A few weeks ago, my friend Jenn pointed me to the Flash Fiction Challenge over at NYCMidnight.com. They run a whole series of annual writing contests, and Jenn thought the upcoming one would be right up my alley.
Because it has a one thousand word limit.
And everything I write is so short.
Right. It takes me three lines and half a pen’s ink just to endorse a check. My Post-It notes are the size of bedsheets. And I’ve just spent thirty words telling you I’m long-winded. I think you get the idea.
“A judging panel is the last bastion of hope for guys like me with less Twitter followers than your average fourteen-year-old Amish homeschoolee.”
Still, I’ve been told it’s important to step outside your ‘comfort zone’ once in a while. Mostly, I’m told this by someone trying to get me to put my pants back on, but the message is still valid. So I looked into this ‘Flash Fiction’ contest. Sadly, I wasn’t able to enter due to a prior commitment — namely, when the second part of the challenge is given out, I’ll be on a plane over the Atlantic, on my way to Oktoberfest. And priorities are priorities.
(I always knew drinking would have a negative impact on my life eventually. I just never figured it would be in the form of a scheduling conflict. Seems sort of ‘nailing Capone for tax evasion’, if you ask me.)
So that was out. But while on the site, I found an even less comfortable contest to enter — the Flash Fiction Micro Challenge. Screw a thousand words; this one comes with a one-hundred character limit.
Obviously, I signed up immediately. My entry form alone was three hundred characters. Not a good sign.
And yet! I entered, and last Thursday received the word to be included in each entry (up to three per competitor): cruel. And in the twelve hours alloted, I dutifully penned three teensy-tiny little storylets, each squeezing under the hundred-character limbo bar.
Today, the first cuts were announced, and I’m proud to report that two of my snippets made the grade. To go further, one of two things has to happen — and if you like, you can help. That would be awesome of you. Have I told you that I’ve always liked your hair? Because I do. Scout’s honor. Truly.
The first way into the next round — and where you can participate, and also check out a bunch of cool little bitty stories — is to be voted one of the top three stories in the group by the discerning public. I’m in Group 12, so if you’re so inclined, please consider popping over and having a vote. Could be for my stories. Doesn’t have to be. But that hair of yours is really stunning. Especially today. Just killer. Wow.
(Also, there are nineteen other groups to peruse. And some really cool stuff in each. Definitely worth checking out, even if you didn’t have that glorious mane. Which you do. I’m just saying.)
The other way to advance is to be selected as one of the top two in the group by a panel of site judges. Which is probably my only realistic shot. A judging panel is the last bastion of hope for guys like me with less Twitter followers than your average fourteen-year-old Amish homeschoolee. But I’m holding out hope. With two entries, my crossed fingers and your radiant locks of power, maybe there’s a shot at this thing.
And if not, I’ll enter the next contest where we write a novel using only ampersands. Because ‘writing short’ is totally my thing. Obviously.
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