Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.
Here are the five most common responses I hear whenever I tell people I work for the RN&R:
5. “Man, your movie reviewer is really full of it. I can’t believe he didn’t like [insert title of crappy recent blockbuster].”
4. “Dennis Myers is a great reporter. I appreciated his piece on [insert recent news topic].”
3. “The what? Never heard of it.”
2. “Does Bruce Van Dyke really need to cuss so much?”
1. “I love the contest you guys do where the stories have to be exactly however-many words. I really want to remember to submit something this year. When do submissions start?”
The answer to that last one is now. It’s time for our annual 95-Word Fiction Contest. The idea is to write a miniature short story that’s exactly 95 words long. Here’s an example:
Lieutenant Nishiyama’s unit searched for Viet Cong soldiers in a village near the Laotian border. As expected, they found nothing. No hidden enemies.
A solitary, elderly woman was cooking rice. The smell made Nishiyama homesick.
Nishiyama called to the translator: “Tell her I’ll trade two packs of American cigarettes for a bowl of that rice.”
It was delicious.
“Ask her for more.”
“She’s not poor enough? You’ve got to eat all her food?”
“What? There’s enough food here for a dozen men.”
Nishiyama looked at the woman.
“Hey Captain, we better search this property again.”
This example is based loosely on a story told in the Ken Burns/Lynn Novick documentary series The Vietnam War.
Submissions must be received before Jan. 16. For more information, check out the promo on page 6 of this week’s issue.