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The Political Fictions Contest

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As you may have heard, last week Sarah Palin released her much-preordered memoir into the world, a book that—if the AP fact-checking team is to be believed—contains more than a few moments of fictionalization.

In anticipation of its publication, we asked seven writers, of various stripes, to create political fiction of a more purposeful sort. Their mandate was practically libertarian in scope: Pick any political figure—or many all at once—and imagine him or her in just about any situation. They were encouraged to enter the hearts, minds, and libidos of anyone from Mitt Romney to Ashley Dupré.

As a result, all of the writers here have crafted scenarios in which reality is tweaked, sometimes severely. Adam Haslett pictures Barack Obama in a long night of soul reckoning, aided by nicotine and a mysterious stranger. Mary Gaitskill conjures an intergalactic nail salon where mistresses must service their lovers’ … wives. Paul Rudnick dreams of a Wasilla Christmas at the Palins, with Levi Johnston as the guest of honor.

And we’d like you to join in. We want you to write your own short stories—or movie treatments, or mini one-act plays—starring political figures. Shoot for around 1,000 words, but we’re flexible. E-mail to politicalfictions@nymag.com.

To help you get in the right frame of mind, here are some suggestions for scenarios you might consider. You don’t have to use these, but they’re the kind of thing we’re looking for: date night with the Obamas; Bill Clinton dispenses fatherly advice to Levi Johnston; Reggie Love’s day off; John and Meghan McCain discuss her Twitter cleavage shot; Michelle Obama and Sarah Palin go to a sample sale together; Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, and Mitch Romney plot how to take down Sarah Palin; Joe Biden has a frank conversation with himself; Rudy Giuliani visits Bernie Kerik in prison; Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank gossip over cosmopolitans; Matt Drudge and Andrew Sullivan go on a date.

Got the idea? We will be publishing your fiction all week at nymag.com/politicalfictions. The end date for submissions will be December 7; on December 10, a panel of judges will award prizes. The first-place winner will receive a one-night stay at Washington, D.C.’s Mayflower Hotel, site of Client No. 9’s infamous dalliance with Ashley Dupré. Second place: dinner for two at Blue Hill, Barack and Michelle Obama’s date-night destination in May. And third place: a copy of Going Rogue, by Sarah Palin—plus a one-month membership to Playgirl.com, of course. So how about it, readers? Feeling a sense of unbridled rage at someone in D.C.? Do you find yourself imagining the private moments of certain public officials? This might be your best chance, at least until the midterm elections, to express yourself creatively. And who knows who else will be reading. Sarah Palin might just ask you to ghostwrite the sequel.


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