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50 Words Tell A Story

Growing up, Deming loved words and writing.


The year before he graduated from Mount Markham Central School, Deming fell into a way to put the two together.


The then-junior was encouraged by English teacher Mrs. Culver to write a short story as his end-of-year project.


Culver then, again with his teacher’s support, entered the story in a contest sponsored by the Utica Public Library.


He won.


“I had always enjoyed English and reading and creative writing,’’ Deming said, “but writing that short story I fell in love with writing fiction, the flow of words.


“I knew it writing was something I would always be doing in some form,’’ he said.


Last month that form took the shape of a book Deming published, titled 50 Fifties: A Justin Deming Literary Project. Available on Amazon.


Each of the 50 stories contains exactly 50 words. It’s a writing style that at first Deming wasn’t sure he could tackle.


“I had been writing for a few years,’’ he said, “and found this form of 50-word stories. Can you even do that? I thought I’d give it a try.’’


One of his first 50-word stories was about his Grandpa Al. He liked how it came out. “I think it put me on the right track,’’ he said.


As he developed his writing to produce 50-word stories, he fell in love with that form, Deming said. “Often on the first pass I overshoot,’’ he said, “with 75 words or so. With a word limit it opens up your creativity to make each word count.’’


In revising to meet the word limit Deming has found his self-editing skills have sharpened.


“I’m working on a novel,’’ he said, “and I’ve learned to tighten my writing, be more conscious of word choice.’’ ...

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The full story is in this week's edition of the newspaper. 

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