Mona Lisa's One Thousand Words

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Copyright © 2006 Coltrane Productions.
All rights reserved.

Enter our writing contest!
Mona Lisa's 1,000 Words

Entry fee: $10.00
U.S. Check
Money Order
Foreign Cash
"A picture is worth a thousand words."

An ad-man said that. A streetcar-billboard ad-man. Oooooh, we're impressed.

We think not. We think that a picture is only worth a thousand words if those words are spent on description. We think that a picture can only show you a bottle of soda in somebody's hand. It can't tell you how that bottle of soda got there or what the holder of the soda intends to do with it -- the ad-man just has to hope you'll assume the holder purchased the soda, and intends to drink it. Us writers know better than that. We know that the frame captured by a picture is just a fragment of a bigger story. We think the ad-man's quote is crap.

So help us prove it!

To the right of this text you'll see a picture. It is a picture of woman, and the woman's name happens to be Mona Lisa. You may have heard of her; she's, like, famous or something.

Tell us in 1,000 words what is going on in this picture.

If you do the best job, we'll give you a check for $250.

We're going to compile a book of the best entries. Everyone whose essay is deemed worthy of inclusion by our team of crack panelists will get a free copy of the book Mona Lisa's One Thousand Words. Everyone who takes the time to submit, whether selected or not, will be on a special list eligible to get the book for 25% off.

That's the basics. Sound interesting? Here are the details:

Official Rules

  1. Rules are subject to change if we realize we screwed something up.
  2. There is a $10 entry fee. This fee covers the cost of the prizes. We will not even open your e-mail with your submission until we have confirmed your entry fee. You may use the link at the top of this page to submit your entry fee.
  3. By submitting your story to the contest, you grant us the right to publish your story in an anthology without further notice and without further compensation other than the prizes identified in these rules.
  4. Submissions are only accepted electronically. Use the e-mail address underneath the picture of Mona Lisa.
  5. All submissions must be in Microsoft Word format, using Times New Roman 12-point.
  6. The length of your submission absolutely must be between 1,000 and 1,199 words. The first thing we'll do to your submission is check the word count.
  7. End your story with the notation ~33~ centered on the page. Following the end of your story, provide your name, address, and e-mail contact information. Be sure to use the name that you want on your grand prize check.
  8. Submissions close on August 31, 2007.
  9. Our judging panel will consist of three reviewers who will select all winners. The decisions of the judging panel are final.
  10. Judging will be complete by October 31, 2007. Winners will be notified by e-mail. All prize winners will receive their prizes by mail.
  11. Prizes: Grand Prize, $250; all runners-up, free copy of the anthology; all entries, 25% off of the anthology. We reserve the right to increase the size or number of prizes if there is enough response.
  12. The anthology will be complete in December 2007. Production constraints will determine the actual date of publication.
  13. In the event that there is not enough response to keep the contest interesting, or in the event that it will not be possible to produce the final anthology, all entry fees will be returned and all publication rights will be voided.


  • Keep it interesting. We know what she looks like. We're looking for the story.
  • Proofread your work. Editors have a low tolerance for typos, spelling errors, and mangled grammar.
  • Don't plagiarize. Geesh.

Good luck!