Contest Wins and Finalist Entries
I frequently enter flash fiction contests. I find that it is great practice. You learn what words matter and what is story and what is just fluff. I love fluff, but like marshmallows, while yummy, fluff only expands your waist line.
Most of the time, I don’t even get a mention, not a passing snap of the shark’s jaws (we Reiders often refer to Janet Reid, literary agent extraordinaire as “The Shark” or as she is known in most circles QOTKU (the Queen of the Known Universe). I wrote two entries for her flash fiction contests that I am particularly proud of. One which won and I doubt I will ever be able to top, but there is nothing like a very high standard to improve your craft.
This entry was 100 word flash fiction contest. The five prompt words were
train, crime, ruffian, bake, bar
Entry- The Train
(5) E.M.Goldsmith 11:53pm
Bakers, candlestick makers, and artisans were stripped of possession as each exchanged a name for a number. Ash fell like Hell’s snow at the destination platform.
“You get used to the stench,” the captain said.
“There are so many of them,” the boy said, clipboard ready.
The captain appraised him as he brushed yesterday’s arrivals from his uniform jacket. “There’s room until tomorrow.”
Almost – Finalist Entry
The prompt words this week were lesson, bag, exit,snack, remains
The Entry – Only Son
(6) E.M. Goldsmith 7:17am
The morning news is plague in Middle East.
“Take out the garbage,” I tell my son.
“Did you do your lessons?”
Exit is backed up. We’re late.
By lunch plague creeps into Europe.
“Want to give blood for plague victims?” I ask.
“Sure, dad. Whatever you want.”
My son smiles at needle and nurse.
He shares his snack.
Night falls. Plague is everywhere.
“His blood is the cure,” the doctor claims.
“We need all of it.”
My son or the world? Oblivious, the world rejoices.
All that remains is a cross marking my son’s sacrifice.
Janet Reid’s comments
Well, that one just left me speechless.