The 2018 Penprints Flash Fiction Dash WRAP-UP

Well, kids, today is the day.

Today is the giant wrap-up for the 2018 Penprints Flash Fiction Dash.

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Before we get to the stories themselves, I just want to say a few things (because I’m charge and can do as I please, mwahahaha).

I wasn’t going to do a flash fiction dash this year just because of the time it takes, but almost last minute, I decided to launch it because it had been so much fun last year. And I decided to give it an Instagram so that I could give the stories another spotlight and hopefully be able to interact with all you lovely people on another level.

Guys, you made it so worth it.

It was so fun tracking the hashtags and seeing people work on their stories, but when the stories actually started to come in…. man, you guys blew my mind.

So much imagination and creativity and talent has gone into each of these stories, so many unique angles on the prompts that I never dreamed of, and I feel so privileged and humbled to be able to interact with these writers and compile these stories.

I know I sound like a broken record because I keep telling people “I love what you did with the prompt”, but it’s just the way it is–they did amazing things with the prompts.

So, without any more of my rambling, let’s go on 25 different adventures. Click the prompt to read the story.

Disclaimer: neither I nor any of these writers own any of these pictures; they were found in the depths of Pinterest.

[Science Fiction]

To the Stars Who Listen by Athelas Hale.

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Human Error by Faith Song.

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Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Moya Tobey.

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[Fantasy]

Sun Eater by Just B. Jordan

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The Painting by Alina.

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Dragonborne by A.K.R. Scott.

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The Last of the Lightning Bearers by Sarah Rodecker.

 

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Rimewhittling by Spruce Holly Nogard.

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The Deal Is Off by Julian Daventry.

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Song of the Wind by Emily Jayne.

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Letters from the Banned by M.

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Ambush by Katherine M.

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The Pond by Melinda Wagner.

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[Contemporary]

The Day We Say Goodbye by Micaiah Saldana.

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The Decision by Andi L. Gregory.

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Different Storms by J.M. Jablowski

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Survival by Abigayle Claire.

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A Change of Heart by Anika Walkes

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[Historical]

To See by Tapar – through the desert.
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Between the Raindrops by Amanda Harder.

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[Other]

[aka: the category for stories that I can’t figure out what genre they belong; all I know is that they’re mostly speculative]

Replaced by Aebli.

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All for a Sip of Hot Chocolate by True Shaw.

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Black + White by Lisa Elis.

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Ribs by Heid Melo (and she’s a girl after my own heart–she has a playlist for it).

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Not for Me by Michael A. Blaylock.

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And that’s the end of it.

The 2018 Penprints Flash Fiction Dash has come to a close. Here’s a huge thank you to everyone who participated, and a huge thank you to everyone who’s stopped in to read these fantastic stories.

What story was your favorite? What prompt was your favorite?

With love,

Rosalie

P.S. –¬†For news of the 2019 Penprints Flash Fiction Dash, keep a weather eye on the Instagram account.

P.P.S. – The July memo for High Command (aka: my swanky newsletter) is slotted to go out this Friday; sign up now to receive the secret updates.

P.P.P.S. – Flash fiction dashers! Also be on the lookout for a debrief email about this year’s challenge!

The Penprints Flash Fiction Dash

Today is the day that you will always remember as the day I officially announced The Penprints Flash Fiction Dash. Okay, so none of us are probably going to remember that, but I can always hope.

I’ve fallen hard for flash fiction in recent months, and in an attempt to spread the love and joy and oh-my-goodness-someone-hold-me and all that jazz, I have decided to host a flash fiction writing challenge. Details below.

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What is flash fiction?

Definitions vary depending on who you talk to (some even argue that there is no suitable definition). For the purpose of this challenge, a flash fiction is a story that is 1000 words or less. I suggest checking out this article and also this article for a more complete rundown on flash fiction.

A challenge, not a contest.

This isn’t a contest, guys; this is merely a challenge (also, I find using merely to modify challenge strangely ironic). There will be no voting or scoring or saying whose is best or whose is worst. There will be a giveaway (more on that later), but it won’t be based on “merit”.

This is only supposed to challenge you to write, to venture into a new story, and to exercise certain writing muscles that are typically neglected. Hopefully, this will inspire and motivate you as a writer.

How it works.

If you are up to the challenge, you can fill out this form.

Everyone who signs up will be sent a unique prompt (song or picture, depending on preference) to use as a springboard for the story. You will have three weeks to write your flash fiction.

Ideally, you will post your story on your blog, mention in the blog post that you’re participating in The Penprints Flash Fiction Dash, share your prompt in the post, send me the link, and then I will compile all the links to the stories into a wrap-up post here on Penprints (please let me know if that doesn’t make sense).

Note to those without blogs: please join in the challenge. Even if you are unable to post your story on your blog, you can still send it to me in Word or Google Doc form, and I can format it into a clickable PDF that will be included in the wrap-up post (again, please tell me if that doesn’t make sense).

The timetable.

Sign-ups will be open through May 10, 2017.

Prompts will be sent out by May 13, 2017.

Stories/links to stories are due back to me by 11:59 pm on June 3, 2017.

The giveaway winner and wrap-up post on Penprints will go live on June 5, 2017.

Reasons to participate.

Now, you may be asking (or you may not be, I really can’t know), “Why should I participate in this challenge? Why should I write a flash fiction at the behest of this strange person on the internet?”

I’m glad you asked. I’ve taken the time to compile some solid reasons why you should join me in this challenge.

1. Because I think flash fiction is amazing.

You know what, I could stop right here with that reason alone because it is. so. solid. But for the sake of the unconvinced few, I shall continue.

2. It will stretch you as a writer.

If you think writing a good story in 1000 words or less is easy, think again. Flash fiction has redefined hard for me as a writer, and writing it grows me so much.

3. It may help you out of a writing slump.

It is so rewarding to hold a completed work of your own fiction in your hands, but novel writing takes a long (long) long time. While still time-consuming (it typically takes me 30 minutes to eck out a rough draft and then another couple hours of editing), flash fiction is much quicker to finish than a novel, and I’ve found that it gets all my writerly gears humming happily along.

4. Oh, also, there’s a giveaway.

All those who send their stories/links to their stories to me will be entered into a giveaway.

The giveaway prizes are: a one year, print subscription to the Splickety Publishing Group magazine of the winner’s choice and a hard copy of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction (if the winner already has these, a comparable prize will be negotiated).

5. I want to read a story of yours!

No two people can tell the same story, and so I very much want to read how you tell a story.

Guidelines.

– Your story must be 1000 words or less.

– Anything with excessive violence or profanity will not be included in the wrap-up post.

– Any erotica will not be included in the wrap-up post.

– Your story must be sent to me by 11:59 pm on June 3 to be included in the wrap-up post.

– You must have fun. ;)

And that, kids, is The Penprints Flash Fiction Dash.

Please share this post with anyone you think might be interested in participating! Also, the hashtag to use is: #flashficdash.

In case you want to slap it on any social media or blog posts or anything, here are the various challenge buttons:

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the challenge circle on a transparent background

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If anything is unclear, just let me know in the comments below so I can amend this post to make it as comprehensible as possible.

Guys, I’m jazzed.

Do you think you might participate? Have you written flash fiction before?

With love,

Rosalie

P.S. – did I mention that there’s a giveaway?

P.P.S. – also, did I mention that I’m jazzed?

Future Stuffs

There’s a lot coming, things that have yet to happen. It’s called The Future (that’s for those of us who weren’t sure). More specifically, there’s a lot coming to Penprints because my life (yours, too) revolves around this blog.

So let’s dive into all the Future Stuffs. [gif warning]

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Blogiversary.

First of all, I just want to say up front that no one really knows how “blogiversary” is supposed to be spelled, and so don’t go messaging me to tell me that I mispelled it because there’s no right way.

You say: “Blogoversary”, someone else says: “Blogiversary”, and another person says something else altogether.

Well…

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How about we just call it a “blog anniversary” to make things simpler? Yeah, let’s do that. Anyhoo, Penprints is about to be four years old. And, yes, that means exactly what you think it means–I’ve been obsessing over this blog for four years now.

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they grow up so fast

Tempus fugit, kids.

Am I going to do an over-the-top celebration replete with hundreds of dollars worth of giveaways in honor of this blog’s anniversary? Erm, that would be a no. Sorry, kids. :( I thought about it, but the grand celebration will have to wait until Penprints is five.

BUT, that leads us to our next piece of The Future:

A New Design.

In years past, it has been my custom to rename this blog around the time of each anniversary, but I will be refraining from that this year (I sort of promised my dad–my most loyal follower–that I would stop renaming my blog whenever the urge struck). However, a new theme and updated header and color scheme and such are all in the works as we speak (er, uh, as I type and maybe as you read).

I don’t have an exact date on when the new design will go live, but it is somewhere in the Near Future. Thus, I am mentioning it in this post on The Future.

Newsletter.

That’s right, kids, I’ll be starting a newsletter. This is also a Near Future sort of thing. I’m considering kicking it off in June while beta readers destroy my novel. Now, that will have all sorts of swanky giveaways to lure you all to sign up, and it will have newsy-type stuffs. There’ll be pictures of Graham (obviously), little writing updates, reading updates, life stuffs, a quarterly giveaway, and such. Does that sound like fun? The correct answer is “yes”.

Also, I’m getting published.

No, my novel isn’t getting published (yet). If you follow any of my social medias, you already know that back in March (The Distant Past) I signed a contract with Splickety Publishing Group, and they will be featuring a flash fiction I wrote in their April issue of Havok.

Me externally:

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“Well, I’ve got a short story that’s getting published here in April, and so, yeah, I’m pretty excited.”

Me internally:

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“SLDJF :SLD:JF LJKFLKJSOEJISDLKF! I can’t breathe!”

This. is. actually. happening. For the first time, I’ve been paid to write (of course, all the money they paid me rolled right back into ordering way too many wait, there’s no such thing as too many when it comes to this extra copies). Please excuse me while I go faint somewhere (again).

This leads into the next Future Stuff item.

The Penprints Flash Fiction Dash.

As prep for submitting to Splickety, I bought and read a book called The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction, and it has revolutionized the way I look at fiction as a whole and flash fiction in particular. I developed a great love for flash fiction, guys, and I want you, my readers, to love it as well.

So, I will be hosting a writing challenge later this month (that’d be the Near Future). Details will be released in a few weeks, but the idea is to get you writers writing a flash fiction and get flash fiction into the hands of you readers. I’ll share are the participation stuffs in the Very Near Future. I’m so jazzed.

My Novel.

I’ve begun edits on Beasts! And, as you may have noticed if you have eagle eyes, I mentioned beta readers in June (that was way back when we were chatting about a newsletter). Well, my edit has been rescheduled to July, and so I’m going to have time to give Beasts to some beta readers in couple months! So, if you’re interested in beta reading Beasts and your June looks fairly clear, comment below or message me, and I’ll add you to my list of potential betas. :)

In the meantime, I’ll be working through edits.

Let’s drop a futuristic bookend on this post on The Future.

What’s in The Future for you? Do you think you’ll participate in The Penprints Flash Fiction Dash? And what do you think about a newsletter? What Future Stuffs of your own are you excited about?

With love,

Rosalie <3