Each month, I’ll post a new, unfinished story. Write your own ending in 500 words or less. Post your ending as a comment at the bottom of the contest story page.
I will read all the entries. I will judge them based on three factors:
- How interesting the ending is.
- How well the entry continues the style and feel of my part of the story.
- How well written the entry is, including if it contains a good mix of exciting action, snappy dialogue, and vivid description. (Not all endings require dialogue, but if done well, it always helps.)
What about the prizes? OK, Slytherin, if you want to know so badly, skip to the end below!
All entries must be submitted as a comment on the original story contest page by midnight on the 15th day of the contest month. If the comments remain open after that time, you can leave a comment or paste your story ending, but it will not be considered for judging.
I will pick a winner. I will announce the winner in a new blog post by the end of the month. I will also announce the winner on Twitter at @mattcrosswrites. If you leave your Twitter handle in your post (and if you win), I will include your Twitter handle in my announcement. On Twitter, I will mention you more than once. Probably an embarrassing number of times. I’m very proud of all my contestants, and especially proud of the winners.
Content and Name
All story content must be PG-rated or G-rated. Because I am the judge, I will decide what is PG-rated. If your submission is more like PG-13 or more “mature,” I will read the story and I may share a comment with you if I like it. But I will not allow it to post to this site. (I like all good writing, but this site is just not the right forum for such “mature” content.)
If you want an example, here is a bit of violence contained in a winning entry. This is the most visceral we’ve gotten so far. “Less than a second later, a searing bolt of plasma hit his chest like a sledgehammer and sent him tumbling backwards into the cold depths of the Elizabeth River.”
Your name and your Twitter handle don’t have to be real names. I love pen names! But don’t make me feel foolish posting them, or I won’t pick you as the winner. I’m not going to announce the winning story was written by Iam A. Moron, also known on Twitter as @FartFace. (I may be a moron and a fart face, but don’t make me announce it on the internet!)
Do you have to provide a Twitter handle? No.
Do you have to provide a real e-mail address? Yes. Without an e-mail address, I can’t send you the prizes. And I won’t pick you as the winner.
Who owns the story?
We do. I own the beginning I wrote. You own the ending you wrote. The complete story that includes your ending is owned by both of us. It will be written “by [Your Name] and Matthew Cross.”
If you send me a story ending by posting it in the comments on my website (or if you e-mail it to me), then you are giving me permission to post any part of your submitted story content on any page of my website forever.
Announcing the winner
By the end of the contest month, I will post the winning story–my beginning and your ending–as a blog post for all of our fans to read. If I have enough good entries, I may also post two or three finalist stories. At this time, I only have the resources to give one prize. To the winner go the spoils. (Also, “There can be only one!”)
For the April contest, I’m awarding the winner a $25 Amazon gift card, the astronaut trophy, Maj. A. Ward (shown below or to the right), and much more! See the complete list of prizes here. (Please note that I’m a little behind on making the astronaut trophies. The winner will get it but may have to wait a bit.)
Also, Maj. A. Ward is not a toy. She’s an astronaut. She’s also not made to safety standards for children to play with. So just put her on a high shelf and admire her. More details: She’s about 5 inches tall and takes about 23 hours to make.
And I will post your winning story on my website! Fame and glory await you!
I think that covers it.
If you have any questions, post them as a comment on the contest story page or e-mail me at email@example.com.
Otherwise, get to work. You have some writing to do. Best of luck!