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3rd Annual Flash Fiction Contest – R. F. Burton Library

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is closing upon that time again, where once a year, the R.F. Burton library implores you to reach with your creative genius..  your spark..  and create.  Beginning November 1st, through December 15th, the R.F. Burton Library will be accepting submissions for it’s 3rd Annual Flash Fiction Contest. 

To clarify for any newcomers..  Flash fiction is a genre of writing that challenges the author to be brief.  Complete a story, a moment in time, in 600 or less words.  You might think that impossible, but please pick up a copy of the last two compilations “Dialogues” at the library.  You can see that the published submissions are quite entertaining and brilliant. 

This years theme is going to be Transformations.  That can be any sort of transformation;  biological, chemical, robotic, emotional, etc.  It just needs to be set in a steampunk manner.  There is no right or wrong here..  just go with it.

Here are some rules:

1.  All entries must be submitted with RFB3 and the author’s name in the title of the notecard.  Any otherwise will be summarily discarded.

2.  All entries must have the Title of the piece, the author’s name and the WORD COUNT listed at the top of the notecard.

3.  Illustrations are accepted and must be submitted full perm (that’s right, you can illustrate your magnificent Opus).

4.  The winner of the Contest will be the first story featured in the published version and will receive 5000 lindens.  Subsequent runner-up will also be mentioned in the forward and will receive 2000 lindens.  (There are no losers here, people, this is just for extra incentive).

5.  Just to be clear, the winner of the contest is chosen by me, Canolli Capalini.  There is no questioning it, there is no rhyme or reason, and it is entirely on my whim.  I’ve been doing Flash fiction for years and have a fair idea of well-written short short prose.  If I’ve chosen a story as the winner, I will give you a reason if asked, but remember..  I am judge, jury and executioner of this thing.

All stories that are submitted to the contest remain the author’s property, but will be for use of the library in any way it sees fit.  That means I can reprint your story, publish your story in connection with the R. F. Burton, distribute it and publish it online as part of the R.F. Burton collection. 

This contest is open to ALL.  You do NOT have to be a Babbagite to participate.. You can be from anywhere in SL.  If you are not from New Babbage, it would be helpful if you note that you’re from Steelhead, Caledon, etc.  It makes absolutely no difference in the judging, I am not biased in favor of the cobblestoned city.

Beginning November 1st, there will be a mailbox posted just inside the doors of the library.  You may drop notecards there, or submit them direct to Canolli Capalini.  I will not accept any submissions prior to November 1st and none AFTER December 15th.  Normally I run this contest Mid November to the end of December, but my vacation time (when I put the book together) has shifted slightly this year.  Instead of being off RL work the week between Christmas and New Years, I’m off the week prior to the imminent holiday.

If you have any questions, please contact myself or Serafina Puchkina, the established librarian for the R.F. Burton.  


Thank you for your time,


Capalini Fine Furnishings


P.S. Please note.  This is all in fun.  The library is owned by me and run by Serafina, and we do this out of our love of libraries and in the spirit of having fun. 

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  1. Mara Razor Mara Razor October 28, 2010

    So, let me ask you – does it need to be set in SL, in Victorian times, etc?  Can I set it in my own neighborhood in the real world if I can steampunk it a little? 

    • Canolli Capalini Canolli Capalini October 29, 2010

      Thank you, Mr. Underby for an excellent example of accepted Steampunk settings.  While that is the steampunk world I personally live in, and prefer.. I also acknowledge that there are differing views of what could be considered “steampunk” (though I suppose technically many of those fall into Clockpunk and Dieselpunk) and hope to see the variety of thoughts on steampunk.

  2. Mara Razor Mara Razor October 28, 2010

    It says usually – not always.  I read a book a couple of years ago called The Two Georges that could have been classified as Steampunk that was set in modern times.

  3. Ceejay Writer Ceejay Writer October 28, 2010

    Before this happy announcement digresses into Yet Another What Is Steampunk Discussion, let’s look at what Miss Capalini stipulated:

    “This years theme is going to be Transformations.  That can be any sort
    of transformation;  biological, chemical, robotic, emotional, etc.  It
    just needs to be set in a steampunk manner.  There is no right or wrong
    here..  just go with it.”

    Boldyness my own.   Write what your muses say to you and have a great time!

  4. Mara Razor Mara Razor October 28, 2010

    Just thought I’d plug The Two Georges again.  It’s out of print, but you can get it through Amazon’s marketplace pretty cheap.

    The North America in the book is more slow-moving and less of a consumer society than the real USA. This is partly due to having had no world wars to spur technological innovations. Coal is still used as the main energy source and trains still move by steam. However, to a considerable degree, a slower and relaxed way of life is a conscious choice and cultural trait. Leisurely dirigibles are the preferred way of travelling by air, fast-moving airplanes being regarded as vulgar and reserved for military purposes (and planes are relatively slow because the jet aircraft was not invented). Television exists, but is mainly restricted to pubs and other public places. Installing a TV in a private home is considered vulgar, and is highly expensive.

    It was a fun book.

    And I’ve long been thinking that my weird little neighborhood would make a great setting for a story.  I often feel like that kid in The ‘Burbs who says, “This is better than the movies!  It’s my neighborhood!”

  5. LoPxie Artful LoPxie Artful October 29, 2010

    hallo miss capalini :)

    thanks awfully for letting us have this wonderful event again… for last year’s competition was terrifically good fun! and so many folk wrote so many beautiful stories…

    i should like to write a little story of my own, i think.   i hope everyone in new babbage may, for our stories and our ideas are all terribly important…

    and steampunk stirs the imagination so… and the heart as well… to think of lives that may have been lived… quite anything may happen!

    with gratitude and anticipation,
    lo :)

  6. Canolli Capalini Canolli Capalini October 29, 2010

    Just a quick note:

    This would be YOUR story, and may feature whatever idea of steampunk you have.  Perhaps your vision is less Coal and soot and more.. wandering castles..  Perhaps it’s more scientific gears and cogs and less cavorite..  These are your stories.  These are your visions.  What I find interesting (and yes, I delight in this little experiment) is that as a community, and as a collective, we have such WIDELY varied ideas of what comprises this genre, and yet.. there are still common threads that wind through them.  I am truly interested in seeing how someone from Steelhead views steampunk as opposed to someone from Mieville as opposed to someone from New Babbage..  which is why these contests are open to ALL.

    Again, this year, there will be a lovely bound volume that all the stories will be published in, as well as a less graphical notecard version. 

    Thanks in advance for your participation and I cannot wait to see what you come up with.


  7. Zaida Gearbox Zaida Gearbox October 29, 2010

    *runs off to the library to find last year’s flash fiction*

  8. Zaida Gearbox Zaida Gearbox October 29, 2010

    Miz Canoli, Ah didn’t see de Dialogues from last year on de first floor of de library dis morning.  Where is it?

    ((Really insanely busy this weekend, and I just don’t have time to roam around the library – as much as I might like to under different circumstances.

  9. Canolli Capalini Canolli Capalini October 29, 2010

    Honestly, Zaida, I thought they were on the table next to the entrance, but I didn’t see them there last night.  It could be that they have been moved.  I’ll make sure to set that back up there tonight, as I wanted that to be available at all times for anyone to take.


  10. Canolli Capalini Canolli Capalini November 2, 2010

    For general information:  The past anthologies, “Dialogues” Vol I & II, are available at the library on the table near the stairs.  Please pick up a copy as you peruse the current exhibition, “Bohemian culture”.

  11. Mr Tenk Mr Tenk November 27, 2010


    A person who wishes to remain anonymous has come forward and doubled the prize purse.

    That brings it to 10,000 L for the grand prize and 4,000 L for the runner up.

    Good luck!

  12. Aeolus Cleanslate Aeolus Cleanslate November 28, 2010


    • Canolli Capalini Canolli Capalini December 8, 2010


      What a lovely graphic, Mr. Maceholder!  As a reminder, this contest is currently going on, deadline for submissions is Dec. 15.  The prize is now 10,000 lindens for 1st prize and 4,000 lindens for the runner up.  We are also currently considering the idea of publishing all three volumes (past two years and this current year) as a real life copy that could be purchased.  Also, speaking with various other individuals, the winning stories could possibly be published with another publication for all posterity.  Just something to think about.

      Also, a reminder..  Illustrations are accepted.. encouraged.  They just make the books look prettier. :)


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