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the lost stories

the lost stories
I began submitting my stories to markets in 2002.  One of the early contests I found
was the Tundra Prize -- organized by a lovingly crazy group of Canadians who founded
the Emily Chesley Reading Circle.  Sometimes you have to support sillyness for the 
sake of humanity, and I sent in four entries from 2002-2005.

Alas, although three of the four years I submitted stories resulted in Laudable Mentions,
i.e. no prize money, they have yet to be published.  A tragic tale of lost stories and 
loster (?) innocence, as well as the sordid story of the cumulative US$21 in contest fees 
which has not resulted in First Canadian Publication Rights as once promised.

Nor have I been invited to London where I might or might not be asked to wear a fez.

the tundra contest

Info cribbed from the 2003-2005 contest webpages.  The FAQ section is pretty funny.
Want to skip the contest info?  Jump to The Lost Lost Stories.

The Third / Fourth / Fifth Annual Dr. Maximilian Tundra Memorial Poetry 
and Short Speculative Fiction Contests


Congratulations to the winner of the 2003 Tundra Prize:  
Hermester Barrington for "The New Valkyrie"

"Laudable" Mention goes to: Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon for "Sea Change"

There were no winning entries in the poetry category.


2004 Tundra Prize Winner:
Susan Wing's "Beyond the Bodice"

Laudable Mentions (in no particular order) go to:

Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon for "The Dinner Party"
Katherine Grosjean for "Something in the Air"
Alexandra Fox for "How to Dress Like a Puffin"
Rodney Dickinson's "A Letter".

Congratulations to you all.  There was stiff competition this year.


Congratulations to Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon for winning a "Laudable" Mention 
in the 2005 Tundra Prize Contest.

There was no overall winner of the prize.

There will be no 2006 Tundra Prize Contest. 



Submissions should emulate -- or be inspired by -- the style and the thematic 
concerns found in the wider oeuvre of Emily Chesley. (This includes characters 
in associated literary figures, Michael Flannigan, etc.) The poetry category 
will be especially rigorous in this regard, as we do expect submissions to 
rhyme and to scan well.

Short stories must be 2,000 words or less (more will be disqualified) and deal 
with the thematic concerns addressed by Emily in so many of her works. (Listed 
in Categories, but please check the website for a full sense of the matter.) 
Submit one poems of up to 100 lines.

If you haven't looked around the site much, then you might want to, so you can 
get a sense of how to make your entry funny.  Or better yet, you could buy a 
copy of the (1st Semi-Annual) Meanderings, and read all the winning entries 
so far.

Submit original, currently unpublished and unaccepted work in English. The 
contest is open to everyone except members of the Circle, the judges and 
their families.


You may submit your story, poems and information electronically.

Or you can submit the old-fashioned way: typed or word-processed, single-sided, 
double-spaced (prose), 8 1/2 x 11 (or A4), pages numbered, and for the love 
of Thor, no staples!

To assure blind judging, include a SEPARATE cover page giving your name, 
address, tel.#, email, title(s), date of entry, a brief 50-word literary bio 
and accurate word count with each entry (also, let us know if you paid via 
PayPal). The entrant may stipulate on the cover page that the entry includes 
"First Canadian Rights" up to the proposed date of the publication (May 24, 2005).

Title only on each page. Entries will not be critiqued or returned.

Mail to:
     The Emily Chesley Reading Circle
     c/o Mark Rayner
     The Tundra Prize
     London, Ontario


Fees payable by money order or cheque to Mark Rayner. (Please put "Tundra Prize" 
in memo.) $10 Canadian for Canadian entries. All other countries, including the 
United States, $10 US. *

We would prefer that you pay us directly online by using the service at PayPal. 
(You will have to sign up with them first, but the service is free for payments 
using credit cards.) If you opt for this feature, the cost is $10 US, no matter 
where you're sending your entry from. If you have paid this way, please make a 
note of it on your cover page.
* we reserve the right to cancel the contest if there is insufficient interest.  
  Fees will be returned in that case.


Please tell me this is an authentic contest.

  That is not a question, but yes, this is an honest-to-goodness contest. There 
  are rules, there are prizes, we have real live published Canadian speculative 
  fiction authors to judge the contest and there will be a publication at the 
  end of the entire process.

  We are running this contest not to make money, but to increase awareness of 
  Emily Chesley and to have a little fun along the way. We recommend that you look 
  at the excellent article on how to evaluate contests on the Science Fiction and 
  Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) website. (The link will launch into a separate 

The SFWA article says that little contests run by organizations such as yours are 
not prestigious, and will do little to help my writing career.

  Again, that's not a question, and we beg to differ. First of all, The Tundra 
  Prize is not yet prestigious. Who knows what may happen some day? The Tundra 
  Prize may be ranked with literary prizes such as the Pulitzer and the Booker. 
  (Stop laughing. It could happen.) Besides, when you are talking with agents and 
  publishers, anything that sets you apart from the crowd can help. Think of what 
  adding The Tundra Prize to your writer's bio could do?

So who are you guys again?

  We are the Emily Chesley Reading Circle; we are dedicated to the study of Emily 
  Chesley, a long-overlooked Canadian writer of speculative fiction who lived for 
  some time in the London, Ontario region. As a creatively frustrated not-for-profit 
  group of scholars and bon vivants, we meet monthly to discuss our research and 
  do a little "reading".

So why is it called The Tundra Prize?

  One of the founders of the Circle was Dr. Maximilian Tundra. As one of Emily's 
  most tireless advocates, he also launched the first official chapter of the Circle, 
  in London, England. Dr. Tundra died quite tragically less than a year later. In 
  memory of Dr. Tundra's efforts at rehabilitating Emily Chesley's memory, we have 
  created the Tundra Prize.

  Besides, it sounds cool.

Who exactly are the judges?

  In the 2003 contest our judges are:

    * Paula Johanson
    * Ursula Pflug
    * Edward Willett

  Paula, Ursula and Edward are luminaries of the Canadian constellation of speculative 
  fiction; between them their books, short stories, plays and speculative fiction 
  criticism have covered the spectrum of Canadian SF. You can read more about them here.

Cool. They definitely rock. Okay, if I win the prize or an honourable mention, will 
I get published?

  Yes. We plan to launch the second Meanderings of the Emily Chesley Reading Circle 
  (Annual) on the 148th anniversary of Emily Chesley's birth.   You can buy a copy of 
  the first Meanderings here.

Okay, okay, enough merchandising. May I enter the contest more than once?

  Certainly, provided you send the fee.

What happens if I don't send the fee?

(2003 Contest) Not much. If you have entered electronically, and haven't sent your fee 
  yet, you have until September 28, 2003 to get us the cheque or PayPal payment. 
  Otherwise, we will casually discard your entry. What a bunch of bastards, eh?

(2004 Contest) The Wrath of Tundra. Fire & brimstone. Phalanxes of Lawyers.  Seriously, 
  not much. If you have entered electronically, and haven't sent your fee yet, you have 
  until September 28, 2004 to get us the fee. Otherwise, we will casually discard your 
  entry. What a bunch of bastards, eh?

Are there fringe benefits of entering?

  No. However, if you win a Laudable Mention, or are the winner of a Tundra Prize you 
  be invited to our launch party, where we may, or may not, ask you to wear a fez.

What rights do I have to give up?

  Unless you are a prize winner or receive a Laudable mention, none. We ask for first 
  Canadian publishing rights for winners and Laudable mentions. We would also like to 
  publish your work on our website, though you will retain the rights.

Is it me, or are you guys are kind of weird?

  It's definitely you.

the lost lost stories

In June 2010 I wrote to The People In Charge, to see if they're ever going to publish
another Meanderings.

the three lost stories

* “Sea Change” Laudable Mention, Third Tundra Contest of the Emily Chesley 
   Reading Circle
* “The Dinner Party” Laudable Mention, Fourth Tundra Contest of the Emily 
   Chesley Reading Circle
* “Of Pirates and Aliens” Laudable Mention, Fifth Tundra Contest of the 
   Emily Chesley Reading Circle

"oh whatsoever shall i do with these poor lost stories?"

The thing of it is -- I wrote these stories FOR the Tundra Prize.  I'd really like to
see them get their First Canadian Publication Rights.

Yes, I could withdraw them now and either try to sell them elsewhere or put them
up here on dr-phil-physics.com .  But they're full of the quirkyness of the Emily
Chesley Reading Circle.  And anyways, that seems like cheating to me. (grin)

the lostories themselves?

Stay tuned...

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Last Update: 15 May 2010 Saturday