Flash Fiction: Underdog

Photo of person typing, by Sascha Pohflepp, via Flickr“It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down . . . What matters is how many times you get up.” – Rower Joe Rantz, quoted in “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown

In 1936, the crew team from the University of Washington won Olympic gold. They shouldn’t have. They were certainly talented and determined enough to win, but the odds were stacked against them, with one team member sick, their boat given the worst lane assignment, and them missing the signal that started the gold-medal race. This year’s One Read selection, “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown, follows members of this ragtag group of rowers as they struggle through the Great Depression, physical adversity, and personal tragedy to become one of the greatest crew teams in our nation’s history.

Taking inspiration from “The Boys in the Boat,” we invite you to tell a story about beating the odds in 250 words or less. The moment can be significant or subtle, but all stories must contain an element of the underdog, of someone unexpectedly prevailing, or of a character getting up one more time than he or she is knocked down.

Starting September 2, entries may be submitted using this form, mailed or dropped off at any library or bookmobile. (See full rules below for details.) Winning entries and honorable mentions will be published on this site and winners will receive a $20 book store gift card.

Entries are due by September 23. Participants must be age 16 or older and residents of Boone or Callaway Counties. Read on for complete contest rules.

Contest Rules

Eligibility

  • The contest is open to those 16 years of age and older.
  • Participants must reside within the DBRL service area (Boone or Callaway County, Missouri).

Contest Deadline

  • Entries will be accepted through Tuesday, September 23, 2014. (Mailed entries must be postmarked by that date.)

Submission Requirements and Guidelines

  • One entry per individual.
  • Submissions must be 250 words or less in length.
  • Submissions must be in English.
  • Submissions must include writer’s name, age, address and email address or phone number for eligibility verification and contact purposes.
  • Entries must be in text format and typed.
  • Entries may be submitted through the online form or by mail (DBRL, ATTN: Lauren/One Read Writing Contest, PO Box 1267, Columbia, MO 65205), or dropped off at a DBRL location.
  • Submissions must be original, unpublished works.
  • Each participant must be the sole author and exclusive owner of all right, title and interest in and to his or her submission.
  • DBRL’s publication and use of the submission in accordance with the terms set out herein will not infringe or violate the rights of any third party (including copyright), or require any payment to or consent/permission from any third party.

Content Restrictions

  • The submission must not contain any material that is inappropriate, indecent, profane, obscene, hateful, tortious, defamatory, slanderous or libelous.
  • The submission must not contain any material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age.
  • The submission must not contain any material that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations in any jurisdiction where the submission is created.
  • The submission must not contain any commercial content that promotes any product or service of the sponsor or any third party.

Judging

  • Entries will be evaluated and the winners chosen based on creativity, grammar and emotion evoked by the writing, as well as adherence to the guidelines outlined above.
  • Two winners will be announced by October 10.
  • Winning entries and those receiving honorable mentions will appear on the One Read website.
  • Winners will be notified by phone or email and will each receive a $20 bookstore gift certificate.

photo credit: plugimi via photopin cc

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