Read. The. Instructions. First.

Phil: We were looking at a list of links to writing competitions the other day. Scanning down I spotted one titled “Write A Story For Bedtime Competition” and thought it sounded interesting. Actually I thought “I’ve got an idea for that, I can win and be rich, rich, rich !”.

A few days later, my notepad had the basic outline of a tale called “The little toy train” in its pages and I was starting to flesh this out in my head. The basic idea has been rattling around in my brain for years and the competition seemed a good opportunity to release it and free up some grey matter for something more important. I like it when stories demand to be told, it means they are probably going to be good.

Anyway, as I flexed my typing fingers in the manner of a concert pianist about to commence performing a concerto, I took a moment to follow the link attached to the competition. Just in case there were any tips, I skimmed through the instructions. Rule 7 jumped out at me:

Apart from erotica and children’s stories, there is no restriction on subject matter.

Oh b****r I thought. But without the asterisks.

You’ll not be surprised when I reveal that “The little toy train” is a story to be read to children. When someone says “Bedtime story”, that’s what you think of isn’t it ? Well except for the people caught out by the start of the rule and their idea of a bedtime story is completely different. And they probably though the same as me and decided to add it into the text.

So, my story sits as notes on a page. Sometime soon I think I will turn them into proper text – the tale still wants to escape my head and I need the brain space. But as far as the competition goes, it’s back to square one.

Write a short story competition


Filed under Phil, Writing

2 responses to “Read. The. Instructions. First.

  1. Ha. We’ve all been there, well, I have anyway. My favourite was one by a taxpayer-funded organisation which I was all ready to submit my story to, except that rule one was: “Open to residents of greater London only”.

    Good to see our taxes are being put to good use…

  2. A bedtime story that DOESN’T involve either kids or erotica? Wow. What’s left to write about?

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