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Petlitzer Prize Writing Contest Seeks Halloween-themed Pet-related Short Story Submissions
Love animals? Love to write? Love Halloween? Animal-loving writers are invited to submit their pet-related, Halloween-themed short stories to the Petlitzer Prize Contest. “The name ‘Petlitzer Prize’ just came to me one day, as a kind of play on words, a sort of Pulitzer for animal-related works,” said multiple-award-winning author/animal chaplain, Sid Korpi, (“Good Grief: Finding Peace After Pet Loss,” http://www.goodgriefpetloss.com, named “Best Book of the Year in the Self-Help Category” by Premier Book Awards) who came up with this contest to recognize quality efforts in writing regarding animals and celebrating the human-animal bond.
This round of the Petlitzer Prize contest is devoted to pet-related short stories of a Halloween-themed nature. Stories may be fiction or creative nonfiction, 400–700 words in length. The deadline for submission is October 15, 2012 with winners announced live on the Dog Works Radio show on or around Halloween Eve. There is no fee for entering, but only one submission per category is allowed.
Here are some basic ground rules for Petlitzer Prize entries in any or all categories:
1. You must be the author of the piece. Plagiarism is an absolute no no!
2. Entries should not have been previously published in book form (on your own blog is fine) as of the date you submitted it. Meaning that if you get it snatched up by Random House the week after you send it to me, you’re still qualified for this prestigious contest—and congratulations!
3. Entries must be received by October 15, 2012. A winner will be chosen, aired and posted by no later than Oct. 30. (I and a panel of pet experts, including but not limited to Dr. Robert and Michelle Forto, dog trainers and co-hosts of popular “Dog Works” Blog Talk Radio show, will be judging the submissions.)
4. Please be sure to have a second pair of eyes proofread your entries well. Grievous typos/grammar gaffs will most likely disqualify you.
5. You may only enter one piece in any given round, but you may enter a different single piece in every subsequent category throughout the year. New categories will be posted shortly after the after the deadline is reached.
6. Winners (First, Second, Third and/or Honorable Mention, depending on the number and quality of submissions) will receive a certificate of achievement for their efforts and have their work posted on my blog, Facebook fan page, Twitter, etc. (As well as on the Dog Works sites.) First place winners also will receive a handsome medallion. If you have a website, please be sure to submit your URL to be directly linked from my blog in case you win.
7. Winners will also have their works (or excerpts from them) read live on Dr. Robert Forto’s very popular Blog Talk Radio show “Dog Works.” (Air dates will be announced in advance, and the show will be available thereafter in archived form.)
8. No pornography whatsoever will be allowed. Nor will pieces depicting gratuitous violence toward animals (except for the purpose of decrying such acts or as truly salient parts of a story’s plot). I have the final say as to whether entries will be accepted. People of all ages and walks of life may be seeing or hearing these, so the work must be acceptable for a general audience.
9. Send your submission in a Word doc or pasted directly into an email with “Petlitzer Prize Entry” in the subject line, along with your full name, email address, mailing address, phone number, and a short (sentence or two) bio about yourself if you wish, to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will forward only your actual submitted story with your name to my fellow judges. None of your contact information will be shared without your express permission. They’re only so I can notify you of who won the contest and/or to mail you your certificate.
Sid Korpi is the award-winning author of “Good Grief: Finding Peace After Pet Loss” as well as a motivational speaker, professional editor/writer, actress and animal chaplain.
Applause, applause for all the entrants of this round of the Petlitzer Prize contest! You put us judges through our paces and made decision-making quite difficult, which is a tribute to the quality of the poems entered. But, alas, such is the nature of these contests, and not everyone can win.
Below, please see the 3rd-, 2nd-, and 1st-place winners’ poems. These will be read live on Dog Works radio on Wednesday, Nov. 16 between 9 and 10 p.m. Central time, and the show will be re-aired on Sunday, Nov. 19, time TBA; thereafter, I will post the archived recording on this blog for all eternity (or thereabouts) so all your friends and family members can have a chance to listen in.
Third Place: “Shilo’s ku” by Ron Palmer
Second of three dogs.
On a walk,
all we pass.
Red and white,
she hopes all she greets
When back home
blue eyes, mouth laughing
Second Place: “A Conversation with My Cat” by Victoria Raphael
Oh cat, soft and beautiful,
you are so graceful…..
poised and alert, your dainty footsteps
tiptoe around my chair.
Your playful side emerges
as you chase the catnip mouse
until it slides under the cabinet,
then forlorn, yet utterly charming
your begging eyes plead for assistance.
I set my book down to retrieve your toy
just because I love you,
yet knowing you’ll reward me
with some stolen moments on my lap
when we can perform our duet and meow at each other.
Dear cat, so full of mischief
you make me laugh as you run about
intent on cat business,
jumping into my suitcase when I am trying to pack it,
tapping me softly with your paw when you want attention,
or sitting by the table and eying my dinner…..
You always understand the importance of being “cat-ly.
Heavenly creature, so dignified and self assured….
I wonder what you think
as you sprawl across my quilt
keeping me from pulling up the covers.
Don’t worry. I won’t disturb your slumber,
even though I know you will wake me in the morning
with the tickle of your whiskers.
Instead, I will reflect on you, the beauty of your perfection.
and the purpose of your being.
You are friend and companion,
chair warmer, entertainer,
alarm clock, door keeper and often therapist.
Dear pet, the presence of your energy is mood altering.
In a difficult moment I can always manage a smile
just thinking about your cat antics
as I go about my day and the business of being human.
First Place: “Rescue Dog” by Lisa Sellman
I completely loathe the hours that I spend at work;
I file papers and type all day and my boss is a jerk.
My life was destined to be exciting, unique & thrilling;
Instead I spend my day longing for a job that is fulfilling.
I was a Fullbright scholar in my youth;
I was envied by all, if you want the truth.
My parents demanded that I attend law school;
Instead I became a mime and thought it was cool.
I adored Mercel Marceau and planned to be a star;
I stopped going to classes and told my teachers, au revoir.
My days were spent doing the art that I so adored;
Instead of reality, I lived via my vision board.
I only am now happy when I leave my desk at the DMV;
I rush home as fast as I can like a just released parolee.
My home is shared with someone who finds me perfect;
Instead of co-workers ready to judge my intellect.
I used to come home and my only friend was Judge Judy;
I now am languished by kisses from my dog Rudy.
My wit is amazing and my sense of humor divine;
Instead of a boss that hates me, I am loved by this canine.
I found him by accident while looking on Craig’s List;
I was taken with his beautiful eyes and could not resist.
My heart was so broken and needed repair;
Instead of me rescuing him, he was the answer to my prayer.