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Friday, September 16, 2011

The Friday Challenge — 9/16/2011

This week in The Friday Challenge:

Bruce Bethke recalls an anniversary. • Join the discussion...

Bruce Bethke also notes that the Were-Weasel appears to be cursed. • Join the discussion...

Henry Vogel spends money and time on abandoned hardware. • Join the discussion...

Henry Vogel also questions the authority with which Harlan Ellison's assertions are made. (Oooh... he's got a stainless steel pair of 'em, doesn't he?)Join the discussion...

Kersley Fitzgerald runs short of a few essentials. • Join the discussion...

J M Perkins takes our Dust My Jacket... challenge, by supplying a visual confirmation. • Join the discussion...

All this and more, as we celebrate a proud Mexican Independence Day, and the inmates discuss the view from their respective places in the asylum.

Sneaking Killers through the Back Door

As of this morning, we have received the following entries for our current challenge (listed in their order of appearance within Files > Friday Challenge 2011 09 16):

... but for this challenge, and at the specific request of the individual who proposed the challenge, a twenty-four hour "snowdogging" window is in effect. (You now have until 6 AM Eastern time on the morning of Saturday, 17 September 2011.)

An enthusiastic “Huzzah” to all who have entered! If you haven't yet entered, this time you have an additional twenty-four hours. The list will be updated tomorrow morning, before the judges begin considering your submissions has been updated. A winner will still be declared by the evening of Sunday, 18 September 2011.

78 R.P.M. (Rejections per Manuscript)

And now it is time for this week's Friday Challenge, courtesy of J M Perkins:

My first publishing credits were flash fiction, and they're still what I have the most success getting sold. The form seems particularly apt in this day and age where the overarching narrative is 'ZOMG attention spans are getting shorter twitter/youtube/yahoo-!' and editors reluctant to take a chance on newbie writers. In light of this week's challenge (which a handful of deadlines kept me from participating in) I wanted to take an alternate path to the cutting edge of micro fiction. Esquire is having a 78 word literary fiction contest. Using Hemingway's brilliant 'For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn.' as a template, they're challenging writers to craft a exactly 78 word story for a chance to win fabulous prizes. So, let's play with an experimental form and have completed entries for a contest! Seriously, we can beat their sample story.

If you need some more examples of awesome tiny, tiny fiction here's some link love.

Also, in addition to your story I would love for you to write a paragraph about how you either adore or loathe micro/twitter fiction and why. Now get to work!

Anyone can enter, except for J M Perkins. You may enter as many times as you wish, but each entry must be independent of the others. Your entry must be exactly78 words. You are not allowed to supply a more lengthy story in 78-word chunks, and you are not allowed to build on anyone else's setup. (Your loathe/love exposition is not restricted by any such encumbrance.)

Everyone is asked to vote, and to say a few words about what they liked, and why. Or to say a few words about what they disliked, as the case may be; by submitting an entry, you implicitly agree to accept criticism, because there will probably be some handed out, and no one is immune. When voting, please rank a work as either “0” (not so good), “1” (not as bad), “2” (could have been better) or “3” (pretty good stuff!). If you give either a “0” or “3” vote, feel free to argue in support of your reasoning.

Don't like the negativity? Feel free to think of the levels as “0” (Not bad for a first attempt), “1” (Right on!), “2” (Holy cow, I wanna buy this now...) or “3” (Sweet mother of God, how did you write something this awesome?!!). The point is to clearly differentiate, and rank according to your own preference.

For the purposes of this challenge, J M Perkins will be serving as Ye Olde High Marker, Voluntarily Walking th' Plank.

As of now, we are playing by the loosely enforced and slightly modified rules of The Friday Challenge. All entries are due by 6 AM Eastern time on the morning of Friday, 23 September 2011. A winner will be declared by the evening of Sunday, 25 September 2011.

Oh, there is one more thing... but it is the most important! Have fun. Always have fun.
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