Wednesday, November 28, 2007

2008 Young Writers' Contest

In past years, The Tarpeian Rock has sponsored writing contests for older kids and teens ages 12 through 18. The winners of these contests had their pieces published in The Tarpeian Rock and won $50 besides. If you would like to read them, please feel free to order back issues of earlier issues through 2003.

This year we've decided to try something in the realm of speculative fiction--fantasy or science fiction. Too often, these genres are dedicated lock-stock-and-barrel to perverse themes that demean religion and celebrate atheism. Modern science fiction suffers from a dearth of truly heroic characters and too often lionizes moral relativism, portraying sterile landscapes where God is nothing more than an alien life-form--if that--and love is a chemical reaction that takes place in the limbic system. Modern fantasy has too often become just trite reformulating of the tales of Tolkien and Lewis, minus any appreciation for the transcendent God from who all creation is sprung--even that which springs from a fantasy author's mind.

To qualify for this year's contest, the entrant and his/her story must meet the following criteria:

The author of the story must be between the ages of 12 and 18 as of January 31, 2008.

The story must be 2,500 words or less.

The story must be an original previously unpublished work.

The story must be based on ONE of the five ideas below which must appear verbatim somewhere in the story. Note that these are just ideas. How you build the story around the idea is completely up to you, so long as the original idea appears in there somewhere. Following are the choices:
Father Xavier stepped cautiously off the battered starship. Before him lay a strange new planet inhabited by a hostile green people.
The alligator cast her eyes toward the shore with the hope of spotting an easy lunch. However, a careless fawn or a fat duck were nowhere to be seen. Instead, what she spied was a creature the likes of which she had never seen before.

Kreplic gasped as Domna lunged toward the controls. "For heaven's sake," Kreplic cried, "don't push that button!"
Commander Muller eased back on the throttle and positioned his Grayhawk fighter directly behind the alien craft. At point blank range and as yet undetected, it would be an easy kill. Yet, he hesitated.

"Great, more junk," Edward sighed, hitting the delete icon repeatedly. Among the 45 new messages in his inbox, all but one were flagged SPAM--but that one had a most curious subject line: "I am the princess Zephar from Ventus. Please help me!"

Stories will be judged on theme, style, creativity and adherence to the rules. Those stories will be rated highest which demonstrate a flair for language, appropriate use of wit or humor, and an understanding of traditional Judeo-Christian virtues, such as piety, honor, loyalty, hope, faith, charity, fortitude, devotion to family, etc.

Stories which contain gross vulgarity, obscenity, or attacks on Judeo-Christian belief or morality will be disqualified.

The editors of The Tarpeian Rock will choose one (1) winner. The winner will receive a $50 award and the story will be published in the 2008 edition of The Tarpeian Rock.

All selections will be final and not subject to appeal. Friends and family of Arx Publishing and its members are ineligible to participate.
Entry Deadline:
Entries should be sent to the address at right no later than January 31, 2008. The winner will be notified on or before March 15, 2008.
Arx Publishing, LLC
Attn: Tarpeian Rock Contest
PO Box 1333
Merchantville NJ 08109-0333, USA

or email: intern("at" sign)
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