So I did a little snooping, and I found a couple of very interesting contests/themed reading periods upcoming, so I thought I'd share them with you.
The first is from Writer's Digest. They do one of these every month, so there's not particularly any hurry here, but whatever. There is a prompt that you must follow, and the max word count is a hard 750. The prompt is as follows:
Prompt: During your weekly housecleaning you find an unfamiliar cell phone in the cushions of your couch--but can't recall having any recent visitors. It rings.
Based on previous contest entries, you'll be up against anywhere from 500-1000 others, so remember to bring your "A" game to this puppy. The winner will have their story published in a future edition of the digest, and receive $100 in books from the company. That's a pretty sweet deal. Contest closes in on September 10, (or 10 September for you Euros out there) SO HURRY UP. Here's the link to the contest.
The second entry comes from the cleverly titled "Poe Little Thing" magazine. Rather than a contest, per se, it's an open reading period for their themed quarterly issue. Here's what they say about that theme:
The theme for the autumn 2010 issue will be:
IN SPACE NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM
The word count is a "soft" 1000 (meaning, if you absolutely must go over by a few words, they'll work with you). If you are selected, you will receive a professional rate of .05 cents per word (fifty bucks for a thousand-word story), which means it would be a professional sale! Yay! Deadline is September 20th, or until the issue is filled. Here's the link to the submissions page.
There you have it. I figure given the short length and quick deadlines of these two items, it might give my fellow writers an opportunity to flex their literary muscle, and maybe earn a little something in the process. Enjoy!