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Contest Offers Writing Time In Hemingway Studio In Key West

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MIAMI (CBSMiami/FKNB) -- A new contest is offering a different experience of Ernest Hemingway's Key West home. The winner - a talented writer- will get a chance to work in the studio where the famed Hemingway wrote.

Organizers of the Florida Keys Flash Fiction Contest are to announce the competition Thursday at the 34th annual Key West Literary Seminar that this year is themed "SHORTS: Stories, Essays & Other Briefs." The seminar continues through Sunday.

The Flash Fiction competition is open to residents of the United States and other selected countries who are at least 21 years old. Entries are limited to 500 words or less, and all must be submitted via the contest's official website beginning Thursday through March 31, 2016.

The prize includes a $1,500 (U.S. dollars) air travel card and accommodations in a residency cottage at The Studios of Key West for 21 nights between July 5 and July 31, 2016. A $500 U.S. debit card is included for meals and incidentals, as is a Key West Attractions Association VIP pass and admission to various events during the Hemingway Days festival set for July 19-24, 2016.

But the most treasured part of the prize is an opportunity to spend up to 10 days writing in the studio that Ernest Miller Hemingway used when he lived in the Spanish colonial estate at 907 Whitehead St. in Key West throughout most of the 1930s.

"We have never provided this kind of chance for anyone before," said Mike Morawski, chief executive officer of the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum. "For a writer to be able to occupy Hemingway's same space and soak in the same creative atmosphere he did is a priceless opportunity."

It was in Key West that the winner of the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature penned some of his most famous works including "The Green Hills of Africa," "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" and "For Whom the Bell Tolls."

When Hemingway needed a respite from writing, he often went sport-fishing off the Florida Keys or visited Sloppy Joe's Bar, owned by his friend and fishing companion Joe Russell.

Full details on the competition, including rules and the official submission form, can be accessed at fla-keys.com/flashfiction.

Sponsors of the competition include the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, The Studios of Key West, the Key West Literary Seminar and the Florida Keys & Key West tourism council. The contest's final judge is a representative of the literary seminar.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Florida Keys News Bureau contributed to this report.)

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