The Writer’s Dilemma is that there are an estimated two million novelists in America, and maybe ten million self-styled poets– with many more of both writing in English in other countries. The performers are on the verge of outnumbering the audience. Or: writers have become the audience.
The only possible solution is to recreate the art. To construct works wholly new, to set those who write them apart from the innumerable crowd.
TOWARD THAT END we recently ran a contest for stories with two viewpoints. We present the winner of that contest now: Tom Ray. His winning story is “What He Thought Was Right.” His tale is about two Vietnam veterans, and their encounter with a World War II veteran and that veteran’s grandson. Has the clash of generations always been with us? A clash, maybe, not of generations so much as viewpoints. It’s an excellent story. We hope you’ll like it.
Harold said he served in infantry, and Art believed him. Old guys who lie about Vietnam would shut up and kind of drift off when they found out Art had been there. And Harold didn’t tell war stories that sounded like a movie script. He’d just make a few vague statements, always ending with, “I saw some bad shit over there, man.”
At the same time, we have new work at two of our supplementary blog. At our new Special Projects blog, home of quirkier writing, we have “The Little Squirrel and the Baby Eagle” by Wred Fright. At our News blog we have a look at what we’re up to behind the scenes, with a post titled “Prototypes.”
Something for everyone!
A QUICK ANNOUNCEMENT
FOR THOSE who haven’t heard, we have a winner in our first cash prize contest, one Tom Ray. Check out our NPL News story about it.
ON OTHER FRONTS, we’ve been using our revamped Special Projects blog for quirky writings, often of a humorous nature, as well as for sneak previews of pop lit things-to-come. Peruse our latest offering, “Sending the Dog to a Farm” by Gregg Maxwell Parker. Next up there will be amusing fiction from Wred Fright— before we move on at last to our planned collaborative novel– which should be fun!?
Plus much more.
(Art: “Organization” by Arshile Gorky.)
PART of our mission with the arts grant we received will be to continue developing new forms for the short story. New structures and shapes, not unlike modernist shapes in the plastic arts. Experiments in structure.
As with anything, there’s a steep learning curve involved in perfecting the multidimensional short story. We’re working through several iterations. The end goal: A better reading experience.
TOWARD THAT END–
Our first announced contest is a short and modest one. A one-month contest, with a prize of eighty dollars ($80) for the FIRST competent and readable story we receive written from two different viewpoints. Alternate and connect the two viewpoints however you like. If we don’t receive an adequate story within those parameters at the end of one month, the contest will be extended for another month, and so on– until we have a winner. The winning story will be featured at our site.
The contest is open to anyone except New Pop Lit‘s two editors.
6,000 word maximum, 1,000 word minimum.
Send all entries to firstname.lastname@example.org, with “Contest” in the subject line.
The contest begins now, today: March 4, 2022.
Again, this is the first of several contests we’ll be running this year.
Thanks in advance to anyone, or all, who participate– and good luck!