb. So tickle her. Pluck a feather from that albatross and tickle her like there’s no tomorrow. Which, I sometimes think…Oh shut up.
November 22, 2011
Australia’s loss of frog species is, I believe, the worst in the world. We have lost the gastric brooding frog. The corroboree frog, a species that lives in the few really cold parts of the country, is the subject of directed conservation efforts, yet one wonders how it will cope with climate change. Here is a flyer (hopper?) for a US frog poetry competition, because the problem isn’t confined to Australia. Click to enlarge. Here’s their web-site. I have no connection with this group, but it seems like a good way of encouraging people to think about conservation; I’m putting the poster up at my daughter’s school.
Following below is a poem about a wonderful night when I saw a road covered with frogs in a jumping carpet. It is biologically inaccurate, but I tried to capture the sense of wonder that came with what seemed like a million frogs. I wonder how long we will continue to see this type of natural phenomenon?
Frogs at Durras
We bought a house, feeble fibro shack,
walls thin as a yacht’s, teetering near the sea.
The second time we drove there, slowly,
tentatively, nosing towards ownership,
a rough jagged rain sawed through twilight.
We wondered if the house could survive.
Turning the corner, our eyes jumped,
jerked at a million tiny frogs revelling in rain,
the black streaming street a foaming river.
Each raindrop a watery egg, containing
tadpole, exploding into perfect frog
as it hit the tarmac, transmogrified.
I ran ahead of inching car, scooping throbbing fistfuls,
placing them on nature strip, dividing green from black.
And still they splashed and clung to sodden tar,
each splayed finger reading braille on the rough road;
indecipherable invitation to party, or to climb, perversely,
the dark warm curves of the sudden crushing car.
Three years later, we sit in heat, and await the frogs
never seen since the Walpurgis abandon, that abundant night.
Sometimes we have heard them, piping, tinkling, muted bells,
signalling to each other, chirruping reminders
as they wait beneath rocks, huddled in just damp dark
that all droughts must break. Our house still stands.