Flashes of inspiration #7 – Entries

Morning all. These are strange and strained times for everyone at the moment, so it’s understandably hard to commit to anything non-essential. The lack of entrants to our little contest this week shows that people have other things on their minds, and that’s cool. It means a lot to me that people generally are taking part, engaging with the images and words, sharing their talents and growing their creativity. I’ll keep doing these contests because I want to challenge myself to keep writing as much as anything, even in these little snatches. It keeps the candle aflame and builds the muscles of the imagination.

That said, we are officially taking a month off because my family and I are heading off to New Zealand. The next contest will be posted up on Thursday 9th May. Until then, keep plugging with your own creative endeavours. Oh, and here are the entries for this week. (No voting.)

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Flashes of inspiration #7 – Challenge

Morning all. First up, congratulations to Caroline Polley for her victory with When In Cyberia in the last contest. Her prize will be winging its way to her soon. The creativity train never stops though, so on we go to the next competition. We have another image to get the grey cells chugging but how will you take it? Will you come up with an anthropomorphic crime drama, a Planet of the Apes pastiche, some scathing satire on capitalism, or a somewhat subtler and more twisted tale? You’ve got 400 words to play with and they must include the following three…

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Flashes of inspiration #6 – Entries and voting

Morning lovelies, I won’t badger you to enter this one again. It finished last night! Are you curious to see what our writers came up with? I certainly am. If you already know how this goes then slip straight on down to read them and then vote. If you’re a newcomer to the site then I’ll briefly explain. The image above was set last week as a prompt for our writers to play with. The only constraints were the word limit (just 400) and the fact that three key words had to be included in some way – Perdition, Transform, and Decorous. Up until now, we’ve always done the contest for fun. This time there’s a prize on offer: ‘A Warning About Your Future Enslavement That You Will Dismiss as a Collection of Short Fiction and Essays by Kit Power.’ Well, what are you waiting for? Read on…

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Flashes of inspiration #5 – Entries and voting

The bell has struck, the hour has come, and all the entries are in. Thanks again for those who have submitted to Flashes of Inspiration. I realise time is short and you all have busy lives. What’s heartening is that I seem to be getting new people every time, which gives us a good variety of styles and mindsets. Who are the authors? I hear you ask. You’ll find out next week when I declare the winner. Winner? I hear you prompt – because there may be new readers here, ya know. Oh yeah, you can vote on your two favourite pieces. Take a read of the three submissions below then pick your two favourites. I hope you enjoy them.

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Flashes of inspiration #5 – Challenge

Morning all, bit of admin first, and then we’ll get on to the new Flashes of Inspiration contest on the other side of the jump. First up, I’d like to congratulate Steve Toase for winning last week’s contest. I’ve gone back and updated all of the previous posts so the names of the authors appear next to their work, as well as declaring their status as (WINNER) or (RUNNER UP). Nice to have all the info together should folk want to revisit them.

Last time around I promised some clarification on the Key Word rule, so here it is: As alternatives to the given Key Words, writers may use plurals or any variants that appear on the same dictionary entry at dictionary.com (For example, the entry for maniac defines the noun but also lists the adjective, maniacal.)

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Flashes of inspiration #4 – Entries and voting

Morning all, and thank you for joining me again to read and vote on the Flashes of Inspiration contest. There’s some wonderful work coming in, tackling the topic in a variety of ways. I love it. Our voting system is slightly knackered at the moment – the company who provided the voting code now want to charge me to continue using it. Rather than delay things here on the site, I’ll ask you to cast your votes in the Comments section. Just jot down the titles of your two favourite pieces, and feel free to add any additional thoughts as to how or why they grabbed you. I’ll total up the votes on Thursday 28th Feb, reveal the authors, and announce the winner. Right – let’s read those Flashes…

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Flashes of inspiration #4 – Challenge

Welcome back to the Flashes of Inspiration writing challenge. I’m sorry it’s late; yesterday was messy and frustrating on the work-front. Oh well, onwards and upwards! Previous winners are noted on each of the ‘Entries’ posts retrospectively but I feel like I haven’t been doing enough to big them up. I’ll be sure to do better in the future. Let’s start by formerly congratulating Penny Jones, who won the latest contest with a little belter called Boiler, and Alexandra Peel, our very first victor, who wrote The Weather Winder. If you fancy having a go at this next challenge, hop on over the line to get your key words.

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Flashes of inspiration #3 – Entries and voting

Morning all, the time is up and we have a new stash of flashes to read! The magic words to use this time were Huckster, Pilot, and Decoy. The word limit was 300. As ever, I’m posting them up anonymously and you’ll have one week to vote. I’ll reveal the names of the authors and announce the winner on Thursday 14th February. I should add that I’ve failed to join in again this week. Apologies. I’ve been knee-deep in editing. I’ll be rolling up my sleeves and writing again next time.

Read and enjoy.

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Flashes of inspiration #3 – Challenge

Hello all, and welcome back to my little flash fiction contest. For those of you new to it, I’ve set this up as a way to challenge myself to write creatively on a regular basis. It’s all very well for me to sit back as an editor and tell everyone else how they can improve they’re work, isn’t it? No – I need to get my hands dirty too. Do the groundwork. Feel what you feel. Not all on my own, of course. I’d love you to join in – professionals and amateurs alike. It’s a bit of fun, a bit of a competition, you can even treat it as a puzzle to solve.

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Flashes of inspiration #2 – Entries

Hello, lovelies. Time’s up on our second Flashes of Inspiration contest. A quiet one this time, with just two for you to read. A reminder – the challenge was to evoke wonder in just 400 words. The above image could be used in any way to help inspire, and the following words had to be used by the writers: Speckled, Fortune, Droplet. I shan’t ask you to vote this time around. It would seem odd, somehow. Just read and enjoy.

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Flashes of inspiration #2 – Challenge

Morning all, and welcome to the second of my Flash Fiction contests.

If you want to catch up on what flash fiction is, and why it might be fun to join in, check out my previous post about it. The last contest has been edited to reveal the authors and the winning piece.

On to the next one, then. Things are pretty precarious out there in the world at the moment and frankly I could do with a glimpse of something else. Something…wondrous.

Once again, the images I post can be used any way you like to spark some inspiration. However, each of the word prompts that I post must be used somewhere in your writing.

Oh, and the screws are slowly tightening. Can you evoke wonder in a mere 400 words? The submission deadline for this second flash is midnight on Wednesday 23rd Jan 2019. Please e-mail them to dion@thefinetoothed.co.uk as my main address is still playing up.

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Writing hard.

The blog’s not been happening as regularly as I’d have liked. It stems from a number of issues but the root of it all is that writing is hard. Coming up with new things to say, or even forming fresh takes on old topics takes a lot of time and effort, and all the while there are voices in the back of your head saying things like ‘Who’s going to read this?’ or ‘Who’s going to care what I think?’

This isn’t news. It’s certainly no revelation for the authors, journalists, and bloggers out there, who rock up to the word-face every day and hammer their heads against the wall in search those precious veins of truth, those glorious seams of poetic prose. Writing is hard. It takes determination to produce, effort to craft, and a real resilience to look at it objectively afterwards. My job is easy by comparison. I can see the whole story in front of me already, trace the arcs of the characters, feel the flow of the prose…and then I can step in to help my authors refine their work, molding it into its final, shining form.

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Flashes of inspiration #1 – Entries and voting

Time’s up on our first Flashes of Inspiration contest. (I say contest, but it’s all in good fun.) The rules were simple. All our intrepid writers had to do was produce an engaging piece of fiction, using no more than 500 words. Any genre, any format. The featured image was open to interpretation, but the piece must include the following three words:

Isolation / Bubbling / Tribal.

Let’s take a look at what came in:

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Flashes of inspiration #1 – Challenge

Happy New Year to you all, and welcome to the first of my Flash Fiction competitions.

You can write in any genre, any format. Experimentation is fun so try to push your boundaries. The images I post might help to evoke a tone or a setting for you but they don’t have to be taken literally. However, each of the word prompts that I post must be used somewhere in your writing. I’d like your pieces to be no longer than 500 words, please.

The submission deadline for this first flash is midnight on Wednesday 9th Jan 2019. Email them to dion@thefinetoothed.co.uk please, as my main address is playing up.

Your image prompt is up at the top and here are your first batch of words, randomly snagged from the O.E.D.

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Sledge-Lit 2018. In the market.

There was an air of relaxed conviviality about the Derby Quad last weekend, but drive and purpose hummed beneath the surface. It seems there’s something about seeing people in the flesh, reconnecting with old acquaintances, and chewing the industry fat that inspires activity. I’d swear more ideas are pitched, bonds formed, and deals struck in …

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Channelling the flow.

Professional editing is vital but, taken in a single chunk, it represents a financial cost that many independent authors (and indeed some independent presses) balk at. This is a problem because – even if the core work is good – it can be undermined by plot inconsistencies, lacklustre characterisation, or simple technical errors. You may …

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FantasyCon 2018. Sat/Sun. Hanging together.

As a novice to the convention circuit, you study the schedule, make careful plans as to what panels and events you most want to attend, and then you spend all your time dashing around, assiduously writing notes, sweating, and occasionally weeping in the corner. It’s damned hard work. You wonder why people do this to …

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