Competitions a’comin’

The Manchester Poetry Prize 2012 is an international competition, prize is 10,000 pounds, but with it comes with a 17 pound entry fee. Due date is 31st Aug, more information here. Keep a lookout for the Manchester Fiction Prize, which will be open next year.

Another international competition open is the Paris Literary Prize, which is calling for novellas. Deadline is 15th September, more information here.

This is a more Asia-based poetry competition, run by the online journal Cha. The theme is “The Past”, no entry fee, deadline is 15th September, more details here. Cha is also open to submissions for their Dec issue, deadline also 15th September, you can submit poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, reviews, photography and art. More information here.

Instead of a competition, this is the Singapore International Storytelling Festival, 1-5th September. The perofrmances sound really interesting, and the tickets affordable, do take a gander if you have time.

Playwriting Competition and Calls for Submission

The Theatreworks 24-hour Playwriting Competition is back:

21-22 July 2012, 1600-1600, Gardens by the Bay. Register and find more information here by 7 July 2012.

LONTAR is a quarterly literary journal of Southeast Asian speculative fiction in English, published and distributed by Math Paper Press in Singapore.” Submission by mid-July to make the first issue, but no deadline really as you can make the next issue.

I discovered another literary journal featuring works from and about Asia, Cha, submission for the next issue is open until 15 June 2012. Submission guidelines here.

An aside – this is a list of “Stories We’ve Seen Too Often” by the magazine Strange Horizons, regarding speculative fiction. Useful advice.

EDIT (17 June): Another speculative fiction call for submission, this one offers monetary rewards for a 3000-6000 word fic from a colonized POV – We See a Different Frontier. 

Eclipse

(A/N: This story was written in turns at today’s meeting by bowlcutbob, fishtailbraid, Joshua, and SS. The prompt was ‘eclipse’.)

The light had always been there, but now is uncertainty.

The planet shuddered slightly, feeling the change imminent.

Silence permeated the rolling deep and something seemed to be coming, fast.

A large shadow over the airfield ground overcasted by the stealth bomber brought a huge sigh of relief to the General’s face, as his grim face loosened up.

There was nothing known about what was called “the eclipse”; their history had never recorded such an event.

The General signaled for his men to stand down, and stepped forward to welcome the bomber’s passengers, “Professors, please, time is of the essence here, tell me what you know about this eclipse.”

White-haired men looked nervously at each other and shook their heads – they had no idea as well.

The general’s mind was filled with both suspense and frustration. He had his own suspicions, but decided to hold them back.

One of the men, a supposed ‘expert’ on The planets, chimed in that, “This darkness will pass – this is only a misalignment of The planets and The sun.”

By now, the light was fully gone, and reports of people panicking came through on the comms systems; terrified voices shrieking through tiny speakers.

The surrounding air seemed to shudder with heat waves. The general was unaccustomed to this chaos. Before he could react, light came back – only it wasn’t the sun.

The whole day had been really a trying one for the general. Having taken command of various leadership roles in the military, his nerves of steel were put to the test today. He approached the professor from behind.

“Professor”, he demanded, “Can you guarantee the people that we will survive?”

“I think that will be up to them,” the professor pointed a nervous finger at the giant spaceship that was causing the new light as it entered the atmosphere.

All the people suddenly stopped screaming and running. The general’s brain froze and shut down. A ramp emerged from the spaceship and someone came slowly down.

“Damn, it’s him again,” the general cursed under his breath. The well suited man hastily made his way down the ramp. “Secretary, what’s going on here?” the general looked quizzed and impatient, “General, we are carrying out an immediate evacuation. No questions asked till we reach central base.” The general shook his head and tapped his fingers, signaling the men to follow suit.

 

(A/N: Anyone who would like to take this idea up, flesh it out or write an ‘episode 2’ is most welcome. Just leave a note here.)

Short fiction new media style

This competition is over, but it’s a pretty cool idea for short fiction. Twitter style – Tweetfiction. If any of you use Twitter and you come across entries for this competition, please share here, or if you would like to create your own, also feel free. 🙂

Here’s a couple that I could find and do like:

@famishus: The gene therapy to correct irrationality was successful. The collapse of the stand-up comedy industry was an unintended side-effect.  #TBSFA

@famishus: In desperation, I pulled out my Verified Original card. The clones backed off in anger and/or awe. If they found it was a fake… #TBSFA

Upcoming competitions and events nationwide

Hello ladles and jellyspoons!

There’s a whole slew of rather exciting activities for writers all over the country:

Singapore Literature Prize, submission date is 7th May, 1700.

Our Lost Poems competition, submission date is 30th April.

Masterclasses regarding Children’s Literature, on 30th May for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content.

(And a great deal more workshops etc. from the National Book Development Council of Singapore.)

Publishing and Translation Grant from NAC, submission date is 15th May, 15th Sep, 15th Jan 2013.

EDIT: (19th April) I found more calls for submission. Oh, and for these, you actually get paid some. ^^

Winter Well: Speculative Novellas of Older Women – submission is 30th Sep.

MENIAL: Skilled Labor in SF (Anthology) – submission is 31st May.

Political or Real???

I admit I have never been a fan of Chinese politics. In fact I always view the Chinese politicians as being conservative and secretive as compared to their American counterparts. However the recent Bo Xilai’s case changed my view of the party completely. The salacious details of the case reported: a murdered old Briton businessman in a hotel room in China; clues of a scandal; allegations of  corruption charges; son who went to a College in Oxford and indulged in parties and fast cars make me wonder if the Chinese Communist Party is getting westernised or they are just too eager to get rid of their famous comrade who provides a stiff competition to their tipped successor, Xu Jiping, as the chief of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Bo’s case was pretty sensitive and in fact many Chinese academics compared his case to that of Zhao Ziyang. Zhao Ziyang was the previous chief of CCP, but was discharged of duty because of his strong opposition towards using brutal army crackdown on student-led demonstrations for democracy centered on Tiananmen Square in Beijing 1989. Bo Xilai case was a bit similar. During his term as the party chief of Chong Qing, he imposed strict laws and provide community service to the poor which make Chong Qing among the top safest and fastest economy growing city in China. This led him to gain great fame from the people which may have spooked the party because they marked a break with the model of faceless, collective leadership that the CCP leaders do not tolerate. In fact even though the state media or rather the party has portrayed him as a dictator in the making, many people from the Chong Qing city still loved him and a riot was even sparked in the city because of his arrest.

However whether it is political or real, no one will know for sure unless things become ugly. What do you think?

Reference: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-17751970