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The Flash Fiction Rodeo is 8 contests with 8 first place prizes and 0 entry fees! Each contest provides a different twist to a flash fiction prompt. The Rodeo takes place Oct. 5-31 with a new contest every Tuesday and Thursday.

It’s free and includes first place prizes in each category of $25. The best of all eight winning entries will be dubbed the All-Around Best Writer of 2017 Flash Fiction Rodeo and win an extra $50. You can enter one or all contests (it’s free).

It’s a contest, so enter your best, polished work. Quality over quantity matters.

Winners will be announced one contest at a time over 8 consecutive Tuesdays Nov. 7-Dec. 26. The All-Around Best Writer will be announced January 2. Prizes will continue to be given away at each winner post, so be sure to tune in and comment on the Winning Announcement Posts.

WATCH DEADLINES AND ENTRY INSTRUCTIONS: When each contest launches, read the instructions carefully. Everything you need to know to access instructions will be posted at Carrot Ranch midnight EST (that’s New York time if it helps you get aligned). You will be asked to enter a variety of ways, according to how each leader has set up entries. Deadlines will vary, too. If at any time you need clarification, contact The Ranch.

CONTEST PREPARATION: Click on the links below to meet the Rodeo Contest Leaders (and some of their fellow judges) to get a feel for the style of writing you might be called to pull off in a rodeo event!

October 5, Rodeo Event #1:

When I Grow Up Flash Fiction Contest. Norah Colvin will ask you to cast yourself back in time to when you were six. The entry is to be 100 words exactly, not including title. Robbie Cheadle and Anne Goodwin will join Norah as judges.

October 10, Rodeo Event #2:

The Little and Laugh Flash Contest. Geoff Le Pard will push you to find the fun in flash. The entry is to be 299 words (with a margin of 9 words under or over) and it is to bring a smile to the judges. Barb Taub and Lucy Brazier, fellow humor writers, join Geoff as judges.

October 12, Rodeo Event #3:

Septolet in Motion Contest. JulesPaige (or just Jules) introduces contestants to a flash fiction linked to a septolet: a 14-word, 7-line poem. She’s asking you to use the septolet (or two) in the body of the flash as a charm to cast a spell. Susan Zutautas, fellow poet and Rough Writer, and Susan Budig, mindful poet and journalist, join Jules as judges.

October 17, Rodeo Event #4:

Scars Flash Fiction Contest. As a memoirist, Irene Waters understands how life’s impact can leave physical and emotional scars. She asks for the stories of scars to be told in two 99-word chapters totaling 198 words. Angie Oakley and Sharon Bonin-Pratt join Irene as judges.

October 19, Rodeo Event #5:

9×11 Twitterflash Contest. Grit lit writer, C. Jai Ferry will test the word-smithing skills of writers at both the sentence and story levels. Participants will tweet a 99-word flash fiction story in 11 sentences (11 different stand-alone tweets) of exactly 9 words each. She’ll be joined by two fiction writing judges.

October 24, Rodeo Event #6:

Buckin’ Bull Go-Round Flash Fiction Contest. D. Avery will first have all writers enter their names just as bull-riders do when drawing a bull to ride. No one knows what dangerous prompt each writer might draw. She’s joined by two local east coast judges to complete the ride.

October 26, Rodeo Event #7:

Murderous Musings: When Good Folk Turn Bad At The Rodeo Flash Fiction Contest. Sherri Matthews will have ask contestants to write a 109-word flash with a criminal theme exploring not whodunnit, but why…when they seemed so ‘normal’? The fabulous Mike and Hugh join her as partners in crime, judging it, that is.

October 31, Rodeo Event #8:

The Ultimate Flash Fiction (TUFF) will be the final contest in the Rodeo, the creation of lead buckaroo, Charli Mills. As its name implies, it’s tough! This flash fiction keeps paring the words before the final story and requires 5 steps: free write for five minutes; write a 99-word flash fiction; reduce it to a 59-word flash fiction; reduce it to 9-words; build it back up to 599 words in three-acts.

Sarah Brentyn joins Charli Mills and Geoff Le Pard to judge the top finalists for All-Around Best Writer. Winner announced Jan. 2. Yes, this is a progressive reveal! It’ll be our last of 2017 cliffhanger.

To get you in the Rodeo Writing Mode, here’s the 2017 Carrot Ranch FlashFiction Rodeo Playlist.

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