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January, 2008

Best Revenge

Second Annual FutureVision Short Story Contest
Give your imagination free reign
By  Anne R. Allen

Taking imagination to a contest level for the second year in a row - FutureVision.
Do you see a global crisis looming in the future? How do you envision life without oil in a time of escalating planet warming? Will we revert to small communities no longer joined by jet travel and superhighways? Could this lead to a time of spiritual reawakening?

If you've been itching to write a fictional exploration of what life might be like in the not-so-distant future, or a cautionary tale to urge preparation for major global changes, let your imagination have free reign . . . and enter the second annual HopeDance speculative fiction contest.

Since the magazine's debut a decade ago, HopeDance has reported on the outrageous, pioneering, and inspiring activities of outstanding individuals and organizations who are creating a new world – regardless of spiritual tradition or political agenda.

Besides publishing the bi-monthly journal, HopeDance facilitates forums, workshops, and film festivals that promote ecologically sustainable, practical, down-to-earth solutions, and a holistic, healthy, and awakened population. Their goal is to bring together voices from the healing, spiritual, and progressive political communities.

The FutureVision Contest closes September 30, 2007. The limit is 1,000 words – an opportunity to hone your self-editing skills. Prizes will be $100 US, $75 US, and $50 US, plus publication on the HopeDance website. The entry fee is $10 US for the first story and $5 US for additional submissions.

The story must be previously unpublished and professionally formatted – double-spaced and printed on one side of the paper in a standard font. Please submit three copies, and staple together each copy.

Include a cover sheet listing title, word count, and author's name, address, e-mail, and phone number. Author's name must not appear on the manuscript, but put the title on every page. Manuscripts will not be returned. Winners will be notified by e-mail. Further information will be available at the HopeDance website.

No essays please. The piece must be fiction and will be evaluated on development of character, plot, setting, and emotional impact. And, yes, spelling, punctuation, and grammar do count.

Send with entry fee to:
HopeDance Contest
P.O. Box 15609
San Luis Obispo, CA

Or, if you’re lucky enough to be on the Central Coast of California this summer, drop it off at the HopeDance Film Library inside the Novel Experience Bookstore, 779 Higuera Street, in downtown San Luis Obispo.
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Anne R. Allen is a California novelist and book editor who has been living part time in the UK. Her latest comic novel, The Best Revenge, An Historical Novel Of The 1980s, (Babash-Ryan) debuted in the UK in 2005 and is available from and most UK bookshops. Her first novel with Babash-Ryan, Food Of Love is available from and as well as

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Writer’s Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails we’ve known;
Each writer’s block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
It’s how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Don’t plant your poem on the page
As though you’re hanging drapes;
It’s shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their “themes.”

Double Vision
A writer’s life is paradox,
It’s more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know you’ll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poem’s through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

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