Bards and Sages 2017 Writing Competition

I am over-the-moon excited to announce that I placed first (!) in the 2017 Bards and Sages Annual Writing Competition!  I got the news a couple days before we crossed over into 2018 but couldn’t share until the official announcement went out this week.  Suffice it to say that I needed those days to collect my thoughts, lest my post on the matter be a series of excitedly jumping gifs.

(As opposed to just the one.)

Anyway, I’m really excited about this one because in addition to being my first win, the piece I wrote, Confessions of a Post-Modern Galatea, was one of my very first completed stories.  The original version wasn’t much more than a flash piece, but over the years it was revised and revised and revised until about a year ago, when it settled into its own at just over 6k.  I’m very proud of all the work I put into it, and extremely excited to share it with the world.

You should be able to read it as part of the Bardic Tales and Sage Advice X Anthology, set to premiere in August of 2018, most likely.  (I’m guessing based on past release dates.)  And if you want to get in on the action yourself you should check out information about next year’s competition, due to post in about April.

I’m really glad I kept working on this one for as long as I did, and I’m incredibly thankful for my writing group for giving me advice, edits and support over the last few years as I worked on this and many, many other submissions.

A strong start to 2018; here’s hoping it continues.



Political Satire: Comedic Writing (Part Two)

Note: Today’s regularly scheduled MicroFiction piece has been bumped to Wednesday in order to give everyone a little more time to think about Political Satire in time for the competition on Friday.

Political Satire tops the list of genres NYC Midnight writers are scared of getting.  I think a lot of that fear comes from the fact that people don’t understand it as a genre.  So before we get into what it is, let’s start by debunking a common myth:

Political Satire is not a bunch of jokes about politicians.

Quips about Donald Trump’s hair or David Cameron being replaced by a cat need not apply, not matter how clever your joke is.  So what is it?

Satire is a genre of writing that criticizes and attacks vice, folly and abuse, particularly of ruling parties or those in power. It is marked by anger and a desire to change or destroy that which it attacks. It has a definite target and often uses humor to make a specific point. It does not simply “make fun” of a subject but seeks to inspire change.  – TV Tropes

Here are examples that have elements of the genre, but not quite there:

  • The Jungle & Uncle Tom’s Cabin – these seek to inspire change, but they don’t use humor to illustrate their points.
  • Animal Farm – that’s an allegory.  Political Satire often uses allegorical elements, but a straight allegory is not the same thing as satire if it doesn’t have the humor.

Jokes about political candidates might be funny, but political satire doesn’t have to be overtly about politics to make a political point.

The plot of a political satire piece usually has nothing to do with the subject or message you’re trying to get across.  For example, both “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift and “Baby Cakes” by Neil Gaiman are, on the surface level, stories about eating babies.  But the point they’re trying to make is very different.

Swift’s piece is about British policies regarding the Irish and the cruelty and indifference towards the plight of the impoverished.  Gaiman’s piece (originally a short story but linked as a comic) will make anyone consider converting to vegetarianism.

Some points on this:

  • You don’t necessarily have to agree with the points in your political satire piece.  Gaiman has said, “For the record I wear a leather jacket and eat meat, but am quite good with babies.”
  • Hyperbole is your friend.  Obviously neither Swift nor Gaiman was actually advocating eating babies.  But if you’re really good, your satire might get mistaken for the real thing.
  • Political satire is timely.  Remember: it’s meant to inspire change.  So while you could write a piece similar to Swift’s regarding politics of a bygone era, it doesn’t really fit the spirit of the genre because the issue is already over.
  • Some issues are pretty timeless.  For example, Aristophanes’ Lysistrata is about women going on a sex-strike to protest a war.  It’s been adapted several times, most recently in the film Chi-Raq by Spike Lee.


Since we’re talking about Flash Fiction in particular, let’s look to the following examples of sketch comedy for ideas.  These are quick skits and would easily translate into a complete story that will fit in under 1,000 words and will give you a more modern take on what Political Satire is.

  • “What if Bears Killed One in Five People?” is a political satire of the issue of rape on college campuses.
  • Amy Schumer parodies a commercial to satirize the regulations limiting accessible birth control (and one other issue, if you watch through to the very end.)
  • Key & Peele use a skit about the zombie apocalypse to make a point about racism.

I hope you recognize these skits and the comics who produced them – hopefully Political Satire will be a little less scary when you realize you’ve already been exposed to it.  I suggest you check out more of their sketches, as well as South Park and The Colbert Report for other examples.

So, with that in mind, how do you write a Political Satire piece for the Flash Fiction Challenge?  Well, my advice is to pick an issue to write about.  What do you care about?  What’s in the news today?  Read through your Facebook feed and current events news pages to get ideas.  Embrace your inner snarkiness and start joking about it about!


Have any examples of your own or questions to share with the class?  Leave them in the comments below!


Publisher’s Spotlight: Deadline Round-Up

Have you been keeping track of all the publishing deadlines coming up this summer?  No?  Well, let’s see if I can make that a touch easier for you.  Below is a list of all the Publishers featured on our Publisher’s Spotlight with links to the original posts AND the deadlines for their current calls.

Also, here’s a link to all publishers with rolling submissions, meaning they do not have a deadline (but they might close for the holidays; check individual pages for details.)

Freeze Frame Fiction is currently CLOSED for submissions.

As always, don’t forget to check out their individual sites as it will have all updated info.

Happy Submitting!

Publisher’s Spotlight: Haunted Waters Press

It’s time for another three-for-one special on this week’s Publisher’s Spotlight!  Haunted Waters Press is a small, independent publisher that offers several opportunities to submit, including the following open calls below.

From the Depths 2016: Outsiders Theme
  • In their own words: “From the Depths is the annual literary journal of Haunted Waters Press. Featuring works of prose and poetry, the journal is released in the fall of each year. Described as “one of the most compelling and beautifully illustrated literary journals,” From the Depths was created to showcase and celebrate the writing of new, emerging, and established authors.

    Inspired by the Grand Prize Winning Entry and Runners Up in the 2016 Haunted Waters Press Fiction & Poetry Open, the theme for the 2016 issue is Outsiders. We seek fiction and poetry highlighting the unique struggles, circumstances, and journeys that set individuals apart from others. We look forward to reading your work!

  • Genres they accept:  Any. “We are interested in stories that entertain us, stories that captivate us, but most of all, stories that haunt us.”
  • Word count limit: 7,500 or less for fiction and flash fiction; poetry any length.
  • Payment: $0.01 to $0.04 per word for fiction and $20 for poetry.
  • Reading Fee: $3-$10 donation for their Expedited Decision.
  • Simultaneous Submissions*: No Simultaneous Submissions unless submitted via Expedited Decision.  Expedited Decision submissions are reviewed within seven days.
    • Note: Expedited Decision is the only option currently open, so Yes, they do.
  • Multiple Submissions**: One active submission per contributor. Please wait until a decision has been reached prior to submitting additional work.
  • Previously Published Submissions: Yes, but “entries must not have appeared in print. Please be certain there are no known copyright restrictions.”
  • Schedule: March 1, 2016 – September 20th via Expedited Decision.

So what is “Expedited Decision?”  Essentially it’s a reading fee – you send them a contribution between $3 – $10 and they’ll fast-track your submission so you get it back within a week.  They do have a free reading period, but the deadline for 2016 has passed.

“Hey Liz, I’m strapped for cash.  Any chance of a free submission?”  Why, yes!  Check out…

Penny Fiction Competition 2016
  • In their own words: “Tell us story in exactly 16 words—no more, no less.  Extra points will be awarded for those writers who adhere to the rules. Not really. There are no points. Just read the contest rules below and impress Penny with your ability to follow instructions.”
  • Genres they accept:  Any, but “no poetry, tag lines, or jokes.”
  • Word count limit: 16.  No, really.  But on the plus side, “One entry per author, per round. (Contributors are encouraged to submit multiple stories in a single entry, but may only transmit one submission per round.) One story is fine. Four is cool. Twenty is borderline obnoxious. We like obnoxious! Just remember: a single entry with multiple stories!”
  • Payment: Grand Prize: $25 and publication in the 2016 issue of From the Depths.  Selected Runners Up will also receive publication.
  • Simultaneous Submissions*: No.
  • Multiple Submissions**: See above.
  • Previously Published Submissions: No.
  • Schedule: Round Three – June 1, 2016 – July 31, 2016

“I mean, that’s great and all, but $25 won’t go far.  You got anything with a bigger pay out?”

Yes, increasingly particular imaginary construct!  I do!

Short Shorts: A Summer 2016 Flash Fiction Contest
  • In their own words: “We seek flash fiction of 500 words or less.  Winning entries will contribute to our upcoming “Outsiders” theme highlighting the unique struggles, circumstances, and journeys that set individuals apart from others.”
  • Genres they accept:  Any.
  • Word count limit: 500 or less. Up to three works may be included in each entry.
  • Payment:
    • Grand Prize
      • $250
      • Publication in the 2016 issue of From the Depths

      • Featured Author Interview to accompany published work in print.

    • Runners Up
      • All entries eligible for publication in the 2016 issue of From the Depths.

      • Contributors to be paid $20 for each published story

      • Online Featured Author Interview.

  • Reading Fee: $10
  • Simultaneous Submissions*: Yes (see Submission page for details and limits.)
  • Multiple Submissions**: Yes (see Submission page for details and limits.)
  • Previously Published Submissions: Yes, but “entries must not have appeared in print. Please be certain there are no known copyright restrictions.”
  • Schedule: May 5, 2016 – September 20, 2016

Keep this in mind in case there’s a Short Fiction you want to submit to From the Depths.  Since it’ll cost you either way, it’s probably worth it to pay your $10 here in case you’re selected for a Runner Up slot.

Ok guys, I think that’s plenty of info for now.  Don’t forget to refresh your memory with the reminders below and check out the links for more info on these opportunities!

*This means whether they will allow you to submit this story to another publisher at the same time or not.

**This means whether you can send them more than one story at at time.

Reminders when submitting:

Read the publication:  Flash is short and their stories are freely accessible on the site.  You have no excuse not to do your research and see what kind of style gets their attention.  It will also give you an idea of what’s been done before so you don’t end up sending them something too similar to a recently published story.

Read the guidelines: I don’t post everything required for their submissions, just the basics.  Furthermore, this is a static post.  Publishers change their submission requirements at will so it’s always a good idea to read and re-read them, even if you’ve submitted to them before.

Follow the rules: Do I really need to say this?  Don’t send pieces over the word count.  Don’t send content they specifically warn against.  Don’t send weirdly formatted manuscripts if they give you specific instructions.

Happy submitting!

NYC Midnight: Flash Fiction Challenge

This is going to read less like a Publisher’s Spotlight and more like a personal story, because it is.  If you only care about the contest, skip to the  quick and dirty.  The rest of you, feel free to join me in a little reminiscing.

The end of July will mark the one-year anniversary of me getting my writing life back on track.  I was in a bit of a writing funk.  Diving in here and there but never really devoting the time and energy to my writing that I ought to.  It had been a year and a half since my short story, Needs More Salt, was published and I didn’t have drive to keep it up.

Then in July I saw an ad on Facebook for a contest: NYC Midnight’s Flash Fiction Challenge.  The entry fee was steep – if you know me at all you know I hate paying entry fees at all, so $50 made me cringe.  But skeptical as I was, I did a little digging and here what I found out:

  • NYC Midnight runs four contests a year on a rotating basis, one of which is the Flash Fiction Challenge (FFC).  (The others are screenplay-related or for Short Stories.)
  • The entry fee for the FFC gets you:
    • two rounds of competition with two unique sets of prompts
      • an additional two rounds should you place high enough in your groups
    • official feedback from the judges
    • unofficial feedback from the forums should you choose to participate
    • access to prizes, given out to the top 10 writers of the final round competition

So, why did I join?

I hadn’t written finished anything in a awhile.

Lord, what would I become without a deadline?  Don’t answer that.  For perspective, I had the idea for a superhero story sitting around in my computer since early 2014.  I only wrote/finished it on May 6th because of a certain Heroes vs. Villains contest deadline.  (It was well received; thank you for asking.)

I liked the odds.

Because they split the contestants into different groups, you’re only really competing against 30 – 40 writers.  That said, some of the finest writers I’ve had the pleasure to meet were in my group.  That hurt my chances a bit, but on the plus side, we made friends with each other on the forum and I was invited into a writer’s group who have kept me active over the last year, even when the contest wasn’t in session.  So, win-win.

Also, you only have to beat out half of the group (roughly) to get points for this contest.  With two rounds built into your entry fee you have two chances to score high enough to move on.  Your points for both rounds are tallied together, so even if you get 8th place in round one (8 points) and 5th place in round two (11 points) you’re still going to do better than someone who took 1st (15 points) in round one and 14th for the second (2 points), even if you didn’t get in the top 3 for either round.

It was an even (more or less) playing field.

George R.R. Martin would not win this contest.  If you want to win you have to come up with good ideas – fast – and polish it as best as you can within the time limit.  Prompts like “Action-Adventure, a Dumbbell, and an Underwater Cave” will throw anyone for a loop.  You could get a genre that you’re not familiar with, but chances are, there are other writers in the group who are just as lost as you are.

I got to read the competition.

Here’s the thing: when you’ve collected as many rejections as I have you start wondering whether you’re really any good.  Did I come really close to getting published or am I at the bottom of the pack?  I did my first round of the FFC without any beta readers at all – no help, no outsiders allowed.  I did that partially to test myself.  How well can I write when left to my own devices?  It turns out I’m pretty good at being creative under pressure.  The judges didn’t think so, but that’s another matter.

The judge’s opinions are subjective, but at least in this contest you get to read what the competition wrote (assuming they submitted it on the forum, which is locked to outsiders, so it counts as a workshop, not a first publication.)  Some are going to be better than yours, and that’s great!  Learn from them!  Be awed and take notes!  And also, some are not.  Be kind.  Give advice to help someone improve.  That’s what you’d want for your piece, right?  Advice, not mockery?  And yes, enjoy the ego boost it gives you when you find a piece that isn’t quite as awesome as yours.  You worked hard.  Celebrate.

Oh, and one more note before moving on… Just because you thought someone else’s story was awful, doesn’t mean you get to trash it if they scored higher than you.  Not cool.  To be 100% on the level, the judging for this contest is erratic.  I got 0 points on both of my stories.  That sucked.  Hard.  You put on a brave face, you bitch to your friends, you send a note to the contest runners if you think the judges (legitimately) screwed up.  But do not trash the other contestants.

I couldn’t can’t afford a writer’s workshop.

Listen, writing conferences are expensive, take up valuable time, and rarely exist within driving distance to me.  96 hours of balls-to-the-wall writing without having to leave my apartment?  Literally hundreds of stories to read through on the forums to critique (and compare myself to?)  Yes, please.

And that’s my biggest take-away from this experience.  For me it’s not about the contest (because again, the judging isn’t always the best) but about the writer’s workshop portion.  If you really want to get your money’s worth, invest in the forums.  There’s a camaraderie with participating with thousands of other entrants and seeing what you all managed to crank out.  And really, $50 for a writer’s workshop is the cheapest I’ve ever heard of, and I don’t even have to take time off work to join it.

For the record, I also participated in the Short Story Challenge and made it all the way through to the final round, something I’m extremely proud of despite my last story not placing in the finals.  There were many talented writers, so being among the top 40 was no small matter.  I say this because the judging is erratic, not necessarily bad.  And that’s frustrated a lot of participants to the point that I can’t blame them for not joining.

But then again, what other contest is this transparent?  In any other contest you get to read your entry and maybe a handful of the finalists that get published at the end.  You’re tossed into a group with a thousand other participants all writing to the same prompt hoping that you’ll rise to the top.  That’s a lot of pressure and a lot harder than out-writing 15 other people who got the same crazy prompts 48 hours ago.  And you just have to trust that the judges are ranking you fairly, you don’t get feedback, you don’t get ranked, you don’t know.

Am I going to participate this year?  I’ve thought about not.  Partially because I’ve had the experience, I’ve met my people, I don’t technically need to pay to play anymore, I’ve got the motivation and support I need already.  And Lord it is expensive.

But I can honestly say that my writing has improved and I know it will continue to improve by participating.  I know I need a deadline to get things done, and I know it forces me to test my skills by making me write for genres I’d never considered.  I hate writing Mysteries, but I wrote one I’m really proud of that’s currently under consideration at a publication.  That’s a story I never would have thought of, much less written, and it’s close to being a new credit on my resume.  How cool is that?

And more than anything, I really don’t think I can wait another year after this for it to come around again.  Even though I placed higher in the Short Story Challenge, it was a much more stressful experience.  I need the rush of 48 hours, which is just enough time to get an idea and get it out the door before I overthink things.

So yeah, sign me up!

All right, all right, I promised you some quick and dirty details, so here we go:

  • In their own words: “The Flash Fiction Challenge is an international creative writing competition, now in its 8th year, that challenges participants to create original short stories (1,000 words max.) based on genre, location, and object assignments. “
  • Genres they accept: Depends on your prompt.  “When the competition begins, writers are placed in groups where they will be judged against other writers within their same group.  Each group receives its own unique genre, location, and object assignments (see past examples here).
  • Word count limit: 1,000
  • Time limit: Prompts are e-mailed at midnight on Friday-into-Saturday.  Submissions are due by midnight on Sunday evening.
  • Entry Fee: The entry fee is US$45 by the Early Entry Deadline of June 16th and US$55 until the Final Entry Deadline of July 21st.  Click here to register.
    • You also can get $5 off the entry fee just by tweeting.  Click here to make a post to your Facebook or Twitter account to receive a promotional code for $5 off.
  • Prize: The top 10 entrants after four rounds of participation get cash prizes.
  • Schedule: 
Early Entry Deadline: June 16, 2016
Final Entry Deadline: July 21, 2016
Challenge #1: July 22-24, 2016
Challenge #2: September 16-18, 2016
Challenge #3:* November 4-6, 2016
Challenge #4:* December 9-11, 2016

*Note: you must place high enough to participate in Challenge #3 & #4.

For more Information:

How the Contest Works

The FFC 2015 Winning Entry


Who to Contact if I have trouble registering/technical issues

My handle on the Forums, if you want to be friends.  You can also check out my stories for FFC 2016 if you’re a registered member.  (I share all my stories in the forums but I have removed the links to stories written for previous contests.)

Still not sure?  Check out the entry on Jen’s Pen Den that convinced me to join a year ago or ask me questions below in the comments.

#MFM Winner: Gerry Kennedy

Congratulations to Gerry Kennedy, winner of our final #MicroFictionMonday contest!  I hope you enjoyed reading this month’s winners as much as I did!  Things should be going back to normal around here for a little while, but without further ado I present the winning entry!

Dinosaur Jr.

The teenage reptoid stands preening himself at the mirror, tugging his baseball cap lower over his brow, a toothy carnivorous grin split across his face. He looks good enough to eat, even if he says so himself.  Yup, this will look near enough human in the night of downtown.

He hopes to sneak out unseen, but millions of years of predatory instinct hardwired into large hunting eyes means no movement goes unnoticed.

Father: “Hey, where you heading son?”

Son: “Overground, I gotta date.”

Father: “That’s my boy.”

Mother: “So who is this lucky young reptoid? Do we know her?”

Son: “No, she’s a… um… a human.”

Mother and Father roar “A HUUUMAN?!!!”

Father:  “Are you crazy son? We eat humans, we don’t date them. Jeez, today’s kids!”

Mother: “And how would you know a human?”

Son: “Social Media.”

“Damned computers,” Father growls.

Son: “Sure, we’re always on the web. She says her parents are so old-fashioned they are practically dinosaurs, so we have a lot in common.”

Father growls louder.

Mother: “And, um, does this human have a name?”

Son: “She’s called Katie.”

“K/T?” Father explodes. “K/T? Are you trying to give me a heart attack son – is that what you’re trying to do to your old man huh? Next you’ll be telling me her surname is ‘Extinction’.”

Mother: “Son, you know how father feels about the ‘E’ word.”

Son: “I didn’t say ‘Extinction’ – he did!”

Father howls longer, louder and harder.

Mother: “Best you go now and I’II try and calm Father. If your date doesn’t work out tonight you can always bring her back here and we can have her for supper tomorrow evening; Father would like that.”

Son ascends towards street-level shuddering with indignity; Katie is right he thought, parents today are just sooooo prehistoric.

About the Author:

Gerry Kennedy lives in London, still hopefully seeking out the upsides within the downsides of life. Follow Gerry on Twitter: @GerryKennedy10


#MFM Contest Winner: Rory Hinshelwood!

Congratulations to Rory Hinshelwood, winner of last week’s #MicroFictionMonday contest!  There were lots of great entries to choose from for the “It’s About Time” theme but alas, there can be only one winner.  Please enjoy his entry below, and don’t forget to try your hand at the last theme of them month, due Friday!



I have this little ring with me. It’s a man ring, like a signet. Not that women can’t wear them, it’s just that this one has only been worn by men. It’s gold but could do with a shine. And there’s a wreath on it. It had been engraved delicately but ever since it’d been nicked and scratched. It was my great grandfather’s originally. His father, my great great grandfather, bought it for him on his 21st birthday. Like me on my 21st birthday I’m sure he was dazzled by it. Gold, it is made of pure gold. Just think of it! A piece of gold on your little finger. People used to sieve rivers for hours on end just to get gold like this.

This piece of gold had been to the Great War and back. My father told me that the glint of the shiny gold and almost killed my great grandfather. He’d been crawling in the mud across no mans land on a bright day. The enemy must have seen the reflection because the next thing he knew there was a bullet in his leg.  So it’s tradition to always keep it dull.

Now me. What shall I have done with it? Something I can tell my son about I hope. Something great. That’s right I’ll have to do something great. Something worth hearing.

About the Author:

Rory is 18 years old from London and always had a knack at writing since he started one lonely holiday. Recently shortlisted in the Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation Author of Tomorrow award. Currently still at school and will spend his entire gap year in South America next year.  Follow him on Twitter @Roryhinshelwood.

Want to see your work published here?  Don’t forget to enter this week’s contest!

#MFM Contest: …with Dinosaurs


Prompt: …with Dinosaurs

Originally this prompt was going to be “Steampunk Dinosaurs” but I couldn’t find a picture I liked.  So let’s explain what we’re looking for here: no matter what you send, there must be dinosaurs.  Why?  Because dinosaurs are awesome.  Genre bending/mixing is encouraged.  Humor is highly encouraged.  Send me something outrageous.  Give me T-Rexes in F-14s.  Give me steampunk pterodactyls ferrying people around in the 19th century.  Give me stegosaurus heavy artillery during the Civil War.  That scene where Wash plays with dinosaur toys on Firefly is good.  The scene where Doctor Who rides a triceratops around a spaceship is better.  I don’t care, just so long as it’s “…with Dinosaurs.”

P.S. – If you send me a highly emotional tale of a grieving mother mulling over her son’s toy dinosaurs after his funeral I’m sure it will be beautiful, but you’re absolutely missing the point.


Word limit: 300.

Schedule: Submissions accepted from 9:00am (EST) on Monday, through 5:00pm (EST) on Friday of any given week. The winning entry will be posted the following Tuesday.

Prize: Winners will receive publication on this blog and a bio that links back to the site(s) of their choosing.  This contest is non-paying.

Specifics: Please put MFM-Submission-[This week’s PROMPT]-[Your TITLE] in your subject line.  For example: MFM-Submission-Self Portraits-Me, Myself & I

Attach your entry as a .doc file or .docx  DO NOT include your name anywhere on your submission or file name as all entries will be read blind.  DO NOT send more than one entry per week.  No explicit or graphic content please.

Please do include a brief cover letter with a short bio written as you would like it to appear on the site.  Do include links to your blog, twitter, or however else you would like to promote yourself.

Send your submissions to: LizSchriftsteller (at) gmail (dot) com.

Feel free to post any questions in the comments below.

Happy submitting!

#MFM Winner: Amy Francisconi!

Apologies for the late posting, I had some technical difficulties last week in that I did not have a computer and everything was postponed a bit… So with no further delays, here is the winner of the Faces on the Train contest!

Congratulations to Amy Francisconi, winner of last week’s #MicroFictionMonday contest!  Please enjoy her winning entry below!


The Good Son

My brother and I sit back to back on the train. We don’t speak now – we said more than enough back on the platform. Turned heads and invited stares when our voices rose. Now we sway in silence, the good son and the other, on our way to say goodbye to our mother.

I’ll continue to live in the brownstone we grew up in. Phil will fuck off and do his own thing. He’ll visit Ma’s grave a couple times to leave flowers before it becomes too inconvenient to make the trip. It will fall on me to tend hers the way I’ve looked after Pop’s since he passed. And what’s the difference, after all? It’s just as easy to tend two as it is one, side by side as they’ll be.

Phil and I were close, years ago. There was a time when the three years between us were nothing. We played like friends just as often as we fought like brothers. We’d been a team.

Somehow, together, we convinced Pop to let us have a dog. Not a puppy – Pop wanted to give a shelter dog a chance.

Jenny loved us all, but she took a shine to me. She slept between our twin beds, right below mine so I could reach out and stroke her when she whined in her sleep. Phil began to protest when I wanted to bring Jenny along to the park or to play ball. No longer novel, she was inconvenient. He forgot to feed and walk her. And then he made new friends and we grew apart.

“Remember Jenny?” I ask. My throat is tight. For a moment I think he didn’t hear me over the noise of the train. Then he answers.

“Jenny who?”

About the Author:

Amy lives in Delaware with her husband, one elderly, cantankerous cat and two young, enthusiastic pups. Books have always been her favorite form of travel. After a long hiatus from writing, Amy has pulled out her word crafting tools once again. She hopes to create places and construct adventures for others to enjoy and give back to an art form she adores.

#MFM Contest: It’s About Time


Now the years are rolling by me–
They are rockin’ evenly.
I am older than I once was,
And younger than I’ll be.
That’s not unusual;
No, it isn’t strange:
After changes upon changes
We are more or less the same;
After changes we are more or less the same.

The Boxer, Paul Simon

Prompt: It’s About Time

This week we’re going to talk about time.  Time travel, nostalgia, growing old, birth and renewal, decay – hit me with whatever you’ve got that inspires you.  I’ve included the above quote and photo as a jumping off point, but as long as you stick to the broader theme of “Time” you should do just fine.  No limitations on genre.


Word limit: 300.

Schedule: Submissions accepted from 9:00am (EST) on Monday, through 5:00pm (EST) on Friday of any given week. The winning entry will be posted the following Tuesday.

Prize: Winners will receive publication on this blog and a bio that links back to the site(s) of their choosing.  This contest is non-paying.

Specifics: Please put MFM-Submission-[This week’s PROMPT]-[Your TITLE] in your subject line.  For example: MFM-Submission-Self Portraits-Me, Myself & I

Attach your entry as a .doc file or .docx  DO NOT include your name anywhere on your submission or file name as all entries will be read blind.  DO NOT send more than one entry per week.  No explicit or graphic content please.

Please do include a brief cover letter with a short bio written as you would like it to appear on the site.  Do include links to your blog, twitter, or however else you would like to promote yourself.

Send your submissions to: LizSchriftsteller (at) gmail (dot) com.

Feel free to post any questions in the comments below.

Happy submitting!