You Have Been Challenged, Old Bean: Write a Better 300-Word Story about Love than A Pensive Britisher
Earlier this month, The "London Times" commissioned six fiction writers who were sipping martinis outside of their offices to write 300 word short stories about love for their website.

Look! Their lips are almost touching and she is holding a rose!



The stories are exactly what you would expect from the country where both Marx and Freud went to study perversity and shame. Here are tales of withered and cordial affection for birds and children, tales of people contemplating their cloying and withered past, and tales of withered middle-aged married couples patting each other on their withered hands.

But now "The Times" is extending the fun to the rest of us -- even Yanks and the Welsh -- in the form of a low-key contest with the same 300 word restrictions. The best stories will be posted on their website for all the world to read. Gentlemen named Lionel and ladies named Mab will chutter about these short stories over their breakfasts, as they cut into heads of herring served in bowls filled with "butler's" blood (cat blood). At the bottom of these bowls, there are almond scones with quotes from Oscar Wilde stamped into the sides. These hard pieces of flavored bread are rewards to the Brits for finishing their iron-rich brekky, but this contest has no reward for you beyond nationalistic pride.

While the rest of the world watches men and women perform feats of athletic prowess, you have the chance to participate in the real Olympics: the 300 Word Love Toss. I am secretly rooting for India, but I am going to play for the American Team, despite how controversial this will be.

There aren't a lot of rules to this contest, so you can probably submit an entry for every email address you've got:

Send your fictional tales, in a maximum of 300 words, to "lovestory@thetimes.co.uk." Include your name, age and contact details. We will publish the winners later this month.

I'm going to enter at least twice. One of my stories is going to be about arm-wrestling, and the other one is going to be about an angry man without shame who has a special relationship with New York -- the kind of relationship they put on t-shirts.

Comment!

Posted by miracle on Tue, 12 Aug 2008 13:59:06 -0400 -- permanent link


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