The Millions alerted us to this contest for sports-themed short fiction, sponsored by—of all people—ESPN.
Now, I love my Red Sox and my Cavaliers, but I would never call myself a sports girl. So I was skeptical of the whole idea of “sports fiction.” But I recently served on the admissions board for the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, reading applications for waitership positions, and I was surprised to see a number of well-written, compelling, and honestly interesting sports-related stories. The key? They weren’t about sports per se; they were about interesting people who happened to be involved in sports, and they guided the reader into and through a less-familiar landscape and a particular jargon just as—say—a book about India or comic-book fanatics or 17th-century Italy might. The end results weren’t a SportsCenter transcript; they were well-realized pieces of fiction set in worlds that some of us might not have encountered before.
If you’ve got a sports-themed story to tell, the ESPN contest is open to pieces 3,000 words or less. The deadline is June 1, 2010, and the winner will be published in ESPN The Magazine. Full entry rules can be found in this PDF.