Our contest is officially closed- We had 88 submissions for our first contest! Thank you all for your participation. Winners will be announced by June 28, 2019.

The Solon Center for Research and Publishing is pleased to announce a writing contest. It’s our first writing project in conjunction with an exhibit at Gallery Fukurou of Rockland.

In August we will host an exhibit of new work from two fine art photographers, Yohaku Yorozuya and Ramona du Houx. The images will depict Rockland and the coast in its myriad situations, moods and emotions. The combination will marry visual arts with the written word, and help Maine’s creative economy flourish.

The challenge for writers will be to choose one photograph and write a story based on the image. The stories and photographs will be published in book that will be sold during the exhibit, on amazon, in the gallery, and worldwide through Ingram.

The photographs to choose from are in the two slideshows below. If you see one that speaks to you – look at the bottom thumb nails to find the letter that identifies it. Click on the image and write your story!

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All the short stories must be rooted in the photograph the writer selects.

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This is a unique new platform for writers and artists in Maine. Be inspired!

The opening night of the exhibit will also be a book signing night celebration with authors.

Every writer published will receive a free book and promotion of their story on our multiple platforms.

Please view the bottom of this page to read a submission by Lee Heffner that has been approved and will be in our book. Be creative. Let the image “speak” to you. Let it draw you in. If it stirs a memory, great. If it creates and idea, fantastic. Everything will be read, all is welcome. Try!

Guidelines—

  • All writers must reside in Maine.
  • You may submit more than one story.
  • Maximum word count of 800 words.
  • Attach your word document, with your name and contact information, or copy and paste your story, in e-mail to ramonahoux@gmail.com .
  • Electronic submission only.
  • No poetry.
  • Deadline for submissions is May 27, 2019.
  • The exhibit will be in August.

Building community—

There are scores of writers in Maine who have not been afforded an opportunity to be published, yet some of their works are gems. One writer told me they don’t have avenues to exhibit as artists do so they can’t show people their work as readily. We’re bridging that divide to expand their scope of influence.

By publishing short stories of theirs inspired by art photographs new avenues will organically grow for them as more people will read their work.

In addition, bringing the artistic community together with wordsmiths offers exciting unforeseen collaborations. The Solon Center for Research and Publishing will be there to foster new projects that arise from this pilot initiative.

Click on the thumbnail to see larger images to write about.


A. B. C.


D. E. F.


G. H. I.


J. K. L.


M. N. O.


P. Q. R.


S. T. U.

V. W.

Here is a sample of a story that we’ve received and approved for the book’s publication.

yoro 4

Alone not Lonely

by Lee Heffner

A dirt road, unsigned leads to a cove and a single house. The resident, yes singular, was chosen by the landscape. Come in. Be seated. Bask in the momentary peace. Be prepared for squalls, blizzards and nor’easters. The sea changes with the ease of block buster movie transitions.

Observe the lobster boats, captained by the farmers of the sea. Relentless crews who read the horizon and drop traps and buoys to mark sea bed acreage. The buoys are fences to warn poachers, “Encroach at your risk.” Wars have been started over less. The resident bears witness.
The image of silence is deceptive. It is never quiet at the edge of the sea. Gulls soar and screech, “Eek, eek, eek. They dive for imaginary morsels and “Eek” again in disappointment. One true morsel brings another dozen hunters who scrabble for a crumb. Manners are a handicap in the wild.

Fog horns blast, ferry whistles blow, wind and tide warn of change. The resident listens for the cues and prepares to batten the hatches or throw open the shutters to brilliant blue sky. Fog settles in an instant to blanket the house like a mother covers her child. Dawn approaches and brings clear skies.

Each day smells of brine, clean air, unpolluted water and hope for the environment. The tide brings sea glass as smooth as a baby’s bottom, shells that echo the laws of math and scraps of plastic that warn of danger. The resident must be vigilant. The resident must work at tasks large and small to protect the heritage of the alone but engaged. Don’t let this image be the last of a perfect landscape.