“It began with a bang.”
~ Casey Cep, “Furious Hours”
In “Furious Hours” author Casey Cep brings to life the complex tale of a serial killer, Harper Lee’s attempt to write a book about his crimes and the justice system in the deep South. Taking inspiration from the compelling true crime narrative created by Cep, we invite you to tell us a tale of another crime using the line “It began with a bang” as a springboard for — and the first sentence of — a mini mystery of your own. It could be based on a historic crime or completely imagined; it can tell of the crime itself or of its aftermath, but you must tell it in 250 words or less.
Starting September 1, 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 in the Columbia Missourian, and winners will receive a $25 book store gift card.
Participants must be age 16 or older and residents of Boone or Callaway Counties. Read on for complete contest rules.
- 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).
- Entries will be accepted from September 1-25. (Mailed entries must be postmarked by September 25.)
Submission Requirements and Guidelines
- One entry per individual.
- Submissions must be 250 words or less in length.
- Submissions must begin with the words “It began with a bang.”
- 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: Kat/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- Submissions must be original, unpublished works.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 their 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.
- 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.
- 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 15.
- Winning entries and those receiving honorable mentions will appear on the One Read website and in the Columbia Missourian.
- Winners will be notified by phone or email and will each receive a $25 bookstore gift certificate.