100 Hours of Humo(u)r – Hour 3: Flash Humor Writing Contest #1
Outside the Zone — with Guest Judges Betsy and Warren Talbot of “Married withe Luggage.”
By Dave Fox
Yikes! These first two hours of the 100 have been insane! Many thanks to Katherine in Oregon for alerting me to the fact that online courses sell better when the sign-up forms work. Many more thanks to my web designer, Matt Preston in the Cotswolds, England, for fixing the problem!
Eerie subliminal message: The class sign up form works so you may now use it!
Okay… onward to hour three.
It’s time for the first of four “flash humor” writing contests we’ll be running over the next four hours. Flash humor has nothing to do with running around in skimpy raincoats and nothing else. It’s like flash fiction: brief, to the point, and excellent for readers with short attention spans. Your mission in each of these four contests: To write a humor essay with a maximum of 500 words, on a topic to be announced at the start of the contest.
Your story must be original, written by you and you alone during the contest period. You may not submit stories you have written previously. (This is kind of on the honor system, but if I find your story online elsewhere, I’ll know you cheated. And on a more serious note, if I find your story online elsewhere with someone else’s name on it, I will publicly humiliate you. I am not kind to plagiarists.)
As an added twist, the later contests will have relatively short time limits of two or three hours. But for this first one, I’m going to give you a bit more time. We are at the start of hour three. All entries for this first contest must be received by the end of hour 12.
One final irritating rule I must impose for legal reasons: If you are under the age of 18, you must have permission from a parent or legal guardian to enter.
I am not going to judge any of these contests myself. I’m a bit busy with other stuff at the moment. Also, I know some of you and I don’t want to be biased. So we will have different judges for each contest who will receive all entries without knowing who they are from. Our judges from contest one are Betsy and Warren Talbot from MarriedWithLuggage.com.
Betsy and Warren have been traveling the planet endlessly for more than two years — encouraging the rest of us not necessarily to travel, but to step out of our comfort zones, try new things, and challenge ourselves. As Betsy puts it:
“Here at Married with Luggage, we advocate pushing out the boundaries of your comfort zone so you have more room in which to live the life of your dreams. The easiest way to bump out your walls is to try something new. It can be as tame as trying an ethnic restaurant in your hometown or as daring as jumping out of a plane. But one thing is certain; you won’t grow if discomfort never enters your life. And sometimes, discomfort can turn into a very funny story.”
So the theme for this contest is “Outside the Zone.” Tell us a hilarious story about a time when you stepped outside your comfort zone.
Stories will be judged on comedic value, literary deliciousness, and anything else Betsy and Warren feel like judging them on.
The winner will receive:
- An copy of Betsy and Warren’s e-book, “Dream, Save, Do,” in any electronic format it’s been published in, or as a .pdf file to read on your computer if you don’t have an e-reader of some sort.
- Your choice of any two of my books in any format available. (Please note that “Globejotting” (the book) is now availble for Nook and Apple iReader formats as well as Kindle and paperback.)
- A written critique of one piece of your writing — maximum length 1,000 words — or a 45 minute writing or humor coaching session by phone, Skype, or in person if we are ever in the same place. (Reminder: I live in Singapore. And that is not a punch line. I really do.)
To enter, e-mail your entries to email@example.com before the end of hour 12 of the 100 Hours of Humo(u)r. By submitting a story for this contest, you verify that it is your original work, and that nobody else holds the copyright to it. In addition, you grant Globejotting.com permission to publish the story on this website. (You retain all copyrights and are free to publish it elsewhere as soon as the “100 Hours of Humo(u)r” online festival has ended.)
Dream, Save, Do: An Action Plan for Dreamers
By Betsy and Warren Talbot
You yearn for something more: to travel, start your own business, create art, or change the world. You want to make your own rules for a change, but you aren’t quite sure how to start – much less how to pay for it.
What you need is an Action Plan for Dreamers.
We felt the same way back in 2008, and we spent 2 years sculpting their conventional reality into one of world travel – a life we are still enjoying to this day.
If you’re looking for an overnight success or a lot of navel gazing and contemplation, this isn’t the book for you. But if you think something is missing in your life and you want to do something about it right this minute, this is the plan you’ve been waiting for.