For this next contest, we will be working with a group called the Beagle Freedom Project. They help animals (not just beagles) that are being used for animal testing to try to get them freed and end animal testing. I highly encourage you to check out their website http://www.beaglefreedomproject.org they have this really great opportunity where you can “adopt” an animal that is currently in a publicly funded research facility and advocate for the animal’s treatment and release. Just look for the “Identity Campaign” link to be taken to the “adoption” page where you can help advocate on behalf of animals currently in testing labs. The website also has a video that does a much better job explaining all this than I am.
Anywho, the reason I chose this group (besides it being a really great organization that is doing something to stop animal testing) is because I am currently working on a follow up to my novella The Maladroit and the topic of animal testing comes up. My main character is a veterinarian and (spoiler alert) she ends up at an animal sanctuary that liberates animals from facilities where they were being used for testing.
So it got me thinking, I’d like to do something to really help animals in such situations. Which then led to me thinking about how I could use writing to help. That’s when the idea hit me, I could write back stories for the animals who end up in the sanctuary where my main character eventually finds herself. I thought a collection of short stories that offer a glimpse into the animals’ lives before they came to the sanctuary would bring some much needed attention to this subject and that the proceeds of this collection of stories could be used to support a group that is actually working to free these helpless creatures.
The final piece of my epiphany occurred in the midst of announcing the first short story contest. I read the first paragraph or so of the entries being submitted (to make sure the attachments opened) and I was so impressed with the quality being submitted.
That’s when it all clicked and I thought it would be so great to do an anthology of stories from other writers to really help give a diverse group of amazing stories that could really help shine some light on this issue as well as raise funds for a great organization. I started researching places that worked in this specific type of rescue. I talked to a number of my friends who are animal advocates and through a friend of a friend, I came across the Beagle Freedom Project (BFP) and knew I found the perfect organization.
So the contest is a short story that gives a sort of back-story for an animal that will eventually be freed and wind up in a secret animal sanctuary. A little research would be beneficial to make your story more realistic but creative liberties are still acceptable. I don’t want the stories to all be super depressing but I do want to show the plight of these poor animals. Choosing your own animal is allowed as long as it’s one that can be found on the BFP’s website or is an animal that is actually used for testing. If you end up “adopting” an actual animal from BFP’s page please include that with your submission, I think that would be cool to put in the back of the book.
This brings me to the prize for this contest. I will be publishing this book under the now official Writing Piazza Press! That means if your piece is chosen, it will become part of this published work! I think this will be a great opportunity especially for newer authors. PR for the BFP is the first priority but it will also offer some really great exposure for all the contributors to the book as well. I think it will be a huge win-win for all parties.
The Fine Print:
The chosen winners will work with me to edit their work before publication so don’t worry too much about typos your first go round. There may need to be some changes to your story for continuity’s sake as well. On the legal side of things you will have to sign a contract granting Writing Piazza Press permission to use your work in the anthology, so if you are not 18 years of age you will need a parent or legal guardian to grant permission, if your work is chosen. You will also need to agree to the terms that all profits of the book will go to the BFP (or a similiar 501(c)(3) organization should BFP cease to operate as a non-profit). So your “payment” will be the help you will be bringing for all those helpless animals and some published work street cred!.
We are looking for an intriguing storyline centered around the life/lives of an animal(s) that at some point was/were used in animal testing but then is/are rescued. So put on those thinking caps and don’t be afraid to think outside the box. The stories should be between 10,000-20,000 words. We will consider shorter stories if they are truly captivating. Each author can submit up to two stories if they are substantially different but they can’t be longer than 20,000 words each. Winners will be notified by email so make sure your email address is included before or after your story.
We are super excited to start working on this project, we hope all of you will consider entering. It’s such a great cause and it could be excellent exposure for you as an author. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
To submit your entry for this contest email us at email@example.com with “BFP Short Story Contest” in the subject. You can attach a Word or PDF document or you can copy and paste your entry directly into the body of the email.