Writing Contest: Hemingway Rules

In 1917, young Ernest Hemingway landed his first job as a copywriter for the Kansas City Star, where he learned the Star Copy Style – a list of 110 commandments of writing with fundamental advice on grammar and style. It was here that Hemingway first learned how to write with the succinct elegance that makes his work so easily identifiable.

Hemingway was greatly impressed by these rules, and in an interview in 1940, credited the Star Copy Style Sheet as the best rules for prose he had even known.

With acknowledgement of the roots beginning with the Kansas City Star, I refer to these writing guidelines as the Hemingway Rules.

The Contest Challenge: Write a fiction or non-fiction piece in any genre, 500 words or less that best utilizes these maxims from the first of the Hemingway Rules:

  • Use short sentences.
  • Use short first paragraphs.
  • Use vigorous English.
  • Be positive, not negative.

Here is a link to the original Star Copy Style Sheet in pdf format (Adobe Reader).

The winners will be determined based on the effectiveness of the story using the rules outlined above.

The Prizes: Anyone who’s followed the contests on Life64 knows that the prizes are nothing extravagant, but we do like to offer uncommon prizes. This contest is no different, and the shirts, mouse pads and such were custom-designed for this contest.

First Place: A hardcover copy of Write Like Hemingway: Writing Lessons You Can Learn from the Master, by R. Andrew Wilson ($16.95, Adams Media). I read this book a few months ago, and the review is here.  Also, a Hemingway Rules t-shirt, mouse pad, bumper sticker and oval sticker. The winning piece will be published on http://www.lifein64squarefeet.com.

Second Place: A hardcover copy of Write Like Hemingway: Writing Lessons You Can Learn from the Master, by R. Andrew Wilson ($16.95, Adams Media). Also a Hemingway Rules mouse pad and oval sticker. The second place piece will be published on http://www.lifein64squarefeet.com.

Third Place: A hardcover copy of Write Like Hemingway: Writing Lessons You Can Learn from the Master, by R. Andrew Wilson ($16.95, Adams Media). Also a Hemingway Rules oval sticker. The third place piece will be published on http://www.lifein64squarefeet.com.

Deadline: All entries must be received before midnight CST,Friday, October 19, 2012.

Entries should be sent to: GrateRighter@hotmail.com and should include your name and a valid email address I can contact if you win, to get your mailing address.

HR-tshirtHR-mousepad

HR-bumperstickerHR-ovalstick

Write Like Hemingway


Contest Disclaimer and Rules (legal crap):
No purchase necessary and no entry fee. One entry per person. Incomplete entries will be disqualified. Entries arriving after the contest ending date or outside the contest rules will be disqualified. Right to reject submissions retained by the administrators of www.lifein64squarefeet.com blog. Contest entrants must be residents of the USA, Canada, England, Australia, Ireland or France.

Mitch Lavender is not responsible for lost, misdirected, or delayed entries. Entries received by telephone, fax, courier, or personal delivery will not be accepted. Personal information submitted will NOT be sold or made available to anyone outside of Life in Sixty-Four Square Feet staff. Prizes are not redeemable in cash and must be accepted as awarded. Decisions of the contest judge(s) are final – no substitutions will be available.

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5 thoughts on “Writing Contest: Hemingway Rules

  1. Pingback: FREE short story or short nonfiction contest « Ask Wendy-The Query Queen

  2. Pingback: SCHEDULE: What to expect on MyLIFEin24Hours this whole month of October! « MyLIFEin24Hours

  3. Pingback: Reminder: Hemingway Rules Contest–deadline is Friday Oct. 19 « Lifein64SquareFeet.com

    • Hello Rick. Not sure what you are getting at. This post was about the Kansas City Star Rules (a.k.a. Hemingway Rules), which were just a set of guidelines for writing.
      To answer your question directly, I don’t think many people do read newspapers anymore, but they do read, and therefore good guidelines for writing (for a newspaper) also apply to other mediums. OK? OK.

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