Writers cut their teeth on local open mics and slam competitions. Because writing is such a solitary activity, and because opportunities to share one’s work publicly are few and far between, these local platforms are invaluable to writers. The New Hampshire Writer’s Project sponsors an annual Three Minute Fiction Slam. The slam is “a fast paced literary competition that challenges writers to perform original pieces of fiction in three minutes or less in front of a panel of judges.” It’s open to writers of all ages and experience-levels, which generates a diverse array of pieces. Several semi-final Slams are held all across New Hampshire. The winner of each semi-final competes at the finals in March.
In 2015, I won the Slam with my short story “Street Names.” The experience was terrifying and exhilarating. I spent several weeks reading and revising my story obsessively. I pained over each word and sentence. Ultimately, I took a mediocre 1,500 word piece, and turned it into a sleek 532 word story that I was really proud of. The best part of the whole experience was being able to share my work with a live audience that reacted audibly to my piece (as you’ll hear in the video.) I published my story at Hobart, a pretty excellent online literary journal.
This year, I collaborated with the English department at my institution, and we held a Three Minute Fiction Slam semi-final. I am looking forward to watching the winner of the slam, one of our creative writing majors, compete at the finals next week.