Columns > Published on September 1st, 2015

UPDATED WITH WINNER - LitReactor's Flash Fiction Smackdown: August Edition

Flash fiction: A style of fictional literature marked by extreme brevity

Welcome to LitReactor's Flash Fiction Smackdown, a monthly bout of writing prowess.

How It Works

We give you inspiration in the form of a picture, poem, video, or prompt. You write a flash fiction piece using the inspiration we gave you. Put your entry in the comments section. One winner will be picked and awarded a prize.

The Rules

  • 25 words, tops. No more. 
  • It can be any genre.
  • Give it a title. Please keep it to 10 words.
  • We're not exactly shy, but let's stay away from senseless racism or violence.
  • One entry per person.
  • Editing your entry after you submit it is permitted.
  • LitReactor staffers can't win, but are encouraged to participate.
  • All stories submitted on or before August 28th will be considered. We'll run the winner on August 31st.

This Month's Prize

This month, we give away a copy of Gayle Towell's novel Broken Parts. Gayle is a LitReactor homeskillet, so we know her book is amazing. Here's a little taste to wet your whistle:

Jake Smith, a book smart loner hiding in a dead-end welding job, is thrown for a loop when his fifteen-year-old brother Ben shows up on his doorstep after outing their father for molestation. During Dad's trial it comes to light that not only was Jake also abused, but he turned a blind eye for years as it happened to his brother. But with Dad in jail and Mom insistent that Ben is lying, Ben is forced to rely on Jake even if he can't forgive him, and Jake is forced to step up and care for his brother despite struggling with his own trauma and brutal flashbacks. Broken Parts is the first full novel in a series exploring how these brothers evolve socially and emotionally in the aftermath of their father's abuse and in the face of life's never-ending ordeals. Jake and Ben fight like siblings despite their growing dependence on each other in this dark, emotional tale full of grit, humor, and the spark of survival.

Your Inspiration:

This month, give us 25 words on space, stars, constellations, myths, etc. August is the month of the Perseid meteor shower.The annual event  is named for the Perseus constellation where the meteor shower appears to originate. The constellation is named for the mythological Perseus, a half-god who killed many monsters, including the snake-headed Medusa. 


And the Winner is...Cams316

What's up, Wichita! You guys really showed up for this month's contest! It's no wonder one of you Wichitonians won! Please say congrats to Cams316. 

Don't Look Don't Look Don't Look!

I control my destiny! Not the god damn stars and planets.

I look.

Gemini: you're gonna have a shitty day.

Damn it.

About the author

Taylor Houston is a genuine Word Nerd living in Portland, OR where she works as a technical writer for an engineering firm and volunteers on the planning committee for Wordstock, a local organization dedicated to writing education.

She holds a degree in Creative Writing and Spanish from Hamilton College in Clinton, NY. In the English graduate program at Penn State, she taught college composition courses and hosted a poetry club for a group of high school writers.

While living in Seattle, Taylor started and taught a free writing class called Writer’s Cramp (see the website). She has also taught middle school Language Arts & Spanish, tutored college students, and mentored at several Seattle writing establishments such as Richard Hugo House. She’s presented on panels at Associated Writing Programs Conference and the Pennsylvania College English Conference and led writing groups in New York, Pennsylvania, and Colorado for writers of all ages & abilities. She loves to read, write, teach & debate the Oxford Comma with anyone who will stand still long enough.

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