Got ideas? Enter contest
Posted: Wednesday, January 21, 2009 8:01 pm
I have a confession. I’m out of ideas. It’s mid-January. My feet are cold. My skin is pale and dry. I think I’m in hibernation. I affectionately call this time period, “the lazy days of winter.” After typing just those first few sentences, I already feel a nap coming on. This time every year I begin to question myself. Maybe I’m not disciplined enough to be a writer. Maybe I’m not creative enough to keep the columns coming. Maybe the well of ideas has permanently run dry and I need to throw in the towel. But, no. I have a much better idea.
I believe you can help me. I believe the readers of this column are bright and insightful and ready to help a poor hibernating newspaper columnist. I’m sure some of you have said over coffee, “Gertrude, I need to send this idea to Lisa Smartt.” Maybe some of you have thought, “Someone needs to write a humor column about that.” Do any of you have a funny uncle whose antics are just a newspaper column waiting to happen? Maybe there’s a societal woe that you think needs to be addressed in column form. Well, friend, today’s your lucky day. Your time has come.
I’m officially opening up the first-ever “Help Lisa Smartt write a newspaper column” contest. I’m dead serious. No, you don’t have to be a writer. No, you don’t have to understand grammar rules or be a good speller. No, you don’t have to write the column yourself. I will gladly write the column. I’m just searching for topics, funny ideas ... inspiration. Maybe your idea can be summed up in a sentence or even a sentence fragment. Maybe you need to write a full paragraph. I don’t care. I’m not picky. I’m just asking you to send a column idea.
While I believe many of you would do this out of the goodness of your heart, I’m prepared to offer a prize to the winning entry. Yep! The winner of the “Help Lisa Smartt write a newspaper column” contest will win a six-month subscription to the newspaper. Yes, I’ll be providing the prize myself. Like all contests, there must be a set of rules which are usually read quickly by someone with a high-pitched voice at the end of a television commercial.
OFFICIAL RULES OF ENTRY: Must be a U.S. citizen (OK, not really.) No age restrictions. My cousins and extended family members are not eligible. I, Lisa Smartt, am the sole judge and jury concerning the contest. Entrants automatically give me permission to use their ideas in future newspaper columns. Each entrant must be willing to have his/her name declared as the winner of the idea contest unless, because of content, the word “anonymous” would be more appropriate. All entries must be e-mailed or postmarked by Feb. 2. Send your column ideas by e-mail to email@example.com or by mail to 300 Parrott Road, Dresden, TN 38225. Unfortunately, I won’t be renting a van and showing up at your house with balloons and roses. But I GREATLY appreciate the help. Thanks for sending your ideas and for helping me get through these “lazy days of winter.”
Editor’s note: Lisa Smartt’s column appears each Wednesday in the Friends and Neighbors section of The Messenger. Mrs. Smartt is the wife of Philip Smartt, the University of Tennessee at Martin parks and recreation and forestry professor, and is mother to two boys, Stephen and Jonathan. She is a freelance writer and speaker. Her book “The Smartt View: Life, Love, and Cluttered Closets” is available at The Messenger, The University of Tennessee at Martin bookstore or by mail for $10, plus $2 shipping. Send checks to Lisa Smartt, 300 Parrott Road, Dresden TN 38225. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 1.21.09