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WriMo for Non-Novelists: Lulu.com’s Short Story Competition

Lulu's Contest

by Jennifer on November 24, 2011

This is a guest post by Brittany Lyons

Each year novel writers have the opportunity to write a 50,000 word novel for the National November Writer’s Month Competition. Sadly, short story writers usually can’t enter this competition because it requires them to write one long piece rather than an anthology of several short pieces.

However, this year Lulu.com is offering an alternative contest for short story writers so that they can also challenge themselves to finish a project in November.

Lulu.com started the short story competition because many writers fail to write 50,000 words during the course of a month even though they start off with good intentions. Instead of letting all that creativity go to waste, Lulu decided to shorten the length requirement to 600 words and focus on quality rather than quantity.

The end result was a contest that story writers of all backgrounds, from those with PhDs to high school students, could participate in with a better chance of succeeding.

Unlike the traditional NaNoWriMo competition, Lulu’s competition offers prizes to all writers who complete their project. All participants get a coupon for 20 percent off of their next Lulu.com purchase.

In addition, participants who finish a short story and submit it to Lulu end up creating an eBook out of their story that they can sell in the Lulu store and on partner sites such as iBookstore.

Lulu has also assembled a panel of judges who will read all the stories and announce three winners in mid-December. The first prize winner gets $500 in cash, a Nook eReader, a professional review of his or her story and publicity from Lulu. The second prize winner gets a free Nook eReader and the third prize winner gets a $100 gift card to Barnes and Noble.

Contest Steps
If you’re interested in submitting a story to Lulu’s contest, here are the steps you should take:

  1. Download Lulu’s eBook template and plug your short story into it.
  2. Create an account at Lulu if you don’t already have one and upload your completed story to Lulu before Dec. 1.
  3.  Create a simple cover that includes the title, author and description of the book and use Lulu’s site to convert the story to an eBook.
  4. Submit the link to your eBook to Survey Monkey to get your 20 percent off coupon

That’s it. Four simple steps and you’re done.

Thanks to Lulu’s contest, short story writers are not forced to write longer works than they are used to just to say they accomplished something in November. These writers now have their own contest that provides them with a finished project to sell at the end as well as a shot at some money.

Besides the monetary rewards this contest helps short story writers get in the habit of writing regularly enough to complete a project in a month, which is a skill that will last past the end of the competition.

What will you enter into Lulu.com’s contest?

About the Author: Brittany Lyons aspires to be a psychology professor, but decided to take some time off from grad school to help people learn to navigate the academic lifestyle. She currently lives in Spokane, Washington, where she spends her time reading science fiction and walking her dog.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chris Richards @ Mindnod.com November 25, 2011 at 11:59 am

This is great news, I’m not a fiction writer but I’m tempted to have a go at this.

2 Chris Richards November 26, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Well I did it. I written my first short story in over 20 years. You can download it here http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/mavis-in-vegas/18698502

I hope you enjoy it.

3 Jennifer November 28, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Congrats Chris!

4 Jessu Goodfellow November 28, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Just wondering if this contest is restricted to writers based in the US? Happy to participate if I can.

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