Thursday, July 18, 2019

Chicanonautica: How to Win the Second Annual Extra-Fiction Contest

Somos en escrito, The Latino Literary Online Magazine is doing a second annual Extra-Fiction Contest. So if you’re an American writer of indigenous-hispanic background (Native American, Chicanan, Latina/o/x) born in the USA or from Latin America residing in the USA, and write in English, Spanish of Ingléspañol, click that link and check it out.

Also, like last year, I, your humble Father of Chicano Science Fiction will be the judge, picking the winners.

To give you La Bloga readers an edge, I’m going to give you some advice on how to win this contest.

First, I really don’t have anything in mind as to what I’m looking for. I’m keeping my mind open. Wide open.

Next, I’m hoping to get my mind blown. This isn’t easy. I’ve been soaking my brain in all kinds of weird stuff since I was a toddler in East L.A. back in the Nineteen-Fifties. 

This shouldn’t be a problem for writers from la Raza. Rasquache--dare I say recomboculture?--has been a tradition for us since Teotihuacán.

Maybe farther back. Lately I’ve been thinking that the Bering Strait land bridge wasn’t the only way that people got onto these two great, big continents on this hemisphere. Different peoples from different places were pretty good at navigating the oceans going way back to prehistoric times. They came here, met up, made war and love the way people do . . .

There are probably some story ideas there . . .

Then there are my visions of the intergalactic barro . . .

But I digress, and oddly enough it brings me back to my point. The whole Latinoid continuum of cultures, civilizations is so vast, so diverse, so volatile. A bubbling cauldron brewing up the creativity that dances through our DNA.

Last year, when deciding which of the finalists would win, I went for originality. They were all good stories. I liked them. Some of them were more of the usual stuff you see in every anthology of Latinx fiction we’ve been seeing over the years. First prize went to the most far-out, they one that showed me things I had never seen before.

After all, this an Extra-Fiction contest. Not the usual, the routine, but something extraordinary.

So maybe you a story that is just too bizarre that most markets won’t touch it (I have a lot of those), or have an idea keep tucked away because, well, maybe it’s just goes too far, that is what I want to see.
Take the chains that Anglo-dominated society puts on your Latinoid imagination and let it run wild.
I’ll be here, waiting, with my mind ready to boggle.

Ernest Hogan is the author of High Aztech, “PeaceCon,” and is working on Zyx; Or, Bring Me the Brain of Victor Theremin.

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