For the past six years, CityBeat's held a little writing contest called Fiction 101. The rules for it are simple: Submit a story that's no longer than 101 words. The brevity makes the stories perfect read-aloud material, and that's exactly what we do during judging when make-or-break votes often depend on the piece's aural qualities.
Shortly after this year's winners were published (in our Oct. 22 issue), Walter Ritter, a local professional actor, came up with the idea of doing live readings of the 23 selections as part of the Write Out Loud performance series he curates. The owners of Caffe Forte in North Park had been urging him to do readings there, but Ritter was hesitant—a café is a completely different, far more casual setting than a theater, where Write Out Loud events usually take place.
But 101-word stories?
“It occurred to me: These are really short, and that's what we need—tiny pieces,” Ritter said.
On Monday, Dec. 8, all 23 of this year's winners will be read out loud—three by the writers and the rest by professional actors. The readings start at 6 p.m. at Caffe Forte, 3880 Grim Ave. (at the corner of University Avenue). If you're in need of details, write to email@example.com.