Wednesday, June 14, 2006

New! First Friday

The bird blogosphere includes some really good writers--birders who can craft words as well as, if not better than, they can attract birds and identify them in the field. It'd be a pleasure to see those writers turn their skills to birding fiction for adults.

Birding fiction doesn't seem to be a well-mined genre. I'm not aware of any tales beyond Christine Goff's mysteries. If there are others, please clue me in!

I'd like to suggest First Friday, a monthly writing contest with a 500-word limit. Why 500? Because it's just 5 percent of the total number of bird species. (Isn't that a mind-boggling concept?)

Let's agree that a story contains four ingredients: a setting, a character or characters, a conflict and a resolution. I'd like to add a rule for our purposes: The birds will not be anthropomorphized. The judges will include wordsmiths in and out of the birding world.

So what's in it for you if you choose to bend your head to this challenge? You could win a recently released book from among the selection in my office. A fair number of publishers send review copies to WildBird, but only three books appear in each issue. That leaves a lot of books on my bookshelves and office floor. I'll gladly send a list of the available titles to the winning writer. Maybe you'd like to receive An Egg is Quiet or National Geographic Field Guide to Birds of Arizona & New Mexico in your mailbox?

What do you think? Is it possible to craft fiction that touches on birds, birders and/or birding within 500 words?

Please send your short story via e-mail on Wednesday, July 5. I'll post the winning piece on Friday the 7th.


Blogger Casey said...

Here are some examples of other bird-watching fiction, besides Christine Goff's most interesting books.

-Rare Birds by Edward Riche (made into a motion picture starring William Hurt & featuring real birders of Newfoundland)

-The Tea-Olive Bird-watching Society by Augusta Trobaugh

-The Ivory-bill Hotel by Anne Butler

-Elsewhere in the Land of Parrots by Jim Paul

-Murder with Puffins by Donna Andrews

-Beware the Butcher Bird by Lydia Adamson

-Beware the Tufted Duck by Lydia Adamson

-Audubon's Watch by John Gregory Brown

-The Bird Artist by Howard Norman (birds are a minor part of this story...particularly a Garganey)

-The Silent Sky by Allan Eckert

Hope this proves interesting!

June 14, 2006 11:16 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

June 14, 2006 11:55 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

For curious souls, you can click on details about Casey's recommendations.

Rare Birds

The Tea-Olive Bird-watching Society

The Ivorybill Hotel

Elsewhere in the Land of Parrots

Murder with Puffins

Beware the Butcher Bird

Beware the Tufted Duck

Audubon's Watch

The Bird Artist

The Silent Sky

June 14, 2006 2:30 PM  
Blogger Sheridan Coffey said...

Several years ago I read a British murder mystery set at High Island, on the upper Texas coast. Unfortunately I couldnt find the title online. It was suprisingly true to the location, other than there being an upscale B&B mentioned. (Anyone that has stayed at High Island knows thats total fiction!) The victim was killed while tracking a Swainson's Warbler in deep undercover.

Another birding fiction book that I have read is Andes Rising by James Munves. It is about a rabbi searching for a missing scientist in the Columbian Andes and the possibility of the rediscovery of a rare tanager. Its funny, I was just thinking of this book and have gotten it out to re-read!

June 15, 2006 3:53 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Thanks for the tips, Sheridan!

Click for details: Andes Rising

June 15, 2006 9:32 AM  
Blogger janet said...

Howard Norman's The Bird Artist.

June 16, 2006 12:33 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Thanks, Janet!

June 16, 2006 12:38 PM  

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