Monday, January 08, 2018

Overall contest results!

Note to self: next year, don't leave all the reading till after the contest closes all rounds!


Herewith today's and the overall outstanding entries




Today's round on guessing the theme.

Steve Forti is obviously the hands down winner (as of 11:30 am)
While some may point out the similarities to the 12 Days of Christmas, they are way off base.

"Bird" + "ring" = birdring, which is a clear reference to cockfighting. "Colly" is the nickname of Cauliflower, the arch rival in the cockfighting world to the Kale Fields team. They "sent" a challenge (in the form of fried chicken wings), and now all of Carkoon is atitter with anticipation of the match.

but more than a few of you got the "right" answer which was the Twelve Days of Christmas in all its many iterations. I looked it up on Wikipedia to find all the variations, and tried not to choose words that would give it away too soon (partridge, leaping, milking etc)

But really, I think Dena Pawling is the most accurate of entries here
Personally, I think the theme of the contest has remained unchanged from the beginning - How to Torment Writers. And especially because my original word list was NOT used - the, an, it, was, said.


Round 1 outstanding entries
Timothy Lowe

“Early birds!” Gregor scoffed.

Dominic’s was a sea of blue-hairs. So much for Christmas Eve dinner.

Marie sighed. “You never plan ahead.”

Surreptitiously, he pocketed the ring.

“You’re right.”


Steve Forti
Dec24: Yitzhak caught me escaping the robbery. Made up story
about following star to magic baby. The gold a gift? Y-yeahhh… (Is now.) He and
Hebir decided to follow. Ugh.
Cecilia Ortiz Luna

Smooth
Bird saxophoning Summertime
Smooth

That handsome boy with the jaw
Crooning about someone laughable, unphotographable
Smooth

I dance in their veins
And their notes soar
Smooth

Then
I smite

Dena Pawling
Blitzen kicks me. Hard. “Why'd you pick THAT paper?”

“It was on top!” I splutter.

But he's right. What can we give four calling birds?

@%^!# North-Pole gift exchange.



Round 2 outstanding entry
Dena Pawling
Blitzen kicks me. Hard. “Why'd you pick THAT paper?”

“It was on top!” I splutter.

But he's right. What can we give four calling birds?

@%^!# North-Pole gift exchange.

“I know! Let's give them five gold rings.” I'm brilliant, thank you very much.

Blitzen snorts. “(w)Ring their little necks is more like it.”




Round 3 outstanding entry
Miriam
I wipe his vomit. “Some Christmas,” he groans.

“Matthew 2:16,” I say. Slaughter them before they grow, standard protocol.
Lymphoma treatment’s brutal as Herod.


flashfriday
-Don’t colly my collie.
-You cozened my cousin!
-No; I’m the better bettor.
-Well, I’VE the cash cache.
-I’VE the vile vial.
-Buy--?
-Bye!



Round 4 outstanding entry
Janice Grinyer

The Cows keep screaming. Smoke hangs in the air. A charred bird ensnared by barbed wire soundlessly cries. Our mercy killing begins.

Wildfire does that.

Every week until snowfall they come. Both wild and tame, staring, damaged forever. Bang! Bang! Bang! Sick, I’m kneeling in blood.

Wildfire does that.

Ash devils spirit away soil, collying blue sky. Clean, repair, rebuild. My fingertip traces pine needles seared onto windows, their trees gone.

Wildfire does that.


“The land will recover,” they say. We know better.

Sentiments don’t apply to survivors.


Wildfire does that too.


James Leisenring

Bird: “Should we tell them about us?”
Bee: “We don't have the time.”
Bird: “We should try.”
Bee: “Okay, where do we start?”
Bird: *sighs* “So there was this flower.”

Bee: “Orchid. Bird stopped for a drink.”
Bird: “Bee had a few too many.”
Bee: “Still, Bird liked me. Month later, I gave a ring.”

Bird: “Got collywobbles meeting Bee’s family.”
Bee: “But soon wanted our own kids.”
Bird: “Couldn’t conceive though. Then we found Caterpillar.”
Caterpillar: “It’s Butterfly now.”

Bee: “Aw, don’t resent us Kitty Cat!”
Caterpillar: “Boyfriend! Help! My parents are embarrassing me!”
Ladybug: “That’s their job, honey.”


Overall special salutes
Laurie Batzel because her entry was used by another writer as a building block
Brian Schwarz because his entry was used by another writer as a building block

(I think these were the only ones; did I miss anyone?)


And all of you who took the time to write and enter, particularly those of you who did all four rounds AND survived the Great Comment Delay in round four.

I've already got some ideas to improve the torment in 2018.

If the writers with bolded names will drop me a line with their mailing address, I've got some prizes to send out. US addresses on this only, sorry.






31 comments:

Kitty said...

Congrats to all the bolded names!

Amy Schaefer said...

Well done, everyone! I think it was a feat to get through this set of contests, much less win. You are all fantastic.

Steve Forti said...

Woo! Great work everyone. And glad I could make some people laugh this morning!

RosannaM said...

Congrats to all the emboldened ones!

Janet must be exhausted! There were so many entries and rounds to this contest, I don't know how she did it. But it was fun--although the direction my entry took kept changing which nearly drove me nuts!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...


Congratulations to all those mentioned!

And thanks, Janet, for a fun - and challenging! - contest.

Timothy Lowe said...

The amount of work it must have taken to set all this up and then sift through it is flabbergasting. I'm starting to think agents must be bigger masochists than writers.

french sojourn said...


What a brilliant exercise. Congrats. And Janet, thanks again for all you do.

Barbara said...

Congrats to the bold! And everyone else who played. So many fun and interesting entries!

Dena Pawling said...


Aha! I knew it! Yet another strategy to torment writers! I think even the great comment delay of round 4 was a (possibly intentional) unacknowledged method of torment. Which makes 2018 the year we should all be united in our thirst for revenge. For every new torment Janet brings upon us, we rise up and knock her socks off.

Congrats to everyone who participated in the torment of Janet. We done good =)

Writers united in pursuit of agents sans socks! WUPASS!


Theresa said...

What a great start to the new year! Congratulations to everyone who entered and double congrats to those who got bolded.

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...

Binge-reading all the wonderful entries was a lovely start to the year. Congrats everyone and thank you, Janet!

Ivy Blackwater said...

Congratulations to everyone! Janet, thank you for all you do here. Loved the contest!

Colin Smith said...

Yay! Congratulations, everyone!! And thanks Janet for my rounds 1 and 4 mention. Always puts a skip in the writerly step to get a nod. :D

I will update the Contest Spreadsheet in the Treasure Chest as soon as I figure out how the HECK I'm going to represent a four-part contest with multiple winners. I'll keep you posted... :-O

AJ Blythe said...

Well done to everyone who managed to make it through the four rounds, but a special WooHoo to those who were bolded in today's post - well deserved!

Colin, I'm sure the thought of you wrangling the Contest Spreadsheet is bonus torment for our Queen.

Lennon Faris said...

Congratulations, all ye bolded! And to everyone who participated. It was bizarre and fun.

In Round 2, I used Sherryl Clark's Round 1 as my building block as well. For some reason, I figured most folk would go crazy with that!

Thanks for the contest Janet... I can't imagine how long it took judge! Good way to ring in the new year.

Claire Bobrow said...

Congrats bold entrants! What a contest it was! Thanks, Janet, for conceiving of this clever and complicated challenge. If there's going to be a similar one next year, it's not too early to start a vitamin regimen in preparation :-)

Beth Carpenter said...

Congrats to all the winners. Well done. Barbara, I especially enjoyed your story and you were on theme, even before the theme was clear.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Congrats to all the winners! And a great start to 2018. Jeesh, what stiff competition! Which means there outghta be some great books getting published, right?

kdjames.com said...

I've decided these contests are more poetry than prose. I so admire the talent of those who are able to elevate the form to artistry. Congrats to all!

Terri Lynn Coop said...

Congratulations to all the winners and shout-outs!

This was just too damn much fun.

A shout-out to the hashtag #MSWL (manuscript wish list) for my inspiration. An agent was saying she'd like to see something about how annoying it would be have become immortal before you were able to shop in the Women's section.

Let the frolicking commence! Terri

Just Jan said...

Well, this was one tough contest. Fun, but difficult. At least there weren't five prompt words in every round, which I feared!

Congratulations to all the mentions here. Well deserved, as are all the mentions for each round. I am especially amazed by those who could write complete stories in only 20-30 words--truly genius.

Thank you Janet for putting this together and having the sanity to read through all the entries. And to everyone who entered, I salute you! It was great fun to see what everyone came up with.

Megan V said...

Well done everyone! Some awesome wordsmithing :)

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Great job all who survived ... er were mentioned. Excellent work.

Craig F said...

Yeah Dena, ya won two days of it.

And congratulations to all the rest of you too. All of you, those called to the front of the class and those who had courage enough to participate.

I will admit to being apprehensive to start. It caused me to seriously screw up the first day and not ground my story. I am not glad I recommended a word a day, not for me. I realize it made it a lot easier for the queen and her sorting hat, but it made it a very tough write.

Go Dawgs

Ashes said...

Congrats to the bold ones!

This was hard. I was trying to be flexible with every installment because I never knew what the next prompt would be, I also really wanted to grow the story for 3 rounds then twist it at the end, while referencing the beginning (so it felt whole), all while being at least semi-aware of 'is this a self-contained story?'. But the hardest part for me, and the reason I tip my hat to all the writers above, was maintaining flow and rhythm in this piece-at-a-time format without any ability to edit the whole. So major props to everyone who pulled that off!

John Davis Frain said...

Congrats on some fine work, Reiders, especially you who finished boldly.

That was a fierce challenge. It was fun to work on cliff hangers each step of the way, but it was frustrating when you got to a subsequent step and couldn't go back and edit. That made it particularly difficult.

Probably not as difficult as it was to judge though, so we can feel good that we sent some of the torment back toward the Queen.

Michael R. Grinyer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Janice Grinyer said...

Wow, oh WOW. I am so honored, especially because I am in such good company- everyone who contributed, everyone mentioned, everyone bolded, everyone- what a marathon writing contest to bring in the new year! Wowza.

And I am so humbled by your critique, Janet. I've always wanted to have a piece critiqued by you, and considering this piece is non-fiction, your words mean more than I can say. I have learned vast amounts of knowledge here, from you, and hope to continue improving each time I sit down and begin to write. It does start with that first word doesnt it- the one that spurs a thought, an idea, a memory.

Thank you, Janet, for providing us all another avenue to "begin" :)

Laurie Batzel said...

Shouting out a special thank you to Brian Schwartz for nudging me into the "bold" club. Loved the direction he took with the starter post!

This was awesome, I had as much fun reading everyone's posts as I did writing my own. Well done, everyone. More torture, please!

Julie Weathers said...

Since it was the last flash fiction of the year, I had planned on entering for fun though obviously, this is not my forte.

However, something akin to a sprained foot happened. It's not, it just feels that way. Doctors don't know what's up. We're working on it. and due to the seven biblical plagues, I haven't been terribly creative lately.

However, thanks to you wonderful people, I have enjoyed some of the wittiest flash fiction ever. I cannot tell you how truly grateful I am for this community and how impressed I am with your talent. Thank you all for sharing these wonderful stories.

Congratulations to all the winners.

In case you missed it, Janet got named to 100 best writer blogs again.
Most deservedly. Congratulations.

James Leisenring said...

Finishing a story is a victory I don't get often. I was already pretty excited just to have completed the thing, so to be a bolded name has me quite elated! Especially when there were so many captivating entries. I often found myself staring at the screen, hitting the refresh button as I waited for the next one to come in. Congrats to all!

Now time to take some of this positive energy back to the WIP.