Sunday, April 18, 2010

Jason Duke's Writing Contest!

UPDATE: Jason graciously clarified deadlines for his contest regarding entry and posting. Stories can be posted anytime--whenever they're finished and the contest will be closed to entries on May 14, 2010. Thanks, Jason!

Jason Duke is sponsoring a writing contest, and for prizes, we're talking money, honey. The winner will get $100 and the runner-up will get $50. Deets follow, from the man himself:

'It's nice to get published, it's better to get paid. As writers, we know this all too well. My 15 minute claim to fame was an adventure for Dungeon Magazine that netted $100 bucks. I've been paid for other stories over the years, ten dollars here, twenty dollars there, but those are few and far between.

So why is it so fucking hard to get paid? I'm not the greatest writer. I'm good enough to get paid, but not the greatest. There are a lot of better writers out there, yet we're all in the same boat. Why? I think because there are so few paying magazines.

Which makes sense.

In the crime fiction circle, it seems books are even a hard sell nowadays. I hear firsthand from authors how hard they work to get word out about their books in the hopes of selling copies, authors like Anthony Neil Smith, Eric Beetner, Seth Harwood, Megan Abbott, Tim Maleeny, Nick Quantrill, the list goes on.

If books are a hard sell, then probably crime magazines too, right? Especially paying magazines. Sometimes, I wonder how publishers and magazines manage to stay afloat, because not all of them stay afloat, a lot of them sink. My hat's off to the ones that survive. Without them, no one would have a shot at getting paid.

Which brings me back to my point: it's nice to get published, it's better to get paid. There are a lot of great crime magazines available right now, mostly online, and some more prestigious than others, where writers like myself can get published, just not paid. Exposure is great, don't get me wrong. With everyone struggling to climb the same pay ladders, not everyone is going to make it, and exposure helps our ascent.

So what I offer is a shot at getting paid. Not just a token amount, either, at least I don't think so. I believe in karma. I believe in altruism. I consider myself a generous person. I try to be. If I have the cash, and life is good, I believe in spreading the wealth.

Every time I log on to Facebook, or read your blogs, or read magazines like Spinetingler, Thuglit, Plots With Guns, Darkest Before the Dawn, A Twist of Noir, I see this great community of fellow crime writers, all struggling to climb that ladder, all deserving to get paid.

A community looks out for each other, helps each other, encourages the other to aspire to something greater, to reach for and change the stars.

We all play our part in some way.

That is why I've decided to throw down some scratch for a crime fiction contest. The winner gets paid $50. The runner-up gets paid $25.

You know what?

Fuck that.

The winner gets paid $100 and the runner-up gets paid $50 bucks.

Call the contest whatever you want. I don't give a shit what it's called, but if someone comes up with something really catchy we'll run with it.

Everyone has a month to get their stories in. I think it goes without saying, only submit your best. We'll handle entries the same as other contests such as Daniel B. O'Shea's “Let Us Prey” fiction challenge, the “Recession” fiction challenge over on Do Some Damage, or the various contests hosted on A Twist of Noir. In other words, post your stories on your blogs, on A Twist of Noir, Darkest Before the Dawn, anywhere on the internet, email me the link at, and we'll link them for the judges at Paul David Brazill's blog You Would Say That, Wouldn't You:

That's right, we have judges.

Excellent, qualified judges who know their shit. In the line-up are Aldo Calcagno, John McFetridge, Steve Weddle, and Stacia J.N. Decker.(Yes, that Stacia Decker.) They have very generously donated their time to read the entries and select two stories each. From those eight stories, David Hale Smith (Yeah, that David Hale Smith) has also generously donated his time to narrow the selection to four - two winners, and two runner-ups. From those four picks, I'll decide the winner and the runner-up. Yeah, I know I'm not as qualified or know my shit nearly as much as Aldo, John, Steve, Stacia, and David, but it's my fucking money, so ha.

Crime fiction only. It's broad, can mean a lot of different things, leaving it wide open, so if you ask me to explain what we're looking for I'm gonna put you in a fucking chokehold. Word limit on stories 2,000-3,500 words. I don't want them too short, but still quick for the judges to read.

The judges will have another month to narrow their selections. We will post the announcements on Paul's blog. Then I'll announce the winner and runner-up. Payment will be through paypal, money order, direct deposit, cash, however the fuck the winners choose to get paid. The winner and runner-up will also get published in Crimefactory, with a big thanks to the Crimefactory crew Keith Rawson, Cameron Ashley, and Liam Jose.

So what the fuck are you waiting for?

Get to it.'

I'm including links to a couple of Jason's tales right here for you. Let their darkness take your hand and pull you in. His stories will do that to you. Oh yeah. The man can write.

First, we have Midnight Hellride on Plots With Guns.

Second, we have Route Cobra on House of Horror.

I apologize. The links refuse to go on as actual links. I'll work on those. For now, please copy and paste. Oh come on. So you need to exert a little bit of effort. I never promised you a free ride, did I?


  1. Those are good stories by JD. The contest is heating up,eh?

  2. They are terrific, Paul. Like I said, the man can write. This contest was such an outstanding idea. The best thing about it is that all the entries are available to read. I've read them all so far and they are AMAZING! With most contests, of course, only the judges get to read them, but doing a contest this way is the best.