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Monday (morning) writing joke: “Dueling puns, part 11: ‘Alaska'”

Two writers who didn’t like each other met in a bar, as such writers often do. Each claimed it was his favorite bar and each claimed he had found it first. After several months of glowering at each other and bad mouthing each other, they agree to settle the matter with a duel of puns.

Since the tall writer won the tenth round, the short writer was allowed to go first for round eleven. A set of cards was placed on the table between them, face down. On each card was a subject. The short writer flipped the card over and the subject was “Alaska.”

Props were allowed, and for each turn, each writer could make one phone call.

Each writer had to say his pun and the audience would get to pick which one they preferred. The bartender, a waiter, and a waitress would be the judges as to who got the loudest groan.

After thinking a moment, the short writer stood and took off his glasses, then put them back on, and then took them off again. As he did this, he said, “I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.”

This immediately drew a few laughs, and moan or two, and some applause.

The tall writer waited until things were quiet, then he asked for a match. He lit the match and as it burned, he said, “Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can’t have your kayak and heat it too.”

By then the match had burned down to his fingers. He dropped it and quickly stepped on it. A spark flew up from his foot and caught a paper napkin on fire. He then tried to stomp that out, but more sparks flew and soon the entire bar was on fire.

The crowd hesitated, then groaned, and scrambled over each other and out the door.

As the ashes were sprayed one last time to make sure they were no longer hot, the soot covered bartender said both writers lost that round.


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Shrill tears

Guns clatter the ground. /

Clouds bulging with thoughts and prayers. /

Shrill tears from heaven.

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The power of stories to bridge time and mend hearts.

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Monday morning writing joke: “Bounds”

Q.: Why did the physics writer break up with the biology writer?

A.: Because there was no chemistry between them.

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Turkey basting, in its own way.

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Haiku to you Thursday: “Free fall”

Free falling in love /

I find the stars within reach /

and my heart far away.

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Hub City Press Announces $10, 000 Short… | Hub City Writers Project

Hub City Press announces the establishment of the $10, 000 C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize.

Source: Hub City Press Announces $10, 000 Short… | Hub City Writers Project

Hub City Press announces the establishment of the $10,000 C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize. The contest includes book publication and will be judged in its first year by Lee K. Abbott, author of seven collections of short stories. Submissions open on August 1, 2017 and will close January 1, 2018.

The new prize is open to emerging writers in thirteen Southern states. Submitters must currently reside in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia or West Virginia, and must have no previously published books.

A $25 submission fee will accompany each submission. Submission information can be found at . Manuscripts will be taken through online submission only. All manuscripts will be read anonymously by paid screeners. This contest is guided by the CLMP Code of Ethics.

Hub City Press Founder and Publisher Betsy Teter says of the new prize, “We are thrilled to announce one of the most substantial short story prizes in North America and to honor C. Michael Curtis, who has been a great friend to Hub City Press over the years.”

The first winning book will be published in Spring 2019.

This prize is made possible by an anonymous contribution from a South Carolina donor.

Lee K. Abbott’s short stories and reviews have appeared in Harper’s, The Atlantic, the Georgia Review, the New York Times Book Review, the Southern Review, and Epoch. His fiction has been often reprinted in The Best American Short Stories and The Prize Stories: The O’Henry Awards. His latest collection of stories, All Things, All at Once: New & Selected Stories, was published by Norton in June 2006. He is professor emeritus of English at Ohio State University.

The prize is named in honor of C. Michael Curtis, who has served as an editor of The Atlantic since 1963 and as fiction editor since 1982. Curtis has discovered or edited some of the finest short story writers of the modern era, including Tobias Wolff, Joyce Carol Oates, John Updike, and Anne Beattie. He has edited several acclaimed anthologies, including Contemporary New England Stories, God: Stories, and Faith: Stories. Curtis moved to Spartanburg, S.C. in 2006 and has taught as a professor at both Wofford and Converse Colleges, in addition to serving on the editorial board of Hub City Press.

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