Oil Spill Microfiction Contest!

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Over at our sister site, HiLobrow, Patrick Cates has announced a new microfiction contest. The theme: OIL SPILL — WHERE YOU LIVE. Prize money will be donated to a good cause!

THE CHALLENGE: Write a story set in the town or city where you live, but imagine that it (and its surrounding area) has been flooded with several hundred thousand gallons of crude oil daily, because of a drilling-related crisis some weeks earlier. You might find using the interactive Gulf Coast Oil Spill Map helpful in this eco-catastrophic exercise, but it’s not a requirement.

THE PRIZES: HiLobrow will donate $100 in honor of the contest winner to the Center for Biological Diversity, a nonprofit which seeks to prevent offshore oil spills. (Two-time Significant Objects author Lydia Millet is on the organization’s board.) The winner will also be sent a HiLobrow t-shirt (all sizes except Men’s Large available), and his or her story will be published on HiLobrow.com. Three finalists will also be selected; we’ll donate $50 apiece to CBD for these.

THE GUIDELINES: No more than 250 words. Only one story per person. Stories featuring explicit/hardcore/extreme sex and/or violence will not be considered. Curse words OK, though, if necessary. Stories replete with spelling and/or grammatical errors will not be considered. Do not include a title.

HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR STORY: Post it to the comments section of “City on a Spill,” a story I wrote last week. The deadline is 5 p.m. (EST) on June 5th. NOTE: Content published on HiLobrow.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

THE JUDGES: The stories will be judged by HiLobrow.com editors Matthew Battles and Joshua Glenn, and HiLobrow’s Magister Ludi, Patrick Cates.

Oil Spill Crisis: New York


Joshua Glenn is an editor, publisher, and a freelance writer and semiologist. He does business as KING MIXER, LLC. He's cofounder of the websites HiLobrow, Significant Objects, and Semionaut; and cofounder of HiLoBooks, which will reissue six Radium Age sci fi novels in 2012. In 2011, he produced and co-designed the iPhone app KER-PUNCH. He's coauthored and co-edited Taking Things Seriously, The Idler's Glossary, The Wage Slave's Glossary, the story collection Significant Objects (forthcoming from Fantagraphics), and Unbored, a kids' field guide to life forthcoming from Bloomsbury. In the '00s, Glenn was an associate editor and columnist at the Boston Globe's IDEAS section; he also started the IDEAS blog Brainiac. He has written for Slate, n+1, Cabinet, io9, The Baffler, Feed, and The Idler. In the '90s, Glenn published the seminal intellectual zine Hermenaut; served as editorial director and co-producer of the pioneering DIY and online social networking website Tripod.com; and was an editor at the magazine Utne Reader. Glenn manages the Hermenautic Circle, a secretive online community. He was born and raised in Boston, where he lives with his wife and sons. Click here for more info.

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