Ain't life grand? That's what Stories On Stage artistic director Anthony Powell thinks, and his group has just announced a new writing contest with that theme. Stories on Stage is looking for upbeat tales of quiet satisfactions and small -- or not so small -- triumphs; stories can be up to 2,250 words, and the submission deadline is 5 p.m. Monday, August 18. The winning story will be read by professional actors alongside works by Carol Anshaw, Donald Barthelme, Charles Baxter and Gary Schanbacher during the two performances of Ain't Life Grand? at Su Teatro on September 13.
The winner will get two tickets to the show and $50. But the biggest prize of all is the chance to see your story come alive on stage. Here's how Flash Fiction contest winner Katriena Knights described the experience on her blog:
My story was in the second half of the show, and when Evan started reading I was amazed at what he did with my words. Everything about the story came to life in a way I'd never imagined. It seemed like an entirely different story--one so much better than what I had written. I got a chance to talk to Evan after the show to tell him how much I enjoyed and appreciated his performance. It was obvious from the first words that [my story] was in good hands.
How did Powell arrive at the idea of an upbeat theme? "I assume all writers are complex individuals and short story writers are even more complex," he says, "and so many [short stories] end on a cryptic, mysterious note at best with a very dark lesson. That's what a lot of short stories are. I just wanted to go against that.
"I frankly think that life is grand, and I wanted to do a show about it," he says. Ain't that grand?
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