Tag Archives: write a fortune cookie fortune

Fortune cookie fortune writing contest prize books announced, entries due June 15


PORTSMOUTH, Va. – There are less than two weeks left until the entry period ends for the 2012 Fortune Cookie Fortune Writing Contest, so if you haven’t sent your submission(s) via email to jhdouc@verizon.net yet you’re missing out on a chance to win copies of some terrific books.

This year’s prizes include the following books. Most of them by authors featured at the blog. Each book is autographed by the author.

  • Norton Girault’s short story collection Out Among the Rooster Men
  • Dana Heller’s Hairspray, a study of the film by John Waters
  • Connie Sage’s biography Frank Batten: The Untold Story of the Founder of the Weather Channel 
  • Two copies of Tim Seibles’ new poetry volume Fast Animal
  • Wells Tower’s short story collection Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned

The first place winner picks three books. Second place picks two of the remainder. Third place gets what’s left.

I’m hoping to add a few additional prizes. I hope you’ll enter as often as you like. I’ve enjoyed reading the entries so far.

Again, the official rules can be found at this link. For a taste of last year’s winners, click on this link.

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UPDATED: Announcing the 2012 Fortune Cookie Fortune Writing Contest


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April 3

I’m now taking entries for the 2012 Fortune Cookie Fortune Writing Contest. Deadline is June 15.

Additionally, I’m pleased to say Fair Grounds Coffee on the upstairs of 806 Baldwin Ave., on the corner of Baldwin and Colley avenues in Norfolk, will display winners and runners up in July.

Details on the national tour to come when people start returning my calls anywhere.

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Imaginary Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that the second annual Fortune Cookie Fortune Writing Contest submission and reading period begins next month.

I’m taking submissions from April 2 until June 15, with winners to be announced here at the blog on Monday, July 2. As with last year’s contest, I’ll pick the finalists and judges-to-be-named-later will vote “blind” for their favorites.

I hope get more visual art entries this year, but getting any entries at all brings its own special joy. The winners and runners up will be displayed at a Norfolk-area business. I’m still working out the details there, but hope to have more information soon.

Should nobody enter, we will pretend this did not happen. Just like my junior prom at Cranston High School East. Go Bolts.

Don’t want to enter? Suit yourself, cupcake. But before you go, do consider this persuasive and entirely solicited testimonial from last year’s winner, the Marylander di tutti Marylander who is called Gary Potterfield by all who are introduced to him as such. Get ready for gravitas:

A warning to anyone contemplating entry into the 2012 Fortune Cookie Fortune Writing contest. Run. Just put down the chop sticks and run. For if you should win your life will never be the same.

Ever since I won last year’s contest, hardly a day goes by that I’m reminded of my victory. In fact, entire seasons go by and I’m not reminded of it. Immediately after the announcement, I began to receive more than 100 emails per day, none of which had anything to do with fortune cookies or cookies of any kind.

I can count at least 2,372 people who have not asked for my autograph, and that’s a low estimate. 

I think my victory has even affected the time-space continuum. The February immediately following the contest explicably had 29 days. 

Clearly, we need to bring the title back to the Virginia. May God bless the Commonwealth that is not Kentucky, Massachusetts or Pennsylvania. Yes, as the kids say, the preceding sentence was a parochialist U.S. state designation burn.

Click here to see the full official rules, such as they are. (Please bookmark this link for updates.)

Click here to see last year’s winners, and the runners up, too.

Here are the basic guidelines, from the official rules:

In this test of skill and conciseness, readers contribute (hopefully) clever or artistic fortune or fortunes of their own creation to me via email to jhdouc@verizon.net – not in the comments, please.

Funny fortunes. Clever fortunes. Poetic fortunes. Artistic fortunes. Silly fortunes. Sad fortunes. Angry fortunes. Your hopes and dreams, your fears and foibles. Whatever way you want to approach it. It just has to fit on or to the form of a fortune slip, so please keep it to about 30 words or less. Cartoons, (original) comic strips, photos, and artwork all are encouraged, not just the written word – it just has to fit into a fortune cookie fortune sized space, such as this:

There will be modest prizes of my choosing, including signed books by authors previously featured on this blog. Last year’s prizes included Ted Danson and Mike D’Orso‘s Oceana and Earl Swift‘s The Big Roads. There also may be prizes from local businesses in the Hampton Roads area. Or maybe not. Details to come when the reading period nears.

Please enter early and often, and maybe tell your friends.

This message is pretend approved for immediate release by the Imaginary Board of Trustees.

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Fortune winners, runners up will remain on display at Kerouac Cafe


Citizens of earth encounter 2011 Fortune Cookie of the Damned fortune writing contest entries on the walls of Kerouac Cafe, Norfolk, Va.

The exhibit of 2011 Forfune Cookie of the Damned fortune writing contest will stay up at Kerouac Cafe in Norfolk, Va., through most of July, not just a week, as I’d initially thought.

I found out during an informal gathering last night at Kerouac, 617 W. 35th St., Norfolk. No formal end date, but they’ll be up a couple more weeks than anticipated.

First place winner Gary Potterfield was not in the area. Third place winner Christopher Scott-Brown was not available. But second place winner Will Harris was on hand to get his prizes.

A brief video of the festivities follows, and you can see winners and runners up at this link to the earlier post on the contest:

Many thanks again to those who offered donations, discounts, and/or other considerations for the prizes: Prince Books, Naro Expanded Video, Kerouac Cafe, Local Heroes, Mike D’Orso, and Earl Swift.

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Fortune writing contest winners revealed; display opens tonight at Kerouac Cafe; bears quicker, more cunning with E-ZPass


And the winners are …

Hold on.

Let’s just acknowledge that this post, true to form for this blog, buries the lede deeper than a wannabe New Yorker scribe unpacking his first anecdote.

The 2011 Fortune Cookie of the Damned Fortune Writing Contest is over.

Entries were funny, fun, creative, and some other words, too. So thanks. You kept me smiling while I judged this past week at the Poconos Woodland Castle of Judging between diligently editing short stories, attending Wawayanda, N.Y., town council work sessions, researching the American black bear, and such. Because I know how to party.

Naturally, the winners were paw-carried back to Virginia by Keystone State bears. You should have seen them on the Delaware Memorial Bridge. Aside from one brief misunderstanding in the E-ZPass lanes, they were so adorable you could eat them up. Which you should do, preemptively, before the bears turn that notion around on you. Remember: Now that they have E-ZPass, the bears are especially quick and more cunning than ever before.

And the winners are …

Hold on. More about pretend bears avoiding the exact change and cash/receipts toll lanes? No? Pity.

First, some housekeeping: Many thanks to those who offered donations, discounts, and/or other considerations for the prizes: Prince Books, Naro Expanded Video, Kerouac Cafe, Local Heroes, Mike D’Orso, and Earl Swift. Please buy their books and do business with them and so forth. They rock.

Second, a plug: Anybody available is invited to an informal gathering at Kerouac Cafe in Norfolk, Va., at 8 p.m., July 1, at Kerouac Cafe, 617 W. 35th St., Norfolk. Free admission. Coffee, tea, lattes, iced drinks are available for sale, and there may be some eats.There will be a mini-exhibit of the winners and prizes will be handed to winners who can make it. Most of the entrants will be on display, too. Entries remain up for a whole week. I now have word that the exhibit will stay up through most of July.

Third, thanks to my fellow members of the Great Panel of Judgment – Mike D’Orso, Cate Doucette, Cortney Doucette, Oliver Mackson, and Earl Swift. There were more than 50 fortunes submitted, and 13 finalists. The first place winner had three of the six first-place votes by the judges. The judges besides me judged only fortunes, as I stripped out the names before giving them the finalists to consider.

Okay. Enough of that. Without further ado:

FIRST PLACE

Gary Potterfield, operations director of a PR firm; Waldorf, Md.

SECOND PLACE

Will Harris, pop culture obsessive; Chesapeake, Va.

THIRD PLACE

Christopher Scott-Brown, bookseller; Virginia

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Geoff Ahlberg, senior network engineer for Endeca Technologies; Malden, Mass.

Dani Al-Basir, artist and poet; Norfolk, Va.

Dani Al-Basir, artist and poet; Norfolk, Va.

Brendan Beary, working for The Man; Great Mills, Md.

Brendan Beary, working for The Man; Great Mills, Md.

Peter Carnevale, ambulance driver; Providence, R.I.

Peter Carnevale, ambulance driver; Providence, R.I.

Peter Carnevale, ambulance driver; Providence, R.I.

Ian Couch, Old Dominion University MFA student; Norfolk, Va.

Ian Couch, Old Dominion University MFA student; Norfolk, Va.

John-Henry Doucette, scribbler; Portsmouth, Va.

John-Henry Doucette, scribbler; Portsmouth, Va.

John-Henry Doucette, scribbler; Portsmouth, Va.

Will Harris, pop culture obsessive; Chesapeake, Va.

Will Harris, pop culture obsessive; Chesapeake, Va.

Blake Hunt, working writer; Norfolk, Va.

Judy Le, editor; Norfolk, Va.

Ian Martin, photographer; Northern California

Ian Martin, photographer; Northern California

Chris Mele, executive editor of The Pocono Record; Stroudsburg, Pa.

Angelina Maureen, fine artist; Norfolk, Va.

Michael Nixon; Norfolk, Va.

Michael Nixon; Norfolk, Va.

Gary Potterfield, operations director of a PR firm; Waldorf, Md.

Gary Potterfield, operations director of a PR firm; Waldorf, Md.

Gary Potterfield, operations director of a PR firm; Waldorf, Md.

Gary Potterfield, operations director of a PR firm; Waldorf, Md.

Barbara Russel; Chesapeake, Va.

Bob Voros, graphic artist; Norfolk, Va.

Bob Voros, graphic artist; Norfolk, Va.

Bob Voros, graphic artist; Norfolk, Va.

Thanks everybody. I think I’ll try this again next summer.

In bed.

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Fortune writing contest party, exhibition July 1 at Kerouac Cafe


Winners for the ongoing 1st Annual Fortune Cookie of the Damned Fortune Writing Contest will be named Friday, July 1, here on the blog.

Additionally, the winners who can make it will get their prizes during an informal gathering at Kerouac Cafe in Norfolk, Va., at 8 p.m. that night. There will be a mini-exhibit of the winners. Most – if not all – of the entrants will be on display.

And I will give a 30 minute interpretive dance performance entitled “Deny Me Not My Shasta.” Oh, wait. I will not do that.

We will have a little party, though, and it will be driven by a perfectly legal psychoactive stimulant called caffeine. We’ve got a chunk of wall reserved, so keep those entries coming.

Well after our communal kidneys deal with all that coffee, this breathtaking exhibition of writing and visual art genius will remain up for a whole week, so you’re covered if you just want to run by Kerouac Cafe to hoist a cup of joe and gaze upon a chunk of wall until the tears of eternal wonder come and go and come again.

Again, the gathering is at 8 p.m., Friday, July 1, at Kerouac Cafe, 617 W. 35th St., Norfolk. Free admission. Coffee, tea, lattes, iced drinks, and some eats will be available for purchase.

Festivities will last no later that 10 p.m., largely because I am not as young as I used to be. But feel free to come earlier and stay later. Kerouac Cafe appreciates your business.

Several entries are already in. They come from as far off as Chesapeake, Va. Can Suffolk be far behind? I think not. Can I hear you Williamsburg? You bet I can. Gates County, N.C.? Will you bring it like the postman, Gates County? Hello? Oh, nuts.

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1st Annual Fortune Cookie of the Damned Fortune Writing Contest


On behalf of the Imaginary Board of Trustees, it is my honor and privilege to announce our 1st Annual Fortune Cookie of the Damned Fortune Writing Contest.

In this test of skill and conciseness, readers contribute (hopefully) clever fortune or fortunes of their own creation to me via email to jhdouc@verizon.net – not in the comments, please – and I take them and turn them into clunky, iPhoto-ed fortunes, such as the one above, and republish them here.

I’m looking for funny fortunes. Clever fortunes. Poetic fortunes. Silly fortunes. Sad fortunes. Angry fortunes. Your hopes and dreams, your fears and foibles. Whatever way you want to approach it. It just has to fit on a fortune slip, so please keep it to about 30 words or less. I’m open to cartoons, photos, or artwork, even – it just has to fit into a fortune cookie fortune sized space. For example, a font freak might go with this:

There will be modest prizes of my choosing, including first-edition, signed books by authors previously featured on this blog. Three winners will get prizes. I’ll probably publish more than three fortunes, but if you aren’t one of the three winners identified specifically as winner you won’t get a prize. I’m not saying you’re not a winner. Because you’re a winner. You just may not be a winner in this contest. Respect to the math.

If I get enough good entries, I’ll post a bunch of them here. If I don’t get any entries, we’ll just get on with our lives and pretend this never happened. Won’t speak of it. Won’t betray the shame. Won’t even make eye contact. Like after that thing in the summer of 1996.

The Imaginary Counsel to the Imaginary Board of Trustees would now like us to mention a few things under the banner of housekeeping. I now turn this post over to The Expositrope 9000, keeper of helpful information, boilerplate and disclaimers:

Greetings, Readers. I am The Expositrope 9000, keeper of helpful information, boilerplate and disclaimers. Confused? Let The Expisitrope 9000 explain. Ha ha ha. That was a joke.

Here is another joke. I, The Expositrope 9000, just flew in from Reno. Golly, are the arms of The Expositrope 9000 tired. Ha ha ha. I, The Expositrope 9000, do not hear you laughing. I, The Expositrope 9000, wonder if this imaginary microphone I am pretending to hold is on.

Now I, The Expositrope 9000, will now relay the rules of entry:

  1. All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m., June 15, via email to jhdouc@verizon.net. That’s the only way to enter. Comments are appreciated, and you can leave as many or few as your puny human flesh can handle, but those will not be considered for the contest. On this, I, The Expositrope 9000, am firm.
  2. Please include your name as you want it to appear on the blog, as well as what you do for a living, and your town and state of residence. Understand that this information may be published along with your entry.
  3. If you have a problem with having your hometown or full name on the blog, please include this in the email containing an entry/or entries. The Internet can be a scary place. Just let the author of this blog know.
  4. Submit entries in the text of your email to the author of this blog via jhdouc@verizon.net. You may submit by emailing files in the .doc, .docx, or .pdf formats. Please enter artwork in the .jpg or .png formats only. If you submit artwork in the .pdf format, it will lose a generation or two before it reaches the blog, and therefore will look lame.
  5. By entering, you agree to let the author of this blog publish your fortune, giving you and your fragile human ego full credit.
  6. As odd as it may be to state amid a come-on for such an unoriginal contest, please don’t plagiarise. The author of this blog tends to check for that sort of thing.
  7. This blog is for what puny humans call fun. This contest is for fun. Please keep it in that spirit.
  8. If you are related to the author of this blog by blood or marriage, you can’t win a prize, but you can still have a fortune published. I, The Expositrope 9000, hereby explain to you that the author of this blog is married, and has been for some time. You snooze, you lose.
  9. There will be three winners, all chosen by the author of this blog. It is totally subjective. Know that going in. Heed me, puny  bags of meat and bone. I, The Expositrope 9000, speak truth!

I, The Expositron 9000, will now relay the Rules of Civility:

  1. Don’t attack an individual, unless it’s the author of this blog. If that’s your bag, at least be funny about it.
  2. Please don’t use curse words. I, The Expositrope 9000, am not impressed by your potty mouth. I, The Expositrope 9000, have heard it all.
  3. No fortunes that are profane, sexually graphic, racist, etc., will see the electrons of day here. If you wouldn’t say it to your mom, don’t send it; if you send it anyway, don’t expect it to be acknowledged. If your mom is a bigot, think about what you would say to someone else’s mom so long as this other mom is not a bigot.
I, The Expositrope 9000, will now relay gratuitous exposition unrelated to the contest at issue above:
  1. There is so little that is known about Agent X. You might say he is a mysterious fellow with unclear motives … at least for now.
  2. Agent X makes his own rules by taking your rules and breaking them … emotionally. What a mysterious fellow with unclear motives.
  3. What could Agent X possibly want with our large pharmaceutical and venture capital conglomerate? Could it be the runoff at Sunny Creek? Could that be it? Boy. How does he know?
  4. Could it be that he is from there? Hand me that high school year book that happens to be on the table. Thank you. Flippity flippity flip. Gasp. No. It can’t be. It’s him. It’s really him. It’s Agent X. There, in the marching band photo. Sunny Creek High, Class of ’01!
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