Monday, August 16, 2010


It confuses the heck out of a lot of people that I move among so many disparate points of focus. There seems to be some kind of conviction that relating to one thing has to mean shunning everything else, but I'm operating on a "meta-level." Before you decide that's some kind of elitism, remember that it's just a means of inclusion.

Rope and Wire is a bubble, but it's a sincere one devoted to the Post-WWII kind of Westerns we used to love on TV and in the movies. The values are those. These stories are meant to be child-friendly, but violence is not included in what's proscribed -- only sex. Indians could write these stories about Indians so long as they stayed within those assumptions. Go to the website if you want the specifics or care to compete.

Prairie Mary

Rope and Wire Short Story Competition Guidelines

Writers of short western fiction are encouraged to enter the 2010 Rope and Wire Short Story Competition. Rope and Wire is dedicated to enthusiastically supporting the efforts and talents of those who write short western fiction.

1. The competition is open to manuscripts of between 2,500 and 4,000 words. (Word count does not include title of entry.) Entries outside the word limitation will be disregarded. No refunds will be issued for disqualified entries for any reason.

2. The entry fee is $15 per submission.

You may submit as many entries as you wish. All entries are to be submitted separately and electronically, all payments are to be made to Rope and Wire via PayPal before entries are submitted.

3. All entries must be in English, original, unpublished, and not submitted or accepted elsewhere from the time of submission to the conclusion of this contest.
Authors will retain the rights to their entries, although Rope and Wire reserves one-time publication rights to the 1st through 5th place winning entries, to be published in a special section on the Rope and Wire website.

4. All entries must be double spaced, Microsoft Word document saved in the RTF (rich text format.) Each story must be accompanied by a separate cover sheet with the writer's name, complete mailing address, e-mail address, the title of the piece, and the word count.

5. Entries must be submitted by November 30, 2010 to
Paste your story into the body of the email DO NOT use attachments or your story will be disqualified.
Include your full name and PayPal Transaction number in the email title.
You will receive a confirmation email from Rope and Wire for each entry you submit.

6. Winners will be notified by December 31, 2010. If you have not been contacted by this date, you may assume that your entry is not a finalist and may be marketed elsewhere.

7. We will not notify you of your story's status unless you are one of the winning entries.

8. The winning entries will be posted onto the Rope and Wire website no later than January 15, 2011.

9. The following are not permitted to enter the competition: Anyone affiliated with the Rope and Wire website including contest judges and their immediate families.

10. The first round of judging will be by two published authors. Each judge will receive a copy of each submission. These two judges will each submit five recommendations to a third judge, also a published author, who will make the final decision on the top five winners. Entries will be judged on grammar, plot, story structure, characters, style and tone.

Prize Money

Prize money will be paid out in U.S. dollars and will be divided as follows:

1st place- $5 of each entry fee. Example, 10 entries equals $50, 100 entries equals $500.

2nd place- $3 of each entry fee

3rd place- $2 of each entry fee

4th place- Honorable Mention Certificate, but no prize money

5th place- Honorable Mention Certificate, but no prize money

We comply with the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) Code of Ethics.
Contest Code of Ethics

CLMP’s community of independent literary publishers believe that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. Intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree (1) to conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors; (2) to provide clear and specific contest guidelines—defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and (3) to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public. This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute to a vibrant literary heritage.

Current Prize Totals

First Place $0
Second Place $0
Third Place $0

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