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All-Around Best of Show
From Lead Buckaroo, Charli Mills
The dust has settled, and the bulls are back out to pasture after the first Flash Fiction Rodeo at Carrot Ranch. From idea to event, this was no solo endeavor. It took a community to dream, organize, support, promote and engage.
To all of you who wrangle words at the Ranch, to those of you who quietly read from the other side of your screen to all who dared to make this contest their “first rodeo,” thank you!
Our Flash Fiction Rodeo consisted of eight unique events that differed in length, prompt and form. Each leader devised their own contest and rules for participation. We worked together as a team to shape the Rodeo, and each leader worked with a partnership of judges. We allowed leaders and judges to enter any contest they were not judging. We also allowed writers to participate as challengers if they did not want to enter as contestants.
A toss of hats in the air to the Rodeo Leaders who showed leadership on and behind the page. Not only did they work diligently to make each event fun and fair, they also rode hard to keep pace with an event that spanned three months. Their counsel, creativity, and camaraderie have kept it all rolling at Carrot Ranch. Thank you, Geoff Le Pard, Norah Colvin, JulesPaige, Sherri Matthews, D. Avery, Irene Waters and C. Jai Ferry. You all earned your spurs!
And a huge Rodeo Thank You to all our judges: Robbie Cheadle, Anne Goodwin, Barb Taub, Lucy Brazier, Susan Zutautas, Susan Budig, Angie Oakley, Sharon Bonin-Pratt, Mardra Sikora, Lisa Kovanda, Hugh Roberts, Mike from the UK, two anonymous judges in the US, and Sarah Brentyn. Your tasks were not easy, and I appreciate the regard you gave to all who entered.
Thank you to all who rodeoed!
Garth Brooks sings an edgy song in tribute to rodeos. He croons, “It’s the ropes and the reins, the joy and the pain, and they call the thing rodeo.” To me, it’s like the calling to write and be read.
A literary artist has something in common with rodeo’s biggest hero: tenacity. You write, revise, polish, submit, wait for — all in hopes to win that gold in the buckle. The gold might differ from writer to writer. Maybe you want to publish, maybe you want validation, maybe you just want to give your words wings and let them fly. The Flash Fiction Rodeo honors all the sweat, tears, mud and blood writers put into their craft. All who rode the Rodeo in 2017, you got grit!
We hope you’ll stop by the Ranch for some good reading and writing. Keep working your skills, wrangling words and roping stories. Keep on the path you’ve set for yourself. Write on!
See ya’ll next Rodeo in October 2018.
From All-Around Judge, Sarah Brentyn
This was a whopper of a job.
Initially, there was a panel of judges. And then there was one. It was supposed to be three and wound up being little ol’ me. But I took up the challenge, happy at heart!
Choosing a winner for this final contest was extraordinarily difficult because let’s face it, they were all winners. Literally. They had all won their respective contests. Also, they are different in genre, form, and length. I was comparing apples to oranges to turnips.
Alas, this is an ‘overall winner’ contest, and an overall winner there must be.
During the past few months, I distanced myself from the contests. I popped in to say ‘Congrats’ then snuck away. Names were removed when I received the final entries.
It was delightful to read these. They are well-written, fantastic pieces. Thank you to everyone who entered the Carrot Ranch Rodeo contests and to the winners who gave me wonderful stories to read. I am honored and humbled to help announce the winner of this collection of contests.
2017 Flash Fiction Winners include:
- Rodeo #1: When I Grow Up (“Father Christmas” by Hugh Roberts)
- Rodeo #2: Little & Laugh (“The Bus Stop” by Colleen Chesebro)
- Rodeo #3: Septolet in Motion (“Practical Magic, Or Even Best Efforts Need a Push Sometimes” by Deborah Lee)
- Rodeo #4: Scars (“Galatea” by D. Wallace Peach)
- Rodeo #5: TwitterFlash (Winning Tweets by D. Avery)
- Rodeo #6: Bucking Bull Go-Round (“Like Retribution” by Kerry E.B. Black)
- Rodeo #7: Murderous Musings (“Mr Blamey” by Marjorie Mallon)
- Rodeo #8: TUFF (“The Sun Shines on the Half-Moon Café” by Liz Huseby Hartmann)
The All-Around Best of Show goes to:
Rodeo #4: Scars (“Galatea” by D. Wallace Peach)
That concludes the Flash Fiction Rodeo for 2017. However, that is not the last word. Carrot Ranch is completing an e-book collection that includes the winning entries, honorable mentions, entries, challenges and a few new pieces from our judges and leaders. Stay tuned later this month!
Please give our Rough Writer’s a debut anthology Vol. 1 a look-see. If you’d like to support our efforts as a literary community you can purchase our book online at Amazon. Soon to be available through other locations (officially launches January 19, 2018).
Author Bio For All-Around Judge Sarah Brentyn
Sarah Brentyn is an introvert who believes anything can be made better with soy sauce and wasabi.
She loves words and has been writing stories since she was nine years old. She talks to trees and apologizes to inanimate objects when she bumps into them.
When she’s not writing, you can find her strolling through cemeteries or searching for fairies.
She hopes to build a vacation home in Narnia someday. In the meantime, she lives with her family and a rainbow-colored, wooden cat who is secretly a Guardian.
Books by Sarah Brentyn
Follow Sarah at:
Flash Fiction Rodeo Contest #3
Septolet in Motion
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
(a part of) Antinomic
While I Sidled
(a part of) Dressed and Ready?
Make the man
When plans fail
These Septolets are parts included in my Mixed forms verses at my daily short verse site: julesgemstonepages.
*Indicates the paragraph break in a septolet.
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
- Enter contest for Septolet in Motion by October 19 (11:59 pm EST)
- Enter using the form below in this post.
- Must include name (or pen name) and email to be eligible to win.
- 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.
- Entries will be judged on creative use of the magic theme.
- Use of the Septolet(s) within the piece.
- 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.
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.