H.A.L. Publishing is putting on a short fiction competition with no entry fee and some very clever contest copy.
According to their website, entries “are not to exceed 1,500 words,” and the theme is China.
This does not mean the contestants have to write about China the nation nor take place in China, though those stories will be gladly read as anything else. The theme is open to interpretation and can center around China, the history of China, life in China, life after China, life without China, fortune cookies (which actually are not Chinese, but whatever, we don’t care, we are open to anything), grandma’s china plates, Chinese take-out, Shanghai, being shanghaied, stuff for sale at Target, trade deficits, foreign affairs, NAFTA, firecrackers or gunpowder, silk dresses, opium dens or railroads in the American Wild West, the struggle of Chinese immigrants to the West, Richard Nixon, Chinatown, or any other conceivable application of the theme “China.” We might not be ready to read Deadhead stories about China Cat Sunflower, but if that’s what you’ve got, send it in. We are always ready to be surprised.
The deadline is October 1st, 2012. Despite what it says on the website (2015?) they actually mean 2012.
The reward? A meager $50 USD, but that’s not the real prize. In addition to the bucks, you get:
– “Publication on the interwebs at www.haliterature.com.”
– “One copy each of H.A.L.’s Party like it’s 1984: stories from the people’s republic of; and Middle Kingdom Underground: stories from the people’s republic of, as well as a copy, upon publication, of H.A.L.’s forthcoming book I Am Barbie by H.A.L. author W.M. Butler.”
AND, the “winning story will be read live, in whole or in part, at a H.A.L. LiT event in Shanghai by a regular contributor to H.A.L. Alternately, the winner may travel at his or her expense to perform the piece in person, or send an audio or video recording of the piece along like a literary postcard of freedom and joy.”
Make sure to read the submission guidelines carefully, and have fun!