The First Two Pages: “RFP/RIP” by Britt Alan

In April 2015, B.K. Stevens debuted the blog series “The First Two Pages,” hosting craft essays by short story writers and novelists analyzing the openings of their own work. The series continued until just after her death in August 2017, and the full archive of those essays can be found at Bonnie’s website. In November 2017, the blog series relocated to my website, and the archive of this second stage of the series can be found here.

Over the last two weeks, The First Two Pages has hosted two contributors to the recent anthology Chesapeake Crimes: Invitation to Murder: Jane Limprecht writing on her story “Make New Friends, But Keep the Old” and Sarah Cotter on her story “Good Morning, Green Leaf Class.” Each of these stories has a unique setting: a retirement community in the first and a pre-school in the next (though technically the setting for that second story is an group email chain, as you’ll see). This week, I’m pleased to welcome a third contributor to the anthology, Britt Alan, writing on his story “RFP/RIP”—this one with another distinctive setting: the “war room” for a group putting together a proposal for a government contract. The result is a story that boasts both a closed circle of suspects and a ticking clock as well—a deadline looming!

Pay attention to that word “dead” there, of course.

As Britt discusses below, he’s a novelist first—author of The Dragon Proxies thriller series, which began with Tiananmen Ascending, hailed by Kirkus Reviews as “highly recommended for readers who enjoy cerebral, absorbing narratives about contemporary politics and the devastating potential of global terror.” Find out more about that book and the series at Britt’s website:

And do check out the full anthology Invitation to Murder—a great line-up of authors, and I’m pleased to have a story there myself!

Please use the arrows and controls at the bottom of the embedded PDF to navigate through the essay. You can also download the essay to read off-line.