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Flash Fiction Rodeo Contest #5

9X11 Twitterflash

By C. Jai Ferry

We’ve Passed the Halfway Mark!

We’ve made it to Challenge #5, and we’re still alive and writing, so for this challenge, let’s see how you do with some rather unnatural constraints.

Carrot Ranch writers are used to the challenges inherent in writing a 99-word story. Flash fiction requires a delicate balance between brevity of words and richness of story. Becky Tuch at The Review Review offers the following perspective on flash fiction:

Part poetry, part narrative, flash fiction—also known as sudden fiction, micro fiction, short short stories, and quick fiction—is a genre that is deceptively complex. […] Distilling experience into a few pages or, in some cases a few paragraphs, forces writers to pay close attention to every loaded conversation, every cruel action, every tender gesture, and every last syllable in every single word.

[The link above also offers some great insights from experts in flash fiction on how to write these stories]

The current challenge embraces the idea that every word matters by using a medium where every character matters: Twitter. Twitter gives you just 140 characters to convey your message (unless you’re one of the lucky few to have been granted the new 280-character limit), but of course adding hashtags (e.g., #FFRodeo) to enable people to find your tweets limits the number of characters even further.

The Challenge: #Twitterflash

In this challenge, you are tasked with writing a complete 99-word story using Twitter. The story—real or imagined (or anywhere in between)—can be on any topic and in any genre, as long as it is exactly 99 words (not including a title, if you choose to use one). Easy peasy, right?

Not so fast…

We do have some additional parameters:

  • Every story must be made up of 11 sentences of exactly 9 words each.
  • Each individual sentence should be tweeted, one at a time, for a total of 11 tweets (plus one tweet with the title, if you choose to use one).
  • Just to add some kick to the rodeo, every tweet must include two hashtags: #FFRodeo and #Twitterflash

Social media has become a finicky friend for the modern-day writer, and we hope you use this challenge to generate engagement with and amongst your followers and fellow writers. Although the judging will not consider the number of likes/retweets you generate (#itsnotapopularitycontest), we will be looking at how effectively you combine your wordsmithing skills with the Twitter platform—namely, we want every tweet to be truly tweet-worthy*. #MakeEveryWordCount!

*How the judges define tweet-worthy: Does the tweet make you pause (in a good “hey-this-is-cool” way)? Would you be curious? Would you want to read more? Would you retweet it? Would you follow the author in Twitter based only on this tweet? Would you read other (past) tweets by this author?

You’ve got 10 whole days to work on this challenge, which ends on Sunday, October 29 at 11:59 pm EST. Not a tweeter yet? Now’s your chance to join Twitter and gain some friendly and supportive followers. Not convinced? You can take this as a challenge instead and forgo the Twitter platform.

The Rules (#pleasebearwithus)

  1. To participate, start tweeting your story.
  2. The complete story must be exactly 99 words (not counting the title): 11 sentences with 9 words in each sentence (from first word to concluding punctuation mark, expressed or implied).
  3. Every tweeted sentence of the story must include both #FFRodeo and #Twitterflash in the body of the tweet. Additional hashtags can be included, space permitting.
  4. Sentences cannot be changed or adjusted once tweeted (i.e., no do-overs), but feel free to get feedback on where your story should go next from followers, friends, postal workers, your half-sister’s ex-in-laws’ dog trainer… Twitter is social media, so #besocial and #havefun.
  5. Because the Twitter timestamp only shows hour/minutes, please wait at least two minutes between each tweet (#veryimportantrule) to ensure that the judges read your story in the correct order (note rule 6 for exceptions). Other than the 2-minute rule, sentences can be tweeted in a short time span or spread out however the author prefers within the challenge timeframe.
  6. The numbering of sentences within the tweets is not required, but if you have enough free characters, please number your sentences (#savethejudgessanity). If numbering is included in every one of your tweeted sentences, you can ignore rule 5.
  7. Abbreviated words (e.g., 2 for to, bc for because) can be used as long as the meaning remains clear; these words still count toward the 9-word requirement.
  8. Entrants are encouraged to include any punctuation necessary for clarity; punctuation can be omitted to save Twitter characters if necessary, but the meaning must remain clear to judges/readers.
  9. Sentences must be in the actual tweet, not in a graphic attached to the tweet. Of course, feel free to attach graphics to any of your tweets because we humans like eye candy, but the judges will only consider the text within the actual tweet.
  10. Do not attach any “buy links” (i.e., links to places where people can buy your work) to the 11 sentences tweeted for the story, but feel free to share such links outside the challenge parameters (e.g., sharing buy links as a twelfth tweet for people who have enjoyed your challenge writing). #wesupportwriters
  11. Although there are absolutely no theme or genre restrictions, Twitter is a public forum, so tweet accordingly. Please write responsibly. We don’t want anyone to get banned (or worse) from Twitter. #dontwakethetrolls
  12. Multiple entries are allowed, but the entrant is responsible for ensuring that multiple entries are clearly marked as such.
  13. The nature of this challenge means that judging will not be completely blind. That being said, all entries will be copied in their entirety (as a story) into a master list and stripped of identifying information before being shared among the judges for evaluation purposes.
  14. Judges (and fellow Carrot Ranch writers and wranglers) may like/retweet your sentences and stories. These interactions are purely promotional and social in nature and in no way indicate, suggest, or imply that the judges endorse your story as a winning story. Judging will not begin until after the submission window closes.
  15. All decisions by the judges are final, and neither the judges nor anyone associated with Carrot Ranch are responsible for what happens on Twitter, including but not limited to delays, data errors, missing tweets, and trolls.
  16. Finally, if you’ve been bestowed with the new 280-character limit on Twitter, we kindly ask that you use only 140 characters for this challenge. #pleaseandthankyou

 CHALLENGE OPTION: If you don’t feel up to entering a contest or signing up for Twitter, please feel free to respond to the challenge in the comments section of this post: 11 sentences of 9 words each for a 99-word story. Weekly Flash Fiction Challenges resume November 2.

Judging Criteria

  1. Stories include exactly 11 nine-word sentences. If judges disagree on the number of words included, Microsoft Word will be used as the final word count.
  2. All 11 tweets per story include both hashtags (#FFRodeo #Twitterflash) and are tweeted before the deadline.
  3. Stories include a complete arc (i.e., beginning, middle, and end).
  4. Individual sentences are tweet-worthy and contribute to the story as a whole in a meaningful way.

 About the Judges

  1. C. Jai Ferry has published several collections of short stories. Her narrators are often described as brutally honest and likely needing some form of professional help.
  2. Mardra Sikora (#Twitterguru) is an author, speaker, and advocate who believes in the power of words and uses both fiction and non-fiction to advocate for and with her adult son, Marcus.
  3. Lisa Kovanda writes fiction and non-fiction books, stories, and screenplays in urban fantasy, horror, paranormal, historical, and biographical genres. She is also a paranormal investigator.

Next up: Buckin’ Bull Go-Round by D. Avery on Tuesday, October 24.

Announcement of Winners

Winners will be announced on Twitter and Carrot Ranch on December 5, 2017.

About Carrot Ranch

Carrot Ranch is a literary community committed to providing all writers access to literary art regardless of backgrounds, genres, goals and locations. Common ground is found through the writing, reading and discussion of flash fiction. The weekly online flash fiction challenges promote community through process, craft and exploration, and regular participants form a literary group called The Congress of Rough Writers. Their first anthology, Vol. 1 publishes in 2017. Carrot Ranch offers an adult-learning program called Wrangling Words, available to all communities where Rough Writers reside.

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Flash Fiction Rodeo Contest #4

Scars

By Irene Waters

Welcome to Contest #4 of the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Rodeo. This competition is free to enter and carries a cash prize of $25 for first place. Winning submissions will automatically be forwarded to the All-Around Rodeo Winner which carries an additional cash prize of $50. Naturally you can’t have a competition without rules and as each competition leader has devised their own rules I suggest that you read those for this competition prior to submitting your piece. The rules follow the competition topic.

 

The Topic

As a memoir writer and reader I am very aware that it is the situations in life that have a massive impact on the memoirist, those events which leave scars, whether physical or emotional, that are the chosen part of the life to be relayed. As a flash fiction writer delving into fiction, a genre with which I have not previously attempted, I became aware that we draw from real life to write fiction as well as memoir. The more observant we are as writers the greater our ability to convince our readers of the authenticity of our story. The more we remember from our own life informs our writing. In his book, Misery, Stephen King wrote,

“Writers remember everything…especially the hurts. Strip a writer to the buff, point to the scars, and he’ll tell you the story of each small one. From the big ones you get novels. A little talent is a nice thing to have if you want to be a writer, but the only real requirement is the ability to remember the story of every scar.”

In a double length Carrot Ranch flash, or 2 chapters of 99-words each (198 words total), tell a story that shows a scar. It can be memoir, other forms of creative non-fiction,  any genre of fiction or a BOTS (based on a true story).

 

The Rules

  1. Submit using the form below.
  2. Length of entry to be 198 words measured on Microsoft Word or wordcounter.net. Title is not counted in word length. Please be sure of your word count. Entries exceeding the word limits will be disqualified
  3. Flash is considered to be a complete story i.e. has a beginning, a middle and an end. This is a judging criteria.
  4. Entries must be received no later than 11:59 pm EST October 26.
  5. Your entry must be original and in English.
  6. The Judges rulings are final.

 

ENTER CONTEST HERE (Please wait to share your entry publicly until after judging, which is Nov. 28.)

 

CHALLENGE OPTION: If you don’t feel up to entering a contest, please feel free to respond to this in the comments as a prompt challenge. Weekly Flash Fiction Challenges resume November 2.

 

Judging Criteria

  1. Complete story and structure
  2. Story Length
  3. Relevancy to prompt
  4. Grammar (spelling, tense, punctuation). Allowance will be made for differences in the language styles between countries and for the author to show her own voice.
  5. The Story

 

Judges

Irene Waters blogs at Reflections and Nightmares.

Angie Oakley blogs at Spry and Retiring.

Ellen Stomqvist is an avid reader.

More information about the judges can be seen here: for Angie and Irene.

Contest #4 Leader: Irene Water. For a full line-up of contests, see Events. Next up: 9×11 Twitterflash by  C. Jai Ferry on Thursday, October 19.

 

Announcement of Winner

Winners will be announced on Irene Waters website and Carrot Ranch website on the November 28, 2017.

 

About Carrot Ranch

Carrot Ranch is a literary community committed to providing all writers access to literary art regardless of backgrounds, genres, goals and locations. Common ground is found through the writing, reading and discussion of flash fiction. The weekly online flash fiction challenges promote community through process, craft and exploration, and regular participants form a literary group called The Congress of Rough Writers. Their first anthology, Vol. 1 publishes in 2017. Carrot Ranch offers an adult-learning program called Wrangling Words, available to all communities where Rough Writers reside.

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Flash Fiction Rodeo Contest #3

Septolet in Motion

By JulesPaige

Words are cast like magic spells. Some may debate the text in which such lessons exist. Religious works could be a type of Grimoire since often as children we are taught rote prayers that will lead us away from temptation. Other schools of thought may define Grimoire as a book devoted to just the teaching and instruction of magic and those amulets and talisman that would be endowed with gifting the owners with better fortunes. I quote this next line from the Wikipedia entry on the subject, “In many cases, the books themselves are believed to be imbued with magical powers, though in many cultures, other sacred texts that are not Grimoires (such as the Bible) have been believed to have supernatural properties intrinsically.

I would beg to argue that any book that transfers us to another world or jolts our imagination could be a Grimoire (even a dictionary)! We often become spellbound telling ourselves — just one more chapter of this escape from the day’s realities will set me free from the bonds of worry. Though some books might bring us nightmares!

I’ve been asked to step out of my comfort zone of participant to that, by leading a Rodeo Event. My first thought was “Me, what can I do?” But encouraged by tapping into my love of words and poetry I thought I could combine the two for this post. I have recently been reintroduced to a short form of poetry called a Septolet. A fourteen word poem that is contained in seven lines that has a break between the two sections which you can divide anyway you like. But are connected by the same thought to create a whole picture. And while seeking the online Thesaurus I once again found the word Grimoire.

I had just last week finished a book where the detective was being trained to tackle the supernatural occurrences that the regular department wasn’t capable of dealing with.

In truth all of our writings are magical when we entertain and learn from each other. Good Luck and have fun!

Here are a few of my own Septolets; as you can see the split can occur wherever you what it:

(a part of) Irons and Woods

More to

Just swinging

A club

at a

Small ball

*

Posture, poise

Core control

 

(a part of) Antinomic

Grey Heron

And a

White Egret

Fishing

*

At the

Library pond

While I Sidled

 

(a part of) Dressed and Ready?

Schedules

Make the man

But distress

Echoes

When plans fail

*

Crossed wires

Coax worry

 

These Septolets are parts included in my Mixed forms verses at my daily short verse site: julesgemstonepages.

*Indicates the paragraph break in a septolet.

Submission Information

The Rodeo Event challenge is thus; create a piece of flash fiction (200 -300 words) including a Septolet or two as the spell or charm that helps your character out of a bind (or go where the prompt leads you). The Septolet(s) are included in the total word count. Septolet(s) do not have to have a title within your piece, but if you do have a title for your ‘spell’ in the body of the piece it will be included in the word count. Please use English, for your the Septolets. Latin may be tempting – however we are all more familiar with English! Only the Title for the complete piece will be excluded from the word count.

I’m your host and Rough Writer, JulesPaige (or just Jules), and helping to judge are Susan Zutautas, a fellow Rough Writer, author and poet. And Susan Budig, a mindful poet, and journalist friend of the Lead Buckaroo Charli Mills.

Judging for Septolet in Motion

  1. Enter contest for Septolet in Motion by October 19 (11:59 pm EST)
  2. Enter using the form below in this post.
  3. Must include name (or pen name) and email to be eligible to win.
  4. Entry must include at least one Septolet as a ‘spell’ (hyphenated words count as one word) Reminder: The Septolet is a poem consisting of seven lines containing fourteen words with a break in between the two parts. Both parts deal with the same thought and create a picture. 
  5. Entries will be judged on creative use of the magic theme.
  6. Use of the Septolet(s) within the piece.
  7. Originality and cohesiveness.

Contest #3 Leader: JulesPaige. For a full line-up of contests, see Events. Next up: Scars by Irene Waters on Tuesday, October 17.

CONTEST NOW CLOSED. WINNER ANNOUNCED NOVEMBER 21.

CHALLENGE OPTION: If you don’t feel up to entering a contest, please feel free to respond to this in the comments as a prompt challenge. Weekly Flash Fiction Challenges resume November 2.

About JulesPaige

Jules started her writing by the encouragement of her English teachers as a young Middle School student and never stopped. She continues to learn new forms to add to her over forty-five years of writing poetically. Carrot Ranch is one community that  introduced Flash Fiction – and has wrangled a permanent place in her heart.

 

About Carrot Ranch

Carrot Ranch is a literary community committed to providing all writers access to literary art regardless of backgrounds, genres, goals and locations. Common ground is found through the writing, reading and discussion of flash fiction. The weekly online flash fiction challenges promote community through process, craft and exploration, and regular participants form a literary group called The Congress of Rough Writers. Their first anthology, Vol. 1 publishes in 2017. Carrot Ranch offers an adult-learning program called Wrangling Words, available to all communities where Rough Writers reside.

 

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Flash Fiction Rodeo Contest #2

Little and Laugh

By Geoff Le Pard

My father was a man of many aphorisms, epithets, old saws and clichés. A know-all, really.

But one quote he shared with us that not only stuck but resonated was from an American poet, Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Laugh and the world laughs with you

Weep and you weep alone.

Laughter, in all its forms has taken centre stage in nearly every phase of my life, from irony to farce, pratfalls to priceless, life-enhancing fits of giggles. Whether it was as a defensive mechanism or merely because I enjoyed it, I don’t now remember but I’ve always wanted to make people laugh. Over the years I’ve tailored my delivery, become sensitive to my audience and played everything and anything for a laugh. I’m one of those people who you can always trust with a secret…unless it’s genuinely too funny not to be shared. In so doing I exaggerate, elaborate and elongate – no story can’t be improved with a new punchline, another character or an additional crazy side-tracking. Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good guffaw. I never have.

Writing for laughs, is, we are told, difficult. It requires precision, a well-oiled clockwork making the pieces slip together at just the right pace, in just the right places. That may be true of a novel (buy mine and find out!) but in a flash piece, in a limited word count, a simple phrase or a silly piece of alliteration can do what might take pages to set up in a book.

Don’t fight it; it is one of the most fundamental of human urges, this need to, and to make others, laugh.

Little and Laugh is your chance to raise a grin, trigger a giggle, release a chuckle, generate a guffaw, give life to a groan.  Tell us a story – it can be true, it might be a BOTS (based on a true story) or it might be complete fiction – and see if what makes you smile, what releases your funny does that for the judges. After all being funny is no laughing matter.

Submission information

You have 299 words, give or take 9 (ok, that means you’ll still be in the competition if you come in above 289 and below 309) to make us chortle. You need a title and, best of all, the title doesn’t count. Though a title that is similar to ‘This is a story of a Knight Errant and his lonely Pooch, Puddle who undertook a quest to better themselves when the world was young and Nutmeg still known as Crazy Megan…’ is not to be encouraged.

Using the form below, add your name or penname or a recognisable root vegetable and contact details to your story. (Note: These will be removed before judging so judging is blind and the root vegetable will be a small compensation for the blinding of the judges).

Copy and past your stories into the form.

The winner will be announced on Tuesday, November 14.

Contest now closed.

Judging by Barb TaubLucy Brazier  and Geoff Le Pard.

Judges will rate the stories according to

  1. Story length (289-309 words)
  2. Does it make us laugh
  3. Um, well that’s about it.
  4. I suppose we should add that Spelling and Grammar and Punctuation and all that goodstuff will be taken into account but, really? Nah, don’t care. Just make us laugh.

I am very much looking forward to your stories. I do hope you join in. Surprise me. Tickle me. Turn me into a gibbering fatsoid of mirth.

Contest #2 Leader: Geoff Le Pard. For a full line-up of contests, see Events. Next up: Septolet in Motion by JulesPaige on Thursday, October 12.

 

CHALLENGE OPTION: If you don’t feel up to entering a contest, please feel free to respond to this in the comments as a prompt challenge. Weekly Flash Fiction Challenges resume November 2.

 

About Carrot Ranch 

Carrot Ranch is a literary community committed to providing all writers access to literary art regardless of backgrounds, genres, goals and locations. Common ground is found through the writing, reading and discussion of flash fiction. The weekly online flash fiction challenges promote community through process, craft and exploration, and regular participants form a literary group called The Congress of Rough Writers. Their first anthology, Vol. 1 publishes in 2017. Carrot Ranch offers an adult-learning program called Wrangling Words, available to all communities where Rough Writers reside.

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Flash Fiction Rodeo Contest #1

When I Grow Up

By Norah Colvin

Do you remember being asked this question as a child? Or contemplating it, even if you weren’t asked? Do you recall your childhood thoughts?

I remember having no aspiration prior to the age of ten when I decided I wanted to be a teacher. Although I loved writing, creating stories, songs, poetry and plays; writing was a part of who I was, an integral part of me, I didn’t consider a writer as something I might be.

It is often mooted that we are educating today’s children for a future of which we have no knowledge, a future we can’t begin to imagine. But hasn’t that always been so? Has any generation known exactly what life will be like for those following? While the rate of change may be increasing, change has always been.

Though it may sometimes appear otherwise, change creates more possibilities than the opportunities it erases. It may require us to let go of prior, and even current, world views in order to adjust and adapt our vision to altering paths.

I am envious of many of the choices available to young people now, and often lament that I was born too soon. But is it less to do with the time of my arrival than with choices I made? I think the answers are intertwined. The choices were influenced by the expectations of the era in which I grew up, choices that seem extremely limited, and limiting, now.

I wonder, if we could travel back in time and whisper in the ear of the child we were, somewhere between the ages of six and ten, what would we tell them to think, and how would we tell them to respond, when asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” How would we steer the journey?

Would you rather stay in the era of your childhood; or perhaps in childhood forever, as did the child in A.A. Milne’s poem who decided, “I’ll think I’ll be six now for ever and ever.”

Maybe you’d give instructions on how to be happy, a choice that is often attributed to the five-year-old John Lennon.

While John Lennon was supposedly told that he didn’t understand the assignment, I am giving you greater flexibility in how you respond to this first of the challenges of the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Rodeo.

CHALLENGE OPTION: This contest has now closed. You may use this as a prompt challenge. Weekly Flash Fiction Challenges resume November 2.

When I grow up. Cast yourself back to six years of age, knowing what you do of life in the present; what would you want to be when you grow up and how would you go about achieving that goal? Tell us in 100 words, no more no less. It can be real or imaginary, serious or light-hearted. Extra points for comparing it to your childhood choice, if you remember it.

Aim for a century – 100 words, not including the title.

Submission information 

THANK YOU FOR ENTERING! CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

Submissions close at Midnight AEST 10 October. Submissions after that date will be disqualified.  

 

The winner will be announced on Tuesday, 7 November. 

 

Judging by Robbie Cheadle, Anne Goodwin, and Norah Colvin, Contest Leader.

Judges will rate the stories according to

  1. Story length.
  2. Relevancy to the prompt.
  3. How well the story captures the voice of a child.
  4. Originality, engagement, and interest.
  5. Story structure.
  6. Consistency with tense and agreement.
  7. Grammar.
  8. Spelling.
  9. Punctuation.

 

About Carrot Ranch 

Carrot Ranch is a literary community committed to providing all writers access to literary art regardless of backgrounds, genres, goals and locations. Common ground is found through the writing, reading and discussion of flash fiction. The weekly online flash fiction challenges promote community through process, craft and exploration, and regular participants form a literary group called The Congress of Rough Writers. Their first anthology, Vol. 1 publishes in 2017. Carrot Ranch offers an adult-learning program called Wrangling Words, available to all communities where Rough Writers reside.

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Rodeo Fest

Thank you to everyone who joined us for October Fest! It was a wagon-load of fun! If you haven’t yet liked our FB page, give it a like and invite others. It’s where I typically post individual 99-word stories, so think of potential readers, too.  FB: https://www.facebook.com/pg/CarrotRanch/.

Comments were entered in a Random Number Generator for such prizes as Books by the Rough Writers, Endangered Species Chocolate, and Lake Superior rocks! Winners announced at each segment.

LIVE READING: 10 AM

It’s a great honor to welcome the newest Rough Writers to the Congress:

  • D. Avery, USA
  • Kerry E. B. Black, USA
  • Robbie Cheadle, S. Africa
  • Bill Engleson, Canada
  • Liz Husebye Hartmann, USA
  • Deborah Lee, USA
  • Lisa Listwa, USA
  • Elliott Lyngreen
  • Joe Owens, USA
  • Reena Saxena, India

Thank you for everyone who began tuning in and sharing in the wee hours. Especially those who found the first live reading! From comments on FB and here, the following have won from a random drawing:

  • Pistachio (Dog Biscuit and Caffeine for the writer he handles)
  • Kim Blades (a choice of any Book by the Rough Writers)
  • Lisa Listwa (Dark Chocolate with Cranberries & Almonds)
  • Joe Owens (a choice of any Book by the Rough Writers)
  • Rebecca Glaessner (Lake Superior Rocks!)

From the First Live Reading (or go to Facebook.com/Carrot Ranch and look for Videos)

***

LIVE READING: 2 PM

Welcome back! I’d like to announce the winners from last live reading:

  1. Alexis Donkin (a choice of any Book by the Rough Writers)
  2. Julia Harney Stamps (a choice of any Book by the Rough Writers)
  3. Irene Waters (raw Lake Superior agate)
  4. Kate Spencer (Dark Chocolate with Caramel & Sea Sat)
  5. Susan Zutautas (Lake Superior Rocks!)

As promised, here are tips for writers who plan to enter the upcoming Flash Fiction Rodeo contests:

  1. Read directions carefully.
  2. Contact us anytime for clarifications using the form at carrotranch.com/charlimills/contact/
  3. All times are EST. That means NYC is the same as Ranch Time.
  4. Contests open at midnight on each scheduled T or TH
  5. Note the deadlines, time and how to respond.
  6. You can take the challenge by responding in the comments to each contest post.
  7. Plot or pants, but definitely polish!
  8. Note the winner announcement dates. It’s like a progressive reveal Tuesdays Nov-Dec.

From the Second Live Reading (or go to Facebook.com/CarrotRanch and look for Videos)

***

LIVE READING: 6 PM

Thank you for joining us today! Our final winners are:

  • Allison Mills (a choice of any Book by the Rough Writers)
  • Diana Wenzle (a choice of any Book by the Rough Writers)
  • Winchester Writes (Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & Almonds)
  • Sherri Matthews (Lake Superior agate)
  • Ruchira Khanna (Lake Superior Rocks!)

From the Final Live Reading (or go to Facebook.com/Carrot Ranch and look for Videos)

And for our cover reveal, I’m proud to present the work of Ann Rauvola o represent the excellent writing of The Congress of Rough Writers:

 

NEXT UP:

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Hurricane Work Before the Rodeo

I just wrote a flash fiction in less than three minutes. And no, that’s not a brag. It could be better. The word choices are unpolished. The idea may not fully translate. I could let it sit, rewrite it a few more times, but I want to make a point.

Flash fiction can be a literary form that’s quick and powerful. Literary art itself can do good in the world. Case in point: Sarah Brentyn of Lemon Shark is using a flash fiction challenge to raise awareness of how to find reputable charities for natural disasters when we feel we want to help. She’s also donating a dollar (up to $50) for every flash fiction others write and link back to her challenge. Check out the rules of the challenge, links to charities, and join her in helping.

So why three minutes? Because I have much to do! Like all writers, I’m busy. I have three live readings tomorrow, negotiations with a book publisher for designing the interior of The Congress of Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology, I had to go buy chocolate and update the list of Books by Rough Writers, and prepare for the Rodeo that begins Thursday. I’m also meeting with KEDA again about Carrot Ranch, and a local dance troupe has asked to use my reading voice to MC their show Friday and Saturday.

Not every writer’s week looks like that, but it’s some jumble of book platform, marketing, revision, planning, relationship building, family and work. Oh, yeah, and we all write, too!

Flash fiction helps us break free of the busyness. When I’m frustrated with video equipment, trying to remember I actually need to look fresh and not like a reclusive writer tomorrow, and worried about the insanity of the world in ways only a writer can observe, I need a creative outlet. Flash fiction to the rescue. A three minute free write to a pattern my mind knows (59 words in this flash form) and acceptance that it’s raw and will do is all I need.

One of the recipes I have for Busy Writers is this:  Write the flash fiction in five minutes. Serve quickly.

Take time to support Sarah’s worthy cause. She’s fully demonstrating how literary artists can use their craft to do good.

For All Who Suffer by Charli Mills

Harvey, Irma, Maria.

Names of friends who killed themselves on the rez. They had alcoholic parents, missing teeth. His friends took their pain and left. He took his pain and volunteered to clean up after the hurricanes. It gave his mind healing, his body strength.

He returned sober to Pine Ridge after Puerto Rico and rolled up his sleeves.

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My inspiration comes from anther Rough Writer, C. Jai Ferry, who shared this powerful video story with me about an issue of fighting injustice and predatory capitalism on Pine Ridge.

Join us tomorrow (Oct. 3) at www.facebook.com/CarrotRanch at 10 AM, 2 PM, 6 PM (EST) for live readings or on the Rodeo Fest post for updated recordings. Comment on either platform to be included in prize drawings.

NEXT UP:

Support the Writers at Carrot Ranch

Congress of the Rough Writers, Carrot Ranch, @Charli_Mills

New Rough Writer, D. Avery!

New Rough Writer, Robbie Cheadle!

Available on Amazon

New Rough Writer, Bill Engleson!

New from Geoff Le Pard!

Available on Amazon

New from Jeanne Belisle Lombardo

New From C. Jai Ferry

Skeleton Dance, C. Jai Ferry, @CJaiFerry

New from Anne Goodwin!

New from Ruchira Khanna!

Breathing Two Worlds, Ruchira Khanna, @abracabadra01

Available on Amazon

New from Sarah Brentyn!

Hinting at Shadows, Sarah Brentyn, @SarahBrentyn

Available on AmazonAvailable on Amazon

From Ann Edall-Robson

Moon Rising, Ann Edall-Robson, @AnnEdall-Robson

New from Sacha Black!

13 Steps to Evil by Sacha Black

Available on Amazon

From Susan Zutautas

The Day Mr. Beaver Met a Moose, Susan Zutautas, @susanismyname

Available on Amazon

From Luccia Gray

Available on Amazon