This round is devoted to original, previously unpublished, pet-related short stories of between 400 and 700 words in length, but this time, there's a twist. All submissions must begin with the prompt "It was a dark and stormy night, and my [dog/cat/horse, etc.]..." Entries may be humorous, suspenseful, fantastical, scary, etc., but all must relate in some way to companion animals and the bond they share with us humans.
The deadline for submission is May 31, 2011 with winners announced by June 15. There is no fee for entering, but only one submission per category is allowed. For full rules, visit the "Petlitzer Prize" link on the blog page of Good Grief's website, goodgriefpetloss (dot) com.
"The name 'Petlitzer Prize' just came to me one day, as a kind of play on words, a sort of Pulitzer for animal-related works," said multiple-award-winning author/animal chaplain, Sid Korpi, ("Good Grief: Finding Peace After Pet Loss," recently named "Best Book of the Year in the Self-Help Category" by Premier Book Awards) who came up with this contest to recognize quality efforts in writing regarding animals and celebrating the human-animal bond.
Herself a professional editor with 20 years' experience, Korpi took on the task of judging the first round's poetry submissions herself. "I was testing the waters. When I had a very positive response and great submissions to the contest right out of the gate, I knew I'd want to invite a panel of pet experts to help me judge future categories." Enter Dr. Robert Forto and his wife Michelle, renowned dog trainers and co-hosts of the popular Blog Talk Radio show "The Dog Works Radio Show" as the first members of the new panel of experts. Korpi said she will expand this panel if response grows too large.
Throughout the previous three rounds, several authors were awarded certificates of recognition, some first-place winners received handsome medallions, all winners' entries have been published on the "Good Grief: Finding Peace After Pet Loss" blog page, and they've had their winning entries read live on Forto's radio show.