If you’ve never visited and read Bartleby Snopes you’ve missed experiencing one of the absolutely best displays of writerly thinking (and, you know, writing) to be found on this planet.
Currently, Bartleby is running its 7th Annual Dialogue Only Contest – a contest for short stories consisting entirely of dialog, with a max length of 2000 words, in which you – oh, the hell with it. Why should we struggle with description when you can get the gist right from the website itself:
7th Annual Dialogue Only Rules and Guidelines
The Rules: Compose a short story entirely of dialogue. You may use as many characters as you want. Your entry must be under 2000 words. Your entry does not have to follow standard rules for writing dialogue. Your entry cannot use any narration (this includes tag lines such as he said, she said, etc.). These are the only rules. Manipulate them however you see fit. Check out past winners and read our tips for writing good dialogue before submitting your entry.
The Winner: The winning entry will be the story that most effectively uses dialogue to deliver a powerful and engaging story.
Judges: All finalists will be chosen by the Staff of Bartleby Snopes. Five finalists will be submitted to the final round of voting. The order of winners will be determined by the staff of Bartleby Snopes and our two guest judges. This year’s guest judges are Sorrel Westbrook-Wilson (6th Annual Dialogue Contest Winner) and Bud Smith (author of Tollbooth andEverything Neon). All decisions regarding contest winners are final.
Prizes: A minimum of $500 will be awarded, with at least $300 going to the grand prize winner. Our five finalists will also appear in Issue 14 of the magazine due out in January 2016. Last year we awarded $2380 in prize money. For every entry over 50, an additional $5 will be added to the total prize money.
For more details about the prizes, plus submission guidelines and links to previous winning entries, the place to go is HERE
We hope a zillion of you enter, pitting your TV and film dialog writing skills against those of all the wonderful, crazy prose writers out there. If you do, let us know how it turned out. (Because maybe TVWriter™ should have a similar contest of its own. Or maybe one where we ask you to write a short film with only description? Hmm, starting to see some interesting possibilities here….)