A Unique Creative Writing Contest

2writing contest

Background

First published in December of 2014, Lies for the Entire Family is a book for all ages that combines humor, education, and art. The book consists of 15 stories that creatively weave elements of truth and imagination (fiction and non-fiction) in a way that makes it hard to distinguish which is which, kind of like life.
The first edition can be purchased through Create Space and Amazon.com. Click here to purchase.
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Each story is themed to explain the origin of a word, a phrase, or how something came to be. Some stories are plays on words (Royalties/Royal Teas), while others are origin-based (Fluoride) or just stories about the topic that weave fantasy and reality together.

The first edition was authored by Sachin Mayi, founder of Mayi Enterprises. Mayi is also the founder of the Share-A-Pet Organization, www.shareapet.org and the Pawsitive Reading Program that assists kids with developmental reading problems through the use of certified therapy dogs.
Mayi wants to inspire the rebirth of creative writing by inviting others, especially teens 14-18, to join him in creating and sharing imaginative stories that incorporate elements of truth.

Process of Writing Your Story

The following process is recommended for authoring a Lies For The Entire Family story:

  • Read Lies For The Entire Family (a minimum of 5 stories is required)
  • Brainstorm a list of words, phrases and places as a class
  • Choose a word, phrase or place that inspires your creative thinking
  • Develop a fictional story in your mind of how that word, phrase or place name came to be
  • Develop an outline of your story
  • Research the actual origin of the word, phrase or place you chose, and list as much truth as possible
  • Combine both, weaving a seamless tale of fact and fiction
  • Proof, edit, and polish your story

Advice from Sachin

If you get stuck or have a question:

  • Understand great stories take time and are not written in one sitting
  • Try creating a YouTube video of yourself telling the story when you are done.  If it is fun to tell, it is fun to read!  This is an extra step that may help you finalize your story.
  • If you want a little personal coaching, you may contact the author directly at:  Sachin@SachinMayi.com

 

 

The Criteria For Judging

  • Word, phrase or place name must be real
  • Stories should be creative and polished to perfection
  • Stories should be original (no plagiarism)
  • Stories should be between 700 – 1000 words
  • Collaboration with other writers is OK, but each story can only have one
    author (no joint submissions)
  • Stories should arouse interest and curiosity, inspiring your reader so much that they may actually research your tale to determine what is fact and what is fiction
  • Have fun with it!!

Timeline

This timeline may be altered at the discretion of the teacher/facilitator.
Week 1 Introduce exercise. Review process & criteria. Brainstorm as a class. Jot notes for story ideas. Share/collaborate to broaden ideas if desired.
Week 2 Begin writing fictional elements of story. Conduct research.
Week 3 Weave together fact & fiction. Complete story.
Week 4 Edit, polish, finalize.

Stories are to be sent to Sachin Mayi via email. Send Mail
Sachin will select the top three stories, and award honorariums. The top three places will be sent:

  • A copy of Sachin’s book Lies for the Entire Family
  • A copy of another of Sachin’s books called 101 Salvations
  • A waived entry fee for the actual 2016 writing contest*

Flouride

by Sachin Mayi, “Lies for the Entire Family”
Flouride is the substance that toothpaste manufacturers began promoting 60 years ago to boost toothpaste sales. It is still used in toothpastes today and was named after Sebastian de la Florida of Spain, a scientist by trade. But this whitening chemical was not the only thing named after him. He had a marshy land that was discovered by Juan Ponce de Leon while searching for Fountain of Youth in 1513, named after him as well. 

Read Entire Story from the first edition

Juan is the guy who discovered America when he landed on the shore of southeastern USA at what we now know as Florida. Juan and his men were looking for something very special, the mystical fountain whose waters would preserve the youth of anyone who drank of it. They found that this land was filled with beautiful palm trees and wonderful beaches, the aspects of Florida that are treasured today by both residents and tourists.

But these were not the treasures that Juan Ponce de Leon and his men were looking for. Juan was determined to find the fountain of youth and after some time he was sure that he had found it. His excitement waned quickly however when he found out that there were a whole lot of alligators swimming around in his treasured fountain.

Florida was a swampy marshland and was, and still is, home to many alligators. Even today people have to be careful about any open body of water in Florida besides their own swimming pool because there is a good chance an alligator or two may reside there.

Juan wanted to do his experiments on the water, and the presence of alligators was making his research a bit too treacherous. If he was going to impress anyone back home with the fountain’s healing properties, he would need to rid this march of its predators enough to get the pure samples that he needed.

This led to an all out battle between his men and the gators. The battle lasted for almost two years and cost Juan Ponce de Leon the lives of half of his men.

Alligators are great at hunting and even better at surviving. As a matter of fact, they are one of the creatures on the planet today that have lasted since the early dinosaur age. But Juan persisted tooth and nail, and after two years, succeeded in collecting his samples from the fountain of youth.

Having what he wanted, Juan and his surviving crew packed up their gear and set sail home to Spain to report his findings. Not wanting to show up with only water from his trip, and needing to have a reason why it took him two whole years to return, Juan decided he better bring the heads of the killed alligators with him to lend credence to his story.

In spite of his amazing discovery, his return did not go well. Juan was reprimanded by the Spanish Court for bringing back outlandish stories and reptile heads instead of gold, treasures, and conquered new lands.

As Juan was trying to plead his case and get someone – anyone, to listen to his story about the discovered magical fountain, he kept noticing all the magistrates staring at the alligator heads. Ignoring Juan, the magistrates began whispering amongst themselves and soon they all were staring fixedly at the alligator heads.

Juan was confused. He heard them talking about the alligator teeth and was very surprised to find that the Spanish government seemed more interested in the teeth of the alligators than they did in the fact that one of their great explorers had found new land and a magical fountain.

Juan kept holding up the water, but no one listened or cared. It turns out that the Spanish Court was mesmerized that these gators had some of the whitest teeth that anyone had ever seen, and certainly ever seen in the mouth of a wild animal.

They stopped the meeting and had the teeth sent to the Royal Laboratories immediately. The teeth were examined by the scientist Sebastian de la Florida who found that the alligator teeth were covered by a natural chemical that kept them shiny and white.

This was fluoride.

Fluoride would have perhaps been Juan Ponce de Leon’s most famous discovery since it originated from his explorations overseas, but the Spanish government dismissed him without any recognition and told him that he could go back and continue his research if he wanted to.

The Spanish Court knew that they had found a substance that could bring them much fame and wealth. They were happy. Juan of course was in utter disbelief, so he hesitated and asked unbelievingly, “Is that all?”

The court looked at him and then looked at Sebastian de la Florida holding the alligator’s beautiful white teeth. They smiled at Sebastian knowing that their own teeth would soon be shiny and white and then turned back to Juan and replied, “Oh, yes, and you can name the new land Florida.” And so it was.

Note: Juan Ponce de Leon did in fact find the fountain of youth and would stay young and healthy well into his 100s. Towards the end of his life he was often heard mumbling something about those stinking alligators. Somewhere in Florida, the alligators guard the precious fountain to this day. If you happen to find it, you may want to leave the alligators behind when reporting your discovery.

fluor·ide

  1. Fluoride is the anion F-, the reduced form of fluoride. Fluoride is found naturally in low concentration in fresh water where certain reptiles are known to inhabit.
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