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Friday, May 22, 2009

What can you say in six words?

Wall St. Journal today mentioned a Field & Stream Magazine short-story contest, what can you say in six words. The contest has drawn 466 entries like: "Saw geese. Guns blazed. Dogs fetched." Pretty good, huh? No matter if you are a F&S fan or not, interesting contest.

(ASIDE: I looked at the web site, which by the way, is really well designed with tons of reader content... a perfect example of what a magazine affiliated web site should be. I couldn't find any info on this contest. My guess... it is a magazine-only promoted event.... with entries accepted only on-line. It is an excellent way to get mag readers to the website...the Holy Grail of paper publishers everywhere. As a former magazine publisher, I was impressed.)

Now, back to the contest: It reminds me of the old television quiz show... Name That Tune, where contestants would bid lower to get the chance to name that tune.

"I can name that tune in six notes."

"I can name it in five."

"Four"

...until one figured the song couldn't be named in so few notes... so that person said to the other, "Then name that tune."

The pianist would play the prescribed number of notes and if that contestant couldn't identify the song, then the other won. And vice-versa. You get the idea.

Well, I can write that novel in two words: "Atlanta burned." (The end.)

I can write it in one: "Hotlanta." (Ta-dah!)

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