Round 96: Winners

Posted: March 1, 2016 in Winners
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Happy Tuesday, friends. It was a tough but lovely prompt this round, and you all rose to the challenge. Many thanks to those who submitted stories and to Mark King for reading them and choosing his favorites. You’ll find his comments and top picks below.

While the image is a beautiful one, it would have had me scratching my head for a long time to come up with a unique angle on it. This, my friends, is why this competition is so good – making it easy, wouldn’t stretch or challenge us – being challenged only makes us better writers. Angry Hourglass has always been a great place to strengthen our skills.

Thank you for the rich diversity, beauty, humour and power in your stories.

On to the comments, then the podium places:


I adore a six word story.

Water Lilies Painting Monet

Wow.  Just wow. Reading the text was like looking at a beautiful, multi-layered Monet painting.

The opening line sets the tone.

As poetic as it was, the subsequent line was hard to read as it lacked any pauses, but as a reader I felt this was a deliberate mechanism by the writer, to make me work a tease out the meaning.

I like stories that have hidden meanings, that make you work as a reader. I also like rich descriptions and lever use of structure and pacing (in this story we swap from long to short sentences, then back again).

This story really delivers.

The Fault in My Star

This is a very clever piece.

From the title that is a play on a famous book/film, to the use of the oil and Mon Étoile (‘my star’, which ends up being oile).

I love the cheeky use of clichés only to dismiss them as clichés a moment later.

The use of Van Gogh to contrast with Monet is good craft, as it allows the reader to visualise the scene and feel the emotions:

“Now it was more akin to Van Gogh’s dead sunflowers, with it’s tangled mess of mucky browns and dying greens.”

The Art of Fencing

Sooo good. Great idea to use the fencing element of the picture.

I’m not sure if the names and scene setting were deliberate, but it thoroughly reminded me of a light-hearted prod at The Apprentice (which I love).

Wonderful use of descriptions to draw a picture of Daniel at the start.

We even have the word ‘impression’ weaved in seamlessly.

How I wish there were more artistic barrier builders in the world.

Just imagine what Claud could have done with the Berlin Wall.

Blue Sky Thinking

When people look down on flash fiction, just come and point them at this story. Then tell them firmly that they’re wrong.

An entire world, a post-apocalyptic civilization delivered with 310 knockout words.

References to words being powerful are as old as time itself, and here the consequences are realised. Yet words could have prevented the outcome.

Clear writing techniques employed as well. Top work.

A Trade In Truespeak

A very unique angle on the prompt. A hushed interaction between customer and shopkeeper, making me think vividly of wartime secrets. This is a story that hints at ideas and concepts far bigger than this scene.

I’m curious to know more about Truespeak, Deepspeak and Plainspeak and it’s great to leave a reader wanting more. This is especially true in flash fiction, where is it almost more important to know what to leave out than it is to know what to put in.

Well done.

Money or Monet

Such character building and relationship observation within a fractional space makes me admire this story and wish I had such skills.

The names of the characters are perfect (as is the use of a Citroen). The use of class systems in schools, the references to My Little Pony and JB were excellent as they said so much. The narrative voice is very strong, probably the strongest of the stories this week.

I tip my flowered hat to you.

It was a tougher call than I thought it would be. Any of the stories could have made it, so congratulations to you all, but I have to pick so…

2nd runner-up goes to Money or Monet  by Stella Kate – for the very strong voice and supreme character work.

1st runner-up goes to Blue Sky Thinking by Steph Ellis – for the incredible world building and visions of past and future civilisations.

And our Round 96 FLASH MASTER is…


Richard Edenfield

with Water Lilies Painting Monet

– for the beauty, the layering, the structure, the depth (sorry) and for truly painting a picture with words; such as ‘His beard washed with a tiny breeze born of a hillside and died on the tip of imagination’ and ‘A protest of freesia scent swinging in the air’ and many, many more. Congratulations.

Congratulations, Richard! Your story will be featured as tomorrow’s HumpDay Quickie!

Next weekend, Voima Oy returns as Flash Frenzy’s esteemed judge. Hope to see you all then.


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