Since the first-ever Petlitzer Prize Contest was such a resounding success, I decided to announce a second round. This time, submissions will be accepted for pet-related short stories. The deadline is January 15, 2011. That gives you and all your creative cohorts a chance to compose a masterpiece. Please spread the word. And mark your calendar so you don’t forget that date. Good luck to all!

To read all of the Round 1 submissions and/or winners, click on the Petlitzer Prize link at the top of this page.—Sid

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. For Round 2, I must receive your entry by January 15, 2011. A winner will be chosen and posted by no later than January 31. (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 Doctor” 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 Doctor’s sites.) 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 may also have their works (or excerpts from them) read live on Dr. Robert Forto’s very popular Blog Talk Radio show “The Dog Doctor.” (Air dates will be announced in advance.)

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 <goodgriefpetloss@gmail.com>. 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.

Guidelines for Round 2—Pet-related Short Stories:

You may submit any short story as long as it pertains to companion animals (not restricted to dogs and cats) and/or the human-animal bond. These may be of humorous or serious nature. Please keep length within 400–700 words.

Tell all your animal-loving friends about this contest. I want to be flooded with wonderful submissions!—Sid


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