Tag Archives: competition



You may have heard of vampires. These lovable sun-loathing scamps have populated the pages of novels ever since the early something-forties. I used to be quite found of vampire stories, the intrigue of immortality and all that gaff, but I am now, unequivocally, irrevocably, MOTHERFUCKING SICK of vampire stories and every jerk who is jumping on that already overloaded bandwagon.

My reaction to this phenomenon is so intense I've actually developed a medical condition so rare that my doctor insists it doesn't even actually exist. It forces me to violently convulse every time someone mentions Twilight or the Vampire Diaries. Strangely, this convulsion always localises in the area of my fist and seems to inevitably collide with the speaker's face.

I've decided to do something about this by encouraging people to write stories about anything at all besides vampires with the INAUGURAL JM DONELLAN AWARD FOR A SHORT STORY ABOUT ANYTHING EXCEPT VAMPIRES.


Those of you have submitted to short story comps/publishers in the past will now that their guidelines are typically more rigid and inflexible than the 'must be straight and anglo-saxon' component of the Klu Klux Klan membership requirements.


This competition is different. I WANT your cover letter to be ridiculous. Include pictures, photos, nick nacks, whatever the goddam hell you feel like. Just be original and don't write about vampires.

Word limit is 5 000 words. Preferably these words should be arranged into sentences with appropriate punctuation and paragraphing. Eg:

Green elephant

is unacceptable.


is perfect, if a little strange.

Competition opens June 28th at 10.39am and closes September 22 at 12.59pm.
Send your entries to jmdonellan[at]gmail.com

1st Prize



$20.15, the current contents of my wallet. You also get a signed copy of my novel, A Beginner's Guide to Dying in India. Hot diggity damn!
2nd Prize

You get a signed copy of my novel, A Beginner's Guide to Dying in India. Sweet captain cupcakes on toasted rye!

Everyone else your prize is the fact that you have managed to write a story that is not about vampires. Be proud.


1 Q: My story is about vampires, is it eligible?
A: Please send me your full name and address so that I can promptly dispatch a team of ninjas to have you killed.

2 Q: Geez Louise man, what's yer freaking beef with the nosferatu?

A: see above

3 Q: Is this just an elaborate ploy to harvest other people's ideas for the purpose of possible future plagarism?

A: Not according to my very expensive lawyer, no.

4 Q: My story is about a gay penguin on the quest to discover his true calling as an internationally acclaimed hula hooper with the guidance of a breakdancing shaman with a dark and troubled past. Am I going to win?

A: Ask again here.

5 Q:Is this a joke?

A: No, the Twilight series, that was a joke. This is a legitimate competition with way awesome and furthermore radical prizes, bro.

6 Q: Have you ever written a story about someone with a pathological fear of Phil Collins?

A: Why yes, now that you mention it. You can read it here:

Download Fearing Phil Collins by JM Donellan


Oh hello there 2010, it's lovely to meet you. You know, me and your slightly older sister were very close, but I'm sure we'll get along just fine. I thought I'd kick off my first post for this year my announcing a competition. WHOEVER BRINGS ME THE HEAD OF STEVE FIELDING WILL RECEIVE UNTOLD RICHES. Just kidding. Although that would make me very happy.

This competition is inspired by the recent album I decided to post entitled "Cute Girls on Dates with A Beginner's Guide." You can see it on flickr or the facebook fanpage. I have often pointed out the fact that if you don't enjoy my novel, you can use it for various other purposes (doorstop, kindling, hand to hand combat). I'd like to see how far we can expand on that theme. The aim of this competition is to see who can come up with the most original/hilarious alternate use for A Beginner's Guide to Dying in India.

Betterzombiehorde copy

Maybe you could use it to fight off zombie hordes, or perhaps lace it with some sort of contact based poison and leave it lying around the Family First offices as a subtle weapon. Maybe you could cut it up and design a
wedding dress out of it. (Hey if you can do it with toilet paper I
don't see why you can't use literature.)

Wedding dress copy                               Toilet-paper-wedding-dress

       Beginner's Guide

wedding "dress"             VS               toilet paper wedding dress

I'd prefer photos, but as I writer I suppose I'll have to accept written entries as well. Photos can be authentic or photoshopped, but you have to be in them in some capacity.

What's the prize you ask? Well well well, my little lemondrop, you just sit back and listen.

On tuesday I leave for Cambodia. I am going to scour that small south-east Asian nation for THE WEIRDESTS SHIT I CAN FIND and deliver it into the hands of the winner. It might be an antique statue of the deity of awkward conversations, or perhaps some strange asian sex toy, perhaps it might be some kind of rat/dog hybrid (although  Australian customs might have a few things to say about that.) Whatever the case, it is going to be fricking weird and fucking hilarious.

That's the immediate payoff, the second part of the prize will be a cameo in my next novel, tentatively titled Adonis' Coma. Now when you are old and grey and your grandkids say:


"Hey Grandma/pa how come you aint done shit with yer life except learn how to open beer bottles with yer eyeball?" you can proudly answer:

Grandpa simpson

"Listen, you little genetically modified sun and smog resistant brats. I was a character in a NOVEL. Sure, it didn't sell so great and the critics said it was the kind of thing that Douglas Adams would have written if he'd been beaten as a child and homeschooled by a foster Mum from Latvia with poor english and a chronic meth addiction, but it was still a NOVEL. Printed on real paper, not this synthetic fireproof Prototree (TM) harvested protopaper you kids use these days. Now shut up and get me my soylant green popsicle, my sunprotection armour and my hoverchair. I want to go down to the store and pick up a new hip. This one's playing up again."

AND on top of all that I will give you a free replacement copy of the book that you have destroyed with your hilarious genius, signed and all. Hell, if you live in Brisbane I'll deliver it in person.

Tell your friends. Tell your frenemies. Tell that girl that you used to IM until she started sending you naked pictures of herself wearing a spiderman mask and it got awkward.

You can get a copy of the book here OR if you want to be a cheap bastard you can just use this image and photoshop it.

send all entries to:


Good luck. I look forward to reading your entries in some sweaty Cambodian internet cafe with a weird looking guy tapping on the window trying to sell me roasted peanuts and filmed-in-the-cinema pirate DVDs of Avatar.