September 25, 2011 The clock is ticking and there are only a few hours left before this round of our Three-Minute Fiction writing contest closes. All stories must be submitted by 11:59 Eastern Time tonight. Our Round 7 judge, Danielle Evans, issued this challenge: One character must come to town and one character must leave town. For the full rules go to npr.org/threeminutefiction.
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September 18, 2011 We've started reading through the short stories that hundreds of listeners have submitted so far in this round of the Three-Minute Fiction contest. Our judge, author Danielle Evans, will pick a winner several weeks from now. It's not too late to put your 600-word story in mix. For full rules and to submit your story go to our website, npr.org/threeminutefiction.
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Danielle Evans is the author of Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self.
September 10, 2011 For Round 7 of the writing contest, submissions must have a character come to town and someone leave town. Each piece of writing has to be read in less than three minutes, so no longer than 600 words. This round will be judged by author Danielle Evans.
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April 3, 2011 For Round 6 of our contest, we asked you to send us original works of fiction where one of the characters tells a joke and one of the characters cries. After reading more than 4,000 of your entries, we have a new winner in our short-story contest.
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April 3, 2011 My father tells a joke about a saint and a criminal who meet at a bar. He forgets the punchline, but I get his meaning. I am supposed to be one, my brother the other. Until yesterday, I might have known which one I am, but now I could be either.
March 27, 2011 Until our judge, novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, decides on a winner of the Three-Minute Fiction contest, we're bringing you excerpts of stories that have caught our eye. This week, NPR's Susan Stamberg reads a passage from "Friendly Skies" by Tiffany Hawk of Eastampton, N.J., and Bob Mondello reads a passage from "The 46 Local" by John Lynch of Binghamton, N.Y.
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March 24, 2011 Exhausted from being up all night, KC squeezes her way up the crowded aisle of Dulles's ancient, space-age mobile lounge. She has never needed to sit down so badly, and yet this morning there is standing room only. She straightens her little blue flight attendant scarf and hopes she doesn't look as bad as she feels.
March 24, 2011 I ride the bus by choice. The judge chose to take my drivers license away when I pled guilty to driving under the influence. The bus can change the way you see the world. For instance, I never thought that I would envy a man sitting alone behind the wheel of a 20-year-old Ford Taurus, but riding the bus will do that for you.
March 20, 2011 It began because of the Christmas tree. It was his job to carry the tree in and out of the house, to set it up in its metallic stand. It was her job to put the ornaments on and then take them off again. She had finished her task three days before and still the tree sat in its corner, nude, dead, the floors around it littered with discarded needles.
March 18, 2011 My mom has a magnetic force around her. Rootless things fly through the air toward her and land at her feet. Five husbands did, one right after the other. She was 15 years old when Number One appeared.
March 11, 2011 The trigger and the ring around the trigger were rubbed down into the deeper skin of brass, where the oil of the hands was still built in waves. The sight down the groove of the barrels was still perfect and still straight. I put it into her hands and they bent under the weight of it.
March 11, 2011 Everyone at your wake condemned your lipstick — especially your sister, Horencia. Uncle Ernesto, loyal to Aunt Horencia's caprices, tried to scrub it off with his handkerchief. "Your aunt was not that type of woman," Nora, Aunt Horencia scowled weeks later. Only me and Carmen know it was your idea.
March 5, 2011 At the grocery store, my wife and I spend an hour walking in circles looking for beer. Our new American friends must think that we are suffering from the effects of the war.
March 4, 2011 Ruth needs to rest her elbows on the table these days, even to reach out and cut a piece of the little yellow cake I bought at the supermarket on my way over. She flops a thin slice onto her plate and pulls it towards her. What would my mother have said, to see me leaning on the table like this? She laughs quietly and shakes her head.
February 27, 2011 We are in the home stretch of round six of our Three-Minute Fiction contest. Judge Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche is reviewing the best of the entries. And while she does, we're bringing you weekly excerpts of some of our favorite stories so far. This week's passages are from two stories. First, "The Tiger Lady," by Jimmy Boyer of St. Simons Island, Ga., and "El Lloron," by Yovani Flores of Phoenix. The excerpts are read by NPR's Weekend Edition host Liane Hansen, and NPR's Felix Contreras.
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