Writer’s Digest has revealed the winners of their 8th Annual Short Short Story Competition.  You can read the top 5 winning entries at 

To enter the 9th Annual Short Short Story Competition, send your own short short fiction (1500 words or less) by December 1, 2008, along with $12 entry fee/story to Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition, 700 East State St. Iola, WI 54990.  See for more info.

The Writer Magazine’s 2008 Short-Short Story Competition is still open.  Deadline June 30, 2008.  Theme: Mystery.


Consider while you contemplate whether to write – or not:

“We are literature missionaries!  While we may never go more than a few hundred miles from our homes, our written words can go around the world and make a difference for all eternity.”  ~Marlene Bagnull

Don’t Write

Dear Writers, 
     Don’t write.  If you have already started writing, stop right now while you are ahead.   You probably haven’t really been called to write anyway and you will be just wasting your precious time when you could be cleaning out the garage or watching re-runs of MASH and mouthing the dialogue with Radar. 
      If you are writing a draft of a poem or the second act of a play or the thirteenth chapter of a novel, it is probably a bad draft and who knows,  if you have it stacked on your desk or saved in your computer something might happen to you.  You could be driving down 75 in the middle of the morning and get killed and someone would later find that bad draft.  People would giggle to each other saying things like, “My, what a pitiful writer he/she was.”   or  “I wonder why he/she thought he/she could be a writer.”   What a terrible thing that would be!
     If you insist on keeping that bad draft you have started, do what Jodi says she does.  She writes in bold letters on the top:  First Draft (to be corrected)   Since she told me that, I’ve marked that statement on every draft I have, even the fourth one I’m now re-writing.  I think back at my published pieces with embarrassment.  They must have been bad drafts but the editors were desperate at the time.
     Unless an angel appeared to you when you were writing an essay for your eleventh grade English teacher, and that angel said, “God wants you to be a writer!” you probably aren’t supposed to be a writer.   Who do you think you are?   I mean, sure you can write to Aunt Matilda on her birthday or make up a half way decent grocery list, but what other skills do you have?  I’ll tell you what you have.   You have fear that if you don’t write you will waste your life,  you fear if you do, everyone will think you are lonely or pompous or at least fey.   (Look it up.)    You fear you’ll write a best seller and get rich and famous and then your children will turn out bad and your mother  will read what you’ve written and you are not sure you can take the success.
     It’s probably best not to pray about it because the Lord knows what He has given you, and if you have had past traumatic experiences and spiritual gifts and you’re not using them, then He knows that you know and He will wonder why you aren’t doing what you’re supposed to do.     If you pray and he hasn’t given you any experiences or any thinking or writing skills, He will send you to Africa or Brazil or even to New England on a mission trip.  So, I say it’s safer not to pray about it.   He has a way of letting his Holy Spirit tell us the truth in our hearts but you know you’re afraid to listen.
     So, I’ll finish the way I began.  Don’t write!   You can always blame you lack of decision on your spouse or on the kids or the dog who always needs a flea treatment and needs to go outside.  He has more freedom than you do, so just blame it on him!
     If you don’t have a dog, then you can blame it on the economy.  
     Whatever you do, Don’t.    Unless you must!   Joann