"The Gentling of Whirlwind" is a summer short-story writing contest of less than 2,500 words. It's based on the story in Dangerous Decision, where Chad and Mitch round up a rogue stallion that has been gathering up the mares on the range. He escapes from his corral when Andi and Virginia have their little "disaster" one Saturday afternoon, but Whirlwind is later caught. In the anniversary edition of Dangerous Decision, the idea of gentling Whirlwind is expanded.
Watch the video, which explains the writing prompt. Then read the rules and prize list. I think this will be a fun contest for the end of the summer. If the video moves too fast, you can read the text at the bottom of this post. Once again, it will be narrowed down to the top 5 stories, and then it will be a Reader's Choice voting.
YOU MUST ENTER USING THIS GOOGLE FORM: ENTER CONTEST
(I am not accepting entries by email. This is a way to keep the formatting of the stories the same and hopefully will be less work for me.)
1. Contest runs August 1 - August 31.
2. Contest open to ages 10-17, US residents only (shipping issues). If you would like to enter for the joy of winning and are okay without receiving physical prizes (E-prizes only), then I'll accept entries from anywhere in the world. :-)
3. Story must stay under 2,500 words.
4. An independent judge will narrow the stories down to the TOP FIVE. Then it will be a READER'S CHOICE voting.
5. Prizes awarded to First and Second places
First place: Circle C mug, horse art engraving kit, and choose a journal
Second place: choose a journal and a Circle C pen
After Andi loses her memory, she has no knowledge of who Whirlwind is or why Chad thinks she would like to help him.
Except for her bad dreams, Andi had remembered nothing of importance in the three weeks since she had been found. Her family had gone to great lengths to help her regain her memory, but nothing seemed to work.
Just before heading out for the high country, Chad had shown Andi a big, dappled-gray stallion prancing around inside the corral. “When roundup’s over, you and I are going to gentle Whirlwind,” he promised, all smiles. “Now, how does that sound?”
Andi stared blankly at the horse. For some reason, Chad expected her to be excited by this offer. Why? She swallowed in uncertainty and mumbled an answer. When her brother’s shoulders sagged and he walked away, she knew it was the wrong answer.
Later, after her memory returns . . .
Andi’s joy bubbled over. “I’m going to hug my mother and my sister, and then I’m going to hug Taffy.” There were so many things Andi wanted to do that she started talking faster. “When Chad and Mitch get back from roundup, I’ll hug them too. And then”—she laughed—“I’m going to hold Chad to his promise to let me help gentle Whirlwind.”