This amazing video was directed, filmed, and edited by Cameron Harrison of Ouchmouth Productions. Actors include Chelsea Cain (The Night Season, Heart Sick, Sweetheart, Evil at Heart), Peter Fogtdal (The Tsar’s Dwarf), and Liz Prato (prolific short story author and Attic Institute instructor).
Sledgehammer’s zany 36-hour writing event will move around Portland but end with a reading in Northeast
Published: Wednesday, September 14, 2011, 11:10 AM Updated: Thursday, September 15, 2011, 12:14 PM
The fourth annual Sledgehammer 36-Hour Writing Contest plans to wind down in Northeast Portland.
The event is described as “a day and a half of writing fun, including a scavenger hunt for writing prompts and a dash to the finish line once your story is complete.”
Interested, writers? Register before Saturday to save $5 on your registration fee at www.sledgehammercontest.com
The contest will start at noon on Saturday, Sept. 17, at Collective Agency, 322 N.W. Sixth Ave. Arrive anytime after 11 a.m. to pick up a registration packet. Rules will be announced at 11:50 a.m.
The contest will end at the Dekum building, 519 S.W. Third Ave., no later than 11:59 p.m. Sunday.
The event ends Monday night with a reading. Participants are invited to read up to five minutes of their story. The reading will take place at Blackbird Wine & Atomic Cheese, 4323 N.E. Fremont St., starting at 7 p.m.
“Creativity Under Pressure” and the Sledgehammer Writing Project
Posted by Alison Hallett on Tue, Aug 18, 2009 at 10:28 AM, The Portland Mercury Blogtown
I only caught a teaser for this morning’s Think Out Loud, themed “Creativity Under Pressure”—just enough to hear mention of the 48-Hour Film Fest (the results of which screen at the Hollywood tomorrow and Thursday) and National Novel Writing Month (coming up in November). So I’m not sure if they mentioned another deadline-based competition: Sledgehammer Writing Project, going down in Portland and Seattle, which combines a writing contest with a scavenger hunt. From the website:
Teams of writers converge at noon on Saturday [August 29] to receive their first writing prompt and scavenger hunt clues. From there they head out to several locations around the city to gather all four writing prompts, and then they have 36 hours to write the best fiction piece they can. Final submissions are due back in person by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday [August 30].The following week, competitors will read their stories at an unveiling, and the audience will vote on the top three. The top three from each city will win gift certificates to local businesses, be invited to read their work at Wordstock and other venues, and go into the running for the grand prize package worth thousands of dollars!
It’s only the contest’s second year, but sponsors include Powell’s, the Oregon Historical Society, the IPRC, and Ooligan Press—some pretty solid votes of confidence. Registration is $20 per person, or $75 per team.
Cues, clues, deadline coax out short stories
by Jessica Machado, Special to the Oregonian
Thursday October 23, 2008, 3:00 AM
As every writer knows, there’s nothing like a deadline to kick-start productivity. So last weekend, 20 writers embraced the pressure as part of Portland’s first Sledgehammer contest. Their mission: Write a short story in 36 hours.
Teams and individuals began their adventure at noon Saturday at Backspace, 115 N.W. Fifth Ave. They were given a writing prompt — incorporate the line “All Girl Summer Fun,” taken from the name of the band playing at the cafe that evening — and a clue that would lead them on a citywide scavenger hunt.
At each destination, such as Mizu Sushi in downtown and Writers’ Dojo in St. Johns, participants received a prompt to inspire characters, dialogue and action.
Ali McCart, founder of Indigo Editing and Publications, organized the event in less than two months, gathering more than 25 sponsors and $3,000 in prizes.
“I thought, ‘If Portland can have a 48-hour film fest, why can’t we do the same thing for writing?’” said McCart, 27.
Sledgehammer writers had until midnight Sunday to return to Backspace with their story and photographic proof they visited each location. Jan Underwood, 2005 winner of the international 3-Day Novel Writing Contest, will choose the winner, to be announced Nov. 3.
Members of one team, the Portland Fiction Project, are well-versed in timeline experiments and abstract subjects. The seven writers — who vow to “keep fiction weird” — gather weekly to write stories they post on their blog, www.portlandfiction.net. But this was the first time they collaborated on a single piece.
The young writers, who have various day jobs and interests, created a storyboard on plot and setting. The result: “All Girl Summer Fun” about a sushi restaurant owner who has dark premonitions about patrons.
Mrs. Wu disliked when the customers reached over the counter. She feared they might learn her secret if they got any closer to the whole fish. It was safer if she quieted the fish into pieces before handing it to them, standing on a wooden stool so she could reach without coming from behind the counter.
Not every hour was spent in a writing frenzy. By 8 p.m. Saturday, the Portland Fiction Project had dispersed for the night. Matt Corum, one of the organizers, was at a bar watching the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays.
Siddhartha Mitra, who signed up solo after walking into Backspace for a bagel, still hadn’t picked up his clues by midafternoon Saturday.
“I already have a fantasy situation thought out,” said Mitra, a computer programmer. “Now I just have to figure out a way to work in the characters from the clues.”
Others worked more diligently. Kate Weikert, a reviewer for Book News, and friend Mark Flatt, with a background in historical writing, took turns.
While Flatt worked a bar shift, Weikert wrote a draft. Flatt then added character details and description until 4 a.m. When Weikert awoke, she smoothed out the voice. By noon Sunday, the two had converged to revise “Trio,” about a chance encounter between two reporters.
He noticed her nodding at the senator’s inflections, her legs shifting back and forth from one tall boot to the next, finally putting her big leather bag down on the ground and rubbing her shoulder. Long day, her gestures said. Tired.
Chelsea Harlan, 28, a publishing graduate student at Portland State University, stayed up until 2 a.m. and finished 11 pages, then woke up to work a nine-hour day. Yet she managed to tweak, edit and turn in a copy of “Anna,” a 2,600-word work of magical realism — a popular genre with the Sledgehammer crowd — hours before deadline.
And although she knew she should be afraid like she had been at first, that this wasn’t normal, she couldn’t help but feel comforted, grounded. Like his eyes kept her pinned to the earth and if he ever closed them, she would float up into the sky and melt away like a cloud.
Except for a young woman who trudged into Backspace in sweats and two participants who paid the $20 entry fee but never returned, most showed up well before deadline. That includes Mitra, who turned in nine pages written in exquisite cursive and with few scribbles.