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Flash Dash!

Horse racing event, Tokyo. CC2.0 photo by Tsutomu Takasu.

Horse racing event, Tokyo. CC2.0 photo by Tsutomu Takasu

Welcome to the very first Flash Dash contest! The parameters are short and easy:

* One prompt [[SEE BELOW FOR PROMPT]]
* Word count: anything up to 500 words
* Time limit: 30 minutes (starting when this posts at 7 am Washington, DC time). At 7:30am THE DOOR SLAMS SHUT!
* Where/how: add your story as a comment to this post
* Normal Flash! Friday guidelines regarding content apply

Today’s prizes:

* A Golden Ticket for inclusion in the Flash Dogs anthology (more about the Flash Dogs & their anthologies here). Mark “Golden Ticket” at the top/bottom of your story so we know you’re trying for it
* A brand new, color-changing Flash! Friday logo coffee mug
Winners will be chosen by the Flash! Friday team & will be announced Wednesday morning. If the winner is already in possession of a Golden Ticket, the prizes may be split between two winners, at the judging team’s discretion. 

NOW HERE’S YOUR PROMPT.

BEGIN your story with the following sentence:

Winning was all that mattered.

Dog Days WINNERS

Tom_Sawyer_-_10-095

Tom Sawyer, “The Solemn Oath.” Public domain artwork by True Williams.

I don’t know about you, but my nerves are totally shot. If you’ve been watching the voting these past five days, you’ve seen the crazy NASCAR-style intensity as various writers jostled for various places. The writing (and reading) worlds turned out in magnificent numbers to support these ten finalists. Have I mentioned recently how incredible you all are?!

Some thanks are in order:

* To the voters, some of whom went to extraordinary lengths to find devices on which to support their favorite writer, turning in a whopping 1,400+ votes.

* To the Flash! Friday community, for supporting these finalists with comments, tweets, Facebooking, votes, and just generally being awesome in your awesomely awesome awesomeness.

* To the ten finalists. Though the final winner was chosen by wheeling, dealing, and conniving in the spirit of Tom Sawyer, each of you deserves a medal in your own right. Your stories were fresh, funny, creepy, original, crisp, sweet, raucous, and a wonderful read in every respect. Hats off and heartfelt congratulations to all ten of you:

MT Decker

Rasha Tayaket

Karl A. Russell

Tamara Shoemaker

Kristen Falso-Capaldi

Robert Marazas

Margaret Locke

Alissa Leonard

Mark A. King

Toni Morrow Wyatt

FINALLY: Please come back tomorrow (Wednesday) to celebrate the latest Flash! Friday winner, Taryn Noelle Kloeden, and read her #SixtySeconds interview. And then come back Friday for the next Flash! Friday contest, because writing doesn’t stop with a single contest on a single day, no matter how deliciously dragony. There is always writing going on, and you are always welcome here.

***AND NOW FOR YOUR WINNERS***

* 2nd runner up, with 264 votes: MT Decker

* 1st runner up, with 274 votes: Toni Morrow Wyatt

And in FIRST PLACE, with an astounding 461 votes, our first-ever Dog Days summer writing contest winner:

>>MARGARET LOCKE<<

Congratulations, Margaret! You fought hard for this one — don’t think we didn’t see you trying to get Colin Morgan and Benedict Cumberbatch over to vote for you! — and for that conniving alone, the win is unshakably, unquestionably, entirely, absolutely deserved. In addition, your story so beautifully encapsulates summer mischief, and your final line adds a powerful layer of depth which turns the story on its head in the best kind of way. Great job, and congratulations! Wear your Tom Sawyer paintbrush with pride.

***All three winners please contact me here at your convenience to discuss how you’d like your winnings.***

CONGRATULATIONS again to all of youwhen a writer wins, we all win!!!! — and we’ll see you back here tomorrow.

 

Dog Days Finalists–VOTE VOTE VOTE!

–VOTING CLOSED–THANK YOU–VOTING CLOSED–THANK YOU–

Happy Dog Days! Much gratitude to all you troublemakers who took the time to scrape up mischief for this little contest. I had such fun reading your tales, each as brightly varied and memorable as you dear writers. If you  haven’t had a chance to read through them all, let me invite you to do so here. It’s worth the time.

Of course I knew from the beginning I was in for a great ride; every week your Flash! Friday stories raise the bar of what flash fiction is and what it can be. And sure enough, once again your writing blew the top off the contest. So to choose the top ten, I looked for stories that rang especially fresh, whose voice or machinations turned the expected on its head; stories with crisp writing and snappy pacing; stories with vivid themes or characters or descriptions that simmered in my memory even after I’d moved on. Above all, I looked for stories that best embodied childhood summer mischief. 

To all of you: thank you for sharing your writing. Thank you for your useful and uplifting comments to each other. Thank you for making this place the challenging and unflaggingly supportive community it is. You inspire me every day.

And now, without further ado:

Read: Please read the top ten stories here.

Rules: Voting will be open from the moment this post goes up until 11:59pm Monday, July 28, Washington, DC time. Vote as often as you can from as many devices as you can (once per IP address). Finalists, be sure to vote for your own story! 

Winners: The top three winners will be announced first thing Tuesday morning, July 29. 

Now: VOTING CLOSED. THANK YOU. RESULTS 7:30AM TUESDAY, 7/29/2014, WASH DC TIME.