Thursday, February 28, 2019

BRNO SHORT STORY WRITING CONTEST RETURNS -- Deadline for 2019 Submissions is May 26


The Third Annual Brno Short Story Writing Contest has begun accepting entries as it continues to bolster the cultural environment of Brno with a new theme: The Heart of Europe.

The best short story will win 6,000kc. Second place gets 3,000kc and third place gets 1,000kc. The deadline for entries is May 26, 2019.

The BSSWC is a free contest. Only one entry per person. The short stories must be in English, 2,500 words or less, and include the theme “The Heart of Europe” in some significant way. Entries must be submitted by email by midnight May 26, 2019. Winners will be announced in mid-June.

The jury includes a cross-section of local cultural icons and writing enthusiasts: Don Sparling, a co-founder of the Brno Expat Centre and a longtime leader in the local expat and Masaryk University communities; Tomáš Kačer, a teacher in the Department of English and American Studies at MU and a translator; Anna Formánková, a translator and a book editor at MOBA Publishing House; and contest co-founder and Brno Writers Group co-founder Lee Adams, the At the Movies blogger for the Brno Expat Centre.

The jury will be instructed that the contest is focused on creating a story that includes the theme “The Heart of Europe” in some significant way. The story is the most important aspect, including writing, originality, character development, and plot development. It is understood that most of the entrants will not be native English speakers and that, in fact, this may be their first attempt to write creatively in English. All entrants should endeavor to adhere to the rules of English; however, spelling and grammar will not be critical for success.

Brno Daily (brnodaily.cz) and the Brno Expat Centre (brnoexpatcentre.eu) are both media sponsors of the Brno Short Story Writing Contest.

For more information, go to the contest website at brnowritersgroup.blogspot.com or visit www.facebook.com/brnowritersgroup . Send questions to brnowritersgroup@gmail.com.

The 2019 Brno Short Story Writing Contest “Official Rules”


1.  The 2019 Brno Short Story Writing Contest (BSSWC) is designed to stimulate culture in the South Moravia region by providing a significant set of prizes for a jury-based competition in creative writing.

2. The contest is for anyone who lives or goes to school in Brno or the South Moravia region. People with a significant connection to Brno may also enter.

3. The theme for each entry must be: “The Heart of Europe.” Some interpretation of the theme must be a significant part of the story.

4. Entry is free.

5. One entry per person.

6. The maximum length for each short story is 2,500 words.

7. The entry must be original. Previously published work will be disqualified.

8. All submissions must be in English. Some foreign words — e.g., Czech names, terms — are allowed, but it should be assumed that the jury and the audience knows only English.

9. The prize structure will be:
       First place:         6,000kc
       Second place:     3,000kc
       Third place:        1,000kc
Prize money will be paid in Czech crowns. Any additional banking fees will be the responsibility of the contestant.

10. Winning entries will be published on the official contest page — www.brnowritersgroup.blogspot.com — and announcements will be made on www.facebook.com/brnowritersgroup and perhaps other websites. Additional entries may also be published.

11. These Official Rules are available at all times on the official contest page: www.brnowritersgroup.blogspot.com.

12. Important dates:
Friday, March 1:                     The contest begins, publicity and promotion begins.
Sunday, May 26:                     Deadline for submissions.
Early June:                              Meeting of jury to finalize selections.
Mid-June:                                Announcement of winners.

13. Entries must be emailed to brnowritersgroup@gmail.com by 11:59 p.m. CET on Sunday, May 26, 2019. Entries that are not received by the deadline will not be reviewed and will be ineligible. 

14.  The actual Short Story entry should be a Word document (.doc) or Text file (.txt) and follow these guidelines:

A. NAME — The name of the file must be: “The Title of your Short Story”.  For example, if the title of your Short Story is “Love in Luzanky”, then the name of your Short Story must be saved as “Love in Luzanky.doc” or “Love in Luzanky.txt” 

B. FONT —  Each individual Short Story must be in 12-point, Calibiri or Times New Roman typeface. Please double-space and number the pages.

C. TITLE PAGE — Each entry should have a title page. The title page should contain the title of the Short Story and a brief synopsis. The brief synopsis can be a maximum of two sentences and a minimum of one sentence (and no longer than one-half page in length). The brief synopsis will serve as a description of the Short Story, and possibly be used in online promotion. 

D. ANONYMITY — The author’s name must NOT appear anywhere on the Short Story, including the title page. 

E. LENGTH — The maximum length for each individual Short Story is 2,500 words. Stories that are longer than 2,500 words will be disqualified. This word total does not include the title-page synopsis. (Judges are not required to provide feedback on disqualified submissions.) 

15.  All stories must be submitted via email as an attachment to the following address: brnowritersgroup@gmail.com . The body of the email must include the following information:
Title of the Short Story
Author’s first and last name
Author’s address
Author’s email address
Author’s phone number

16. Please keep your entry within the realms of decency. Overtly questionable content without artistic merit may be disqualified. Similarly, any work deemed to be promoting any brand or organization may face disqualification.

17. The BSSWC shall take every possible action to protect the privacy of all entrants, including their email address. Any individual concerned about such privacy issues should contact the contest administrator directly by email at brnowritersgroup@gmail.com . 

18. The jury for the competition includes the following:
- Don Sparling
- Tomáš Kačer
- Anna Formánková
- Lee Adams

19.  The contest administrator is Bruno Zalubil.

20.  The jury will be instructed that the contest is focused on creating a story that includes the theme “The Heart of Europe” in some significant way. The story is the most important aspect, including writing, originality, character development, and plot development. It is understood that most of the entrants will not be native English speakers and that, in fact, this may be their first attempt to write creatively in English. All entrants should endeavor to adhere to the rules of English; however, spelling and grammar will not be critical for success.

21. Results will be announced on the contest websites in early to mid-June.

22. Each contest entrant will receive feedback from the jury, and their work may be published online. Winning entries should expect to be published, definitely on the official contest page — www.brnowritersgroup.blogspot.com with announcements on www.facebook.com/brnowritersgroup — and perhaps on other websites.

23. There may be media interest in the competition. Winners would be encouraged to speak to the media. Brno Daily (brnodaily.cz) and Brno Expats Centre (brnoexpatcentre.eu) are Media Sponsors of the contest.

24. The Brno Short Story Writing Contest was made possible by anonymous donations.

25. In the event that 10 entries or less are received, the contest will be canceled. Each entrant would receive 200kc. The remainder of the money would be returned to the donors.

26. The administrator of the BSSWC reserves the right to disqualify any entrant or submission that does not comply with these Official Rules and other contest requirements.  Entries that are deemed completely off topic will be considered for disqualification.

27.  If you have any doubts about your eligibility, please send a note to brnowritersgroup@gmail.com.

28. All decisions as to compliance with these Official Rules are within the sole discretion of the contest administrator. Any decisions by the contest administrator are final, conclusive, and binding upon all entrants. 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

JOHN DERHAK WINS THE SECOND BRNO SHORT STORY WRITING CONTEST


Beatrix Turán takes second;
Jessica Sofizade, Simon Botten are both third


BRNO, Czech Republic — John Derhak has won the Second Annual Brno Short Story Writing Contest with his story “Over the Fields under Bile Karpaty” about jazz and Cold War espionage. He earns the top prize: 6,000 kc.

Second place and 2,000kc goes to Beatrix Turán for “The Encounter”. And, after a generous donation to make it possible, two stories tied for third place and receive 1,000kc each: “What If Mo Stood For Moses” by Jessica Sofizade and “Out of the Box” by Simon Botten. Seven additional stories were given Honorable Mention.

The contest attracted writers from many different backgrounds. Non-native speakers made up a large part of the contestants, including more than half of the recognized stories, showing the growing level of English fluency within the Brno community.

Derhak, born in Canada and raised in the United States, was inspired by a day trip to Mikulov and his discovery that jazz legend Karel Krautgartner was from there. The story is set in 1988 during the Cold War, includes several characters with mysterious motivations and revolves around a strange piece of sheet music named ““Over the Fields under Bile Karpaty”. His own description: “This is a story of unexpected encounters, with a little jazz, one hot potato, a dash of stealth, and a promise kept.”

“The Encounter,” by Beatrix Turán, a Hungarian who lives and works in Brno as a technical writer, is a relationship-based story about two strangers meeting on a beach.

Both third-place stories were by natives of Enland: “What If Mo Stood For Moses, by Jessica Sofizade is about the relgious and political ramifications of love and death and “Out of the Box” by Simon Botten is a thriller.

The free contest attracted 51 entries. Every entry had to include the theme “Out of the Box” in some significant way. There was only one entry per person. The short stories had to be in English and 2,500 words or less. The deadline was April 30 at midnight. The original prize pool was 9,000kc, but another 1,000kc was added by an anonymous donation to allow for the third-place tie.

Seven entries were awarded honorable mention, listed in alphabetical order:
• Gravity, by Jan Suda
• Jack, by Rita Collins
• Nice to Meet You, Valerie, by Silvia Divékyová
• The Cerna Pole Kid, by Yiğit Tokgöz
• The Moon In the Sky, the Stars and I’ll Die, by Inga Morawski
• The Last Time, by Jack Stephens
• Unrequited Love, by Veronika Jirků

Morawski earned Honorable Mention in the 2017 contest with “The Endless Renouncement of Feelings.”

All of the award-winning stories and the honorable mention entries are available at brnowritersgroup.blogspot.com.

The jury included a cross-section of local cultural icons and writing enthusiasts: Don Sparling, a co-founder of the Brno Expat Centre and a longtime leader in the local expat and Masaryk University communities; Tomáš Kačer, a teacher in the Department of English and American Studies at MU and a translator; Anna Formánková, a translator and a book editor at MOBA Publishing House; and contest co-founder and Brno Writers Group co-founder Lee Adams, the At the Movies blogger for the Brno Expat Centre.

Each story had to include the theme “Out of the Box” in some significant way. The story was the most important aspect, including writing, originality, character development, and plot development. It was understood that most of the entrants would not be native English speakers and that, in fact, this may have been their first attempt to write creatively in English. All entrants should have endeavored to adhere to the rules of English; however, spelling and grammar were not critical for success.

Brno Daily (brnodaily.cz) and the Brno Expat Centre (brnoexpatcentre.eu) were both media sponsors of the Brno Short Story Writing Contest.

The Brno Short Story Writing Contest was made possible by anonymous donations.

For more information, go to the contest websites at www.brnowritersgroup.blogspot.com or www.facebook.com/brnowritersgroup . Or send an email to the contest administrator, Bruno Zalubil, at brnowritersgroup@gmail.com . 

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