Three-Minute Fiction

NPR has a writing contest called Three-Minute Fiction. The idea is that you write a 600 word story, one that could be read in three minutes on air, responding to the prompt created by a published author. That same author then judges the submissions choosing a story to be read in its entirety on NPR. Awesome. The most recent contest required a monologue style story told by a character's words in a voicemail. Submissions were due a few weeks back and each weekend on All Things Considered they've announced a few honorable mentions, reading little snippets of the stories on air and publishing the full stories on the website.

I have never before entered any sort of writing contest and I'm genuinely proud of myself for simply making myself submit a story. However...a compulsion of sorts has taken over. I check the stupid website daily to see what stories have been selected (even though they only post the chosen stories on Saturdays and Sundays). So really, I'm not checking on story updates, I'm obsessing on the comments made in response to the stories, most likely by fellow writers...and they are not all nice. I find myself taking offense to people's overt and unnecessarily negative critiques on the stories they don't like and I automatically question how my own story would hold up against such harsh criticism. I don't think I'm ready for that.

I enjoy my little blog-- that is viewed mostly by my kindhearted friends-- who are not going out of their way to make me feel shitty. I practice my writing with enough feedback that it is not a scary experience.   It makes me feel for the writers who were lucky enough to have their stories selected and who now have to read every bitter word from authors who were not fortunate enough to be chosen. It is so easy for people to be critical...so hard for people to just say congratulations. Writing, and enjoying "good" writing is so subjective. I wish more people would acknowledge that instead of talking with such pompous authority.


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