We once heard “Hoosier” defined as “someone walking around a racetrack dribbling a basketball while looking for mushrooms.”

But as complicated a picture of Hoosierhood as that paints, our experience tells us that Indiana is a place full of interesting characters with fascinating stories. We’re rural and urban; we’re black and white and Latino and Burmese and Russian. We’re deeply conservative and surprisingly progressive: the northern-most “southern” state, boyhood home of Abraham Lincoln and bastion of the Ku Klux Klan. We voted for Obama, then we voted for Romney. We do like basketball.

All of which is to say, we want your stories for our Indiana Wants My Story Contest. And we don’t have many rules:

Rule 1: Stories have to be set in Indiana.
Rule 2: Stories must be 1,000 words or fewer.
Rule 3: Entry deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, March 3.

Winner will receive $50 and publication in Punchnel’s. Up to four runners up will receive $20 and publication. Other entries will be considered for publication and purchase at our usual rates.

Oh, and if you happen to be dribbling a basketball around one of our many fine racetracks this March, and you happen to be among our winners, we’ll invite you to read with Indiana author Frank Bill at our March 22 event in Indianapolis. Stay tuned for details.

Use this link to submit. Tell your friends. Write. Good luck.

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Photo by Serge Melki from Indianapolis, USA (Brown County Road  Uploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia. Commons