Okay, so maybe you’re not the next Dick Francis. But if you enjoy the world of horse racing and you’ve got a fertile imagination, you might want to pen a short story for a respected writing competition. The Thoroughbred Times is sponsoring its Eighth Biennial Fiction Contest. Open to both professional and amateur writers, the fiction contest awards the top entry $800 and the winning work will be published in a weekly edition of Thoroughbred Times in the spring of 2008. The authors of the second- and third-place selections will receive $400 and $250, respectively, and their works will also be published in the weekly magazine.
The 2006 contest drew a total of 118 entries from writers in 30 states, three Canadian provinces, Australia, Bulgaria, England, Ireland, and Spain. So just how good is the competition? The first Thoroughbred Times Fiction Contest winner, “The Hanging in the Foaling Barn”, by Susan Starr Richards, won an O. Henry Award in 1994. (The O. Henry Awards is an annual collection of the year’s best short stories published in American and Canadian magazines and written by American or Canadian authors.)
If you think you’ve got something for this literary horse race, there are some specifications. The work of fiction must pertain to some aspect of the Thoroughbred industry and must be 5,000 words or less. Entries must be submitted by December 31, 2007, and mailed to: Thoroughbred Times Fiction Contest, P.O. Box 8237, Lexington, KY 40533.
If you’re not prepared to pony up your own short story, you can at least read some of the stellar stories from past contests. This spring, Thoroughbred Times will publish Thoroughbred Tales, an anthology of the 18 best fiction stories compiled from the first seven competitions.
For complete information on the contest and rules regarding submission, visit www.thoroughbredtimes.com and click the link to Fiction Contest.