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The Ordinary Guru Contest August 5, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor.

Have you ever met an everyday, ordinary guru who helped you break a myth that held you back, sparked insight, or helped you see the world a little differently?

If so, tell your story by entering the Ordinary Guru Contest.


From the Ordinary Guru website:

We’re looking for short stories, essays, memoirs, photo essays, graphic stories, cartoons, and poems about ordinary gurus.

Ordinary gurus teach us what we need to know in order to expand our view of ourselves and the world.

These gurus aren’t just people— they can also be anything in nature that offers you an insight or life lesson, perhaps a pet, a wild animal, or even a tree that helps you see yourself or life differently.

Happy-TigerNo fee to enter!  Fabulous prizes!

First Prize: $5,000
Second Prize: $2,500
Third Prize: $1,500


NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. PURCHASE OR PAYMENT DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING.  Open only to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18 years and older.  Contest ends August 31, 2014.

Tigger-BouncingWinners will be announced on or around October 1, 2014.  Selected stories from the entrants will also be published in White’s forthcoming anthology, The Ordinary Guru Project.

Subject to complete Official Rules.

Good Luck!


1. Rainee - August 5, 2014

Sounds great! Shame that Australia isn’t in the running 🙂

nrhatch - August 5, 2014

Maybe someone can start a similar project there?

2. Pix Under the Oaks - August 5, 2014

I am not a writer but I would love to read the stories! Are you going to enter Nancy? I have had more than one guru that sparked some insight AND made me see the world differently!

nrhatch - August 5, 2014

I might. I haven’t written anything yet, but I’m rolling ideas around in my mind. Like you, I’ve met more than one guru who pointed me in the right direction.

3. Jill Weatherholt - August 5, 2014

Thanks for the heads up, Nancy. No entry fee…that’s unusual. 🙂

nrhatch - August 5, 2014

Especially with sizable prizes AND publication credits.

4. NancyTex - August 5, 2014

Very cool concept!

nrhatch - August 5, 2014

The sponsor wrote a book, And Then I Met Margaret, about some of the ordinary gurus in his life. That sparked his desire to learn more about other people’s stories. Hence the contest and planned anthology.

NancyTex - August 5, 2014

Sounds wonderful — the makings of a great book of stories.

nrhatch - August 5, 2014

He’s not the only one intrigued with the idea. Hope he gets a great response to the contest.

5. William D'Andrea - August 5, 2014

As for someone who gives a different outlook on life, I have written a very short character sketch, less than one page in length, about a Born Again Christian Vampire, who only drinks pigs blood.
I think “Some of God’s people got fangs!” is a definitely different, along with comical way, of looking at things. I could develop it into an actual short story, which I’d enter into the contest; if I can overcome my never ending writer’s block.

nrhatch - August 5, 2014

Keep in mind that contest submissions have a 1200 word limit ~ not much to sink your teeth into. 😎

William D'Andrea - August 7, 2014

I’ve checked out the Guru Project website. They want a non-fiction essay about an actual experience, not fiction; which is too bad. I’ve found one of my stories, a cautionary tale about a guru type being, who is best to avoid. The story’s a warning to be careful what you wish for. However the content makes it unqualified for the contest.

I could try to remember someone who gave me an entirely new outlook on life; or I’ll check out other writing contests. There’s a multitude of them on the internet.

nrhatch - August 7, 2014

Have fun looking around for the right contest. I subscribe to Winning Writers and Poets and Writers. Both share info on contests on a regular basis.

6. ericjbaker - August 5, 2014

Interesting. I wonder if anyone will be writing about you, Nancy.

nrhatch - August 5, 2014

Hey! Are you calling me “ordinary”? 😎

I might enter with BFF as my “ordinary guru” ~> the time he calmed me down about upcoming surgery:

Me: “I’m going to have to call everyone I know before going under the knife.”

BFF: “Why?”

Me: “To say good-bye . . . just in case.”

BFF: “Well, you ought to do that every morning then . . . you never know when you might get hit by a bus in Jersey traffic.”

Me: “OMG. You’re right. I could die! So I might as well enjoy myself in the meantime.”

I ended up having the best summer of my adult life while waiting for surgery. Carpe Diem!

ericjbaker - August 5, 2014

Sounds like BBF did his own form of surgery… stitching your head back in the right place!

My gurus are those who tell me to STFU when I need to hear that message… which is often.

nrhatch - August 5, 2014

Yup. BFF helps me keep my head screwed on tight. He would NEVER tell me to STFU . . . he says “Zip It!” instead.

7. jannatwrites - August 6, 2014

This seems like a great contest for you to enter… I hope you do!

nrhatch - August 6, 2014

You too, Janna! Just think of all the stuff you’ve learned from those guys of yours. Or your pets. Not to mention the occasional wise cactus or rock on your path.

8. Grannymar - August 6, 2014

Nancy, I hope you enter. Whether I want to or not I am too far away!

nrhatch - August 6, 2014

Thanks, GM. Wish it was open to ALL my favorite Gurus around the Globe.

9. Three Well Beings - August 7, 2014

I think this is a fabulous opportunity. I will seriously give it some thought. I might have trouble narrowing the field–there have been many!

nrhatch - August 7, 2014

If nothing else, it gives us an incentive to pause and reflect on a few of the lessons we’ve learned from Ordinary Gurus. Of course, I think that the gurus in our life are not just plants and animals. A painting, a sunset, a pertinent quote, a movie ~ all can open our eyes, mind, and heart to let the light in.

10. anne hollingsworth - October 13, 2014

when will we find out the winners for 2014? Its mid october already…..

nrhatch - October 13, 2014

I went to the website . . . nothing.
I e-mailed Rob White . . . no response.

Here’s the link:

11. anne hollingsworth - October 13, 2014

nrhatch, you don’t think this is a scam do you? I certainly hope not
but it sure does feel like one. i wanted to read the winning entry

nrhatch - October 13, 2014

At the moment, I don’t know what to think. It sure seemed legit when I submitted my entry . . . but, now, not so much.

nrhatch - October 13, 2014

I saw it promoted on Winning Writers:


So I just tossed an e-mail to adam@winningwriters.com to see if he knows what happened to the contest.

anne hollingsworth - October 15, 2014

i just tossed off an email inquiring about the contest to nick@mindadventure.com inquiring about the contest. will let you know if and when i receive a response

nrhatch - October 15, 2014

Thanks, Anne. If I hear anything from Adam or Rob White, I’ll let you know.

anne hollingsworth - October 18, 2014

here is some more info for you…

Mind Adventure, Inc
6 Harborview Terrace
Salem, WA

And the administrator of the contest…..get this….ain’t it a trip!!!

Sweepstakes Pros
P O Box 18404
San Jose, CA 95158

Am thinking about lodging a complaint with these states’ BBB over this. I hope that none of the submitted stories end up in rob whites 2014 book without awarding any prizes.

if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck……

nrhatch - October 18, 2014

It does seem rather quacked up, Anne.

I’m still hoping for a reasonable explanation, but feeling less optimistic that one will be forthcoming.

12. anne hollingsworth - October 18, 2014

nick is no longer associated with the ordinary guru project. referred me to rob white, who has not answered nrhatch so far

nrhatch - October 18, 2014

I haven’t heard back from Adam at Winning Writers after he said he’d try Rob directly ~ I assume that’s because he hasn’t heard anything further.

It’s a very odd business and quite disappointing since the project seemed like it would be inspirational reading for all.

13. anne hollingsworth - October 18, 2014

sent an email to sweepstakes pros asking why the ordinary guru project contest has no winners announced yet

awaiting reply…..

nrhatch - October 18, 2014

Perfect! Fingers crossed that they’re still wading through stacks of awesome entries and that the timeline has just been pushed back a few weeks.

Thanks for your follow through, Anne.

14. Ben - October 29, 2014

I emailed Nick and he said the same thing (ask Rob). Being a contest on such a large scale, it’s silly to not give any news out for an entire month.

nrhatch - October 29, 2014

It’s a strange turn of events. I’ve heard nothing further from Adam or Rob.

15. Candace - November 7, 2014

Nothing yet.. Is the contest a joke??

nrhatch - November 7, 2014

I don’t know if it was a “joke” but it does appear to be defunct, dead in the water, a done deal. I haven’t heard anything further from Rob White or Adam at Winning Writers.

16. Hope N. Griffin - January 16, 2015

Has anyone heard anything? I submitted a piece and want to submit it somewhere else but…

nrhatch - January 16, 2015

I did get this update from Rob White in November:

We had great hopes when we began this Ordinary Guru contest. We felt it was an opportunity to share other peoples’s stories with the world about how ordinary folks in their lives helped them progress toward their dreams. We spent a great deal of time & effort to have a website set up & hire professional and legal assistance to be sure all was done professionally and in order. What we did not expect was the challenges that came with the website being hacked by a malicious person and that the server hosting all of the submission files would be infected with malware. Despite our best efforts over the last several months to recover the information, we were unable to do so.At one time it seems there were more than 1,600 entries. We have lost most of them & have been unable to retrieve anything of substance. This is a great disappointment to me and my team. I apologize to all of you who submitted a story.

All copyrights return to the author of each story. No story will be used by me & no book will be forthcoming.


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