The 2019 Penprints Flash Fiction Dash Wrap-up

Today is the wrap-up for the 2019 Penprints Flash Fiction Dash!

We had 39 sign-ups this year, but sadly 17 of our writers were unable to complete the challenge due to lots of crazy life stuff (heck, I wasn’t even technically participating in the challenge and had a hard time tending to it this year).

But we still have over twenty stories in eight different genres (I’m using that term loosely, haha), and they’re all gathered here for your reading pleasure!

Disclaimer: I own none of the prompts.



[prompt: Younger Now by Miley Cyrus]

Gray by Abigayle Claire.

These Moments... by Micaiah Saldaña.

Symphony of Change by Andi L. Gregory.


[Urban Fantasy/Magical Realism]

urban fantasy

Monster Mayhem by Anika Walkes (pg-13 content warning).

War by Just B. Jordan.




Home Before Dark by Spruce Holly Nogard.

Lisanthus by Emily Jayne.

Moonlit Dances by M.A. Starr.


[Sword and Sorcery]

sword and sorcery

The Chosen One by Julian Daventry.

The Burden of Remembrance by Sarah Rodecker.

Ferra by Alina Kanaski.

Remember by R. M. Archer.



dystopian prompt

Level 1 by Lila Kims (it’s really a light sci-fi story, but shhhhh).

Lupe by Nicholas Jayne (pg-13 content warning).


[prompt: Arrow by half-alive]

The Hardest Place by Carrie-Anne Thomas.

Between Remembered and Forgotten by T. J. Priest.

The Chainless by J. M. Jablowski.


superhero prompt

The Inferno by Nicole Dust.

Pirouette by C.O. Bonham.


[prompt: Be Here Long by NEEDTOBREATHE]

Her Hair Is Red by Laura Frances.

Jesus Has a Plan by Farmgirl Fibers and Arts.

And that’s a wrap!

Dashers, keep an eye on your inbox for a debrief email!

Which story was your favorite? Which prompt was your favorite? Should we have another flash fic dash next year?

With love,


The 2019 Penprints Flash Fiction Dash

Well, it’s that time of year again. Time for the annual Penprints Flash Fiction Dash.

pffd open registration

What is the #flashficdash?

Definitions of flash fiction can vary, but for the purposes of this challenge, a piece of flash fiction is a short story 1000 words or less. Writing a complete story–something with a beginning, a middle, and an end–with so few words can be difficult, but it is always rewarding.

The Penprints Flash Fiction Dash is a challenge, not a contest.

Every year it’s about the same thing: getting people writing, not picking which story is best. There will be no ranking who’s stories were better than whose, or anything like that.

My hope is that this will challenge you to venture out into a new story, have fun with writing, and exercise the art of telling a story in a very small wordcount.

How it works:

You fill out the registration form, I send you a prompt, you write a flash fiction based on that prompt, you post your story on your blog (optional), send your story to me by June 7, 2019, and I’ll include your story in the giant wrap-up post on June 11, 2019.

How 2019’s Dash Is Different:

In the past, I selected an individual prompt for every single writer who signed up based on the genre info they gave in their registration form.

T’will not be so in 2019.

There are 10 different categories:

  • Contemporary
  • Urban fantasy/magical realism
  • Thriller/suspense
  • Fairytale/folklore/light fantasy
  • Dystopian
  • Gothic
  • Cyberpunk
  • Sword and sorcery/medieval fantasy
  • Superhero
  • Romance

These categories are by no means meant to cover every genre of fiction; I’ve selected the ten most popular categories out of past flash fiction dashes.

When you register, you select one category. Each category will be given one prompt. So if seven different writers select “Dystopian” as their preferred category, those seven will receive the same prompt.

Why we’re going to try it this way: 

  1. Past dashers have asked for model like this.
  2. Each person’s creativity and imagination is different, and I’m super jazzed to see what different personalities and minds do with the same prompt.
  3. I don’t have time to hunt down 40 or more individualized prompts.

Also, this year there are three different types of prompts that will go out: picture, song, or opening line.

However, it’s a secret which categories will get which type of prompt. *dun dun dunnnnn* So you won’t really know which kind of prompt you’re working off of until your prompt arrives in your inbox.

We’ll see if this adds an element of mystery, fun, and thrill or if it’s just annoying.

Why you should totally be interested:

pffd 19 promo.jpgI’ve taken the liberty of compiling a Very Convincing And Not At All Copy And Pasted From Last Year’s list of reasons why you need to sign up right away.

  • I say so (as always, this is the most compelling reason on the list).
  • If you’re in a writing slump, this is a great way to get your creativity rolling again.
  • Writing a story in a 1000 words or less will grow you as a writer (even if you’ve written hundreds of flash fictions).
  • You and your writing can get a little more exposure.
  • I want to read your stories!
  • It’s. so. much. fun!

General guidelines:

  • Your story must be 1000 words or less.
  • Stories with excessive violence, sexual content, or profanity will not be included in the wrap-up post.
  • In order for your story to be included in the wrap-up post, it must be sent back to me by 11:59 pm on June 7, 2019.
  • You must have unfettered fun.

When you post your story on your blog:

Include your prompt, mention that you’re taking part of the Penprints Flash Fiction Dash, and share your story. And then send me the link to it by June 7!

If you don’t have a blog:

Please participate! You don’t have to have a blog in order to participate. You can still sign up, get a prompt, write a story, send it back to me, and be featured in the wrap-up post.

If you don’t have a blog or won’t be posting your story on your blog, send your story to me as a Word or Google Doc (please do not paste your story in the body of the email), and I will convert it into a clickable PDF to share in the wrap-up post.

Dates to know:

registration opens 1May 7, 2019 – registration opens.

May 21, 2019 – registration closes.

May 22, 2019 – prompts go out.

June 7, 2019 – stories due back to me if you want them included in the wrap-up post.

June 11, 2019 – the 2019 wrap-up post will go live with all the participating stories.

Links to have:

The Instagram account.

The 2017 Penprints Flash Fiction Dash Wrap-up.

The 2018 Penprints Flash Fiction Dash Wrap-up.

– > The 2019 registration form. < – 

Just B. Jordan on Writing Flash Fiction.

In Defense of Short Fiction.

13 Tips for Writing Flash Fiction.

That’s it!

I’m so excited to see what happens with the little changes this year, and I can’t wait to read the stories you guys come up with!

Be sure the share this post with anyone you think would like to participate! And let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!

With love,


p.s. – hashtags to use are: #flashficdash and #flashficdash19


Stars and Soul [endorsements & cover reveal wrap]

Today’s post is basically just a giant celebration. Because on Saturday, the cover for Stars and Soul started exploding across the internet. And when I say exploding, I mean e.x.p.lo.d.i.n.g. My phone would not stop buzzing.

Alea Harper designed a stunning cover, but I was honestly afraid it would be just me and like my dad (who has no social media) sharing the cover and inviting people to preorder.

Alea totally deserves to have this piece of art blasted across all the social medias, but I was worried people would be too uninterested/scared away because this I’m young, small potatoes, and self-publishing this little collection.

*cue my socks getting blown off and then blown up*

// What Is Stars and Soul? //

In case you’re new here, Stars and Soul is a collection of four flash fictions (stories under 1000 words) set in a sci-fi world with aliens and alliances. It is set to release November 20, 2018. Right now, the Kindle copy is available for pre-order, but there will also be a tiny paperback available on the release day.

Here is the official blurb: A scheming imperial family. A bedraggled starship captain. A runaway artificial intelligence. A dying general. Four small stories of stars and soul.

// The Social Media Turnout //

There were way too many Facebook posts, Instagram posts, Instagram stories, and blog posts to keep track of over the course of the cover reveal day. Some of you never signed up for the reveal but joined on the day of, and you blessed me so much.

Thank you so much to Mom, Arielle, Katie Grace, Moya Tobey, Abigayle Claire, Amanda Hookham, Liv K. Fisher, Carrie-Anne Thomas, Kira Thomas, Bethany Jennings, Jaye L. Knight, Savannah Grace, Mary Weber (freaking. Mary. Weber), Katherine Massengill, Julian Daventry, Pam Halter, Ashley Townsend, Lydia B., Jenni Wojtowicz, Julia Anne, Kenzie, Elizabeth Koetsier, Elizabeth Hafferty, Brittany Valentine, Dominique Sprouse, Nadine Brandes (um, what?), Emileigh Latham and Stephanie Warner for leading the charge on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. (I know there were more, but I literally couldn’t keep track of all the IG stories and Facebook shares.)

cover reveal collage 1.jpg

some #bookstagram posts

// The Blog Posts //

S&S cover reveal graphic.jpgThis hilarious, gif-ful reveal from Savannah at Inspiring Writes (also, Savvy just got on Instagram and Youtube, so go give her some love!!).

This lovely blog post from Serethiel over at The Book Sprite.

Jaye L. Knight also shared the cover with a blog post!

Katherine Massengill (a fellow flash fiction enthusiast who has participated in the Penprints Flash Fiction Dash) also featured the cover on her blog!

Julian Daventry (another #flashficdash alum!) also put together a blog post for the reveal!

// A Few Endorsements //

I’ve received some very glowing endorsements, and so I’m going to share them here first and then let them trickle out over my Facebook and Instagram as November 20th approaches. :)

STARS AND SOUL COVERWhen I made my list of people to contact about endorsements, I comprised it of people who a) know sci-fi, b) know flash fiction, or c) have experience with both. The people who agreed to read took my breath away with their words of encouragement and endorsements.

>> “Rosalie Valentine’s Stars and Soul opens a window into a galaxy rife with intrigue and danger, a place home to disparate peoples striving to survive. A scheming empress-in-waiting — a weary captain of a malfunctioning starship — androids seeking refuge — a general facing laments — all bring the ‘soul’ promised by the title in memorable ways. A fun, thoughtful, quick read.” — Steve Rzasa, author of The Face of the Deep series

>> “Rosalie Valentine needs no more than 1,000 words to send your emotions stirring. Her flash fiction is an art of storytelling blended with the human senses—leaving you both wanting more and yet extremely satisfied when you finish. I could lose myself in her writing all day.” – Nadine Brandes, author of the Out of Time series, Fawkes, and Romanov

>> “Rosalie Valentine has crafted an intriguing universe of flesh and machine that expands with each story told. Stars and Soul is sci-fi with heart and endings that leave you wanting more!” – Just B. Jordan, author of Never to Live and To Ashes We Run

I have no words. Please excuse me while I go bury my face in a pillow and shed some many tears.

// The Necessary Details //

You can pre-order Stars and Soul on Amazon, and you can add it on Goodreads, if you like. It will release on November 20, 2018.

#starsandsoul #starsandsoulcollection

Thank you all for blessing me. <3 My heart is so happy.

With love,

Rosalie <3

p.s. – that binary code on the cover, tho. Alea read the stories and scrolled through my Pinterest board, and I was so happy when she put code on the cover. You’ll know why later if you read the third Stars and Soul story.

Sense of Red [a flash fiction with author’s notes]


I almost didn’t share this flash fic because it is not my best. In fact, it is probably one of the angriest, sappiest, most emotion-driven things I’ve ever written.

I took my feelings and confusions about jealousy (not romance-related) and dropped them into a love triangle story; how could it possibly get melodramatic?

sense of red.jpg

// Sense of Red //

What was the threat of ten years in prison compared to love? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. At least, ten years was what Riley figured he would be sentenced to if he shredded the two paintings hanging on the museum wall. Five years a piece.

But then, this wasn’t love.

This was knowing that Jacob would propose to Elena in just one hour in front of these exact paintings, a Monet and a Van Gogh. And Riley wouldn’t give a rip about Jacob and Elena kissing and crying and celebrating their engagement. He wouldn’t. Not even a rip.

It’d been what?—four years since he and Elena had broken it off? He was over it. So far over it.

And Jacob was his best friend, had been since they were first paired as chemistry lab partners. Jacob’s logical brain had saved Riley’s flagging math and science grades while Riley’s poetic guidance was the salvation for Jacob’s art appreciation class. From then on, it was the two of them back-to-back against the world. Not to mention that Jacob had asked Riley at least ten different times if he was okay with him dating Elena, had triple-checked that Riley wasn’t harboring any lingering feelings for her, and Riley had said “no” every time.

Yet whenever he saw them together, something molten shot through his veins, and he swore his bones were melting under the heat.

Because while Jacob couldn’t tell the Van Gogh from the Monet if they slapped him in the face, Elena and Riley had debated and marveled and shared so much over every exhibit, driving five hours to see a Raphael in person, pouring over every detail and every theory behind each piece of art.

Because he could still see her dark, rich eyes inches from his own and taste the breaths they shared after a kiss, could still smell the salt from her joyful tears when he sold his first painting. Ever this heady desire, this understanding of what fueled the greatest of the artists and romantics because it ran through him whenever he was with her.

Because he’d spent the last four years saying things with his lips that he didn’t believe for one second in his heart. Four years should have been enough to get over it, to move past it, but it wasn’t.

So before he did something worth prison, he would go home to his lonely little apartment and paint something to deal with all that pulsed through him. Something with lots of angry color. Something that captured the desire to punch Jacob, kiss Elena, take a knife to the most beautiful art on the planet, and burn the whole place to the ground. Something to help him deal with this sense of red.

The Monet and the Van Gogh would be left unscathed, and Jacob and Elena would never know of anything besides how very, very happy he was for them because they were both far too dear for anything else.

Author’s Note.

I wrote this flash fiction over a year ago, and since then, I’ve learned a lot about flash fiction, writing, and life.

I am a deeply jealous person (which apparently surprises most people?), and I wrote Sense of Red at a time when my jealousy was flaring especially high. On top of all the emotional wreckage I was sorting through, I also tried to figure out if my jealousy was wrong, or if it was an emotion to teach me something of God’s jealousy.

After much prayer, study, and meditation, I came to realize that, no, jealousy is not inherently wrong. And, yes, it’s given me some insight into my jealous God. However, jealousy is powerfully tied with anger, and I, in my fallen human nature, am not pure and infallible like my jealous God is.

Jealousy in fallen people treads a dangerous and thin line, easily stemming from and crossing over into envy, idolatry, and pride. Someday I may write a more extensive post about the red of jealousy and the green of envy, but this will do for now.

Writing Sense of Red was like therapy. It helped me process my extremely volatile emotions instead of my emotions processing me.

May God use your own writing to help you grow.

With love,


p.s. – Stars and Soul is now up on Goodreads! Go add it (because I promise those four stories are much better than this one)!! And we’re less than a week until the cover reveal! Eep!

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.

the 2018 penprints flash fiction dash the giant wrap-up post.jpg

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.


Human Error by Faith Song.


Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Moya Tobey.



Sun Eater by Just B. Jordan


The Painting by Alina.

alina prompt jpg.jpg

Dragonborne by A.K.R. Scott.


The Last of the Lightning Bearers by Sarah Rodecker.



Rimewhittling by Spruce Holly Nogard.


The Deal Is Off by Julian Daventry.


Song of the Wind by Emily Jayne.

emily-jayne jpg.jpg

Letters from the Banned by M.


Ambush by Katherine M.


The Pond by Melinda Wagner.



The Day We Say Goodbye by Micaiah Saldana.


The Decision by Andi L. Gregory.


Different Storms by J.M. Jablowski


Survival by Abigayle Claire.


A Change of Heart by Anika Walkes



To See by Tapar – through the desert.

Between the Raindrops by Amanda Harder.



[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.


All for a Sip of Hot Chocolate by True Shaw.


Black + White by Lisa Elis.


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


Not for Me by Michael A. Blaylock.


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,


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!