Three-Minute Fiction: Contest Ends Tonight Today is the last day to get in an original short story for the current round of our Three-Minute Fiction contest. Host Guy Raz and judge Michael Cunningham, author of "The Hours" and "By Nightfall," recap the rules for this round of the contest, which ends tonight at 11:59pm Eastern time. To see the full rules, go to www.npr.org/threeminutefiction.
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Three-Minute Fiction: Contest Ends Tonight

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Three-Minute Fiction: Contest Ends Tonight

Three-Minute Fiction: Contest Ends Tonight

Three-Minute Fiction: Contest Ends Tonight

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Today is the last day to get in an original short story for the current round of our Three-Minute Fiction contest. Host Guy Raz and judge Michael Cunningham, author of "The Hours" and "By Nightfall," recap the rules for this round of the contest, which ends tonight at 11:59pm Eastern time. To see the full rules, go to www.npr.org/threeminutefiction.

(Soundbite of clock ticking)

GUY RAZ, host:

We're just a few hours away from the deadline for round five of our Three Minute Fiction contest. If you still want to submit a story, you've got until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time tonight. And to do that, visit our website, npr.org/threeminutefiction.

Now, more than 4,000 stories have poured in since round five opened up two weeks ago, and our judge, the novelist Michael Cunningham, has been plowing through many of them. And this round, Michael has a very specific challenge.

Mr. MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM (Novelist): I've picked the starting and ending sentences that have to appear in every story. The first line of the story must be: Some people swore that the house was haunted. And the last line is: Nothing was ever the same again after that.

RAZ: You can write whatever you want between those lines, but the first and last sentence have to be exactly as you just heard. And don't worry if you missed that. You can find all the information at our website, npr.org/threeminutefiction.

Mr. CUNNINGHAM: And there's one other rule: The story can't be more than 600 words.

RAZ: Next week, we'll start to read excerpts from some of our favorites, and within a few more, Michael will pick a winner.

Mr. CUNNINGHAM: I'm going to look for what I look for in anything I read, which is to be moved and surprised and taken somewhere I've never been before. And I hope they will be palpably about something. I've always felt that subtlety was a slightly overrated virtue.

RAZ: So put pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard. You've got just a few hours to send in your story for round five of our Three Minute Fiction contest.

And to submit your story and to read all the rules, visit npr.org/threeminutefiction. The winner will appear on this program with Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Cunningham, who will read your story on the air, and he'll send you some signed copies of his novels. And good luck.

(Soundbite of clock ticking)

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