Carrot Ranch Rodeo Contest 2020

Rodeo #3: Three-Act Story

We live for stories, and as writers, we craft them in the written word. A story is about Something (plot) that happens to Someone (characters), Somewhere (setting). Even if it is only 99 words long.

Crafting the Story

Act I, the beginning, the story rises. If a story is about someone, we have to feel something for that character. When we care what happens next for or to this Someone, we come to the middle.

Act II shifts to fear, according to the Greeks. We can interpret this as the emotion that drives the writer and reader to worry about what happens next. Or be curious about what comes next. The driving emotion doesn’t have to be fear, but the middle holds an important shift or build-up of tension or expectation. The story is in motion.

Act III is when that motion comes to an end. The action falls; the story has arrived at an exit. A good ending is not canned, but one that lets the reader think about the story and the Someone long after the conclusion. A twist is when a writer ends with the unexpected, and it can be humorous or dramatic.

Theme Western Music “Git Along Little Doggies”

This week’s contest is based on Western Music, in particular this popular song, “Git Along Little Dogies,” first published in 1910, but mentioned as early as 1893. 

General Contest Criteria

Much like with Colleen’s Found Poem Rodeo Contest last week, you are going to use the song, “Git Along Little Dogies” to inspire your writing.

  1. Include a line of consecutive words or at least six pivotal words from throughout the lyrics in your entry. Use bold font or highlight the words to make it easier for the judges to see. 
  2. Feel free to include pictures from your research of the song that inspired you. 
  3. Write a story that has Three Acts (they do not need to be labeled).
  4. The story must have a discernible beginning, middle, and end.
  5. The story must be about someone, set somewhere, and something happens.
  6. The story can be fiction or BOTS (based on a true story).
  7. It can include any tone or mood, and be in any genre, and there is NO PROMPT.
  8. Make the judges remember your story long after reading it.

Contest Rules

Every entry must be 99 words, no more, no less. You can have a title outside that limit. Check your word count using the wordcounter.net. Entries that aren’t 99 words will be disqualified.

  1. Enter this contest only once. If you enter more than once, only your first entry will count.
  2. Do your best to submit an error-free entry. Apply English grammar and spelling according to your country of origin style. As long as the judges can understand the language, it is the originality of the story that matters most.
  3. If you do not receive an acknowledgment by email WITHIN 3 DAYS, contact Charli at wordsforpeople@gmail.com.
  4. Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on October 26, 2020.
  5. Refrain from posting your contest entry until after November 24, 2020
  6. Entries must use at least six words from the Theme Song to qualify.
  7. Entries will be judged and a winner will be announced on November 17. The winning entries will be posted on a page at Carrot Ranch. There is a cash prize for the winning entry..
  8. Use the form below the rules to enter.

A Little History About Git Along Little Dogies

Do you love history like I do? Many recording artists have recorded the iconic cowboy tune since 1910, “Git Along Little Dogies.” Maybe you remember Roy Rogers’ 1940 version. A link to his video at the end of the lyrics may inspire your writing.

Center – Harry McClintock

You might want to listen to the first commercial version of the song recorded in 1928 by Harry McClintock on a Victor V – 40016 B. In fact, each of the recordings come from different eras and different voices. 

Sample story
Lonnie, Jack and Joe Hannah of the Sons of the San Joaquin

The Birth of the Sons of the San Joaquin

by Marsha Ingrao

Lon Hannah loved the Lord, baseball, singing, and people. Sunday evenings after church, a group of us went to Hannah’s Triangle in Ivanhoe, CA to listen to Lon sing. 

At his 80th birthday party, partygoers relaxed under the shade trees and sang cowboy songs. At about four, Lon’s sons Jack and Joe and grandson Lonnie mused, “What can we cowpunchers do to continue Gramp’s Legacy? Let’s become real cowboy singers like the Sons of the Pioneers.”

From then on, the Sons of the San Joaquin “git along” the trail performing and recording cowboy songs like Git Along Little Dogies.”

Git Along Little Dogies


Traditional Song Lyrics 

As I was a-walking one morning for pleasure
I spied a cowpuncher all riding along
His hat was throwed back and his spurs was a-jinglin’
As he approached me, he was singin’ this song:

(Chorus:)
Whoopee ti yi yo, git along little dogies
It’s your misfortune and none of my own
Whoopee ti yi yo, git along little dogies
You know that Wyoming will be your new home

Early in the spring, we round up the dogies
Mark ’em and brand ’em and bob off their tails
Drive up our horses, load up the chuck-wagon
Then throw the dogies out on the trail

(Chorus)

It’s a-whoopin’ and yellin’ and a-drivin’ them dogies
Oh, how I wish that you would go on
It’s a-whoopin’ and punchin’ and go on little dogies
You know that Wyoming will be your new home

(Chorus)

Some boys goes up on the trail just for pleasure
But that’s where they get it most awfully wrong
For you haven’t an idea the trouble they give us
While we go driving them all along

(Chorus)

When the night comes, and we hold them on the bed-ground
These little dogies that roll on so slow
Round up the herd and cut out the strays
And roll the little dogies that never rolled before

“Git Along Little Dogies, I’m watchin’ all y’all. Throw back yer hats and start a-writin.”

Contest Resources

The list of YouTube recordings at the end of the lyrics is not exhaustive. Listen to all of the different artists, or find additional recordings that inspire you as you write. 

Meet Your Judges

Norah Colvin


Norah Colvin is a lifelong learner and passionate educator. She believes in the power of education to change lives and is committed to raising awareness of ways to support and enhance learning.

Norah has spent her life learning and thinking about how children learn and how best to support their learning. Her own observations as learner, parent and teacher have enhanced understandings developed in both formal and informal study situations. 

She believes strongly in the need for learning to be self-initiated, directed and motivated, and the importance of timely and appropriate support for learners on their individual journeys.

While no longer working with children in a school setting, Norah continues to share her passion for education and love of children’s literature through writing.

Connect with Norah on her blogs NorahColvin.com and readilearn.com.au. She can also be found (occasionally) on Facebook and Twitter.

Irene Waters

Irene began her working career as a reluctant potato peeler while waiting to train as a student nurse. On completion she worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing her hospital career as a clinical nurse educator in intensive care.

A life-changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered she was no farmer she took on the Barrington General Store and running a five-star restaurant.

After retiring and renovating their house, she and her husband moved to Queensland where she completed a post-grad certificate in Creative Industries in 2013. She followed this with a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now she lives to write and writes to live.

Connect with Irene on her blogs IreneWaters19.com and Irene Waters Writer on Facebook and Irene Waters Photography on Facebook

Happy writin’. Questions? If contact form does not work, email me at marshaalwayswrite@tchistorygal.net or tchistorygal@gmail.com. You can not format the Contact Entry Form so if you list the words you use that will work.

Contest Entry Form


83 responses to “Git Along an’ Start Writin’”

  1. In Your Dreams #flashfiction | Norah Colvin Avatar

    […] Git Along and Start Writin’ — Marsha Ingrao asked participants to write a 3-act story based on a western song in 99 […]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks, Norah!

      Like

    2. Marsha Avatar

      I love this post, Norah. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

      Like

  2. Marsha Avatar

    OK JohnRH, but you now you have to submit a 99 word flash fiction. Should be easy for you!!! BTW, I think Tina’s leopard or lion, whichever is growling. His nose is way too wrinkled to be a yawn! LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. JohnRH Avatar

      Growl, yawn. Could it be a grawn?!

      Like

      1. Marsha Avatar

        Tina says she will reveal the secret. Apparently she knows the answer!!! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sunday Stills: Watch out for Birds – Marsha Ingrao – Always Write Avatar

    […] Continue FREE WRITING CONTEST REAL PRIZES! gIT aLONG … fREE WRITING cONTEST […]

    Like

  4. Liz H Avatar

    Say, will we be receiving an email confirmation that our entry was received?
    I submitted on Wed, 10/21, but am a bit of a Nervous Nellie…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Liz, I remember writing it. I’m looking for the confirmation. I did receive your entry and will send you another confirmation right this second. I’m so sorry!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Liz H Avatar

        I went ahead and sent another copy to your tchistorygal. net address. Perhaps I mistyped my email on the form. In any case, all should be put to rights on my recent email (fingers fervently crossed).
        🙂 ❤

        Like

        1. Liz H Avatar

          Yay. Got your confirmatory email!!
          Have a great Sunday!!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Marsha Avatar

            Yay!!!! Connection at last. Great spooky story today, too! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Liz H Avatar

            Thank you! All’s well that ends well. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Marsha Avatar

            Woooooooo!

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Hugh W. Roberts Avatar

    I’ve submitted my entry via the entry form, Marsha. I listed the six words I used at the end of the piece of flash fiction.
    Could not add my website address, so here it is.

    https://hughsviewsandnews.com/

    Let me know if it hasn’t come through so I can email it to you.

    Best wishes and good luck with running the contest.
    Hugh

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks so much, Hugh. I received it and I will be emailing you a final copy when I get it formatted for the judges. 🙂 I’m so excited you joined in. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hugh W. Roberts Avatar

        I enjoyed participating in this contest, Marsha. It got me thinking, and it got my creative cogs whirring.
        Have a lovely week.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marsha Avatar

          Yay! That’s what’s supposed to happen! Would you like to do a guest post for me about the experience of participating? (Or anything else – Halloween story, whatever you like… ):)

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Hugh W. Roberts Avatar

            I have a new short story that has never been published before. It’s a little spooky. Shall I send it over to you, Marsha?

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Marsha Avatar

            That would be way cool. For Halloween. If it’s 99 words, you should submit it to Carrot Ranch, though. Or rewrite it for hers and publish the longer version on Always Write. Either way, I’m thrilled! Can’t wait to read it! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Hugh W. Roberts Avatar

            It’s titled ‘The People Under The Stairs’ and is about 500 words long, so too long for the 99-word flash fiction challenge. I’ll send it over to you via email. Let me know what you think.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Marsha Avatar

            Perfect! Can’t wait! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  6. Jules Avatar

    Sorry if you got my entry twice. The entry form took my email twice, but would not take highlighting, bold, or underlining when copy and pasting. Please let me know if I was successful.

    Like

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Hi Jules, I did get your entry. I haven’t checked my email yet or responded to my feedback entries. Thank you so much for entering. I hope you had fun! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jules Avatar

        I had a tough go with the entry since the lines asking for info didn’t want to co-operated. Nor did the form want to take a cut and paste with bold, highlight, or underlining. And your .net addy didn’t want to work either.

        At least you got it. I left the info in both the entry and email about what lines and words were used. I hope you can fix that for your judges. Thanks. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marsha Avatar

          I got it all safe and sound. Thanks again for your persistence. I don’t know why my email did not work. I copied it directly from my email and replaced what was there, but they were exactly the same. So that is a great mystery. 🙂 I added my other email address, though just in case other participants have your same issue. Thanks for letting me know.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Jules Avatar

            I was thinking about what to write… and then saw the deadline looming and figured I’d better git my giddy up a gettin’ 😉

            Thanks for a fun prompt! 😀

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Marsha Avatar

            Too cute! I’m glad you did! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  7. BCAM: October 24th – Marsha Ingrao – Always Write Avatar

    […] you something productive to do when you are ill or on restricted travel – like for COVID 19. https://tchistorygal.net/2020/10/20/git-along-an-start-writin/ Monday Deadline 12:00 am PDT. That gives you easterners and out of country folks a few extra hours. […]

    Like

  8. Jules Avatar

    Entry form would not work, nor would the marshaalwayswrite@tchistorygal.net work as an email address for you. So I just sent an entry via the other email address that I have for you.

    Please let me know if you get my entry.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lens-Artists Challenge #120 – What A Treat! – Marsha Ingrao – Always Write Avatar

    […] don’t forget the about your Carrot Ranch “Git Along Dogies” Rodeo Contest #3 https://tchistorygal.net/2020/10/20/git-along-an-start-writin/ Monday Deadline 12:00 am PDT. That gives you easterners a few extra hours. […]

    Like

  10. BCAM: October 22nd – Marsha Ingrao – Always Write Avatar

    […] forget about the Carrot Ranch Rodeo #3 Contest this week. You have almost 5 more days. Midnight Monday PDT (Pacific Daylight […]

    Like

  11. suespitulnik Avatar

    Help. I’m trying to submit my entry and I’m getting a message the link has expired.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      That is super weird, Sue. Just send it to my email, marshaalwayswrite@tchistorygal.net

      Like

      1. suespitulnik Avatar

        Thank you. That worked.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marsha Avatar

          Yes, I got it. 🙂 You are all set. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  12. reading journeys Avatar
    reading journeys

    Hi Marsha
    Terrific Rodeo! Enjoyed exploring cowboy history, song & poetry, pictures & artwork!
    ** Could not bold or hilite in the form; I’ve written the words I chose into the form.
    Also could not paste pictures.
    My website does not have @ -filled in my email address again.
    My website – where I post summaries of novels I read – mostly sci-fi & fantasy & historical fiction!
    https://2reflectupon.wordpress.com

    Saifun

    Like

  13. Norah Avatar

    Reblogged this on Norah Colvin and commented:
    This is the third of the Carrot Ranch 2020 rodeo weekly contest, and what a wonderful contest it is, designed by the lovely Marsha Ingrao. I am honoured to be one of her judges and look forward to reading your stories.
    If you’re not sure about how to write a three act story, the video by Kurt Vonnegut that Marsha has included in her post could not make it any more clear.
    Good luck, writers!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks, Norah. I am the one honored to have you as one of my valued judges! Isn’t that a great video? A former contest host posted it with her contest post, and I loved it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Norah Avatar

        I hadn’t seen the video before. it is brilliant. I think kids in school should watch it too. He’s the Einstein of story writing.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marsha Avatar

          He really is. Wouldn’t it be something to have him as a professor?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Norah Avatar

            Awesome! I guess that’s the advantage of video. He can be!

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Marsha Avatar

            Yes. Video has been the answer to online teaching for some time. I should check and see if he has more videos and post them.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Norah Avatar

            Great idea!

            Liked by 1 person

  14. Norah Avatar

    What a great contest, Marsha. I am honoured to be one of your judges. I really enjoyed that Kurt Vonnegut video. If that doesn’t explain a story in three acts, nothing will. 🙂 The song is a great choice too. There should be many wonderful entries in this contest. Good luck, everyone. I look forward to reading your stories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      The entries are coming in, Norah. Our week is going fast!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Norah Avatar

        Awesome! I can’t wait to read them.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Retirement Reflections Avatar

    Congratulations on hosting this, Marsha. Super interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks, Donna. I hope a lot of people will be inspired to turn in a flash fiction entry. 🙂

      Like

  16. robbiesinspiration Avatar

    I’ve never heard this song before, Marsha. This is a great idea and the words leave a lot of scope.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      I’m glad you think so, Robbie. It’s my first try at a contest, so I picked something I love. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Bill Engleson aka denmaniacs4 Avatar

    Marsha, a couple of things. I’ve submitted but the website line wanted a @ which my website doesn’t have so I repeated my e-mail. My website for the record http://www.engleson.ca Also, I couldn’t highlight the 6 words so I made a note of them in the submission section

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Marsha Avatar

      That sounds fine, Bill. Thanks so much for your submission. I haven’t checked it yet. If it doesn’t come through, you can email me. I’ll check it. 🙂

      Like

    2. Doug Jacquier Avatar

      Same issue re the @

      Like

      1. Marsha Avatar

        I know! Bummer. But a quick email and it’s all fixed. No worries. Did you get my email?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Doug Jacquier Avatar

          Not on that issue but I got your email on the format etc

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Marsha Avatar

            Yes, and thanks for the cute “video,” Doug. 🙂

            Like

  18. Charli Mills Avatar

    This post is so full of the rich history of a favorite song and imbued in the western culture. Have a great contest, Marsha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks for inviting me to host, Charli. I hope it attracts lots of entries. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Charli Mills Avatar

    Reblogged this on Carrot Ranch Literary Community and commented:
    Seep yourself in rich western history, then gather up your doggies and enter this free writing contest, number three in the Rodeo lineup!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks for the reblog, Charli, It’s going to be great fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Liz Gauffreau Avatar

    I just love the Kurt Vonnegut video!! Where was he when I was in grad school craft of fiction class?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Charli Mills Avatar

      Liz, that’s one of my favorite story teaching tools! Kurt breaks it down so that a story has shape.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Liz Gauffreau Avatar

        And he does it in such an entertaining way!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marsha Avatar

          I loved it, and it is so helpful. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    2. Marsha Avatar

      Hi Liz, I could have used his help years ago when I was teaching. I could have also used a grad school craft of fiction class. You are miles ahead of me there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Liz Gauffreau Avatar

        My undergraduate craft of fiction course was much better than my grad course. The grad course involved the professor reading random passages and saying, “Jesus, this is powerful.”

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marsha Avatar

          That doesn’t sound very helpful, Liz!!! Yikes! I had a few teaching classes like that.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Liz Gauffreau Avatar

            I think we all encounter a few of them in our academic career!

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Marsha Avatar

            Amen to that sista! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  21. Jules Avatar

    Just letting you know that Carrot Ranch hasn’t posted / linked to this yet. Maybe Charli’s been lassoed by her course work?

    I came looking on your blog for it. Not exactly sure how I found it, but I did. And now I’ll look at the rules and start a thinkin’ ~Jules

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks, Jules. I’ll send it to her right now!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Colleen M. Chesebro Avatar

    Yay! You’re off and running, Marsha. I emailed you. I’ve also shared this on my blog to stir up some rodeo action! Happy Writing. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Colleen M. Chesebro Avatar

    Reblogged this on Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry and commented:
    Marsha Ingrao is the next one up in the Carrot Ranch Rodeo with a 3 Act Story! Are you ready to write?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks so much Colleen, You are awesome! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Colleen M. Chesebro Avatar

        You’re so welcome. I’ve got to get writing! ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marsha Avatar

          You go girl!!!

          Liked by 1 person

  24. willowdot21 Avatar

    Very interesting 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      I hope it will be. This is my first try at hosting. 🙂

      Like

      1. willowdot21 Avatar

        You will do fine 💜

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marsha Avatar

          Thanks Willow D. 🙂

          Like

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