Photo Contest Winners #16 thru #21
The Last Round... Did You Win?
This has been fun. I’ve more photos, but I’ll hold them back for another time.
For now, here are the last six winners.
Don Tucker wins!
The Inscription: Did I leave the stove on?
IDK, something so folksy about this inscription. Like every family vacation, ever. Confronted with the glory of the Grand Canyon, our only concern is whether or not the steam iron is burning down the house.
Hannah Simpson Wins!
The Inscription: Christmas soon—keep the money coming.
My reasoning: This demand sounds like The Depression. The tone is cold. It’s not overtly cruel, but icy and demanding, just like real family life.
Bryan Wiler Wins!
The Inscription: Stole his shit knife
Thanks to Bryan I learned something new today. If I ever write a hillbilly murder mystery, I know what my murder weapon will be. “It was Granny Wawa in the privy with a shit knife!”
Ashley Juneau Wins!
The Inscription: She needs help
My reasoning: The call to action and implied vulnerability will drive the future finder to worry. That’s how things go viral.
The Inscription: It only ever blooms one flower
The rose sitting like a parrot near her shoulder… with this inscription the photo gives off a spy-versus-spy vibe, like a secret code. I love that.
Sadie Peregrine Wins!
The inscription: As you can see, your child is safe
The stuff of nightmares. Thank you, Sadie!
This concludes our first stretch of the Photo Contest. I might do it again, but most likely only for a single photo, every so often. The entire point is to demonstrate how few words are needed to imply an enormous story. And to demonstrate how to get “inside” a story and imply relationships, motives, expectations, intentions, and outcomes that the reader will realize without being told overtly.
Whether you use a foreign language or a phone number, or simply write something intuitive, the reader will experience a great shock/relief/joy if he/she makes the final connection.
All in all, this has been a fun experiment. You’ve kept me very entertained. And it’s also been a community builder, as you’ve riffed off each other. Well done.
As always, the winners should contact Dennis at The Cult and provide a snail mail address, and a phone number if outside the U.S. As a prize, you can choose either a copy of the new novel Not Forever, But for Now or the oversized graphic novel Fight Club 2. Please let me know how you’d like the book inscribed.
I’m off to Los Angeles now. Sadly, we won’t tape the CBS interview at the Cecil Hotel, sigh. It’s to be taped at The Last Bookstore, a very big place downtown.
Cold weather is coming. Time to restart workshop. Time to write.