Current Weather
The Spy FM

Three-Minute Fiction Round 10: Leave A Message After The Beep

Filed by KOSU News in Art & Life.
February 2, 2013

It’s Round 10 of Three-Minute Fiction, the short-story contest from weekends on All Things Considered. Here’s the premise: Write a piece of original fiction that can be read in about three minutes (no more than 600 words).

Our judge for this round is author Mona Simpson, whose most recent book is My Hollywood. She most recently won a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, among other prizes. Here’s her twist for Round 10:

Write a story in the form of a voice-mail message.

“It doesn’t have to be crazy, but it could be crazy. By nature, first person — basically, a soliloquy or a monologue,” she tells Guy Raz, contest curator and host of NPR’s TED Radio Hour.

“It could start out, ‘Hey, it’s me, I’m glad you didn’t pick up,’ or it could start out, ‘You don’t know me, but …” It could be any number of dramatic scenarios which will unwind in the three minutes,” she says.

The contest is now open, and submissions will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 10. Throughout the contest, we’ll post some of our favorites online, and read excerpts during weekends on All Things Considered. You can also keep up with the latest posts on our Three-Minute Fiction Facebook page.

Each and every story will be read by our staff with help from creative writing graduate students from across the country, including at Vanderbilt, New York University and the University of Houston.

Simpson will be the ultimate judge, and she has some advice for entrants.

“It’s spoken, so it has the texture of voice, but … it’s essentially what 100 years ago a short story in the form of a letter would have been,” she says, adding, “I think we’re hoping for spontaneity and intensity and personality, freedom.”

Here’s another trick Simpson says might be fun: “Set a timer and just see what comes out a few times.”

The winning story will be read on the air in its entirety and will be published in the summer issue of The Paris Review literary magazine. The winner will also receive signed copies of all five of Simpson’s novels. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

Leave a Reply

7AM to 9AM Weekend Edition

Weekend Edition

From civil wars in Bosnia and El Salvador, to hospital rooms, police stations, and America\'s backyards, National Public Radio's Peabody Award-winning correspondent Scott Simon brings a well-traveled perspective to his role as host of Weekend Edition Saturday.

Listen Live Now!

9AM to 10AM Car Talk

Car Talk

View the program guide!

10AM to 11AM Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

Peter Sagal and Carl Kasell host the weekly NPR News quiz show alongside some of the best and brightest news and entertainment personalities.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center