NYC Midnight

This year I have started entering creative writing competitions. To my utter disbelief, I won the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge.

It was a wonderful competition, and I’m not just saying that because I won! There are three rounds, and in each round you write a story incorporating a specified genre, character, and subject. In the first round, you have a week; in the second round, three days; and in the final round, twenty-four hours.

The tight deadlines were exactly what I needed. I have always loved writing, but as an adult I have just kept putting it off. This competition made me write regardless of how busy I was. Moreover, it forced me to stretch myself to write in genres I wouldn’t normally touch. These were my assignments:

Round 1

Genre: Political Satire

Subject: Guns

Character: A middleman


Round 2

Genre: Thriller

Subject: A water supply

Character: A park ranger


Round 3

Genre: Open

Subject: A sunrise

Character: An undertaker


During the first round, I became so immersed in my story that I wrote it whenever I had a moment: I remember balancing my laptop on my knees while I was on the train. I was thrilled simply to make it to the second round, let alone to place first overall. I will post a link to my final-round story when it goes up on the website.

About A Book and a Half

I'm a teacher based in Melbourne, Australia. I blog about reading, writing, teaching, learning, and exploring.
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18 Responses to NYC Midnight

  1. Vi Waln says:

    Congratulations. I read your winning story. I loved it. It made me cry. Thank you.

  2. madelineshaw says:

    Hi Sarah,
    I’ve just read and loved your winning story! Congratulations. What a gentle, finely crafted piece.

  3. In working my way around the NYC Midnight challenge website, I was delighted to find a fellow Melbournian as the winner! Your winning story was so poignant, full of sensitive detail. Christopher and his sunrises came to life before my eyes and in my heart. Loved it.

  4. Brutus says:

    Good to see the NYC come down under. I just noticed that we where in the same heat for round one in which I scored zip, nought, zero, not a sausage …. so a sort of brush with fame for me!

    Presently I am tiptoeing through the flash fiction challenge trying not to offend the judges. The results should be about the same. Are you trying your hand at that one?

    • Thank you for your message and apologies for the very delayed reply! I am doing Flash Fiction – wrote a Thriller for Round 1 and Sci Fi for Round 2. Which heats are you in?

      • I was given a thriller for round 1 (which was less than thrilling) and a mystery for round 2 (once again turning out to lack the vital ingredient of mystery) so round 3 seems an unlikely prospect in my case. I shall endeavour to follow your progress as you continue to carry the flag.

  5. How are you faring so far, by the way?

  6. I just competed in the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge for the first time and it was so much fun. Congrats on your achievement and I wish you even more success in the future!

  7. Pingback: Liebster Award – The Introspection Connection

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