Hello, writers! Today is special—it’s exactly a week before the deadline of the Back to Life Flash Fiction Contest!
For today’s blog, I’m going to discuss the meaning and uses of flash fiction. I’ll include the contest details at the end, along with some helpful prompts to get you started!
Flash Fiction Defined
I’m sure we’ve all heard the term, but what does it mean?
It’s defined by the Google dictionary as “fiction characterized by being short”, but a more helpful definition comes from Wikipedia: “a fictional work of extreme brevity that still offers character and plot development.”
In other words, flash fiction is simply a very short story.
Flash Fiction’s Usage
Flash fiction is used in many ways. According to Wikipedia, “some commentators have suggested that flash fiction possesses a unique literary quality in its ability to hint at or imply a larger story.”
Writers of flash fiction often utilize this ability. Think of Aesop’s fables or Jesus’ parables. The stories they told are very small, but anyone can see the greater truths behind them. Other famous flash fiction writers include Kurt Vonnegut Jr, Anton Chekhov, H. P. Lovecraft, Ernest Hemingway, Arthur C. Clarke, and many others.
Another popular usage of flash fiction is twitterature, otherwise known as the 280-word story. Limited by 280 character per tweet on Twitter, writers enjoy the creative challenge of writing a story in such short form.
And of course, we all know about flash fiction contests! Who can write the best story in [X] number of words?
Writers love creative challenges. In my opinion, that’s the real reason flash fiction exists. Anyone can write a story, but the greater the boundaries, the greater the results! It’s astonishing what writers can do in so few words.
So, writers, are your creative juices flowing yet? Are you itching for a challenge?
You’ve come to the write place (not sorry). As of today, you have exactly one week to write a flash fiction of 1,500 words or less to the theme of Back to Life.
Now before you frown and say, “That’s too easy!”, hold your horses. The judges of this contest are no ordinary judges. And I’m one of them.
That’s right, I’m joining the judging board! Alongside my fellow writers/apprentices at the School of Kingdom Writers, we ladies are geared up and ready to judge fearlessly and mercilessly. Our teacher and mentor, Brad Pauquette, has taught us so much in these last seven months. As a learning tool, we have done a mini flash fiction contest every week, vying for the crown of honor. (See the picture for a commemoration of the first time I won!)
And now, we’re bringing the contest to your fingertips. The prize is no simple crown. The first prize winner will receive a whopping $100 in Amazon gift cards!
If you aren’t excited now, go drink some caffeine. Then come back and read on.
Flash Fiction Prompts
As fellow writers, we judges know that coming up with ideas on the spot can be really difficult. So we decided to give our contestants a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing. These prompts are straight from the minds of the judges in our chosen theme, Back to Life. (Disclaimer: You’re allowed to use these prompts! That’s what they’re for.)
- Anya’s Prompt: You have a gift for nurturing nearly dead plants back to life. One day, you find a tiny, withered beanstalk curled around your fence post. You water it and tuck some fertilizer into the soil around it. The next day, you awaken to find it towering far above your home into the clouds, healthy and strong, with a stairway made of leaves winding upwards. Where does it lead?
- Leanna’s Prompt: He opened eyes that were not his and looked down at the body the Procurators had selected for him. This was his 57th time being resurrected. Unfortunately, this body wasn’t as handsome and trim as his last vessel. Didn’t they understand that selecting a good-looking specimen was essential to his mandate?
- Michaylah’s Prompt: The scientist watched with fascination as the supernova millions of lightyears away became a black hole. His fascination turned into shock when he saw through the telescope something emerging from the abyss of nothingness. Something headed in their direction.
- Thirzah’s Prompt: A character loses their family, friends, and all the wealth they once had. The character feels broken and more dead than alive. What event happens that makes them want to keep on living?
Want to know the winner when we choose? Drop your email here and I’ll send the announcement straight to your inbox!
Alright, enough talk. Let’s get those finer details on the page.
- Deadline: 11:59 pm EST on June 1, 2022.
- Word Limit: 1,500 words.
- Participation: Anyone who can speak English and type sentences. (You must have a US mailing address to receive prizes.)
- Rights: Entirely yours! Only the winner’s work will be published to the School of Kingdom Writers website. All others retain complete control and copyrights of their work. (You can still win if you don’t want yours published, of course.)
- Judges: The full-time students of the School of Kingdom Writers! I am one of four judges. The others are Leanna Hampton, Thirzah Griffieon, and Michaylah Malone. We’ll choose a winner by July 1, 2022!
- Grand Prize: A $100 Amazon gift card! (Seriously, I should have entered this one instead of judging it.)
- Runner-up: You’ll get recognition and your choice of one item from the SOKW store!
- Submit your work: Register for a FREE Kingdom Writers Guild account. Then you can log in and submit your awesome story here.
- I NEED SOME HELP HERE: Okay, we got you. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and the lovely people there will assist you.
Go Forth and Write!
You got your caffeine? Got your pad and paper? Got your idea?
Hop to it, writer! That story can’t be written by anyone but you.