Miss Snark's Idols of March Writing Contest

Here are the official rules for the Idols of March Writing Contest.

1. 100 words max (brutally enforced)

2. Must include the following words to qualify for winning prize:

Dan Lazar

3. Must be emailed in the body of the email, NO attachments to:

miss dot snark at gmail dot com

4. Window for submissions: 5pm Eastern Daylight time to 5:15pm Eastern Daylight time.
(Yea, I learned my lesson)

5. You WILL receive a confirmation but not instantly.
If you email to bug me or send it more than once (telling me you're not sure I got it) I'll disqualify you.

6. Prize: ARC of Lee Child's latest, Bad Luck and Trouble, slightly used, (ie read by Grandmother Snark and Miss Snark. KY currently on page 10.)

7. Winners are selected by Miss Snark based on not quantifiable reasons, and are not subject to change or discussion.


Anonymous said...


Without that prize I may never be happy and fulfilled as a woman. I love me a heaping scoop of Reacher.


Anonymous said...

Miss Snark, the time on AOL still says one hour earlier. I plan to enter between 5 and 5:15, but the email might say 4:15. I hope that'll be cool.

Melissa said...

Dear Miss Snark,

Just wanted to give you a heads up that it appears Gmail' time stamp is off. I sent a test email between both my gmail accounts, they were behind an hour...attempted to change my account settings (did not affect the time), noticed Yahoo was sending one hour behind as well.

So, if you get lots of submissions that register between 4:00 and 4:15,...they were probably sent between 5:00 and 5:15. (EDT of course.)

-Liss (a new snarkling)

Annie said...

Argh! I leave work at 4:30 and won't get home until 5:30. Any chance of it changing to a 30 minute window for the poor carpooling nitwits?

Anonymous said...

What about all the footnotes, citations, and graphics? Do they count towards the 100 words?

Seriously, these are submitted anonymously, right? I don't want to be flicked on the forehead publicly.

Anonymous said...

Since it hasn't been mentioned: is just one entry per person allowed?

Anonymous said...

Will you be going by the time stamp on the email as opposed to when you receive it in case the mail gets delayed between sender and receiver?

Rei said...

Would we be disqualified for toying with the words a bit -- for example, adding/removing spaces, pluralizing, things of that nature?

Anonymous said...

For those having difficulty with time zones:

World Times

alternatefish said...

so far this exercise (and its 100-word limit) has served to remind me how much better my writing is when I'm forced to cut out 20% of what I first write.

so--already, thanks Miss Snark.

Jacob H said...

Miss Snark,

Do you agree with MS Word that "S.A.S.E." is one word? Or does using it make me a dirty little cheater?

Anonymous said...

I also tried sending an email from a non-gmail account to my gmail account and the time stamp at both ends is an hour earlier than it should be. It looks like the servers haven't caught up. It appears the time on all the email you receive will still be EST instead of EDT.


Anonymous said...

Agreed. My first draft was 142 words, ruthlessly cut down to 100 and I like it much more now.

It was definitely worth it just for that lesson alone.

angie said...

You've totally lost it...again. Still, the chance to win the new Reacher novel? Woohoo!

Anonymous said...

Omigosh! I've just realized we've learned Miss Snark's first name!!! Its Dorothy. Its right there in her email address: Miss Dot Snark...

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Yeah, I posted at 5:01 and the Yahoo sent mail read 4:01.I am honest, I swear!

Anonymous said...

I just sent mine off at 5:04 EDT. Problem is, the time on the email shows it was sent at 4:04. :(

Shannon Ryan said...

I did a last minute edit and hit the send button, only to realize that I'd removed the word moonbeam.

But as Alternatfish said, it was still a good excercise.

Sihaya said...

"so far this exercise (and its 100-word limit) has served to remind me how much better my writing is when I'm forced to cut out 20% of what I first write.

so--already, thanks Miss Snark."

That's funny, 15-20% was typically what I was cutting from most of my attempts at this exercise. The real trick was avoiding the temptation to ditch all definite articles.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, that's 2 pm West Coast, right? Which menas I got this with a whole 25 minutes to go. *shrug* At least it's my lunch hour!

Cory Harris said...

First time submitting. I hope I did everything right.

mai said...

saw the contest 10 minutes before the window opened -- trying to make it was like downing a stiff shot of gin while holding a yoga pose in the ladies' room at work. the experience alone was worth it. thank you.

Anonymous said...

Is Miss Snark haveing a house party this weekend, and needs something to give her guests howls of laughter?

Dave Kuzminski said...

And she's not in Kansas anymore. :)

Anonymous said...

4. Window for submissions: 5pm Eastern Daylight time to 5:15pm Eastern Daylight time.

Oh, you rotter! Now you tell us, after I've gone to bed.


For the rest of you snarklings, here's the entry I'd written last night, stuck in an email and hoped that the window would be longer than fifteen minutes:

As Dan Lazar approached through the silver moonbeam, she inched her fingers along, hoping she could reacher automatic rifle in the darkness. It lay in the autumn leaves mere inches away from her sprawled body. No matter how snazzy a dresser he was, he was still a Griffin killer. "Bloody Slither," she muttered as her hand drew the weapon upward. The report sounded like a helicopter as she squeezed the trigger. No spell out-trumped a good old-fashioned silver bullet.