I’m going to keep this short and sweet because even space wanderers have things to do during the holidays. The lights are lit, the presents are wrapped, and the entire ship smells like nutmeg and cloves. It’s time to relax a little and enjoy some R&R. And so, the editors are giving you a little gift this week and next: free admission to the voting grid! Up to 42 entries will be eligible for voting, so sharpen your pencils and get ready to write.
Answer the ultimate question in exactly 42 words: what’s in the box?
This week’s question requires only two things for a good answer: a box, and the thing inside it. The box and the thing can be real or metaphorical, but they must be there. As usual, note the tense of the question. We’re not asking what was in the box long ago, what will be in the box when you’re ready to put it under the tree, or what would be in the box if you hadn’t just lost everything to a roving band of Vogons.
A few other reminders:
PROOFREAD. Nothing is easier, and nothing will get you bumped from the voting grid faster than typos, spelling or punctuation mistakes, or grammatical errors. You’ve only got 42 words; mistakes stick out.
Keep in mind that your post has to make sense if your reader doesn’t know the question. Don’t use the question as your title or anywhere else in your piece. And remember, any words surrounding your gargleblaster — explanations, references, footnotes, shout-outs, etc. — will be counted against your 42-word limit.
The top 42 entries will be open for voting on Thursday
You may enter only one gargleblaster microstory. This week, submissions are unmoderated, which means the first 42 entries will show up on the voting grid. Voting opens Wednesday at 10:00 PM EST. Everybody: read, comment, vote!
Winners will be announced on Friday
Look for Friday’s combined winners’ post to see the crowd favorites and editors’ picks from across all of our challenge grids.
What else is happening around here?
We’ve got the nonfiction grid opening on Mondays, the speakeasy for fiction and poetry on Tuesdays, the gargleblaster micro challenge on Wednesdays, and the come-one, come-all moonshine grid for the weekends. We’ve also got a great hangout space over at the coffeehouse. Make sure you subscribe to our weekly e-mail blast so you don’t miss out.