#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

 

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#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!

Gold_winner

GOLD

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

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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.

Rules:

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!

subway_arm

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

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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.

Rules:

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 Self-Portraits Winner: Jennie Brass!

Congratulations to Jennie Brass, winner of last week’s #MicroFictionMonday contest!  Please enjoy her winning entry below, and check out the links to her sites for more of her fantastic writings!

Enfatico

From birth, music flowed through me. The cadence of this world ebbed and surged like a branched river demanding to be explored. I became but a leaf carried on the tiny white crests of a call that developed into an insatiable wanderlust.

Some call me a drifter, a dreamer. I would hardly argue. The music is a blessing and a bane driving me to explore every nuance within reality.

Each place, each living being possesses a unique part in the world’s symphony, and I am privy to it all. Raw beauty shimmered in the sunlit day in stark contrast to the turbulent danger that lurked below the surface on moonless nights.

Yet, little was ever as it seemed.

How can so many not see that even the breathy pan pipe can push the feet into flight? Even the savage war drum can mimic a mother’s heat-beat to sooth her young.

We are, all of us, complex.

None truly good. None truly wicked.

Each capable of a score of music to aid, or to harm, others.

This world has taught me how a single voice becomes powerless with a shout, while it is the whisper that holds the sufficient strength to turn the heart.

 

About the Author

Jennie Brass was born with an appetite to create. From an early age she drew picture stories and made up entire worlds for these innumerable creatures. Some have managed to survive the ravages of growing up and their lives are being diligently cataloged in an epic journey some call being an author. You can follow her exploits through her blog, Journeys Through a Brass Quill or follow her on Facebook, the Brass Quill.

 

Want to see your story posted here?  Submit to this week’s contest!

#MFM Contest: Faces on the Train

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Prompt: Faces on the Train

Last week I asked about a very introspective topic, after all, who knows us better than ourselves?  This week we’re going to flip that on its head and talk about strangers.  Who is that person across from you on the train?  Where did they come from?  Where are they going?  Craft a story about one of the people in the photographs above, or mix and match several characters in any of them.  No genre limitations.

Rules:

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 Contest: Self-Portraits

Welcome to the new #MicroFictionMonday contest!  Each Monday this month I will be posting a new prompt for short fiction entries, the details of which are listed below.

In honor of Cinco de Mayo this week let’s kick it off with a tribute to Mexican artist Frida Kahlo: Self Portraits.

“I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.” – Frida Kahlo

frida_kahlo_double-self-portrait

Prompt: Self Portraits

Tell me something about yourself, what speaks to you, or something else having to do with identity – yours, your character’s, etc. What makes you, you?

The entries do not have to be non-fiction, I have no way to verify that.  These entries can be whatever genre works for you – Frida’s portraits were often surrealist imaginings, so feel free to get creative with this.

Rules:

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!

New for May: Contests!

Thank you all to everyone for reading my blog these past two months.  I’ve done some thinking and in lieu of your usual Publisher’s Spotlight, I wanted to use our time together to announce some changes coming to the site next month: contests!

For the month of May, Publisher’s Spotlight is going to focus exclusively on FREE short fiction contests with various prizes.

I will be introducing a #MicroFictionMonday contest! 

Every Monday for the Month of May (because I love alliteration) I will be posting a new prompt for the week.  The contest runs Monday, 9:00am (EST) through 5:00pm Friday (EST).  The winning entry will be posted Tuesday of the following week.

Note: the final contest will run Monday, May 23 – Friday, May 27th so we can get the last winner in before June.  There will not be a prompt posted on Monday, May 30th.

Details:

Prompt:  This will vary from week to week.  Tune in every Monday at 9am (EST) for the new prompt.  Submissions accepted through 5pm the following Friday.

Word limit: 300.  This is Micro Fiction after all.  You’re subject to the same rules I set for myself.  (For reference, most of my posted stories are in the 100 – 150 range.)

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

How to Enter:

Please put MFM-Submission-[This week’s PROMPT]-[Your TITLE] in your subject line.  For example: MFM-Submission-Flowers-A Rose in Winter

Attach your entry as a .pdf file, .doc, 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 and stay tuned for the first prompt posted next Monday!