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Rodeo #3: Travel with a Twist

By Sherri Matthews

In July, I had the good fortune to spend a week’s holiday with my husband on the Italian Amalfi Coast. I say good fortune, because hubby won it, thanks to a random prize draw. We couldn’t believe it. Who wins those things anyway? Surely it’s a scam? But I can report back that it’s no scam because I’ve got the pics to prove it. [READ MORE…]

Welcome to Travel With A Twist, the third contest at Rodeo 2018.  Packed and ready for the off? Then let’s ride. But first, just like any essential safety demonstrations, a few simple rules before take-off:

  1. Entry must be 99 words, no more, no less (not including the title).
  2. Use the form below to enter, including your name (judging is blind).  All entries will receive a confirmation email. If you do not receive an acknowledgment by email, contact us at
  3. You may enter as many times as you wish, but all entries must be received no later than 11:59 pm (EST) October 24, 2018.
  4. You may post a “challenge” in the comments if you don’t want to enter the contest, but don’t use the form to enter the contest. Only contest entries will be published.
  5. Contest winner, second and third place entries are announced here and at my blog, A View From My Summerhouse, on November 30.

JUDGES (read full bios at SPONSORS)

Waiting by the palm tree/bus-stop/tent to read your entries are the judges:

Sherri Matthews

Mike Matthews: An avid reader, Mike is a keen observer of life and writings, my fellow traveller, sound-boarder and proof-reader. Mike has also demonstrated insightful and patient editing skills since his wife (me) embarked upon the writing of her memoir, most aptly deployed when she’s threatened to shred the entire thing.

Hugh Roberts:  Author, blogger and friend, I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting Hugh in person several times at the Annual Blogger’s Bash in London. Hugh writes sizzling short stories with deliciously devious flair, many of which are published in his debut collection, ‘Glimpses’. His second volume follows in the New Year.   Hugh also won first place in Norah Colvin’s, ‘When I Grow Up’ competition in last year’s Rodeo.  You can catch up with Hugh at his blog, ‘Hugh’s Views & News.

And here’s our criteria for the winning entries:

    1. Any genre accepted, but the story must clearly be travel related.
    2. Journey anywhere you like near or far, on any mode of transport (or not), but make us emotional. We might cheer, wince; laugh or cry. Doesn’t matter, we can take it (we’ve got travel insurance).
    3. Wherever you go, there must be a twist in the tale, something we never saw coming. Don’t know about you, but I usually end up taking all the wrong things when I pack for a holiday. Layers are the key, I’ve learned. Just like the layers in your flash, that perfect item you almost didn’t pack, but decided to at the last minute… that’s what we’re looking for when we rummage through your bags.

Thank you for entering! The contest is now closed. Winners announced November 30, 2018, at Carrot Ranch and at Sherri’s blog, A View From My Summerhouse.


  1. A great idea, Sherri. I am looking forward to this one.

  2. Charli Mills says:

    Another terrific rodeo contest! Thank you, Sherri!

    Just to let contestants know, I’ll be off-grid at a lightkeeper’s cottage along the wild shores of Lake Superior until Saturday afternoon. I’ll check in Wednesday afternoon before I head out. It’s a shared gift from one of my Veteran Spouses friends and I’m joining her to take time to work on my manuscripts.

    If you email in regards to the Rodeo, I’ll reply Saturday (Oct. 20) evening. Sherri will be holding down the Ranch fort here!

    Have a great contest!

  3. floridaborne says:

    I wrote about one of the best, and almost-worst, “vacations” of my life.

  4. Annecdotist says:

    Great prompt, Sherri. I’ve lots of travelling mishaps to consider. And my latest blog post is about literary prizes

  5. “It’s dang quiet aroun’ here.”
    “Ever’one’s off travelin’. Even Shorty.”
    “I thought Shorty was jist doin’ some light house keepin’. You know, corralin’ dust.”
    “No, Kid, she’s at a lighthouse keeper’s cottage.”
    “Oh. Is a light house like one of those tiny homes?”
    “A lighthouse. You know, with a beacon.”
    “Bacon?! Shorty’s off cookin’ up bacon in a small dirty house?”
    “No Kid! A lighthouse with a beacon up in the tower ta warn ships off the rocks.”
    “That so Shorty kin have the rocks ta hersef? Hey, Pal there’s not a lot of ships out here.”
    “‘Cept bullship.”

  6. […] via Rodeo #3: Travel with a Twist […]

  7. […] Carrot Ranch Rodeo #3 Travel with a Twist By Sherri Matthews […]

  8. Jules says:

    Sherri, here’s my ad for your Rodeo:

    An Envisioned Excursion CR Rodeo ad

    You don’t have to buy a chocolate bar to get a ticket to
    travel to the next Carrot Ranch Rodeo contest…
    You don’t even have to dress to the nines, you can
    stay in your jammies.

    Remember to take a few things in your Grandmother’s
    Suitcase – remember that game? You’ll need your Ether
    Passport, maybe some humor, or even a grimace of a
    memory of when you ended up somewhere you never

    Buckle up for safety if you join Mrs. Kramden when
    Ralph suggests; “To the moon, Alice!” Or engage
    the Force in the Millennium Falcon. Ride on!


  9. Reblogged this on A View From My Summerhouse and commented:
    Hello again, dear friends! We’ve reached the midway point at the Rodeo which means it’s time to pack your bags and flash a holiday tale with a twist. My contest, Rodeo #3: Travel With A Twist, is up and running at the Rodeo until 11:59 EST October 24. As before, all details below and the winner, second and third places will be announced at Carrot Ranch and the Summerhouse on 30 November. Bon Voyage!

  10. dgkaye says:

    Sounds like fun. I’m on it!. <3 xx

  11. Reblogged this on ShiftnShake and commented:
    Hit the road, take to the trail- travel along with the third Flash Fiction Rodeo Contest, Travel with a Twist.

  12. Reblogged this on Where Genres Collide.

  13. calmkate says:

    ah definitely a favourite topic of mine … can’t wait to pack my rucksack 🙂

  14. Norah says:

    Great contest, Sherri. I think we’ll all be jumping on board. 🙂

  15. Norah says:

    Reblogged this on Norah Colvin and commented:
    Saddle up and get ready to ride with Sherri Matthews for Contest #3 at the Carrot Ranch. Sherri’s looking for some twisty travel tales. Don’t tie yourself in a knot over this one. Just write. It’ll work itself out in the end.

  16. Ritu says:

    Wonderful Sherri!

  17. Hi Sherri,
    And my entry is in.
    It is fiction and it was a challenge for me :
    I was stumped by the twists and turns until I thought of turning the “What Ifs” into “What if NOT” .
    I also changed the POV — a subliminal thought from reading the TUFF Rodeo blogs!
    That opened up more ideas.

    The Rodeo is turning into a great experience for me to write fiction!

    • Hi Saifun! Got your entry, thank you, and have emailed! I love how these contests – and Charli’s weekly flash fiction prompts – challenge us. Writing FF has been a revelation for me too, a memoir writer. I’ve shared here a few times that it’s only because I started writing FF here that I dared to enter the world of fiction. I don’t do fiction!!!!! So I applaud you for taking up the challenge. How wonderful that reading the Rodeo TUFF entries has inspired you to push into your creativity…I know Charli will be thrilled to know that 🙂 I’m chomping at the bit to read your entry and your ‘what if not’ twist and change of POV 🙂

      • Thank you for sharing your journey as a writer. I’m not sure I’ll ever write a novel or long fiction — I love to read more than to write! But the FF has made me a more mindful reader,
        looking forward to more FF!

      • Thank you , Saifun. I wish you the very best in your reading and flash fiction…and who knows what possible future endeavours await you 😉

    • Saifun, I enjoyed reading your insights here on FF. It has helped you as a writer but also interesting that it has made you a more mindful reader. Hmm.

    • Charli Mills says:

      Saifun, your explorations into fiction bring me much happiness! I’m s delighted to see that you have picked up tools with which to craft fiction.

  18. susansleggs says:

    Hope I get a confirmation on my travel submission….haven’t on the previous two weeks. I can’t imagine all the work going on in the background.

  19. Long Strange Trip Upriver

    “Hey Kid. Heard D. Avery’s river trip’s finally over.”
    “Yep, ‘cept it took way longer ‘an she planned.”
    “Heck, she didn’t know what she was gittin’ into. Never listens no how.”
    “True enough Pal. Weren’t prepared but says she learned a lot and would do it agin.”
    “Wunner if she saw any piranhas or snakes. They say that river is full of ‘em.”
    “Way she tells it seems like she was her own worst enemy; greatest challenge was navigatin’.”
    “Ya mean she didn’t know what she was doin’.”
    “Yep. But she made it, got her book on ta Amazon.”

    Shame on these two! I’ll try to rein them in.
    I am coming up blank on a twisted travel tale. So far.

  20. I’ve entered. Taken a funny travel route…

  21. Great idea! I’ve just submitted my first story 🙂 Thanks very much for the opportunity.

  22. Liz H says:

    Just dropped mine into the form. Quite a challenging journey, but feel well-stretched and ready to sleep tonight!

  23. […] was written for the Carrot Ranch Rodeo 2018!  Thanks to Liz who pointed out that these contests are available for everyone to […]

  24. Jules says:

    Just because Sherri asked… I’ve submitted another entry 🙂

  25. dgkaye says:

    Just submitted by form! Woohoo! 🙂

  26. floatinggold says:

    I just can’t wait to read all the entries for each contest.
    Somehow, I found it really difficult to fit my travel into 99 words.
    These challenges are phenomenal, though.
    Practice makes perfect, no?

  27. Oops! I planned to enter but thought I had until 11:59 tonight (10/24). Maybe it was meant to close at 11:59 on 10/23?

  28. I also planned to enter and thought I had until 11:59 tonight.

  29. […] “In exactly 99 words, write about “Travel with a Twist”” – a prompt for this week’s CW piece. [Source: CarrotRanch] […]

  30. […] Source: Rodeo #3: Travel with a Twist « Carrot Ranch Literary Community […]

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