Monday, May 3, 2010

Literary Idol. Challenge One: Retell a Myth

I once said that I would never watch American Idol.

I lied.

Not that I don't still think it feeds America's delusions of grandier and preoccupation with fame with mediocre entertainment and the empty promise that it could be you next time. But on nights when nothing interesting is going on and I have too much a headache to read it gives me something to criticize (yes, you do know Simon is always right) and every once in awhile there is some actual talent showcased.

At any rate, I've noticed that pretty much every occupation has a reality show connected to it. Every occupation that is except writing. Understandable. It wouldn't be very visually stimulating to watch a group of people on lap tops trying to beat each other in whatever challenge they've been assigned even if only hot writers were allowed. However, I don't see why we shouldn't get to have something similar. And therefore I am going to conduct an experiment.

Literary Idol

Here are the rules. Every month I put out an assignment. Anyone who wants to participate can e-mail me their short story/chapter/poem/flash fiction at

I will draw a two week deadline after the gauntlet has been thrown and then start posting the pieces to be voted on. They will not be unanimous so feel free to use your wit and charm however you like to roll in more votes.

We won't be doing the actual Idol format of voting people off because I realize that some people might want to participate one month but not have time every month.

The winner then gets . . . the good feeling of having won and bragging rights to the title "Literary Idol" for a month. I would offer a critique or something but if I were honest I would admit that if you really want me to critique your work all you have to do is send it to me. No contest needed.

And so, may the games begin.

The first challenge, as stated in the title, is

Retell a myth. Whatever your interpretation of what a "myth" is. (fairy tale, urban legend, ancient mythology, local mythology, commonly believed false fact, historical myth . . .)

e-mail me your piece by Monday May 17th and the voting shall begin.

*Insert frightening music here*


  1. This is a GREAT idea, Taryn! Prepare to be pimped...

  2. Excellent idea -- are you Simon?

  3. I think I shall let my commenters be the judges and remain neutral myself. I don't want anyone to kill me. So I guess that means . . . the job is open if you want it. lol

  4. My writer friends and I have discussed this very thing. Megan just bought an amazing old house and every bedroom has a fireplace. I said it would be the perfect house for "5 strangers, picked to live in a house, and find out what happens when writer stop being polite and start getting real."

    Except yeah, it would be many hours of watching us read and type on our laptops. Not very dramatic.

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