Electric Literature's Holiday Restraint Throw-Down

A form that requires remarkable economy of narrative is tightening its belt even further in Electric Literature's holiday short short story contest. The literary magazine is asking writers to "show a little restraint," telling a story in thirty to three hundred words and using each of those words only once.

There is no fee to enter the competition, and, while there's no cash prize, either, the three top stories will be published on the Outlet, Electric Literature's blog. The top winner will also receive a print edition of Electric Literature Volume 1 (six issues) and the book Dirty! Dirty! Dirty! (Soft Skull Press, 2011) by contest judge Mike Edison, arguably an expert on the opposite of restraint.

The first runner-up wins a digital edition of Electric Literature Volume 1, and the third-place prize comes courtesy of a master of literary constrictions, the Oulipo's Raymond Queneau—the second runner-up will receive Queneau's Exercises in Style, an illustrated short short story collection and field guide to Oulipean language play.

Story entries, which should be submitted via e-mail, are due to Electric Literature on December 31. For the "nit-picky" rules concerning duplicate usage of possessives, plurals, etcetera, visit the Outlet's fine print page.