2015 Flash Fiction Challenge Rule Changes

flash fiction contest gavelStarting with the January 10, 2015 flash fiction prompt, Indies Unlimited will be instituting some changes as to how the winning entries will be selected. Please see the italicized text in the bullet points below for the new rules. All the other rules remain unchanged.

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Here are the parameters for the 2015 Flash Fiction Challenge:

  • Each Saturday, we will post a challenge, consisting of a picture and a  written prompt. Award-winning author and photographer K.S. Brooks has graciously extended permission for the use of her photos for this purpose.
  • Authors can participate by writing their entries in the comment section. The word limit for entries is 250 words. The word limit will be strictly enforced.
  • Each weekly exercise will accept entries until 5:00 PM the following Tuesday.
  • Tuesday night, a panel of judges will choose the top entries based on a) the quality of writing (grammar, punctuation, and style); and b) relevance to the written and photo prompts. Only the stories chosen by the judges will be included in the public voting.
  • On Wednesday, we will open voting to the public with an online poll for the best writing entry. Voting will be open until 5:00 PM Thursday.
  • ONE VOTE PER PERSON, please. Duplicate votes will be deleted. Results displayed in the poll are unofficial until verified by administration.
  • Each Saturday, the winner will be recognized as we post the the winning entry along with the picture as a feature.
  • In the event of a tie in the voting, the entry which posted earliest will be chosen as the winner.
  • At the end of the year Indies Unlimited will publish an eBook with all the photos and the winning expositions, adding one more credit to your portfolio.
  • By submitting an entry, the author agrees to these terms and grants Indies Unlimited the nonexclusive rights to publish the material submitted and waives any and all further consideration in return for acknowledgement as a contributing author to the final anthology.

We hope you will have fun, hone your chops, and call in all kinds of favors from your friends to get them to vote for your entry. Most of all, we hope to offer you one more way to reach a wider audience.

Reference Books for Inspiration

I first acknowledged I was a writer in my heart when I read a dozen writing reference books cover-to-cover as though they were novels. There was a thrill in discovering something both foreign and familiar — learning about the nuances of development that I itched to put into practice, at the same time recognizing techniques that I do instinctively, pleased to think there was a writer’s scaffold in my brain.

Sometimes I forget that excitement, and writing feels like a commitment that I’m in too deep. Everything new I write sputters and dies within pages, if it doesn’t put me to sleep first. After the usual period of thinking it was all a mistake and I should quit right now, I find myself flipping through a few trigger books on my shelves, reading the underlined passages that clicked the first time I read them. Eventually that little glow starts to flicker inside again. So, I thought I would share some of these books with you. Continue reading “Reference Books for Inspiration”

2013 Flash Fiction Challenge

Here are the parameters for the 2013 Flash Fiction Challenge:

  • Each Saturday, we will post a challenge, consisting of a picture and a  written prompt. Award-winning author and photographer K.S. Brooks has graciously extended permission for the use of her photos for this purpose.
  • Authors can participate by writing their entries in the comment section. The word limit for entries is 250 words. The word limit will be strictly enforced.
  • Each weekly exercise will accept entries until 5:00 PM the following Tuesday.
  • On Wednesday, we will open voting to the public with an online poll for the best writing entry accompanying the photo. Voting will be open until 5:00 PM Thursday.
  • ONE VOTE PER PERSON, please. Duplicate votes will be deleted. Results displayed in the poll are unofficial until verified by administration.
  • Each Friday, the winner will be recognized as we post the the winning entry along with the picture as a feature.
  • In the event of a tie in the voting, the entry which posted earliest will be chosen as the winner.
  • At the end of the year Indies Unlimited will publish an e-book with all the photos and the winning expositions, adding one more credit to your portfolio.
  • By submitting an entry, the author agrees to these terms and grants Indies Unlimited the nonexclusive rights to publish the material submitted and waives any and all further consideration in return for acknowledgement as a contributing author to the final anthology.

We hope you will have fun, hone your chops, and call in all kinds of favors from your friends to get them to vote for your entry. Most of all, we hope to offer you one more way to reach a wider audience.
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Cross Training

A lot of people ask me for advice on writing. That’s not completely true, but it sounds badass. And some people do. I’ve posted recently about some of the exercises I do. Now, I am going to tell you the ultimate secret to my method. Cross training.

Remember when all the shoe companies came out with ‘cross trainers’. They looked kind of like a running shoe, a hiking boot, and a tennis shoe had spent a turbulent and shameful night in a bedbug-ridden motel with six bottles of Boones Farm wine and an eight ball. The idea was that you could run, hike, climb a mountain, bicycle, fight a lion, insult a pageant mom, do wind sprints, fly, seduce a hippo, and hang-glide without changing shoes. Or something to that effect.

Well, that’s basically the approach I take to writing now, and I do believe it has sharpened my game up a bit.

Continue reading “Cross Training”