FAQ: The word ‘spark’ appears in my entry. Do I still have to fill out the entry form?

Dear Spark,

Your Contest One guidelines say, “Your writing prompt for this contest is the single word spark. The word is not required to appear within the text of your contest entry, but you will need to include a 90-word-or-less description on the entry form explaining how the word spark inspired or influenced your work.”

If the word “spark” does appear in my entry, do I still need to provide a 90-word-or-less description how it inspired or influenced my work?

Yes, please. The goal behind this requirement is to encourage creative thinking, and since most entrants are meeting this requirement, it’s fair to enforce it for all entrants—even if the word already appears in your work.

The form field for your “spark” description is required, so you won’t be able to proceed unless you put something there. If all else fails, you may try something cheeky, like “The word ‘spark’ already appears in this piece, so when I heard about this contest, I knew it was a perfect match!”

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