Tag Archive | Susan Warren Utley

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. 🙂


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!). 


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! 


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.


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…)



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.

Flash! Friday: Vol 3 – 6

WELCOME! A true pleasure to have y’all back with us today, madly writing up mad stories of madness. Coincidentally, today’s a mad day here at the lair, with the launch of a brand new, exciting format. But I’ll get to that in a second.

First up: enormous thanks are in order to my dear friend and frequent co-conspirator, the fabulously talented artist and writer Susan Warren Utley (she also happens to be the head of Haunted Waters Press, home of the gorgeous lit mag From the Depthscheck them out!). Susan took time out of her busy schedule to design logos and badges, both for Flashversary and for the new prompts. Thank you, Susan. You are so appreciated! Also, I owe you some serious coffee. And chocolate. And possibly the renaming of one or two of my dragonlings in your honor.

New format: …which brings us to the Phase One update for Year Three: a tweaked format! This coming year we’ll focus on the primary elements of story: character, setting, plot, and theme. We’ll rotate through these four in a well-behaved, orderly fashion. (I HEARD THAT! No snort laughs in the lair, please. We take ourselves Very Seriously here.)

(1) Each week we’ll provide a specific prompt representing one of those four elements, and a photo. In other words, it will operate just like the Year Two Dragon’s Bidding, with two required pieces to be included in your entry: photo and story element.

(2) And in other BIG NEWS: for Year Three you will be given (quite generously, I must add) fifty more words. The new word limit is 200 (give or take 10).

(3) Yes, you may still enter up to two stories.

(4) The other guidelines will stay the same in terms of content (eg no erotica or fanfic). Read more here.

Tweet any questions to the Flash! Friday team at @flashfridayfic. And HAVE FUN!!!!


Judging today are our noble Team Two dragon captains Mark King and Tamara Shoemaker. Tamara swears her undying love for the un-obvious (“There is no box,” she says. “Write freely; show me your heart.”) Similarly, Mark says he’s looking for the unusual, such as characters with mundane lives who experience strange events. (“I love writers that are brave enough to try something new,” he says.)       


Awards Ceremony: Results will post Monday. Noteworthy #SixtySeconds interviews with the previous week’s winner post Wednesdays.  I (Rebekah) post my own unbalanced writings sometimes on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

Now, raise your brooms and write amazing stories in hallways of bubbles!

* Word count: Write a 200-word story (10-word leeway on either side) based on the photo prompt.

HowPost your story here in the comments. Include your word count (min 190 – max 210 words, excluding title) and Twitter handle if you’ve got one. If you’re new, don’t forget 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 Wednesday, and your name flame-written on the Dragon Wall of Fame for posterity.


Required story element (this week: character. You must include the below character in your story):


Required photo prompt to incorporate:

Coliseum in Rome. CC2.0 photo by Vlad.

Coliseum in Rome. CC2.0 photo by Vlad.





CLOSED. Thank you for coming to celebrate flash fiction with me! The 25 stories moving on to Round 2 will post on Monday, Dec 9.

WELCOME, dear ones, to YOUR celebration! This Flash! Friday anniversary party is in honor of YOU, the international family of flash writers who have adventured and worked with me to build this spectacular community. The stories you’ve spun over the past year are wild and surprising and powerful and unforgettable. Thanks to your efforts and enthusiastic support of each other, writers and readers around the world can (and do!) know, love and appreciate you. Thank you so very, very much for being the wonderful writers you are, and for sharing yourselves with the world for a few words every week. NOW LET’S PARTY!!!


JUDGES: Serving as Flashversary judges today are four writers whose weekly flash fiction contests, now retired/handed off to others, launched my love affair with the genre. Wakefield Mahon (Motivation Monday), Stevie McCoy (Tuesday Tales), Cara Michaels (Menage Monday), and Nicole Wolverton (5 Minute Fiction) continue to inspire writers everywhere with their work and support of the writing community. Read more about them here, and leave them love & warm fuzzies. Thank you, noble judges!



HWPHaunted Waters Press Award. Captained by the fabulously talented duo of Susan Warren Utley and Savannah Spidalieri, HWP is the home of the stunning lit mag From the Depths. Susan also serves as one of the masterminds behind Shenandoah Valley Writers, and it is impossible to overstate the debt Flash! Friday owes her. THANK YOU, Susan, for your faithful support of writers and the enormous and invaluable part you have played in making FF what it is today. I love you dearly, respect and admire you deeply, and will be indebted to you forever. ❤

The Haunted Waters Press editors will read all Flashversary entries and choose their favorite to award publication. The selected story will be showcased online at Haunted Waters Press as part of their online literary content. To learn more, please visit Haunted Waters Press; join them on Facebook & follow them on Twitter.


826DCAlso partnering with Flash! Friday today is 826DC, a nonprofit group whose mission is to develop and nurture young writers. These kids represent the literary thinkers and dreamers of tomorrow. Discover more at their website and by following them on Twitter.

Give back! If Flash! Friday has been a help to you on your writing journey, please consider making a donation to 826DC in honor of Flash! Friday. They have a special donation page set up for this purpose. (Note: you’ll get a special sneak peek at the new FF logo…) And thank you!



Grand Dragon Champion: One poster, eight flyers, and eight postcards of your winning story with the new FF logo (to be formally introduced on Dec 11 with the winners) as well as a FF commemorative poster, and (paper) copies of E. M. Forster’s Aspects of the Novel and John Gardner’s The Art of Fiction1st Runner Up:  One poster and eight postcards of your story, a FF commemorative poster, and (paper) copies of Strunk’s The Elements of Style and Brian Kiteley’s The 3 A.M. Epiphany. 2nd Runner Up: Eight postcards of your story and a FF commemorative poster Honorable Mentions: 1 Flash! Friday commemorative poster.


FLASHVERSARY TIME! (Questions? Tweet @FlashFridayFic or email Flash! Friday here.)

Word Limit: 350 words, no more, no less. (Er, make that no fewer.)

How: Post your entry (one per writer) here in the comments. Include your word count (350 words exactly, exclusive of title/byline–a title is not mandatory but strongly encouraged) and Twitter handle if you’ve got one (if not, be sure to link your email address or some way for us to contact you).

Entry window: From 7:30am Monday, Dec 2, until 11:59pm Friday, Dec 6, Washington, DC time. 


*Round 1: The Flashversary judge panel will collectively select the top 25 entries to move on to the 2nd round. The top 25 entries will be posted Monday, Dec 9, at 7:30am Washington, DC time.

*Round 2: From the top 25 stories, the Flash! Friday team will select the top 10 entries moving on to the final round. The Top 10 finalists will be posted on Tuesday, Dec 10, at 7:30am Washington, DC time.

*Final Round: From the Top 10 entries, I, yes I, Rebekah Postupak!, will choose the Grand Dragon Champion, two runners up, and two honorable mentions. The winners (including the Haunted Waters Press award) will be announced on Wednesday, Dec 11, at 7:30am Washington, DC time along with the new FF look and logo.

And now for your prompt! It’s been a marvelous, miraculous, wonderful year here at Flash! Friday–let’s see what you, in your own genre and style (see the guidelines for content restrictions), can do with dragons (literal or figurative). And thank you, dear Flash! Friday family, from the bottom of my heart.

Dragon of Halong Bay (Vietnam). Photo by LoggaWiggler.

Dragon of Halong Bay (Vietnam). Photo by LoggaWiggler.