NYC Midnight

All posts tagged NYC Midnight

New Fiction: Miss Brompton Falls 1938

Published October 26, 2018 by Philip Ivory

For years I’ve been interested in Menacing Hedge, which identifies as “a quarterly journal of poetry, fiction and artwork, which is committed to fostering access to emerging and experimental poetry and prose.” This month, I”m excited that Menacing Hedge is featuring my 11th published piece of fiction, a short story called “Miss Brompton Falls 1938.” 

I’m not really sure if this story is a feminist fable, or an old-timey stew of sex and violence. Maybe you can let me know.  Either way, it’s my third published piece that originated from my participation in the NYC Midnight online challenge, which requires you to concoct a story within a limited time frame based on a number of parameters that are arbitrarily assigned.

 

In this case, I was given drama for my genre, a beauty pageant for a setting, and a cash register as an object that had to be included. Sometimes it’s really difficult to incorporate all these elements, but in this case they came together in a fairly organic way.

The cash register suggested a general store, and that made for an odd but interesting setting for a beauty pageant. I hit on a Depression-era setting, which brought with it associations with economic desperation and the era’s fascination with outlaws. As I continued to revise the piece, the original parameters became less important, and the story took on a life of its own.

I had fun writing a period piece, trying to make sure the slang and the cultural and consumer references were as true as possible to this era. Mostly, though, I was concerned with the idea of portraying a woman whose inner state is in deep conflict with the situation she finds herself in, although circumstances make it impossible for anyone but the reader to understand why.

Click on the picture above to read it. You can also choose to listen to the audio file of me reading the story. 

My thanks to Menacing Hedge, NYC Midnight and a number of loyal writing friends, including Alice Hatcher, Bryn McFarland and Renee Bibby’s Writers Studio Master Class, who provided invaluable feedback that helped me fully develop the story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Story: Dr. Marsh’s Final House Call

Published September 8, 2018 by Philip Ivory

skylinesketch

I have a new short story appearing at Two Cities Review, titled “Dr. Marsh’s Final House Call.”

Read it here

Some back story: This piece originated from my participation in the NYC Midnight Short Story Contest earlier this year. In this contest, you are given a random challenge and deadline to complete it by.  The challenge includes three randomly assigned elements that you need to use to create your story: a genre, a thing or object, and a person.

The genre I was assigned was Ghost Story. The thing was a Power Outage, and the character was a Physician. You can judge for yourself how well I integrated these diverse elements.

If you subscribe to the philosophy, as I do, that limitations and parameters force a writer to be more creative, the NYC Midnight contests (short stories, flash fiction and screenwriting) are fun and useful. I didn’t win with this story. But by participating, I have produced two stories that have gone on to be published, which more than makes the contest worthwhile. (The other story was “How We Cured Racism,” published late last year.)

My thanks both to NYC Midnight and to Two Cities Review. I’ve written dark fiction before, but never a ghost story, so this was a great challenge for me and a lot of fun.

 

WYSa

 

 

11th Annual Short Story Challenge

Published February 22, 2017 by Philip Ivory

I recently participated in the 11th Annual Short Story Challenge, sponsored by NYC Midnight. Each writer is given a prompt involving three elements: a genre, subject, and character assignment.

My genre was political satire (something I’ve not done before, and I wasn’t jumping for joy to be assigned it.) My subject was a loophole. My character was a bodyguard.

I tend to enjoy the creative challenge of responding to arbitrary parameters. The piece I ended up writing is called “How We Cured Racism.” I had 8 days to write it (a maximum of 2500 words) and uploaded it in time for the Contest’s first round deadline on January 28.

I’ll find out in March whether I will be selected to advance to the second round, which will require responding to new parameters and writing a piece at a maximum of 2000 words, but this time in only 2 days.

I hope I get to try the next round, as I found the first one stimulating and was pleased with the result. Currently, I’m revising the story and hope to start submitting it for publication soon. I’ll post more about the contest as soon as I hear anything.