I usually post about this so I thought I’d share it again this year. I signed at least one author from querying her via this contest after I’d read her entry.

2008 Contest: DIALOGUE CAN SAY IT ALL…

This year’s Scarlet Boa Contest gives you an opportunity to strut your characters’ verbal stuff. Put that action into words and let us hear a gem from your story.

From ten finalists, one winner will be voted on by readers to receive the coveted Scarlet Boa and Award Certificate, and three more writers will each receive an Honorable Mention. One lucky reader/voter, chosen at random on August 17 during a live Writerspace chat, will also be the winner of a boa–color, a surprise!

RULES:

a. Write a scene in dialogue between two characters.
b. You may use dialogue tags.
c. Use 1,000 words or less.
d. You may submit more than one entry.

The Scarlet Boa contest is open to published and non-published authors alike. Submit your entry (500-1000 words). We’ll accept submissions until August 1st and start posting links to them below.

Important dates:

July 10 through August 1: Submissions accepted
August 5: Submissions posted online
August 5-12: Voting (first round)
August 13: Finalists announced
August 13 thru August 16: Voting (2nd round)
August 17: Winner announced in a LIVE chat at Writerspace at 10p EST!

Example Scene from CYPRESS NIGHTS by Stella Cameron–Coming July 29!:

“I knew it,” Roche said to Bleu. “You’ve got a secret life. I didn’t know this place existed. But I don’t get out much.”

Her laugh was more embarrassed than amused. “You ought to change that,” she said, her voice all but lost in the heavy blues beat from a small, gravelly group on the stage. “You know what a woman of the world I am–flitting around the countryside every night. If you’re looking for the latest hot spot, just call me.”

He put his elbows on the table in their booth and grinned at her–not that she was likely to see the finer points of his facial expression in the gloom. “Auntie’s, huh? Interesting place. When’s the last time you were here?”

She inclined her head, “Well–when I remember, I’ll let you know.”

Her choice made Bleu uncomfortable. Rather than ask for advice, she had picked a place out of the Lafayette telephone book. Fine dining and music sounded great, but now she wasn’t sure exactly what it was supposed to mean. .

“I like all the red,” Roche said.

“It is very red in here,” Bleu said. In fact, everything was red, including the lighting. Velvet covered booths, tablecloths and napkins, walls, hanging glass lamps, carpets, the abbreviated sequined tuxedos worn by the wait staff–male and female.

“I like the music, too,” Roche said.

Bleu listened and nodded. “Me, too.” Even if it was suggestive and heavily moody.

A waiter, his chest bare under his jacket but with a bow-tie in place, lighted a candle on the table. “Is this your first time at Auntie’s?” he asked.

“Yes,” Bleu said at once and bowed her head.

Roche laughed and echoed, “Yes.” He asked her if she liked champagne and ordered a bottle when she said she did. Bart, who would be “looking after them,” giggled and told them to “trust him,” with “nibbles.”

“I’m sorry,” Bleu said when they were alone again. “I was trying to be sophisticated and find a nice place. This is awful.”

“Don’t be sorry,” Roche said. “I want to be with you and I don’t care where that is.” He flexed muscles in his jaw. He couldn’t seem to stop himself from being too honest around this woman.

Bleu looked sideways at him. Her eyes shone in the candlelight and there wasn’t a hint of a smile on her face.

“Did I just say too much?”

“No,” she said. “I’d have to be fool to think that was too much. I wanted to be with you, too. That’s why I chased after you the way I did.”

“D’you want to tell me what changed your mind about coming out with me? Or being anywhere at all with me, alone?”

Bart arrived with a champagne bucket, complete with bottle up to its neck in ice, and glasses. The “nibbles” were a small dish of nuts and another of pretzel sticks.

“How about some oysters to go with that?” Bart asked and winked at Roche.

“Yes,” Bleu said. “We’d like that, wouldn’t we?”

Roche nodded. If he suggested they go somewhere else she would be mortified. And he’d meant what he said about only wanting to be with her. He prayed things were as sleazy as they were going to get.

The champagne wasn’t bad. Roche felt almost ridiculously grateful, and pleased when he saw Bleu wrinkle her nose and look happy. He’d have to remember that bubbles relaxed her.

There were all kinds of bubbles . . .

Her dress, simple, white, sleeveless with a round neck and straight skirt couldn’t have looked better if it had been designed for her. Her only jewelry was a pair of crystal earrings that shot sparks of reflected red across her neck.

He drank deeply. Tonight he was Mr. Model Date. He would not do anything but be respond to her, with restraint. Tonight he would prove how unthreatening he could be.

“This is good,” Bleu said. Champagne wasn’t something she’d had often but she liked it. Roche, relaxed, more approachable than she ever remembered him, smiled back at her and managed to turn her heart more times than could be good for it.

He’d removed his black silk sport coat and his hair looked a little damp and very dark against an open-necked white shirt.

She would not start telling herself she didn’t belong with a man like him.

Things were going to change with her. She would get past putting herself down and learn to feel desirable again. With enough guts she could let go of her fear of getting close to a man–to this man.

“Oysters off your starboard side,” Roche muttered.

She didn’t have a chance to move her head before “Shelly” arrived, also without a shirt beneath her sequined jacket.

“I’m going to make these easy for you,” Shelly said, leaning over the table until Bleu found the only safe place to look was at her own hands.

Shelly shucked oysters like a pro. “What else can I do for you?” she said.

“I can’t think of a thing,” Roche said, doing his best to avoid a view of naked breasts some plastic surgeon must have ordered special implants for.

He saw Bleu glance up and take a deep breath. Now hers were the breasts he wanted to see naked.

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