Can you feel it? The end of the preliminary rounds approaches and the tension is rising. Will your submission be one of the chosen 32? And if it is, will it survive the bout? Dame Hortense Pemberton answered that last question by winning Bout #11. The voting for Bout #12 remains open until noon on Wednesday, July 30th. Including today, only four contests remain before the play-offs begin
A rundown of all the past and current matches, with their respective winners, can be found right HERE.
Here's a recap for anyone just stopping by for the first time. Back on May 3rd we began taking submissions from WRiTER’s far and wide, spanning the globe, representing all ages and multiple styles of WRiTING. We received 167 entries in all! Those 500 word samples went under careful consideration by 11 judges and that panel narrowed the list down to 32…which are the ones that are pairing off in the ring over the course of eight weeks.
These illustrious WRiTER’s are not only from all walks of life, but they also occupy various levels of the publication world. But none of that matters here, because inside this ring everybody stands as equals. You know why? Because no one uses their real name…the only identification you’ll ever see is their pen name. This is not a popularity contest. The focus here is on the writing, where it should be.
Today is the thirteenth of sixteen bouts, two bouts per week, with a new one posted every Monday and Thursday. The winners are decided by votes left in the comment section and anyone can vote. The voting for each fight will last for one full week, so you can vote for a Monday battle all the way until midnight on Sunday, and you can vote for a Thursday brawl up until midnight the following Wednesday. And when you do vote, please let the contestants know what you liked and disliked.
Here are this bout's two randomly selected WRiTER's.
Standing in this corner, representing the Romance genre and weighing in at 500 words, please welcome to the ring……..BellaD.
Girls’ night. We’ve all had them, haven’t we, ladies? One fabulous night to get yourself dolled up and laugh yourself stupid with your besties. They never happen as often as you want, and when they’re done, you all swear that you’ll have to do it more often. Except life gets in the way and months will pass before you can meet up once more. It makes those stolen nights of estrogen-filled bonding that much more sacred.
Which is why I was fucking seething.
There I was, standing at the bar, dressed to kill with a drink in hand. All four of my girls, who had entered this pit they call a club with me, had disappeared into the writhing throng of drunks on the dance floor. I normally would have been out there with them, but considering that every single one of them was plastered to a man, I was fuming. Tonight was supposed to be about hanging with my best friends and finding myself back. Instead? I was alone. At a bar. Drinking by myself. Oh, and my feet were bloody killing me.
Kicking off my ridiculously tall high heels under the premise that I just didn’t care anymore, I tossed back the last dribbles of my paralyzer and waved to the bartender for another. Bless him, he immediately started whipping up a fresh drink for me. “I finally find a man I can count on, but I have to tip him to get service,” I mumbled. “Figures.”
The bartender slid the almost-overflowing plastic cup in front of me, but waved me away as I pulled out my cash. “No need,” he explained, voice raised to be heard over the pulsing music. “The guy down the bar covered it.”
My eyebrows launched themselves northwards as I slapped a bill down on the bar. “Did he now? Tell the hotshot I can pay for my own damn drinks.” What guy tries to pick up by buying drinks for random women nowadays? I sneered to myself. Hey buddy, 1991 wants its ice breaker back. I dismissed the antiquated Casanova and turned back to my drink while trying to resist the urge to go berserk and punch anything with a dick within 10 feet of me. I smiled. What a great word, I thought. B-u-r-z-u-r… I eyed my drink suspiciously... both of them. What the hell is going into these things?
The booze wizard appeared before me once more, waving me close. I stretched up on my tiptoes and leaned over the bar, meeting him halfway so he could speak into my ear. “He said if he couldn’t buy you a drink, will you buy him one instead?” I couldn’t help it. I laughed. I had to give the masochistic cheeseball points for that one… except he could be a serial killer… and I hated men. Right. I grinned magnanimously at the bartender and yelled, “tell him to fuck off.” The mixologist laughed and turned away, leaving me to shake my head.
And in the other corner, representing the Upper MG Fantasy genre with 498 words, let me introduce to you……….ArwenWriter.
I know what you’re thinking. Trolls; nasty, ugly creatures that live in caves and under bridges. And you’d be right, for the most part.
I come from a long line of proud, ugly bridge trolls. It’s what we do. We guard bridges, take tolls, and occasionally grind bones to make our bread.
Well, sort of.
See, I’m not really a normal troll. I guess you could call me the black sheep of the family. Maybe not a sheep though, since my family eats those. I’m pretty sure they don’t want to eat me. I’m a vegetarian, which doesn’t sit well with them at all because the main staple of troll life is bone-bread. Made from…you know…bones.
Truthfully, I prefer to eat things that didn’t scream in fear when they died. Like berries, mushrooms, and whatever I can poach from the farmer’s crops at the edge of the forest. I’m not proud of stealing the food, but at least I’m not trying to eat the farmer. One night I took my baby sister, Ivy, with me, and things got a little ugly. She’s three, and big for a troll of her age. Anyway, the farmer’s dogs chased us out of the tomato patch, and, well, my sister was hungry. Let’s just say the farmer has one less dog now.
I won’t make that mistake again.
I just wish I could say the same thing about my current situation. Unfortunately the mistake I keep repeating involves breathing, according to my exceptionally foul-tempered cousin, Rot.
“Line ‘em up, boys.” Rot’s deep, grumbling voice says maliciously.
As I look up at the sky, which is also in line with my feet, I wonder what I am to be used for today. The thick vine wrapped around said feet suggests something that involves swinging. Or torture. All the same, really.
“It’s a good day for bowling, eh, River?”
Great. I would reply, but he’s conveniently wrapped another vine around my mouth. I settle for rolling my eyes.
The bulky trolls with Rot gather nearby, placing something on the ground, trying to painstakingly place whatever they have in a small pile. I hope it’s mushrooms; something soft that won’t leave a mark on my face. I twist my head to get a better look, causing blood to rush even faster to my head. When they move, a patch of angry-looking forest gnomes stand glowering at me, tied up more tightly than I am. One of them bares his teeth at me. He looks rabid. Or hungry.
On second thought, maybe I could just pass out now and get this over with.
The gnome snaps his teeth eagerly and I cringe. This day is going downhill fast. The trolls line up on either side of the path I will take to collide with the captive gnomes. I see flashes of silver and gold. They’re taking bets and it’s not even past breakfast.
Rot pulls me back, his dark chuckle close to my ear.
Enjoying the words of two talented writers is only part of the price of admission, now it’s up to you to decide who moves forward to the playoffs. In the comments below leave your vote for the winner of Bout #13. Which one tickled your fancy? After you vote please tell all of your friends to stop by and make a selection as well. The voting for this round will remain open until noon Sunday. Yes, it’s subjective, but so is the entire publishing world. It’s as much about the readers as it is about the writers.