Self-discovery for someone is a profound and personal journey of understanding and embracing one's true self. And most of us find it a smooth journey, in most cases.

However, it can be a daunting task for individuals in the LGBTQ community. It involves recognising and accepting their sexual orientation and/or gender identity, which may differ from societal norms. This journey often includes confronting and overcoming internalised stigma and negative beliefs absorbed from societal prejudice. This process is deeply introspective and can be both challenging and liberating, as individuals work towards self-acceptance and a genuine expression of who they are.

This month, we invite and encourage you to write a story where LGBTQ love is the central theme, focusing on the journey of two individuals discovering and embracing their love for each other. Highlight the transformative power of love in fostering self-acceptance and resilience.

Prompt credit: Lalitha Ramanathan

Rules:

  1. The submitted story must be between 2500-5000 words (each). Entries lower than or exceeding the word limit will stand disqualified for the event. (Penmancy Tip: Use https://wordcounter.io/ to check your word count.)
  2. There is no limit to the number of entries you may submit- though only the first one of them will be eligible for the contest.
  3. Previously published or plagiarised works will not be considered for contention. The writer of such content stands to be disqualified for the next Penmancy event.
  4. AI generated content stands invalid for the contest. Repeated offenders will be barred from participation in Penmancy events.
  5. Stories found to have been shared on another writing platform or blog before the declaration of results stand disqualified from the event. Kindly check the Terms of Use for details. You may share the story on your blog wih a backlink to Penmancy’s original published post.
  6. In case a story is received after the submission deadline, it shall be considered as a guest entry and shall not qualify for the contest.

Winning criteria:

  1. The winner will be chosen on the basis of the judges’ scores (out of 10)
    • plot/story/creativity (15 points)
    • language/grammar (10 points)
    • narrative voice & content (9 points)
    • emotional impact, (8 points)
    • characterisation (8 points)
  2. The entries adjudged by a panel of judges and event organisers shall be binding. Judges’ scores to be deemed final and may not be contested or sought from the Penmancy team.
  3. All writers are required to read and comment on 5 stories other than their own and encourage their fellow writers with valuable and constructive inputs. Comments like ‘nice’, ‘good work’, ‘brilliant piece’, etc., do not provide the necessary critique and are not helpful to anyone.
  4. Only stories that garnered and average score/rating of 7.5 and above, as aggregated on judges’ scores, shall be eligible for winning.
  5. Contest Duration
    The submission for the contest is open from June 1 to June 30, 2024.
    Results for the event shall be shared on July 7, 2024, at 8:00 pm.

Top three winners will receive a copy of the book ‘Cupid@Corporate’ by Meenakshi M Singh.