By on January 30, 2013


You noticed that I needed to catch my breath a bit from TTAC’s Future Writers Week.  The results still have me breathless. At the start, I thought with seven a day, I probably have enough until Friday. Was I ever wrong.

Even extending the event by two more days  due to overwhelming popular demand, I still have enough candidates for another few weeks. Don’t despair:  Your works will be presented to the ruthless readers of TTAC, in the future, after we have digested that whale of a contest.

After a grueling week, 19 writers join the ranks of TTAC, which makes Thetruthaboutcars not only the carsite with the best readers, but most probably the carsite with the most writers.

Here is the final list:

TTAC’s Future Writers
Name Contestant Ranked Day
Michael Trainor 4 1 Monday
George William Herbert 7 2 Monday
Grant Tillery 1 3 Monday
Matthias Dean-Carpentier 20 1 Wednesday
Andrew Nevick 16 2 Wednesday
Evan Reisner 19 3 Wednesday
Matt Oppen 22 1 Thursday
William Simonsick 23 2 Thursday
Sean Scoggins 24 3 Thursday
Jeremiah Cayce 32 1 Friday
Jeff Snavely 35 2 Friday
Thomas M Kreutzer 29 3 Friday
Keith Kostecke 39 1 Saturday
Derek Young 41 2 Saturday
Michael Stephenson 36 3 Saturday
Billy Pollock 49 1 Sunday
Dan Reitman 46 2 Sunday
Matt Horsfield 48 3 Sunday

Not to forget David Hester, Contestant 31, who earned the highly coveted  Editors Choice Award on Friday. Should I ever get a ticket in Canada, I will drop your name, David, and I expect the ticket to be dropped.

Also do not forget: There were no winners on Tuesday. Tuesday was deemed an awful day by our jury. My condolences to Paul and Mike, who may have been disqualified by association.

Many of  TTAC’s new writers already wrote and said: “What now? When do I start? How do I start?”

Here is your first assignment:

  • Finish the winning story.
  • The snippet that was quoted during the contest must be part of the story, verbatim. Everything else is up to you.
  • The story should have anywhere between 400 and 800 words. Please not longer.  Also include one short paragraph that introduces you: Who are you, what do you do, where do you live.  Please send the stories to my personal email, which will be given to you in a few days, along with more instructions.
  • Deadline: Saturday, February 9, 2013

Start wirting! (And please, use a spell checker.)

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13 Comments on “TTAC Future Writers Week: The Winners Get Their First Assignment...”

  • avatar

    Oh great, and of course I had send a full article and my Think Pad promptly decided to randomly and spontaneously combust the Western Digital hard drive I had tossed in it three years ago just to spite me and eat the article I had submitted. Who knew that Western Digital and the Prince of Darkness were best friends.

    • 0 avatar

      This happens often to a writer. A computer crash, or the infamous TTAC back-end has eaten many a story.

      Write it again.

      Trust me, the second time around, the story is written with much greater ease. It’s still in your head, and it has matured.

      (I still have the story, but I won’t give it to you. Training.)

      • 0 avatar

        I have never rewritten a paper (majored in history, so not much experience with stories, but lots with papers) that turned out worse than the original. Almost exclusively better. But I did rapidly learn the value of saving things in 2 places.

      • 0 avatar

        I had a feeling. And he was sent forth into the trenches of automotive journalism with a deep lust for the Peugeot he left behind. The editor pointing and laughing all the while calling out, “You have to get your knocks in the field too kid.”

        But I am on it. :)

    • 0 avatar

      Dropbox, Google Drive, Skydrive, and endless alternatives, all free, for instantaneous backup of files over the internet.

      If you were using any of those services, Peerson, all you would have to do now is go to any computer with internet access and your file would be available to you.

      • 0 avatar

        I usually back up to my home server nightly. But this time literally 3 minutes after I sent it in I had a lovely Linux kernel panic followed by the click of death. I did not loose much, and I will get the drive recovered at some point. But backing up over the Internet where I live is bad since I have a limited connection. Least reimaging my hard drive was boot from network and install image using clonezilla live.

  • avatar


    I was tardy to the party and must now accept my fate.

  • avatar
    Off a Cliff

    I feel like the instructions are missing something. Like “These instructions will self-destruct in 3 seconds”

  • avatar

    > Start wirting! (And please, use a spell checker.)

    And the first new wirter to make a typo will be shamed to oblivion. Right? Can’t wait, that will be fun. Heh, I won’t be on the receiving end.

  • avatar

    Well, the snippet that got me a win was part of a four part, 2000+ word article I wrote for an online Volvo magazine over 10 years ago, so there’s no way I can “finish the story” in 4-800 words AND include an autobiography.

    However, I am a pretty crafty guy and I will figure out how to make *something* work.

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