Columns > Published on February 28th, 2013

UPDATED WITH WINNER: LitReactor's Flash Fiction Smackdown: February Edition - Now, with New Rules!

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

Welcome to LitReactor's Flash Fiction Smackdown, a monthly bout of writing prowess. For this edition, we are going to alter the rules a bit to keep it fresh. You now get 25 words and 2 sentences.

How It Works

We give you inspiration in the form of a picture, poem, video, or similar. 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 - NEW!

  • 25 words is the limit. (You can write less, but you can't write more.)
  • The whole story must only be 2 sentences. No more. No less.
  • Any genre
  • Give it a title (not included in the word count, but keep it under 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.
  • We'll pick a winner on the last day of the month.
  • LitReactor staffers can't win, but are encouraged to participate.
  • All stories submitted on or before February 27 will be considered. We'll run the winner on February 28.

This Month's Prize

A copy of Fight Song, the new novel by Joshua Mohr, who you may recognize as one of LitReactor's excellent instructors. Mohr's other novels Termite Parade (a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice selection), Some Things that Meant the World to Me (one of O Magazine's Top 10 reads of 2009 and a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller), and Damascus, have all received high praise. Mohr teaches in the MFA program at the University of San Francisco, and you can listen to him yuck it up with our own Rob, Josh, and Cath on the next episode of Unprintable - The LitReactor Podcast.

Here's a bit about the new book from Amazon.com:

When his bicycle is intentionally run off the road by a neighbor's SUV, something snaps in Bob Coffin. Modern suburban life has been getting him down and this is the last straw. To avoid following in his own father’s missteps, Bob is suddenly desperate to reconnect with his wife and his distant, distracted children. And he's looking for any guidance he can get.

Bob Coffin soon learns that the wisest words come from the most unexpected places, from characters that are always more than what they appear to be: a magician/marriage counselor, a fast-food drive-thru attendant/phone-sex operator, and a janitor/guitarist of a French KISS cover band. Can these disparate voices inspire Bob to fight for his family? To fight for his place in the world?

A call-to-arms for those who have ever felt beaten down by life, Fight Song is a quest for happiness in a world in which we are increasingly losing control. It is the exciting new novel by one of the most surprising and original writers of his generation.

TOUR DATES

Your Inspiration

Image from Yowa Yowa Camera Woman Diary.

Now Get Writing!

 

And the winner is...C Patrick Neagle

While not the only entry that alluded to Peter Pan, this entry had that punch of humor that characterizes a great piece of flash fiction. The allusion to the well known story fills in enough back story to make the dialogue make sense and be funny. I had to read it a few times to make sure it fit the 2 sentence rule, and it does...technically...have two periods. So, I went with it. Nicely done!

Long-Distance Relationships


"Peter," Wendy said--not breathing hard, not even angry--as she bobbled above polished linoleum at a bank of payphones, "I'm 25. This must stop."

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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