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‘What If?’ is starting point Oct. 25 for Solana Beach’s Written Word Challenge

Sharon Rosen Leib
Sharon Rosen Leib

The city of Solana Beach will present a Written Word Challenge from 1-3 p.m. Oct. 25 at the La Colonia Community Center in Solana Beach, when live readings of juried entries will be presented to the public.

Hosted by the city’s Public Arts Commission (PAC), the challenge sent a request for submissions to county-wide writing groups that include the San Diego Press Club, Writer’s Ink, Publishers and Writers of San Diego and more.

Responses to the word prompt, “What If?” have already started coming in, and the skill level of submissions is very high, said Sharon Rosen Leib, one of a panel of judges made up of professional writers and PAC commissioners.

Leib, a Solana Beach resident and a columnist and contributor to the San Diego Jewish Journal, said that the open prompt will encourage a wide array of approaches and styles and is intended to give free rein to the literary muse in everyone.

The guidelines for entries include stories, poems or flash (ultra-short) fiction that must be original and unpublished at the time of entry.

The length of the piece must not exceed a five minute oral presentation. Submissions will be judged on creative approach to the prompt, technical skill and entertainment value and all work must be family-friendly.

“We will be particularly looking for originality in the pieces,” said Leib who is a recent winner of a San Diego Press Award.

Cash prizes are being offered of $200 in each of the following categories: best story, best poem, funniest story or poem, people’s choice and judges choice. The deadline for entries is Friday, Oct. 16.

Participants do not have to be professional writers, and students are encouraged to submit.

“I think that it is fantastic that Solana Beach is supporting the literary community and opening this event to those beyond the limits of Solana Beach,” Leib commented. “And the cash awards are substantial. This is an opportunity for anyone who has something creative to say about ‘What If?’ to express themselves freely in what will be a fun event.”

Interested writers must fill out an application and submit their story or poem to Anita Edman at Solana Beach City Hall by Oct. 16.

Email submissions via attached pdf files are also acceptable and must be sent by midnight of the deadline date.

Those short-listed will be contacted via email by Edman and winners will be announced at the event, which is free to attend. Everyone is welcome.

For an application, to submit work or ask questions, contact Anita Edman at 858-720-2454 or email to aedman@cosb.org.