UPDATE 22 May 2012: The initial submission period has been extended one week; the period now ends 8 June 2012. Online voting will run from 11 June until 22 June 2012, with finalists announced on 25 June 2012. The winners will be announced the following week.
Ladies and gentlemen, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, scoundrels and vagrants, 当地人和外国人, poets and children, poets with children, vagrants with ladies, gather around and hear us: the time has come to take your late night ramblings, your hungover morning musings, your semi-coherent blog-babble, your deepest, most interesting thoughts and memories on the subject of Chengdu and put the pen to the paper. Write that ish down. Send it to us. Give your mother, your closest friends, your exes, give everyone the chance to think for a moment about how very special you are, how gifted, how brilliant. Win money. Win fame. Win full-body panda suits. Win my heart (maybe).
We are now accepting submissions for My Chengdu Story, a battle to the literary-death over cups of tea, semi-warm glasses of beer and plates of huí guō ròu (回鍋肉). The contest gates have opened; let the words flood in like armies to the battlefield.
The contest works like this: you drop the fly-est, most brilliant words your dainty little pen can muster. Take the spawn of your brain and enter the contest. There are three categories up for grabs—fiction, poetry and non-fiction; each entry must be at least tangentially related to Chengdu. Why, you ask? Because Chengdu is awesome, and so are you. It is, truly, a match made in heaven (or Sichuan, or wherever dreams are made). Learn more about the writing contest and how you can achieve eternal glory after the jump....
So you say you've never been to Chengdu. Fear not, little one, for all is not lost. Draft up a doozy of a poem about why you want to go to Chengdu. Write a fictional story about a man trying, fruitlessly, to get to that spicy Sichuan city of his dreams. Put together an interview with the homie from Chengdu you know from that store on your block that sells nothing but power strips and wicker brooms. Ask a girl from Chengdu out on a date and tell us how badly you blew it. The world is your Sichuan peppercorn.
Once you've captured the thoughts leaking out of your ears and entered said thoughts into the contest, kick back. Relax. Then, maybe, write some more. You can submit as many things as you want, and in all three categories if you are so inclined. Once the submission period is over, the China Travel editorial team will advance the best stories into the online voting period (voting online is from 4 June until 15 June, 2012). If more than one of your stories passes the initial gauntlet, congratulations—you are awesome and we love you. You are, however, only eligible to win one prize, and this will be taken into account when we tally the online votes and pass the finalists on to our crack panel of judges on 18 June, 2012.
Each category will have two winners: a top-dawg baller who will receive a RMB 2,000 Ctrip travel voucher, and a runner up who will receive a full body panda suit. So there will be three super-winners and three still-pretty-awesome-winners. That means six of you talented and beautiful people will be able to stand tall and talk down to your friends, at least until the next time you do something silly and are knocked down a peg or three. Think of it as reputation insurance as well as an opportunity to share your thoughts and win something.
So let the contest begin. Don't be scared—you are special, just like you've always suspected. Doubt yourself no longer, step forth, wield your pen like the axe of Glóin son of Gróin, and deal a literary-death blow to all who have the courage to stand between you and the prize of your dreams.