I have reached the giddy heights of 1000 followers (of the blog, not a strange religious sect that I run as a sideline. Although, there’s a thought…).
So, to celebrate, I’m running another of my little flash fiction competitions. It’s the usual formula (and it’s likely to be the last one, so make the most of it! I’m not stopping the competitions, I hasten to add but I think, next time, I’ll try something new).
The trusty random word generator came up with PUZZLE*, WELCOME, SHEEP and TEDIOUS and I’m adding THOUSAND for good measure and for obvious reasons, so those are your 5 words.
*strictly speaking – as the eagle-eyed amongst you will spot from the photo – it came up with ‘puzzled’ but I’ve changed it to puzzle, as that’s a little less restrictive.
I’d like you come up with a flash fiction story OR poem, in no more than 100 words, (plus title), that includes all 5 of the words.
HOW TO ENTER: Email your entry in the body of the email, NOT as an attachment, to: firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight on Thursday 16th April 2020, along with your name. You will get an emailed response, confirming receipt of your entry, within a day or so.
Here are some tips:
* Try to be original in both your story and use of the 5 words. Don’t go for your first idea as it’s likely to be the same as several other people’s.
* Check and double-check your entry to ensure there are no typos or grammatical mistakes. I have, in the past, had to eliminate entries that would otherwise have made the longlist because they contained errors, which was a real shame.
* Remember that ‘flash fiction’ is a particular literary form. I’m no expert but it strikes me that it’s a cross between fiction and poetry. Every word counts.
* For inspiration, look at the winners of previous random word competitions on this blog and also winners of other (bigger!) competitions, such as the National Flash Fiction Day website’s microfiction competition results, which have just been published.
It might give you some idea of what can be done in just a few sentences (I think the winner, ‘When Neil Armstrong Walks on The Moon’ is stunning. And it’s 99 words long).
* Don’t be in a rush to send your entry in. You’ve got 3 weeks. Polish, edit, put it away and come back to it You know the drill.
Just to be clear, the words are:
The words can be used more than once and can be used in the title as well as, (or instead of), in the body of the story. And you can add letters to the START or the END of the words eg: ‘puzzled’ or ‘thousands’ or ‘unwelcome’.
Check if you’ve used them correctly by doing a ‘search’ on your finished document for the 5 words. As long as they come up (ie: they’re in the document in their entirety), then you’re OK. ‘Welcoming’, for example, wouldn’t work.
The prizes are significant! I’m giving away a £25 Amazon e-voucher as first prize and a £10 Amazon e-voucher as second prize. And then, of course, there’s THE GLORY of being the winner, which is, quite frankly, priceless.
1. One entry per person & no alterations can be made once submitted.
2. Open to anyone, anywhere and it’s free to enter.
3. Maximum 100 words (you can submit less), plus title.
4. Please don’t copy or plagiarise. You will be found out! (and it will be embarrassing and shameful)
5. Your story/poem’s title is in addition to the 100 words
6. Any theme or genre is acceptable (but anything too graphic or ‘sweary’ is unlikely to be shortlisted, as I won’t want to publish it here. Remember, this is a ‘family blog’!).
7. Your entry must not have won or been placed in another competition.
8. Judge’s/judges’ decisions are final.
9. Email your entry in the body of the email, NOT as an attachment, to: email@example.com by midnight on Thursday 16th April 2020, along with your name. You will get an emailed response, confirming receipt of your entry, within a day or so.
10. By entering, you agree that your name and your entry can be posted on this blog if it’s one of the shortlisted stories. Copyright remains with the author and all entries that are not shortlisted will be deleted/destroyed once judging is complete.
11. I will ‘longlist’ 10 entries and another judge (yet to be confirmed but someone new!) will choose their shortlist of 5 stories and from those 5, the winner and runner-up (anonymously).