Although, of course, spam is unspeakably annoying at times, I must admit to quite liking the names of some of the senders. I have recently received mail from these imaginary people:
and my favourite
I can almost picture these people- Gary Cash with his polyester suit and brill creamed hair, Rhonda Sneed - the grouchy woman in accounts who eats her sandwiches in the park by herself everyday, Ernesto Foote - the soccer star who recently caused a scandal when he was busted in a hotel room with two underage girls and a pile of cocaine. Dixie Crump? She's a middle aged Country and Western singer with a penchant for rhinestone shirts.
I signed up for the Save Our Short Stories mailing list some time ago. They send out a couple of short stories a month, none of which I have loved as yet, but I still have hope. Yesterday I discovered the prizes page on their site - a listing of various short story competitions coming up around the world. A lot of them have hefty entrance fees, and many are for British writers only, but I quite like the look of the Commonwealth short story competition, especially as the entries are only 650 words long. And then for those stories that are too long for most competitions (there generally seems to be a cut off word limit of around 3000 words) there is The Write Stuff competition (awful, awful name) where entries must be at least 5000 words.
I also came across the National Short Story competiton, run by the University of Canberra due 16th of July with 8000 dollars worth of prizes on offer. They have last year's winners here and there's an interesting article written by one of the previous year's judges on the things to think about when writing a story for a competition with a rather frightening list of the themes common to short stories stories.
It would appear that I haven't learned from my avant-garde art experience of a couple of weeks ago when I went to see Cremaster 3 and only made it to the half way point - Yesterday I bought a ticket to hear Jake Chapman speak this Friday night. I find his work very disturbing, but then I daresay I'm supposed to. It's always interesting to hear people speak about their art - sometimes you come away with an entirely new perspective on the work and at other times you realise that you were right all along.