Round 34: Winners

Posted: September 9, 2014 in Winners
Tags: , , , , , ,

Hello, friends.

I’d like to say thanks to everyone who sent their condolences this past weekend. I also like to give an extra special thank you to Shakes for stepping in to judge for me – though it seemed a particularly difficult challenge this round. (There can be only one!)

Before we get to Shakes’s comments, there are some calls for flash fiction I wanted you all to be aware of.

1: Perpetual Motion Machine is looking for flash to feature in their newsletter. Pay is $20.00 per accepted piece. Limit is 1,000 words. You can find all the information here.

2: The Molotov Cocktail is hosting another flash fiction contest. The theme this time is Flash Future. 1st prize is $200.00.Limit is 1,000 words. You can find the entry information here.

3. Freeze Frame Fiction is accepting submissions for their second issue. Payment is $10.00 per accepted piece. Limit is 1,000 words. You can find submission details here. They are also looking for experimental flash for a special issue.

And with that – let us move forward to Round 34 results!

Hats off this week to my Hourglass brothers and sisters – 21 uniquely wonderful tales from the best flash writers on the internet. I really mean that. It is an honour to consider myself part of this group…until it’s time to judge.

I’m afraid that work commitments have prevented me from being able to wax lyrical about every story – and though it sounds like an empty promise, I could write at length about how much I loved each one. I truly did.

There’s not a story this week I didn’t see a flash of brilliance in – something to try and emulate in my own writing.

That shell was employed so creatively – see for yourself the broad and inventive uses.

How to judge?

How I usually judge:

  • Enjoyment.
  • Connection.
  • Resonance.
  • Language.
  • Structure.

Right – that didn’t narrow it down one bit.

You see, when you read them a few times, the stories become connected. Themes and commonalities come to the fore – and how do you choose one above another? They have come at it at totally different angles…they all use such great language…

A quick DM to our fabulous host. A pleasant enough reply but the implication is clear – MAN UP!

THIRD PLACE: Carlos Orozco ‘Outside’ @goldzco

I am father to the son in the photo. We have had those exact conversations.

I am the son of a man I’m proud to call my father. We have had those exact conversations.

When my time comes around…

You all know I’m a sucker for symmetry. The father’s lesson to the son – remembered, reused, its power increased exponentially.

What a cool use of that shell – a metaphor for life’s twists and turns. It’s only when we stand outside and look down, see the whole that its true beauty is revealed.

SECOND PLACE: Mark King ‘Hide and Seek’ @Making_Fiction

Mark takes his title and uses it to structure the whole story. Each line a carefully constructed blow to the senses. We are caught up in the narrator’s stream of consciousness; the raw hopelessness of the situation – ‘hide when he drinks, hide when he doesn’t…’

Every time I read this there’s a new line that stands out. The form and structure are experimental but fit the piece beautifully. It also helped it to stand out in the outstanding field.

Stunning. Horrific. Real.

Your Round 34 FLASH MASTER is…


Cathy Lennon


Clear, simple language with a layered subtext, and if little Ben doesn’t quite get it – we certainly do. There’s a mix of emotions and the changes in tone and meaning are beautifully, nay masterfully handled. There’s not a wasted word here. The story unfolds at just the right pace; the reveals subtle, gradual – timed to perfection so that the last lines floor you.

Its a perfect little story.

That last line…

How could it not win?


Congratulations, Cathy! Your story will be featured tomorrow as the HumpDay Quickie.

This weekend, the lovely and talented Jacki Donnellan will be presiding judge. Have a great week and we’ll see you on Saturday.

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