Showdown! "My Chengdu Story" competition heads into final week of submissions

Culture | by James Weir
Posted: June 4th, 2012 | Updated: June 4th, 2012 | Comments

Ctrip writing contest

Chengdu writing contest Here at the Shanghai, we've been dreaming of Chengdu. Not that we don't like it here, of course. We would never allege such a thing. But that isn't to say that there isn't a thing or two that Shanghai could learn from Chengdu. There is always more to learn. But what is really keeping our thoughts on Chengdu, at least this month, is the Sichuan's capital city and the general landscape of the region. Next week we transition from the submission period into the first round of judgment: online votes will be cast with the ferocity of single pandas searching for a mate. Actually, we hope that it's much more ferocious than that. But before the submission period ends this Friday, 8 June 2012, we hope that some more of you will send us a thing or three. Make yourself heard. Vent. Muse. Pontificate. Preach. Scream. (OR JUST WRITE IN ALL CAPS IF YOU DON'T FEEL LIKE PEPPERING YOUR STORY WITH COLORFUL AND DESCRIPTIVE ADJECTIVES. WRITING IN ALL CAPS IS INCREDIBLY EFFECTIVE AT CONVEYING THE NOTION THAT YOU ARE YELLING.) These are only a few of the angles you could take. The world is your plate of tofu, your bowl of uncooked rice, and the keyboard is your chopsticks. Race to the bottom, one witty, poignant, heart-breaking grain at a time. More from the contest after the jump....
So today we'll be looking at a few selections of what we've received so far. You can browse all the submissions by genre: fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Let's have a look at a few from our fiction section.
Jeff had been in Chengdu for the past four days. He had paused there on his tour across the great culture jungle of the People’s Republic of Crazy, mainly because Chengdu has a shit-load of pandas. Chengdu got pandas chillin’, got pandas scratching, got pandas sleeping, and pandas eating. Basically Chengdu got pandas just being pandas; the animal equivalent of ‘the Dude’. Chengdu isn’t only about furry things, although you can’t overlook its women who are also famous across China. As the capital of the mouth-on-fire Mecca that is Sichuan province, it possesses a legendary spicy hot-pot, and a compliment of equally spicy women. - Doug Boyd, "A Cynical Xiongmao" Landslides had eroded her family’s farmland, devouring generations of labor and leaving behind rotting debris in its wake. The mountains bore open wounds, their blood and plasma of stone and dirt exposed and strewn across the hillside. Once handsome, they now stood naked as if they were defiled by some earthly assassin. Li Mei’s father couldn’t bare the sight of the pillaged land so together they took up for a new life in the city. - Elias Witman, "The White Flower" We were conducting joint exercises with the Chinese. The man in the photograph was our contact, the CIA operative for the city. We called him Chengdu, since he had blended in so well with the city by the same name. Chengdu Richard, we called him. Chengdu didn't believe in joint operations. - Mahlon Meyer, "Killing Memory" Things had started getting strange with Helen right around the time Chongqing (and most of Sichuan, Qinghai, Gansu and Yunnan) split from the East. I heard stories of the Russians in Xinjiang and northern Tibet and I wondered how they all felt about that. It's hard to get good information since the cables got cut, and the focus is on the Eastern Front anyway. No one gives a shit about Tibet anymore. And Xinjiang? Lets be real- no one ever gave a shit about Xinjiang. There's less time for hollow pride when there's gunfire ringing out. - Roger P., "In from the PRC clouds spread"
There's more where that came from. Stay tuned for updates as the literary javelins are unsheathed and authors mount their steeds.
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