Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category
The Writers’ Police Academy is pleased to continue the Golden Donut short story contest in 2013. The rules are simple—write a story about the photograph above using exactly 200 words, including the title (each story must include an original title). The image in the photograph MUST be the main subject of the story. We will not provide clues as to the subject matter of the image, or where the shot was taken. That is for you and your imagination to decide. Remember, though, what you see in the image absolutely MUST be the main subject of your tale.
All stories are to be polished and complete, meaning they must have a beginning, middle, and a twisted surprise ending. Again, all stories must be exactly 200 words. Not 201 or 199! So read the word count rules carefully.
The contest winner will receive the prestigious Golden Donut Award.
All entries will be screened by a panel of authors who will select their ten favorite stories and then forward their picks to the contest judge, editor Kristen Weber. Ms. Weber’s decisions are final and may not be contested or appealed. After reviewing each of the entries, she will present the winning story title to the appropriate Writers’ Police Academy staff member and the winner’s name will be announced and award presented at the WPA banquet. The contest is open to everyone, not just attendees of the academy, and the winner need not be present to win.
Submissions are a two part process. Please read carefully!
1. All submissions MUST be submitted electronically via email to >firstname.lastname@example.org< (You’ll need to copy and paste the address, omitting the >< symbols). Each entry will receive a confirmation email. If you do not receive a confirmation within two business days, please feel free to contact Lee Lofland at the above email address.
2. Write: Golden Donut Entry in the subject line of the email.
3. Please include your story within the body of the email. Attachments will not be opened.
4. Additionally, a twenty dollar ($20) entry fee and a hard copy of the story/entry must be mailed to:
Writers’ Police Academy
P.O. Box 60091
Savannah, Ga. 31420
- Contest opens at 12 noon on Monday April 1, 2013 (Please do not send any entries before this date).
Submission Deadline: Midnight Monday August 19, 2013 (the precise point in time between 11:59 pm 8-19 and 12:01 am 8-20)
- Any entry not meeting the exact 200 word requirement will be disqualified. Please count and re-count before submitting your entries. A few excellent stories have been rejected due to word counts.
- Hyphenated words, for the purpose of this contest, will be counted as two words, or three, etc., depending upon how many words make up the hyphenated phrase/word.
- Entries submitted after the deadline will NOT be judged. No refunds!
All entry fees must be received on or prior to August 19, 2013. No exceptions. There is normally a mountain of entries, therefore, it is a time-consuming process for the judges. We need time to process the entries and to have the award properly engraved.
- Every single word will be counted as a word – this includes: “a,” “and,” and “the.” To be very clear…if it’s a word, count it. If it’s part of dialog and you think it may be a word, count it. If it’s a stand-alone letter or group of letters, count it as a word. If it’s a number, count it as a word. If the number would include a hyphen when written out as a word, then count it as a hyphenated word. If it’s a smudge on the page, count it as a word.
- Be sure to include your name, address, email address, telephone number(s), and title of your story in an opening paragraph above your story (in both the email and snail mail entries). Then, please include your story, headed by the title.
- There is a $20 entry fee. You may submit the fee by money order or check. There is no Paypal option for the contest. Entries received without the appropriate entry fee will be excluded from the contest.
Please submit the entry fee and your story(s) in the same envelope. It is far too confusing to receive an entry one day and the entry fee weeks later. Entries received without the proper entry fee will not be considered. Also, you must submit the electronic submission to be considered.
- There is no limit on the number of entries by any author. But each individual entry must be accompanied by its own $20 entry fee. ( One entry = $20. Four entries = $80, etc.)
- Any entry not meeting the exact 200 word requirement will be disqualified.
- By submitting an entry to this contest authors agree to allow The Graveyard Shift/Lee Lofland/the Writers’ Police Academy, Sisters in Crime, and affiliates to publish/reprint the story as a part of The Graveyard Shift blog and/or as advertisement for the Writers’ Police Academy or Sisters in Crime, or in other publications and media, including, but not limited to, books, magazines, newspaper, blogs, ebooks, online outlets, etc. *Sisters in Crime is not a part of the Writers’ Police Academy.
*All rights to all work/short story shall remain the property of the author. The Writers’ Police Academy reserves the right to exclude or delete any entry without cause, reason, or explanation.
- No refunds. Proceeds go to the Writers’ Police Academy fund to benefit the GTCC criminal justice foundation.
So there you have it. Now get busy and take us on a journey that’d scare the pants off Poe himself. Is that a drop of blood on the stairs? Has someone been murdered? Or, was it merely a speck of red paint? Perhaps a colony of zombies lurk behind the concrete and steel. Maybe this is the wall that separates purgatory from eternal paradise. Who knows?
Murder On Minor Avenue
by Lee Lofland
(excerpt from Chapter 14 of Masters Of True Crime: Chilling Stories Of Murder And The Macabre)
James responded to his brother’s question by immediately shooting him to death. No hesitation. No brief thoughts of the “good old days.” No moment of brotherly love. Nothing. Just a couple of rapid trigger pulls, and his brother was dead. Then James quickly fired a round at Alma and another at Charity, his own mother. When their bodies hit the floor, he quickly blasted a round, point-blank, into each of their skulls.
James then killed two of the kids in the kitchen in the same manner, first a round or two to drop them, and then one to the head to be sure they were dead.
The third child made a futile attempt to escape through the back door but was gunned down before she could reach the safety of outdoors. Her body came to rest backed up to a full-length mirror hanging beside a bathroom door in the narrow hallway. The grisly reflection clearly showed an exit wound in the little girl’s back. It also doubled the appearance of the large pool of blood surrounding her head, oozing its way along the baseboard.
Charity Ruppert, the family matriarch, lay dead on the cold linoleum—her midsection a mangled mess. Her right hand rested above her right breast. The left stretched above her head, as if reaching for something just out of her grasp. Her slacks and dress shoes were painted in blood spatter. Her eyeglasses lay beside her on the floor, tangled in her wavy hair. The expression frozen on her face was one of surprise and disbelief. Her eyes stared blankly skyward.
Alma almost appeared to be sleeping, lying partially on her right side with her cheek against the cool floor. Her glasses were still in place. Her right leg was curled gently beneath her, and her left leg was extended straight to where her foot rested in one of her dead children’s blood-matted hair. Her husband’s face was a few inches away, in a puddle of their daughter’s blood.
James reloaded his guns and calmly made his way to the living room, where he began firing at each of the five remaining kids, as if he were in a field taking target practice at a row of tin cans. And to be certain that no one but him would ever receive a dime of the insurance money, he walked around the crumpled bodies of the dying children and fired a single shot to each of their heads.
Standing in the center of the living room, James surveyed the aftermath of his actions. An overturned wastebasket with its contents—wadded papers and cigarette butts—scattered across the space. The corner of a TV Guide rested against the black tennis shoe of one of the dead boys. A caricature of Bea Arthur’s face stared back at James from the cover of the magazine.
A child’s Disney* book lay in the center of the carpet. Mickey Mouse’s wide smile and trademark ears were out of place among the carnage. A little girl’s body lay in a corner, her feet clad in black and white saddle oxfords, tangled in a heap of boxes that had once been stacked neatly against the wall. She’d apparently been trying to escape but had backed into the corner, trapped, where her uncle took aim and shot her. Her body fell to the floor, face-up beside a bouquet of fresh Easter flowers. Her head was a bloody mess.
Charity Ruppert’s once neat-as-a-pin living room was now cluttered with the corpses of her precious grandchildren.
With his entire family now out of the way, James was ready for the final stage of his plan: to prove he was mentally incapable to stand trial for the murders, the only way that he could legally claim the inheritance.
James moved about the house, carefully positioning each of his guns on various pieces of furniture. Two revolvers on the coffee table and another on the arm of the couch, along with a box of bullets. A rifle beside the refrigerator, and four boxes of bullets as well as several loose rounds of ammunition on the kitchen table. Yes, everything was just right. Perfect, actually. Only a person not fit to stand trial would do what he’d just done.
It was time to call the police.