Holiday-themed fiction has become sadly predictable: ‘Tis the Season for Santa, reindeer, and family reconciliation. Not that we don’t love tradition and feel-good endings; but it feels like it’s time for something a bit…different.
So for Liberty Island’s first annual Holiday Fiction Contest, we’re asking for you to surprise us.
More on the contest in a minute.
Liberty Island got my attention with all the diversity under one roof. From Libertarians to Tea-Party Conservatives, gays, pagans, atheists, heretics, skeptics, Christians, you name it, a passion for freedom unites them. Some of my author friends dodge any public association with Liberty Island. Ted in Manhattan, I haven’t forgotten how you slammed the door in my face forever when I suggested you send your novel to Adam Bellow. Ben, your manuscript had various issues, but I suspect calling it un-American put the final nail in the coffin of our friendship. A pity. I still love you, Ben.
Who we vote for is supposed to be a well-guarded secret at the polls. Authors should not be rejected for personal political views. If their fiction delivers a political message in a didactic or sneering way, go ahead, reject that author. But if you loved the novel until you learned the author voted for Reagan in 1980, shame on you.
Pick your favorite genre–sci fi, fantasy, mystery, military, what have you–and, using the basic conventions of that genre, tell an interesting and compelling story with a Christmas or Chanukkah backdrop.
The best entries will be featured in Liberty Island’s end-of-the-year blockbuster release, and may be collected in a themed anthology in the future — so be sure to send us your best stuff. And something new: we’ll pick one overall best story and the winning author will receive a gift package of Liberty Island swag.
Entries are due Monday, December 8th. Length should be between 1,000 and 5,000 words. Email entries to to firstname.lastname@example.org; please put “Holiday Fiction Contest” in the subject line.
We look forward to reading a dozen stories about killer android reindeer!
CONFESSION: In 1980, as an 18-year-old English major, I voted for the first time, hoping it was true that nobody would ever learn the shocking truth. Carol voted for… RONALD REAGAN. My secret must have kept well. When Reagan was shot, a grad student in English came smiling over with the news. I said nothing while my peers expressed hope that Reagan would die of the attempted assassination.
Also, I hated the way my peers sneered at Business majors and avoided “that” section of the student union. I happened to admire an Economics major who later worked at the Fed. Gregor, I’m sorry I wasn’t nicer to you. But I did show my face at your table in the Union, and nobody ever called me over the carpet for such heresy.
Decades later, my friends are still an assortment of atheists, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, pagans, Catholics, blue-collar, white-collar, whatever.
So I’m going to come “out” and publicly confess that I like Liberty Island, even if I do not embrace the politics of every writer there. If you judge me by the company I keep, ask yourself why I like you as much as anyone.