It’s 95-word fiction time

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Have you begun to write your 95-word stories for our annual short-fiction writing contest? Do you even know about our short-fiction writing contest?

It’s like this: Every year since 1995, this newspaper has asked readers to write very short stories, the editors here read each and every one, and we publish our favorites. It’s a very popular issue, and I get numerous e-mails throughout the year asking when it’s going to run. Most come in August, a week or two after we publish the winners.

I recently was re-reading last year’s winners of the 95-word fiction contest, hoping to find a theme or style that would help this year’s writers get some idea as to what will help them get their stories in the paper. Hard to say. We had issues of politics, weight loss, individuality, sexual deprivation, love (and the lack of)—honestly, I don’t think I could figure out a danged thing based on last year’s entries. If you’re interested, though, you might plug in and check it out.

I recognize a few of the names of people who’ve won in the past who’ve already entered this year. You might want to consider one of these two strategies if you want to get your story published: Either come up with a single great story, polish every syllable and article, print it on gold leaf, and send it in, or type up about a dozen different stories, do a word count, and send me a whole batch of entries.

Here’s the information you absolutely have to know. There’s more information on the ad on page 30.

Send your snail-mail entries to 95-word Fiction Contest, c/o RN&R, 708 N. Center St., Reno, NV 89501. E-mail to <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript"> </script> and put “Fiction 2006” in the subject line. All entries must be received by 5 p.m. on July 19. Selected entries will be published on July 28. Give your contact information, including telephone number.