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Flash! Friday: Vol 3 – 52

We’re here at last: the very end of Year Three — the last regular Flash! Friday contest ever, and the final contest before our Flashversary finale — and what a year it’s been! Twenty-one novel-inspired prompts. A couple dozen rounds of photo & story element prompts. Loads of Spotlight interviews with writers and writing-related professionals across industries and around the world. I’ve loved every minute of Flash! Friday’s Year Three! Y’all are breathtakingly fab, y’know?

And speaking of fab: congratulations to all of you who participated in NaNoWriMo this year, and particularly to those who completed the wordy challenge. Are any of you still awake? Brains still powered on? Hope you’ve saved a few words for us today. 🙂

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Finishing Up Flash! Friday:

  • Tomorrow’s the last-ever Flash Dash: join us Saturday, December 5, at 11:30am Washington, DC time (check the clock here!): you’ll have thirty minutes exactly to read the prompt & post your story! Cash prize for the winner. Yes, this one will get your writerly heart pumping for sure.
  • Want any FF mugs or other souvenirs? The Dragon Emporium will stay open through December 31.
  • Join us next week for our final Flashversary contest! There’ll be a simple, single-round contest, and tons of prizes, from books to posters and all the glitz. We’ll also be drawing for the #RingofFire winner (be sure to check the Wall of Flame to make sure it’s current for you!). 

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DC2Today marks a triple farewell in a sense: the final chance to win a Flash! Friday winner’s badge, the conclusion of our second term of Year Three judges, and the final round commanded by Dragon Team Eight, Voima Oy & A.J. Walker. Be sure to read their judge bios one last time (just click on their names) to see how to maximize your chances at that trophy! 

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Awards Ceremony: Results will post Monday. Noteworthy #SixtySeconds interviews with the previous week’s winner post Thursdays.  

* Today’s required word count:  150 words +/- 10 (140 – 160 words, not counting title/byline)

How to enterPost your story here in the comments. Be sure to include your word count (min 140, max 160 words, excluding title/byline) and Twitter handle if you’ve got one. 

Deadline: 11:59pm ET tonight (check the world clock if you need to; Flash! Friday is on Washington, DC time)

Winners: will post Monday.

Prize: The Flash! Friday e-dragon e-badge for your blog/wall, your own winner’s page here at FF, a 60-second interview next Thursday, and your name flame-written on the Dragon Wall of Fame for posterity.

AND HERE IS YOUR YEAR TWO NOSTALGIA PROMPT:

Stepping back in time! Flash! Friday’s Year Two featured prompts including a photo (as always) and the gorgeous Dragon’s Bidding (designed by the even more gorgeous Susan Warren Utley of Haunted Waters Press), which required the inclusion of a particular element in your story. So in a joyful nod to Year Two, here we go again! You’ll need to include the Dragon’s Bidding AND the photo in your story.

1) DRAGON’S BIDDING (required element to include in your story. Note: think outside of the box…)

dragon

 

2) REQUIRED PHOTO PROMPT (include this photo in some way in your story):

"Her Story Written in Disappearing Ink." CC2.0 photo by Michael Shaheen.

“Her Story Written in Disappearing Ink.” CC2.0 photo by Michael Shaheen.

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Flash! Friday: Vol 3 – 51

So glad to see you back — thanks for coming! And Happy Thanksgiving to our dear American dragons who, I trust, loaded up on (roasted) pumpkin (roasted) pie, as dragons are wont to do this time of year. 

Today marks the 2nd to last round of Flash! Friday before our final Flashversary. (For those of you who missed last week’s announcement, Flash! Friday will be closing up shop following December 11’s Flashversary contest. Which, by the by, has loads of prizes, like a small mountain of books, Flash! Friday posters and mugs, and WHO KNOWS WHAT MADNESS MAY TAKE ME?!?! Tell your mother, tell your friends, and let’s make these final couple of contests the BIGGEST EVER!)  

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Announcements:

  • ONE FINAL #FlashDash, that ridiculous, harried contest where you’ve only got 30 minutes after the prompt posts to write your story! the date has been chosen: it will take place SATURDAY, December 5, at 11:30 am New York time. Mark your calendars, because I won’t be tweeting personalized reminders for this event. Cash prize for the winner! 
  • Reminder: I will leave the Dragon Emporium open through December 31, in case you want to grab a FF mug or any other souvenirs. On January 1 the store will close permanently.

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DC2Today it’s our last wild round of flash fiction judged by Dragon Team Seven, Nancy Chenier & IfeOluwa Nihinlola. Only two more chances to win our FF champ e-badge, so you’ll want to be sure to read their judge pages (just click on their names!) to see how to curry favor in the finest of styles. 

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Awards Ceremony: Results will post Monday. Noteworthy #SixtySeconds interviews with the previous week’s winner post Thursdays.  

* Today’s required word count:  150 words +/- 10 (140 – 160 words, not counting title/byline)

How to enterPost your story here in the comments. Be sure to include your word count (min 140, max 160 words, excluding title/byline), and Twitter handle if you’ve got one. If you’re new or forgetful, be sure to check the contest guidelines.

Deadline: 11:59pm ET tonight (check the world clock if you need to; Flash! Friday is on Washington, DC time)

Winners: will post Monday.

Prize: The Flash! Friday e-dragon e-badge for your blog/wall, your own winner’s page here at FF, a 60-second interview next Thursday, and your name flame-written on the Dragon Wall of Fame for posterity.

AND HERE IS YOUR NOSTALGIC PROMPT:

The beginning of Year Three featured a double-edged prompt, and that’s where we’re going today: both a photo and a required story element. To be eligible for today’s contest, your story must include BOTH parts.

(1) Today I’ve chosen character. The below character (not gender specific) MUST play a CENTRAL role in your story. Make it obvious, y’all.

 hunter

 

(2) REQUIRED PHOTO PROMPT (your story MUST RELATE to the below photo):

Stockholm cityscape. CC2.0 photo by Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho.

Stockholm cityscape. CC2.0 photo by Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho.

 

Flash! Friday: Vol 3 – 50

Welcome! As we march boldly (and/or comedically, for some of us) ever closer to the end of Year Three, my heart overflows with love and gratitude for you dear writers. Thank you for writing faithfully, for reading faithfully, for supporting each other so powerfully, tangibly, and beautifully. Your very awesomeness makes these among the hardest words I’ve ever had to say: I am going to retire the Flash! Friday contest following the December 11 Flashversary bash.

I’ve said from the beginning that Flash! Friday would serve the writing community as long as it was needed. And just look at how far flash fiction has come! We’ve seen flash that smashes the boundaries of what we’d thought possible in only a few words. We’ve watched each other grow in the ability to write beautifully, to isolate the elements of story, to think beyond cliché. Things have changed “out there” too: today loads of paying markets wait for your work.

Back in December 2012, Flash! Friday filled a vacuum. That vacuum simply doesn’t exist today. You have a marvelous support network in the Flash Dogs, many other flash contests throughout the week, and the respect of the literary world. You have the advice, encouragement, and example of top notch flash writers. You’ve got it all, and I couldn’t be more excited for you, or more grateful for the flash network you helped create. And so, it is time.

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The Business of Goodbye:

  • We will finish out Year Three as scheduled, culminating in the mega-gargantuan Flashversary contest on Dec 11, with all the bells, whistles, and prizes (including the Ring of Fire prize). And JUST FOR FUN!!! I will schedule one more frenetic Flash Dash with a cash prize (watch for the date!). You will see final #Spotlight interviews featuring Bulgaria and South Africa. We’re also changing up the prompts: each successive week will feature a “flashback” prompt in honor of our past themes. Yep, Dragon’s Bidding will make a final appearance. Still LOADS and LOADS of fun to be had before the last hurrah! Help finish Flash! Friday’s story with a bang, won’t you?
  • I will leave the Dragon Emporium open through December 31, in case you want to grab a FF mug or any other souvenirs.
  • Following the announcement of the Flashversary winners & my official farewell (somewhere around December 18), I will post a static greeting page. However, I will leave your stories and comments intact here at the FF site. Those have and will always belong to you.

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DC2Don’t run off: we still have THREE more FF champ e-badges to award before the end. Today we’ll round out the novel-inspired prompts of Year Three’s second half, stories which will be judged one last time by valiant Dragon Team Six, Josh Bertetta & Steph Ellis. If you haven’t taken a minute to read their judge bios, be sure to do so (click on their names above)… lots of juicy tips on how to win their clever favor! 

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Awards Ceremony: Results will post Monday. Noteworthy #SixtySeconds interviews with the previous week’s winner post Thursdays.  

* Today’s required word count:  175 words +/- 25 (150 – 200 words, not counting title/byline)

How to enterPost your story here in the comments. Be sure to include your word count (min 150, max 200 words, excluding title/byline), the two story elements you based your story on, and Twitter handle if you’ve got one. If you’re new or forgetful, be sure to check the contest guidelines.

Deadline: 11:59pm ET tonight (check the world clock if you need to; Flash! Friday is on Washington, DC time)

Winners: will post Monday.

Prize: The Flash! Friday e-dragon e-badge for your blog/wall, your own winner’s page here at FF, a 60-second interview next Thursday, and your name flame-written on the Dragon Wall of Fame for posterity.

AND HERE IS YOUR (FINAL NOVEL!) PROMPT:

We’re finishing off our series of novel-inspired prompts with the Master Magical Realist himself, Gabriel García Márquez and his towering work One Hundred Years of Solitude, which spans the colorful, tumultuous, convention-and-reality-defying generations of the Buendía family in their fantastic town of Macondo. 

Story elements (base your story on any TWO of these elements; be sure to tell us which two you chose. Reminder: please remember the Flash! Friday guidelines with regard to content; and remember please do not use copyrighted characters). 

* Conflict: man v man (not gender specific)
Character (choose at least one): a child born with a pig’s tail, a son returning from sailing around the world, a father who named all his sons after himself, twins fated to die at the same instant, a paranoid beauty contest winner, an iron-fisted matriarch, a man who figures out an ancient cypher, a musician, a mechanic, an author who wins a trip to Paris
Theme (choose one): solitude, the inescapability of family, magical realism, language, time, fate
Setting (choose one): an village cut off from the outside world, a banana plantation 

OPTIONAL PHOTO PROMPT (for inspiration only; it is NOT REQUIRED for your story):

Tayrona National Park, Colombia. CC2.0 photo by McKay Savage.

Tayrona National Park, Colombia. CC2.0 photo by McKay Savage.