Columns > Published on November 26th, 2014

UPDATED WITH WINNER - LitReactor's Flash Fiction Smackdown: November 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

  • 5 words. No more. No less.
  • It can be any genre.
  • Give it a title. Please keep it to 1 word.
  • 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 November 25th will be considered. We'll run the winner on November 26th.

This Month's Prize

The winner this month get's a copy of LOVE ME BACK by Merritt Tierce

Marie, a young single mother, lands a job at an upscale Dallas steakhouse. She is preternaturally attuned to the appetites of her patrons, but quickly learns to hide her private struggle behind an easy smile and a crisp white apron. In a world of long hours and late nights, where everything runs on a currency of favors, cash and cachet, Marie gives in to brutally self-destructive impulses. She loses herself in a tangle of bodies and the kind of coke that 'napalms your emotional synapses.' But obliteration—not pleasure—is her goal. Pulsing with fierce, almost feral energy, Love Me Back is an unapologetic portrait of a woman cutting a precarious path through early adulthood. In the words of Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, "Tierce roams like an avenging angel across the landscape of twenty-first century American decadence, and the truths she writes achieve a state of near-sacred subversion."

Check out what LitReactor's Keith Rawson had to say.

Your Inspiration:

Since so many of you are taxing your writing brains by attempting a 50k novel in 30 days, we'll just ask for 5 measly words in 25 days. That's only one-fifth (or .2) of a word per day. You can handle that, right? The hardest part is that your story needs to be exactly 5 words—no more, no less. And it must have a 1-word title. That's it. 

And since, in my little corner of the globe, I am looking forward to a nasty, wet November, I offer you the following inspiration:

"November Rain"  - Guns N' Roses

[video:http://youtu.be/8SbUC-UaAxE align:center]

Here are some AWESOME images from the video to refresh your memory. Note especially the hi-lo wedding dress (pure class!), Slash's guitar solo by the church, and wet Axl.

Nothing last forever, even cold November rain...


And the Winner is...Liam Hogan

Wow, another month of GREAT entries! You all make my job HARD. But, let's congratulate Liam Hogan on his riff on a possible craigslist.org ad. Here's the winning story!

Craigslist

Sacrificial Altar - Used. Possibly Faulty?

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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