This week's winner, I'm proud to announce, is yours truly.
|Image Courtesy of Fotolia / MS Office 2010|
*Flourish... confetti... applause*
I have never won anything before, so I am stunned and stoked. Doubly so, as this was my first attempt at flash fiction. Many of my writer friends participate in such contests all the time, but they always slip below my radar until it's too late.
But not this time.
Though winning this week's contest feels great, I am prouder of my participation itself. Writers write--it's like a rule or something--but writing flash fiction in particular benefits us in unique ways:
- It fuels our creativity. The random prompts should influence your work, but how that manifests in your writing is up to you. The male in this week's photo prompt spoke to me immediately, his fascination and longing so strong that I completed the 190-word story in less than an hour.
- It helps us stick to a deadline. We don't have a week or a month to complete these pieces--we have 24 hours. With that constraint, we learn to focus on what works and ignore what does not. Otherwise we miss out on the chance to compete.
- It gives us a much-needed sense of accomplishment. Let's face it. Writing is a marathon, a lonely discipline where reward comes long after work and more work and even more work. We need little wins, something to which we can point with pride and say “I did that!” as we strive toward our main goal. Completing weekly flash fictions, win or lose, is one point-worthy thing.
- It connects us with other writers. As a counterpoint to the last item, joining the ranks of other flash fic writers reminds us we’re not alone in this thing. And because the judge in this contest is the previous week’s winner, you know your feedback comes from someone who has been in your shoes.
I have already chosen next week’s prompt, just looking for the right way to present it. I’m excited to read the coming submissions, basking in the talent of other writers. There can only be one first-place story, but any writer who puts their work out there for the world to judge is by default a winner.
Congratulations in advance.
Oh, and if you'd like to read my winning entry, it's here.