Monthly Archives: May 2011

Printers Row Literary Festival

The Printers Row Literary Festival is Friday and Saturday, June 4 and 5, in downtown Chicago. I’ll be there signing books both days. Please stop by the Mystery Writers of America booth if you’re in the area. We’re in tent V, near the intersection of Dearborn and Polk.

The MWA booth has a lot of readings and signings going on during the day, but one especially fun event will be the Flash Fiction contest on Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m.  Barb D’Amato and Sara Paretsky will be the judges; I’ll be the MC.  Anyone can participate. You don’t have to be an MWA member.

How does it work?

Take one of five opening sentences and come up with a short story – so short that you can read it in five minutes or less. We’ll be timing you, but if the story is good enough we just forget to look at the clock.

Here’s the opening sentences, you can make them any gender you want:

1) He wasn’t going to make it.

2) It was the smell that got to her.

3) Digging a hole six-feet deep was harder than he thought.

4) He’d have done it different if he’d known how much weight she’d gained.

5) They say a goldfish will eat anything.

Judging will be completely arbitrary and potentially quite unfair. But regardless it’ll be awesome because we have two of the most distinguished authors in Chicago history, Barb D’Amato and Sara Paretsky. So no, no pressure here. Nope, none at all.

What can you win? All participants will likely win prizes and there will be one grand prize awarded – a $25 Starbucks gift card.

Anything else? We’re limited to at most 12 participants due to time. There will be a sign-up sheet at the tent, but first come, first served.

Hope to see you there!