2021. A new year, a fresh Muse of the Month short fiction contest, and the winners picked by a well known writer. So, start writing?
Hello! This is the 6th year of the Muse of the Month short fiction contest. In these years, this contest has given a fillip to the careers of many emerging Indian writers. If you’re looking to test your mettle, have your fiction reviewed by a noted author and be published with the best, read on!
This writing contest is elegantly simple: Women’s Web gives you a writing cue each month, picked by an eminent author, from their own work. 5 winning stories for the month are chosen for publishing. (What’s more, the noted author who picks the cue for the month would also be helping us review and choose the winners, quite an honour for you indeed, if your work is selected!)
All the winning stories become eligible to be chosen from, for our year end eBook, which is released at the Orange Flower Awards.
This month’s cue has been selected by Kiran Manral, a writer, author and novelist based in Mumbai. Her books include The Reluctant Detective, Once Upon A Crush, All Aboard, Saving Maya, Missing Presumed Dead, The Face at the Window, The Kitty Party Murder and More Things in Heaven and Earth in fiction, Karmic Kids, True Love Stories, A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up, 13 Steps to Bloody Good Parenting, Raising Kids with Hope and Wonder in Times of a Pandemic and Climate Change in non-fiction, apart from short stories in various acclaimed anthologies.
Kiran Manral’s book Saving Maya was long listed for the Saboteur Awards UK, supported by the Arts Council England and The Kitty Party Murder was shortlisted for the Popular Choice Award at the AutHer Awards 2020 by The Times of India and JK Papers. Missing, Presumed Dead and The Face at the Window were both longlisted at Jio MAMI Word to Screen. Kiran has also received multiple awards, such as the Women Achievers Award by Young Environmentalists Association and the International Women’s Day Award 2018 from ICUNR supported by the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare, Government of India, for excellence in the field of writing.
The cue is from her latest book More Things in Heaven and Earth.
“Home was perhaps just this body I inhabited and this too was alien to me at times, its folds and creases, its pains and needs. Home was everywhere and nowhere. Home, I realised now, was anywhere the heart slept in peace. Home was where one unpacked one’s cares and settled them into the wardrobe with one’s clothes. It was where one was complete.“
~ Write your own story (fiction) incorporating this cue. The material should be previously unpublished elsewhere. (Copyright stays with you).
~ Please make sure the cue paragraph is incorporated into your story – last month we’ve rejected a couple of very good stories because they did not do this. It is not just a prompt; it has to be an integral part of your story.
~ Word limit between 250 and 2000 words. Please keep this in mind; in past editions, we have had to disqualify some good entries purely due to word count issues.
~ Submit your stories on the Women’s Web author dashboard with [Muse of the Month June 2021] in the title. Do NOT forget this – we’ve regularly discovered entries that did not have these words in the title much AFTER the winners had been published. Sign in here, or register, if you are not yet an author with us (it’s easy!). Only stories uploaded directly will be considered.
~ The editors may change the title of the story and use appropriate images to promote the story, as per their discretion.
~ The best 5 stories will be published one every day, in the last week of this month. Winners receive a voucher of Rs.750 each. (Do follow our social media updates on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, for the winners.)
~ If your story is selected for publishing among the best 5 stories, you agree to provide exclusive digital publishing rights to Women’s Web, i.e. it will not be published elsewhere online.
Deadline: Sunday, 13th June 2021, 3 PM; late entries will not be accepted.
Please note: Given the number of entries received, we won’t be able to respond to each one, but every single entry is being read through very carefully and is much appreciated.
So what are you waiting for?
In 2020, we had a wonderful run, with the eBook of stories picked from the 60 winning stories of the year just around the corner. Here are the eBooks from earlier years: Kunti’s Confessions & Other Short Stories (2016), When Women Speak Up (2017), No Apologies (2018), Sharing Lipstick (2019).
Image source: Facebook
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