In American Boy (which you can start reading for a limited time on Figment), Larry Watson crafts a story of heartache and ambition in America’s heartland. Sixteen-year-old Matthew Garth lives in a small, Minnesota town where he spends most of his time hanging around the Dunbars, his best friend’s seemingly perfect family. On Thanksgiving Day, 1962, a shooting victim, Louisa Lindahl, is brought to Dr. Dunbar’s home office. After that day, Matthew finds himself caught up in small-town drama, fighting his desire for the older (married) Louisa and his longing for the all-American Dunbar way of life. Yet at the same time, the anonymity and freedom of the big city is calling to him . . .
Matthew’s torn between love, ambition, and loyalty. That makes us wonder about the American Dream and how it drives us forward. Are we supposed to risk it all to make it big? Or should we hunker down and stick out the hard times?
Your challenge: In no more than 1,500 words, write a piece that explores the idea of the American Dream. Is it a hurtful fantasy or a life-affirming goal? How does striving for the dream affect your characters?
How to Enter:
The entry deadline is October 13, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. The semi-finalists will be chosen by Figment staff and mods, and those semi-finalists will be posted for you to vote in polls. There will be one final poll to decide the three (3) winners. The first place winner will receive a copy of American Boy and a $30 gift card to Amazon. The second place winner will receive a copy of American Boy, and a $15 gift card to Amazon. The third (random) winner will receive a copy of American Boy and a Figment tote.
Happy Dreaming, Figs!
Click here to view the contest finalists and winners.