Friday, September 10, 2010

Guest Blogger: Scott Gese: Rope and Wire Short Story Competition

The Western website, Rope and Wire, has been online for three and a half years now working hard to promote the Western genre through a variety of avenues. The approach seems to be working. Since day one, Rope and Wire has seen steady growth not only in the amount of its high-quality content but also in the number of its loyal followers.

The main idea behind Rope and Wire is to promote the Western genre through new, up and coming, and established Western authors. But the site doesn’t limit itself to just authors. It includes many other Western venues.

Short stories are a great way to introduce new readers to what Western authors actually write about. It gives them a feel for the genre that will hopefully continue to grow and mature, possibly translating into the sale of a few Western novels.

In a constant search for new ways to promote the genre, the Rope and Wire website has begun accepting submissions for their very first Western short-story competition. The competition is open to both novice and established authors. It creates an opportunity for the top five winning authors to have their work promoted by Rope and Wire and helps authors gain some valuable name recognition.

The competition, although somewhat conventional, does have several unconventional aspects to it. The first is that submissions will not be accepted by postal mail. All submissions are by email. While there is the possibility that this will reduce the total number of submissions, Rope and Wire believes in keeping up with the times.

As I’ve often said; “Even though the setting we write about is one hundred and fifty years in our past, we don’t write about it with fountain pens. For the most part, we use keyboards and computers.” So to me, it only makes sense to take a more modern approach for both story submissions and fee payments, which brings up the second unconventional aspect of this competition.

All submission fees are paid electronically through PayPal. This is a virtually instantaneous form of payment. After all, if the story submission is being sent electronically, it only makes sense to send the $15.00 entry fee the same way. No more waiting days for a check to clear before your story can be entered into the competition. I admit there are some who will scoff at this approach. But then I’ve always understood that change does not always come easy, but it does always come.

The third aspect to this competition has to do with the prize money. Most short-story competitions offer a set amount, and usually for only one winner. With the Rope and Wire Western short-story competition, we’ve decided to make prize money available to the top three winners and on a sliding scale. This means that, for each submission, the prize amount for first, second, and third place jumps $5.00, $3.00, and $2.00, respectively. So there is the potential of some rather large prizes.

The remaining $5.00 goes to pay for PayPal fees (yes, they do charge to use their service) and also to help defer the cost of keeping Rope and Wire online. If you’re interested in finding out more about the Rope and Wire Western short-story competition, or the Rope and Wire website in general, just click on the links.


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