Last month I came home from the airport one afternoon and decided to run a short story competition. It got a very good response, drew in a handful of incredibly talented writers, and produced a worthy winner in the form of this sexy little number from Charley Powell.
When I launched ‘The Suitcase’, I thought it would be a one-off; a whim to be indulged, enjoyed, and packed up in a box afterwards. However, running it was such good fun that as soon as I’d chosen the winner, I started thinking about when I might do it again, and how I could make it even more fun next time.
It didn’t take long to answer those questions. What makes a short story competition interesting and enjoyable? I’d suggest it’s some combination of:
a) An engaging theme or challenge
b) Kick-ass prizes
c) A sense of community and conversation around it
Once I’d figured out how to do a) and found some lovely sponsors to provide b), I figured c) would probably happen all by itself – it’s time to put that to the test.
Write an erotic short story, no longer than 2500 words, using a photo from the April 27th edition of Molly Moore’s Sinful Sunday meme as the inspiration (please please read the full rules below for more details).
Runner-up #1: the Countess Clit dildo from Sh! London; and an e-book copy of the illustrated erotica anthology ‘Immoral Views’, from Sweetmeats Press (featuring Lexie Bay, Kay Jaybee, Lucy Felthouse, and more).
Readers’ Choice Award: Handmade Satin Ties with D-rings from Sh! London, and a bumper collection of six erotica anthologies from the wonderful Alison Tyler.
Huge thanks to all of the sponsors for providing such awesome prizes, and especially to Molly for graciously allowing me to tie this in with Sinful Sunday. Most of us who blog or write about sex owe Molly a debt of some description, and mine has just got a whole lot bigger.
Cara Sutra’s bondage kit is something I’ve wanted to get my hands on for a while now, and I’m really excited about having it as a main prize in this contest. To be honest, if you have any interest at all in bondage, you should probably just go out and buy it now, whether or not you intend to write something – having spoken to her at Eroticon, Cara is definitely a woman who knows her shit, and she’s managed to produce a top-quality set of equipment.
Sh! has always been my favourite London sex store – and really, only Babeland in NYC gives it a run for its money on the global front – so it’s great to have them on board for this. Meanwhile, Vibrator Kingdom is a sex toy site that everyone interested in dildos and vibes should have bookmarked (and Donna who runs it is lovely).
As for Dreamspinner and Sweetmeats, both have managed to attract some of the best talent on the erotica market, and are turning out anthologies and novels which reflect that quality. Sweetmeats has launched a really innovative range of illustrated publications (one word: H-O-T), while Dreamspinner is the best publisher of M/M erotica currently operating.
- The first rule is the most important. You absolutely must obtain the WRITTEN consent of the person whose photo you wish to use in your story. There will be no exceptions on this one. Sinful Sunday photos are, by their very nature, personal and intimate; some regular contributors will (understandably) not want to have their images used as inspiration for a story. Please do not disrespect their wishes or breach their copyright.
- You may not use your own photo.
- The story must not be explicitly/directly written about the person/people whose photo you use. Please make your character(s) fictional.
- There is no minimum word limit. If you want to write a 250-word piece of flash fiction, it will be treated in exactly the same way as something that comes in one word under the limit.
- This is an erotica competition. You can blend in other genres, but fundamentally something sexy should happen at some point. It can be M/F, M/M, F/F, any combination of Ms and Fs, trans, or just a hot piece about one person getting up to no good. It can also be as graphic/explicit as you like – there’s no need to tone down the language or turn dicks and cunts into throbbing members and flowers in full bloom.
- You can post your story on your own blog/site and send me the link, or just email it to me directly. You own the piece, so can do with it as you please outside the competition, but to be eligible for the prize you must be happy for me to post it here in the event that you win (and then probably go and wank over it afterwards).
- You do not own the photo you use. That remains the sole property of the person who took/published it.
- The deadline for entries is 2300 (GMT) on Thursday 8th May. Winners will be announced on Sunday 11th May. I’m a fast reader.
- As with all the best sex parties, multiple entries are permitted.
- The winning entry will be the one I like the most. I’m really curious to see what people come up with, so I don’t want to set out a whole load of judging criteria here. Write what interests you, or makes you horny, not what you think I want to read.
If you have any questions, or feel there’s something important that I haven’t covered here, please do get in touch.
Sinful Sunday is a wonderful and wonderfully valuable enterprise, sustained both by Molly’s effort and energy, and by photographs from some of the sexiest and most talented bloggers you’re likely to find. I can’t think of a richer source of inspiration for erotica writers, and I’m really excited about reading the stories you all come up with.
Happy writing 🙂