Artemis and Orion Writing Contest: Win $50 to Amazon!
This contest is closed. Thanks to everyone who entered! See the winner and honorable mentions here.
Artemis was the goddess of wild places and the hunt. Orion was one of the greatest hunters of all time. The day they met, they had an instant connection. Artemis had never met anyone who could keep up with her as she ran around in the forest, but Orion was her equal—and partner—in so many ways. She didn’t typically spend time with men, but Orion was different. Every day, they hunted all kinds of animals and monsters together, and each night they would sit up late talking, sharing their souls with one another. They had a very real, powerful connection.
But then things went south.
There are different stories about the way it happened. Some say that Orion turned out to be a rapist who went after one of Artemis’s nymphs—or after Artemis herself—and Artemis killed him. Some say that Apollo, Artemis’s twin brother, was worried that Artemis had compromised her sacred virginity, and decided to put a stop to their relationship by tricking his sister into murdering Orion.
However it happened, Orion wound up dead.
He also wound up a constellation in the night sky. But is he up there because he’s being honored, or is he up there as a warning to others not to do what Orion done?
That’s the basic core of the Artemis and Orion story.
What are the details? You tell me!
Your job is to write a 5,000 word short story about Artemis and Orion, putting your own spin on things. I’ll accept entries through the month of October, with the final deadline being October 31. There is no entry fee for this contest, and the winner will receive a $50 gift card to Amazon.
I’ll judge contest entries based on:
— Word count. Please stick to 5,000 words or less. (I only have so much time to read contest entries, and it would be a shame to toss yours out because it’s too long!)
— Writing prowess. Artemis and Orion were great hunters. Just pretend your pen is a bow and arrow, and do your best. An understanding of how to structure a story, how to use dialogue, and all that jazz will definitely work in your favor. (Spelling, grammar, and typos count.)
— An understanding of the archetypes and the myths. If you make Artemis a super flirty girl obsessed with boys, you don’t understand her archetype. (There are a few tips on the archetype and the myth below, to give you some inspiration.)
Please write your entry in English.
Send it to me at HelloL@Mythraeum.com. The subject line should be “Artemis and Orion Contest.” Please paste your entire story into the body of your email. I won’t open attachments.
You can email any questions to me at the same address.
Here are a few details about Artemis, Orion, and their myth that you can incorporate into your story and play with. (Not that you have to, but you never know what’s going to give you inspiration.) In different versions of the myth, you’ll find the following elements . . .
— Artemis is a feminist goddess. She loves to protect and empower women.
— Artemis loves to spend time alone in the woods.
— Artemis is a goddess who protects animals, but she also hunts them. She protects pregnant women, new mothers, and children (especially young girls), but also sometimes sends plagues to kill them. This seems contradictory, until you start looking at her as a goddess of birth, life, and death.
— Artemis is not a sexual goddess, and typically does not spend time with men. Orion was different. In some versions of the myth, the two are lovers. In other versions, they are very close platonic friends.
— Orion had two favorite hunting dogs: Canis Major, and Canis Minor.
— Orion was a giant.
— Orion was super strong. He had a six pack.
— Orion was “born of the Earth.” In some stories, this means that some of the gods dug a hole in the ground and—ahem—pleasured themselves into it, then filled it back in. Some months later Orion dug his way out of the Earth.
— Artemis’s closest companions were her nymphs.
— Orion tried to rape Artemis, or her nymph Opis, and Artemis grew enraged and took revenge by killing him.
— Apollo, Artemis’s twin brother, grew worried that Artemis was in love with a man and may have compromised her sacred virginity. He challenged Orion to swim out to sea toward an island, and when Orion’s head was only a speck on the horizon, Apollo challenged Artemis to hit the speck with her arrow. “It’s a bird,” he said. “I bet it flies away before you can hit it!” Artemis easily hit the “bird,” and was deeply saddened to realize she had actually shot Orion in the head.
— Artemis (or Apollo) learned that Orion was a rapist, and sent a giant scorpion to torment him in nightmares. Orion was so frustrated because he couldn’t kill the giant scorpion, when he’d managed to kill every other creature he’d set out to hunt. He woke up from the nightmare, relieved it was only a dream . . . but then opened his front door to see the giant scorpion waiting for him. It stung him and he died.
— Orion boasted that he was such a great hunter, he could kill all the animals on Earth. Gaia, or Mother Earth, was dismayed, and created a great scorpion to kill Orion.
— A lot of versions of this myth have that great big scorpion (which is Scorpio), but it comes about in different ways. Maybe the scorpion was even Artemis herself in disguise.
Your story doesn’t have to be set in Ancient Greece or Rome. Be creative! What if the story happened in the future? In outer space or on a star ship? Turn it into a Western or a steampunk, or do the Jane Austen regency version.
Your Artemis and Orion don’t even have to be hunters. The core of their relationship is that they were into the same thing, and nobody else could keep up with them. Maybe that means they both love deep sea diving or something.
You also don’t have to tell the whole story. You can focus on when Artemis and Orion met, or an adventure they had together. You can just tell about the tragic end of their relationship, or write a poem about Artemis’s grief after she learned Orion was dead.
Have fun arche-typers, and good luck!
PS: Another archetypal writing contest is already in the works for November. I won’t tell you exactly what it is yet, but we’ll be focusing on Apollo.
© Leslie Hedrick 2015. The content of this article, except for quoted or linked source materials, is protected by copyright. Please contact me to request usage.SUBSCRIBE