Columns > Published on October 31st, 2014

UPDATED WITH WINNERS: LitReactor's Flash Fiction Smackdown: October 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

  • 31 words. You can write less, but not more.
  • It can be any genre.
  • Give it a title. Please keep it to 10 words or less.
  • 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 October 30th will be considered. We'll run the winner on October 31st.

This Month's Prize

We are excited to offer a copy of Chuck Palahniuk's upcoming novel Beautiful Youwhich is coming out October 21st. 

"A billion husbands are about to be replaced."

From the author of Fight Club, the classic portrait of the damaged contemporary male psyche, now comes this novel about the apocalyptic marketing possibilities of female pleasure. Sisters will be doing it for themselves. And doing it. And doing it. And doing it some more . . . Penny Harrigan is a low-level associate in a big Manhattan law firm with an apartment in Queens and no love life at all. So it comes as a great shock when she finds herself invited to dinner by one C. Linus Maxwell, aka "Climax-Well," a software mega-billionaire and lover of the most gorgeous and accomplished women on earth. After dining at Manhattan's most exclusive restaurant, he whisks Penny off to a hotel suite in Paris, where he proceeds, notebook in hand, to bring her to previously undreamed-of heights of orgasmic pleasure for days on end. What's not to like? This: Penny discovers that she is a test subject for the final development of a line of sex toys to be marketed in a nationwide chain of boutiques called Beautiful You. So potent and effective are these devices that women by the millions line up outside the stores on opening day and then lock themselves in their room with them and stop coming out. Except for batteries. Maxwell's plan for erotically enabled world domination must be stopped. But how?

Your Inspiration:

Let's take our inspiration from Mr. P, and write tales of WORLD DOMINATION. Channel your inner-Dr.Evil (or other favorite super villian), and tell us tales of how you plan to TAKE OVER THE WORLD. 

And the Winners Are...A.M. Mahoney, Lynn Diane Smith, and nanderson993

I am excited to announce that we have 3 WINNERS this month! We had extra copies and such a great participation rate on this month's contest that we decided to spread the love. I'm also excited that the three winners are all relatively new to LitReactor. Not that I'm slighting you awesome LitReactor vets, like myself, who love and promote this site all the time, but I'm sure you will join me in welcoming some new blood and congratulating them all on their excellent tales of WORLD DOMINATION!!! 

From A.M. Mahoney:

Broadcasting at 72 MHz

A one-off solar storm was enough to undo their world. 20 light years away, they were at our mercy. Inhabitants of Gliese 581g needed to know: would Rachel choose Ross?

From Lynne Diane Smith:

Young Sheeple

"Wasn't it Hitler who said, 'He alone who owns the youth, gains the future'?"
"I don't know who said it, but I've done it," said Mr. Zuckerberg.

From nanderson993:

How To Take Over the World in One Easy Step

Step 1: Bring Bob Barker Back

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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