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Rufus on Fire Basketball Fiction Contest

Remember Ratatouille, that brilliant movie about a rat who loved to cook? Perhaps my favorite line from the movie was spoken by Anton Ego, the restaurant critic:

Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.

That line, and the soliloquy of which it's a part, stayed with me, because I've long believed that talent is talent is talent, and it drives me crazy when obvious talent is ignored or dismissed for illogical reasons. To that end, I'm going to give you a chance to show your talent.

Today, I'm introducing the Rufus on Fire Basketball Fiction Contest. The assignment: Write a piece of fiction involving basketball as a major plot element or thematic element.

I'll post notable pieces on the site starting July 9, one per day, leading up to the Grand Prize selection. The writer of the Grand Prize selection will receive an e-certificate worth $20.91 (i.e., the amount of change I had in my change jar when I took it to the CoinStar machine this evening*). He or she will also have the opportunity to be the subject of an interview here on Rufus on Fire at a date to be determined. But best of all, your writing will probably reach people it otherwise would not have reached.



-- The deadline for submissions is 12:00 noon, July 1, 2009. Email your story to

-- Only one submission per writer. Please provide the name that you'd like in the byline, and, if you have one, a link to your web site. Please also use a legitimate email address. If you win the Grand Prize, that's where I'll send the e-certificate code.

-- The piece may be of any length, but pieces that are better classified as "short stories" than anything else are preferable. Don't stress over choosing a genre; I have eclectic tastes, and even I don't know what I'll find appealing until I read it.

-- Content will not be censored if it's selected for posting, but I may attach an advisory and place most of the text after the jump.

-- Any illustrations or other visuals or audio must be your original creations.

-- The piece must be previously unpublished. By submitting it to Rufus on Fire, you agree to allow me to post it here, royalty-free, indefinitely. You also agree to give Rufus on Fire exclusive publishing rights for at least one week.

-- All decisions on which submissions will be published and which one will win the Grand Prize will be made by me, David Arnott, and they're final.

Again, the submission deadline is 12:00 noon on July 1. Send your stories to

I'm looking forward to what you have to offer. I know we're going to see some wonderful stuff.

(* and CoinStar are completely unaffiliated with this contest. I just like being able to buy books and other stuff with my spare change.)