Monday, May 26, 2014

WisCon 38 Spontaneous Writing Contest

Below are the 8 submitted entries in the 2014 WisCon Spontaneous Writing Contest. Each contestant was given 60 minutes to build a story around a couple of paragraphs of supplied dialog.

There were 13 registrants, and the 1st 8 who were physically present on Saturday morning became the official contestants.

Many thanks to our judges for generously taking time out of their convention schedules to read and rank the entries:
  • F. J. Bergmann, editor of Star*Line, the journal of the Science Fiction Poetry Association
  • Darrah Chavey, chair of next year’s Tiptree Award jury
  • Anaea Lay, caster of Strange Horizons pods

  1. You must be a registered member of WisCon 38 to participate. There is no registration fee. There are no age limits or other restrictions.
  2. You must provide your own computer.
  3. Register for the contest by e-mailing your name to with the subject line “WisCon SWC”. Your name will be numbered in the order in which it arrived.
  4. The 1st 8 people on the list who are physically present at the WisCon (not the hotel’s) registration desk at 8:30 AM on Saturday morning (for example, #s 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 11, and 12) will be the contestants.
  5. Each contestant will get a USB flash drive which contains a single RTF (rich-text format) document. That document will contain a few lines of dialog. Your task is to load the document onto your computer, construct a story that incorporates the supplied dialog, save it back to the flash drive, also as an RTF document, and turn it in within 60 minutes. We’ll take care of printing them out.
  6. A panel of judges will read each story and rank them from #1 to #8. The best average score wins 1st prize (fame, honor, and $50). Next best wins 2nd prize (nod of appreciation and 30 bucks). A crisp Andy Jackson to #3. The other 5 get their stories posted on a wall.
  7. Can you do this? Check out last year’s entries at and judge for yourself. Yes, WisCon retains the right to publish your story in similar manner. All other rights revert to you.