Moonlight Mesa Associates' First Annual Cowboy Up Short Story Contest is now officially open. The contest runs from June 1 to December 1 this year.
Entries must be original, unpublished stories, 2500 word maximum, double spaced and must feature a cowboy or other western character. The story may be fiction or nonfiction, classic or modern.
Entry fee for the story is $15.00 per story, and contestants may enter as many stories as they like.
Moonlight Mesa has five people prepared for judging. Each story will be read and scored by three different judges. All ties will be read again, this time by all five judges using a different scoring guide. Any ties thereafter will be determined either by the publisher or the flip of a coin.
Winners will be announced sometime in December, with cash prizes awarded.
The publisher has announced that she would like to be able to choose the top 25 to 30 stories entered in the contest and issue Moonlight Mesa's first cowboy short story anthology. The authors will be offered a financial award and a contract. There is no obligation to buy any books or contribute in any way to the publication of the book. "This will be a bona fide offer," Coffield said. "There are no strings attached, really. I just want to publish a cowboy anthology of short stories."
Already planning for next year's event, Coffield hopes to add more categories to the contest so there can be more winners and possibly even offer a cowboy poetry category.
"I'm just very excited about the contest. I think it's a wonderful opportunity for writers of the western genre. I can't wait to read them!" Coffield said.
Moonlight Mesa Associates, Inc. is a small, independent publisher now specializing in western genre. The company plans on publishing two to four books a year. Two new authors and their works will be in print by late fall, those being Stoney Greywolf Bowers with Reflections from the Wilderness and Jere D. James' western romance, Saving Tom Black.
Submitted by T. Jerome