Sunday, January 16, 2011

Second Annual 2KoP Writing Challenge

Check out the winning post here.

[Update 1/19/11 — The ante has been upped! NY Times best-selling author Laura Munson has taken the 2KoP Writing Challenge, posting her version on her fab blog, These Here Hills. She has also added incentive to this contest by kicking in a signed copy of her best-selling memoir, This is Not the Story You Think It Is … . How cool is that?]

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who are entirely self-motivated and those who need a nudge — a poke, a prod or even, if you will, a prompt.

Last year, I posted my first ever Two Kinds of People New Year's Writing Challenge. Firsts are great. They're exciting. They're new. But you never know whether they are something you can count on or just a flash in the pan. Breathe easy, my readers. I am happy to announce the Second Annual 2KoP Writing Challenge. Once something becomes an "annual", you know you can trust that it will always be there for you.

Last year's challenge was thrilling for me, but a little intimidating. There were so many wonderful entries and I got a whole new perspective on what it must be like to be an agent or editor flooded with submissions. With the help of my judges, however, we picked a real winner in Murray Abramovitch's wonderful 2KoP essay on mushrooms entitled: Important Distinction or Just a Truffle?

What I really liked about Murray's essay was his passion for his subject, the information he shared, his excellent writing and, perhaps most important, his sense of humor.

I've been thinking a lot about Two Kinds of People in light of the recent tragedies in Arizona and the Red State/Blue State mentality that has taken over our public discourse. I started this blog in part to show the folly of arbitrary divisions. No matter your political beliefs, I'll bet if you read through all three years of my posts (please, do so now) and picked a side on every issue, your choices would be different than everyone else's. People are too complex to put into a single box. It's the combination of our choices that define us.

Writer and teacher Lisa Romeo occasionally offers writing prompts to readers of her blog, Lisa Romeo Writes. While I'm rarely without a writing idea, every once in a while I like to stretch my creative muscles and do a little free writing based on her prompts at my alternate blog, SFD @ 2KoP. A good writing prompt can take you to places in your own imagination that you've never explored before.

So, join me in a little fun. Pick your own favorite Two Kinds of People topic and write about it. The rules are that simple: write an original Two Kinds of People essay and email it to me by February 16, 2011. The publisher of this blog (c'est moi) and a group of judges of her choice will determine the winning entry.

Prizes: that's right, there will be prizes, as I strongly believe that bribery is an excellent motivational tool. The winning essay will be published right here on this blog and advertised throughout the world via Facebook and Twitter (at least to the people who follow me). You will be read, by actual readers. Wait, there's more. This year, you will have a choice of prizes, either the traditional 2KoP baseball cap or the brand spanking new 2KoP tote bag, both pictured above. One owner of the tote bag (my mom) recently gushed: "Hey, this is a really nice tote bag." You know you want one, so enter now. One entry per person. Feel free to spread the word.

Now, before you start typing away, I have two confessions to make. 1) Though I had been planning to run the Second Annual 2KoP Writing Challenge after the first of the New Year, I kind of forgot, until an alert reader accidentally stumbled upon last year's contest. Somehow misreading the date, she submitted her entry, prompting me to get on the stick and post this year's contest. So you see, I already have one entry (unread, I want to be fair).

Confession #2 (and this one is really embarrassing): in preparing for this post, I found a large envelope addressed to one Murray Abramovitch. I realized immediately that it was the 2KoP baseball cap that I had never actually mailed to him. This is bad. I am sorry. Murray, it's on its way. I promise this will not happen again. Let's just call it a first-year glitch. If you feel the need to berate me for my oversight or, better yet, to tell me how excited you are about this year's contest, leave a comment here.