Brett Cogburn

The Monday W.I.P.: Mini Western update

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a mini western contest I entered hosted by Western author Brett Cogburn. Well I’m proud to tell you that I was selected as one of the 39 winners (out of 500 or so entries). In addition to my winning story, another of my stories was selected as a honorable mention.

So what exactly does this mean? Well it means that my winning story will be published in High Hill Press’ upcoming anthology Cactus Country III and the possibility exisits that my honorable mention winner will be published in Cactus Country IV.

I’m very excited about this new publishing opportunity and I’ll let you know more about it when more information becomes available.

On a different note, I do want to apologize for my blogging absence the past couple of weeks, I had some things come up in my world outside of writing to forced me to be away from my computer for 2 weeks. Hopefully this won’t happen again anytime soon.

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The Monday WIP: Mini Westerns

My main focus as a writer is as a playwright, primarly a children’s playwright. However I do have a love for the American classic: the Western. I hate “tooting my own horn” but if you read my biography, you’ll see that not only do I enjoy writing westerns I’ve won awards for my western writing. In 2012 I placed First in the Kansas Writer’s Association Novel (First Chapter) competition and I placed Second in the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation Western Novel competition. Both awards were for my work The Last Hand.

So Thursday night, while taking a break from studying for a test in my English Lit class, I read over at brettcogburn.com that he was holding a contest for what he termed a “mini western”. The rules were simple, the story had to tell a complete story, that is a beginning middle and end, in 4 sentences or less and must be a western.

I took to the contest like a man on fire and since Thursday night, I’ve written 4 of these mini westerns. I’ve shared the idea with an English teacher friend of mine and he incorprated it into his classroom teaching on Friday and with a writer friend of mine, who has written 2 of her own.

It’s a fun contest, but it’s also a challenge. How do you convey a full idea in 4 sentences? How do you get the reader engaged and care about the characters in 4 sentences? How do you tell a beginning, a middle, and an end in 4 sentences? Like I said, it’s an interesting challenge but a fun one as well.

If you want to read my story, head over to my Facebook page and Like me while you are there, if you haven’t already.