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.
(HOW TO DO ALL THE THINGS)
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:
is perfect, if a little strange.
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.
(NOT VERY) FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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: