Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Yay! That was so fun! Thanks to all who participated! You guys are really bringing your A-game! You didn't make it easy for Nick. (heehee, good job!) Go read the entries (here) and judge for yourself - leave some comments and encouragement. THEN come back here and see what the judge had to say. Without further ado...

This week's challenge was a delight to judge - thanks Alissa. (You're welcome!) It has something for everyone; murder, mystery, and mayhem sit alongside a genre range featuring fairy tales, SF, thriller, horror, steampunk and contemporary writing - twists galore, wonderful vocabulary and great story telling. I have commented on every story and tried, when thoughts occurred to me, to make comments that would be constructive, rather than just making 'You've all done very well' noises. I've added these in the comments section of Alissa's blog (here). Please accept these comments as I offer them, but remember that it is just one reader's opinion, take it or leave it, it's a writers choice. I hope to see you all again soon in this and other challenges.

The Verdict (drum roll...) (da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da... I like to be helpful! :) )

Special Challenge Runner Up

DoctorMikeReddy Eye of the Beholder

Mike, I loved the humour in this piece, particularly the puns & word play ' stone un-Turnered'. The war between the artistic styles lit the tale up. The final line ties the story up beautifully. Using the challenge prompts in one sentence is just showing off!

Special Challenge Champion

Rebekah Postupak The Most Beautiful Woman

Rebekah, a wonderful, whimsical tale that leaves the reader wondering up which particular garden path they are being led; before depositing them deftly on solid, familiar, but unexpected ground with a smile on their face. A sharp sense of character that both uses the reader's background assumptions to good effect, and provides additional personality and depth. Great use of the challenge prompts (again all in one sentence!)

Runner Up to the Grand Champion

Jeffrey Hollar A Joy Forever

Wow Jeff! This one takes the reader on a journey. Exquisite description, so real I felt that I could reach out and touch her. But then you make the sharp left turn into a sudden 'car crash' of a denouncement, beautiful as much for its abruptness as for its execution. The sense of closure in the protagonist's reflective comments about the technical aspects of his trade, tie up the beauty theme in a neat package. Good stuff!

Week 7 Finish That Thought Grand Champion

drmagoo untitled

This is a powerful, moving, poignant 'slice of life' flash fiction. All elements of the story are strong. Plot, character, location, conflict, resolution, theme and a sense of change are all present in abundance. You truly made the unseen girl a very real presence - a character in the story. The final paragraph not only resolves the tale brilliantly, but it takes it to a different place and adds real resonance and depth. I had to award this piece the prize as I kept thinking about it long after I finished reading it. The mark of fine flash fiction! Thank you.


  1. 303 words
    special challenge
    did not want to post last night, wanted to share my story anyway!

    She was the most beautiful woman I had never met!

    Starbucks was full of loitering hipsters drinking their lattes and chi teas. Outside the skies were thick with nebulous clouds, the sun desperately trying to cut through the thick haze. I was in jeans and my favorite white linen button down shirt. I had ordered my latte and was lounging at a table watching people come and go

    I am a writer for the New York Times and was thinking about my next review on the new restaurant that opened about a month ago between 5th and Park Ave. I had eaten there a couple times to explore and try different dishes on the menu. The food was simply amazing, the flavor was unbelievable. So needless to say it will be given an excellent review. I remembered asking the chief if he could tell me what was in the dry rub for his signature ribs. He promptly informed me that the recipe was so clandestine that he would have to kill me if he told me.

    The sun had finally burned through the clouds. Enjoying my coffee and the warm sun shinning through the window, a woman passes by the window to the door of the coffee shop. I looked up right as she stepped through the threshold into the entry of the coffee shop. Time slowed and the environment around her stopped. Her golden blonde hair lightly bouncing as she walked. Her flawless cream tanned skin glowed in the warm ambient light. Her big dark brown eyes were mesmerizing, and I couldn’t keep from staring. Ballet slippers hung from her gym bag with the Ballet Academy logo on it. I watched her walk with her coffee and step out into the sunshine; she was the most beautiful woman I had never met.

  2. Hi Jena
    This tale's description of the girl is vivid and includes good additional detail (the ballet slippers imply grace of movement so you don't have to).
    Two thoughts. Be careful with proofing, especially of tenses (In the final paragraph you have shinning, presumably for shining, and then you move from 'passes' straight to 'looked' in the next sentence - either is OK if you're consistent throughout). Think about the balance of the story and how the parts connect one to the other. In your three paragraphs, one is about the setting, the next is about the narrator and also his job, while the third is about the girl. It will feel a rounder tale to the reader if there is an implied (or even specific) connection between the parts. Thanks for posting. Look forward to reading more from you in future!

  3. I always have trouble with tenses! Man!!! Big Bummer:( I will do better proof reading also!! I'm so much better at poetry!!