Janet Reid is a literary agent I follow on Twitter. She has a lot of good information on her site and blog, and she also runs the excellent QueryShark blog, where she gives people feedback on their query letters. On Friday she posted a contest in which the entrants had to write a short story of 100 words or less, and they had to include the words jimmy, frame, viola, smoking and sword. I figured I’d give it a try, and it was a lot of fun. It was pretty easy to get all the words in, but rather hard to make the word count fit.
There were about 50 entries, and I really had no idea how I’d do. To my surprise, mine was one of the four “outstanding finalists” she chose. From those she picked the winner, which wasn’t me, but that’s fine. I didn’t expect to win, so it’s just cool to get that far and actually have a real life literary agent read and like something I’ve written. Unfortunately, Ms. Reid doesn’t represent the genre of my book, or I would submit to her. Regardless, it was a fun exercise and I’ll be sure to enter more if she has them. My story is below.
Jimmy leaned against the door frame, smoking a hand-rolled cigarette. June glared at him, her viola bow held out like a sword.
“If you’re here to beg for forgiveness…” she snarled.
Jimmy laughed softly. Despondently.
“Nothing of the sort, my dear.” He took his hat off. “I came to say goodbye. I’m leaving. This is it.”
June lowered the bow slightly. “What do you mean?”
“I mean the debt’s paid. But I’ve gotta disappear.”
“Wait,” she started.
He cut her off with a nod toward the stage.
“You’re up next. Break a leg.”
“It’s too late, love. Goodbye.”