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I finally have something to report! Thank goodness, because I was getting cabin fever. Having some new development…even a small one…is like spotting a small lush island in this monotonous expanse of blue ocean!

As you may recall, I’m participating in the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge. In this challenge, made up of three rounds, for every round the participants are divided into heats and each heat assigned a genre, subject and character. The stories are read and judged, and only the top five in each heat advance to the next round.

For this round, my heat, which was made up of about thirty writers, got the following assignment:

Genre: Political Satire
Subject: Child Custody
Character: Speech writer

And last night I received my results…I came in first in my round!!!

I’m stunned. I’ve never written political satire and as I considered the great political satirists, from past to present…Jonathan Swift, George Orwell, Jon Stewart…I was sure my story would be disqualified. So, to come in first is mind-boggling. I can’t share the story, but here is the synopsis which was required to accompany the story…

“Living Funeral” (synopsis): Jack Lowe is a New York speech writer called in to help pregnant women prepare speeches for their Living Funerals and their attempts to avoid losing custody of their unborn children. At the same time Jack is threatened with losing custody of his own unborn child who is three thousand miles away in California.

Even if this is as far as I get in this competition, I’ll be incredibly pleased. The next round starts this Thursday at midnight, and I’m looking forward to it with the same level of excitement. The reasons I decided to participate in this competition were 1) I wanted to produce some new short stories, 2) I wanted to see what effects boundaries had on my creativity, and 3) I wanted to be forced to submit something I couldn’t revise to death. So, in my mind, this has already been a successful venture.

If you’d like to see what each heat was assigned or see who else participated, check out the link below: