Summer's in full swing, the fish are running, and you know what that means: the hugely popular "Ode to a Dead Salmon" bad writing contest is back for its fourth season. Take a look at last year's finalists, sharpen your pencils and follow that smell. We want your best worst writing, submitted to runningfoxbooks@gmail.com between July 23 and August 5, 2013.

The idea for the contest, which began in 2010, came from a 49 Writers interview with Alaska's former Writer Laureate Nancy Lord, who said that in her early years of writing she realized that she needed to get beyond mining the same myths - 'odes to dead salmon,' poet John Haines once called them. This year, the good folks at 49 Writers have bequeathed the Ode to a Dead Salmon bad writing contest to us at Running Fox Books. We think it's a perfect fit. Our office is in Alaska, and we like to think we have a nose for bad writing, since it's what we've set out to conquer with a venture that aggregates quality books.

In past years, the Ode to a Dead Salmon contest has attracted bad writing from all over the world. No matter how stinky, every submission gets its day in the sun, posted here for the world to enjoy. And our rotten winners have gotten some great press, including a write-up in Alaska Magazine.
So it's time to do it all over again. We want your best tongue-in-cheek "Ode to a Dead Salmon" bad writing, poetry or prose, fiction or non. We'll publish all entries at our Ode to a Dead Salmon webpage so the world can read them, and we'll post the finalists here, with links from the Running Fox website and all the usual social media places. And yes, there will be prizes. But the main goal, of course, is to have fun.

The rules:

1. We reserve the right to exclude entries deemed unfit for posting. (But if you don't receive an email confirmation of your submission, do let us know at runningfoxbooks@gmail.com.)
2. We need your real name and real email address. If you want your entry to be posted under a pseudonym or left anonymous, make that clear in your email.
3. No more than three entries per person.
4. No more than 800 words per entry (shorter is just fine with us: limerick, haiku, opening lines). 
5. Entries must be your own original work.
6. You keep the copyright, of course, but by entering you're giving us permission to post.
7. This is our contest. We make the rules (that's the beauty of blogging, folks), and the rules may change as we see fit. We'll let you know if they do.
8. We accept only Word documents or submissions embedded in the email text. Submissions MUST be single spaced, Times New Roman, with NO paragraph indentations; instead of indenting, please space between paragraphs. If the formatting is not correct, your submission will not be considered.
9. All entries must be emailed to runningfoxbooks@gmail.com by midnight on August 5, 2013. Finalists will be posted on August 12, and voting ends August 19, with official recognition of the winner on August 22..