It’s that time of year again, when we challenge you wordsmiths to the agonizing task of distilling your most heartbreaking, staggering thoughts of genius down to a mere 119 words—or less. The Alibi’s Flash Fiction contest is an opportunity to convey vast meaning through sparse text. Usually, we leave the topical field wide open, but we’ve amended the rules a bit this year. Here they are:
• No more than two entries per contestant.
• Prompt 1: a dead cat, an old car and a backyard at sunset
• Prompt 2: a red dress, a local celebrity and a rattlesnake
• Prompt 3: 20 words or less
• Prompt 4: Disregard the other prompts and go freeform.
Title your works and email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail them to / drop them off at the Alibi office (413 Central NW, Albuquerque, NM, 87102). Deadline is Monday, May 28, at 4 p.m. Winners receive prizes including books and gift certificates, and their tiny tales will be published in the June 14 issue.
The Return of TED
TED is about spreading big ideas. You might be familiar with the global nonprofit and inspirational series through its myriad YouTube videos, starring the likes of Al Gore and Bill Gates. Albuquerque’s iteration, TEDxABQ, returns to the National Hispanic Cultural Center this September, and the event has an open call for speakers and performers through mid-May. The criteria is simple, and the parameters are limitless: If you have an important idea that you’d like to share with New Mexicans and the world at large (as all the talks go viral), pitch it to the folks at TEDxABQ. For inspiration, last year’s series included Hakim Bellamy on teaching poetry in classrooms and Dr. Ries Robinson on a method of using light technology to replace breathalyzers in drunk driving cases. Sometimes the performances are mixed media. Musician Todd Eric Lovato, for example, integrated a comedic monologue on music writing with a banjo song he wrote about writing music. TEDxABQ is looking for three- to 18-minute talks. If your idea is selected, public speaking coaches from Toastmasters International will help you prepare your performance. Aside from it being an exceptional learning and knowledge-sharing forum, every step of the process is completely free. Apply at tedxabq.com, or contact Julia Mandeville at email@example.com or 343-6636.