Consider Yourself Prompted: A Writing Contest

redhead writing -  contest 2 picture promptIt’s no secret that a fair share of my fiction is image-prompted. That means I see something and I build a story around it. A person, a picture, a bus..they’re all fair game and on some days, they’re my only saving grace from writer’s block.

As I mentioned last week, it’s time for a new contest here at Redhead Writing. Dress up your best county fair pig, put some lipstick on the bitch and send it over to The Redhead. And as I have before, I’ll share my story when submissions close. Here are the rules for this bliss-laden foray into the halls of Redhead Writing fame:

  • This is SHORT SHORT fiction. Like Nair Short Shorts. You’ve got 300 words to hook us. We like short shorts.
  • Your story is based in the picture in this post.
  • All entries are submitted via a comment left on this post.
  • You must provide an email address when posting (how the hell else am I going to contact you?)
  • SUBMISSIONS CLOSE AT MIDNIGHT ON AUGUST 17, 2010.
  • The winner will be decided by votes, and your asses can’t game the system. I have an IP address limiter, so if you’re so damn dead set on winning, you can drive to every Starbucks in a 10-mile radius to cast another unethical vote. Be my guest. Every time you game the system, God kills a puppy. Killer.

And a caveat: this is the actual picture that inspired…the beginnings of a story…on my end.

Oh, and shit – the prize. Well,last time I ran a contest, Redhead Writing reader/writer Ryan won a $150 VISA gift card. Think about that. Prizes are subject to my whimsy, menstrual cycle and the state of my romantic life. One is in full force and the other two are not here right now, but you could leave a message at the tone.

Roll the dice, monkays. Let’s see whatcha got! It’s like a game of craps, but without the hookers and no one to bring you a Red Bull and vodka.

102 comments
Mimi
Mimi

An amazing tableau of a fragment that, when combined with others, makes up our lives. Our center and our focus and our identity for a time, and then just a memory. Succinct and evocative - I LOVED it!

JackieY
JackieY

JackieY I believe this story was very thought provoking. The story guided my mind to do the work. Have read it several times and notice more each time I read it. Please submit more stories.

Karina
Karina

Ah, love lost and love wrongly thrown away....... I enjoyed your version, nicely done. K

Aaron Templer
Aaron Templer

Thanks Shannon. The connection with the river styx is just great. What a terrific layer you added. Thanks again.

The Redhead
The Redhead

Sorry - but this one doesn't count. Missed the deadline :) Thanks for giving it a read!

ShannonR
ShannonR

I really like how you bring out the temporality of the space. It reminds me of the river styx.

Digangik
Digangik

Very thought provoking. You can feel the emotions and sense the reality of possible and or actual events unfolding in today's world.

KLB
KLB

As a woman who made a very tough decision at a young age, I still wonder what would have happened if I'd had the guts to carry that child to term. I feel the young parents' pain...

David Mathison
David Mathison

I enjoyed this very much. One question, did you mean "quiet" or "quite" here:"The very place between our soft lips was quiet another world."I like quiet!

Aaron Templer
Aaron Templer

Thanks for the words, SAnwar. I appreciate it.

Dagmar Bleasdale
Dagmar Bleasdale

THAN the twisted metal... :) Dagmar (happen to be a proofreader and editor)

Jwebbess
Jwebbess

I like it. Good job that's very sweet!

Kristen
Kristen

Thank you! I'm kind of curious about the rest of the story too. And this is the first contest I've ever entered. I really appreciate your thougths.

Lori A.
Lori A.

Nicely written. It made me thinkof the countless people I have seen like that. Giving people a second chance and thought of their situation. Must say it actually even gave me goose bumps at the part where she asked about the bus. Keep writing...thumbs up.

DJNoRequest
DJNoRequest

I wonder if you'd have gotten cab fare if you didn't view it as a 'pity handjob' enthusiasm really makes or breaks those moments

Kmbalbo
Kmbalbo

I think the best thing about this story is that it is awesome. And also hilarious.

Girlwithredballoon
Girlwithredballoon

I read through all of the stories on this page, and this one was the only one that made me think, "Damn! I want to read the rest of that story!" It was griping! Good for you.

amycesario
amycesario

lol, thanks Felicia...too much inside this little head...

Felicia
Felicia

Amy I love your creativity...wow, you have an awesome imagination....What else is inside your head:) Please share?:)

Srathod
Srathod

Great short story. I like how the story ends with him returning to the bus stop.

Brian
Brian

I think this was very engaging to read.. I felt the emotion of the ordeal, and it matched the picture :)

Carol Lippin
Carol Lippin

Intense and thought provoking.Felt like I was there.Carol

Coll
Coll

It's awesome and really raw - especially without much background provided about the couple. And his last plea, "Just cry," felt like he could've been speaking to himself and to the baby.

Stefany Coulter
Stefany Coulter

Had to concentrate too hard on this after half a bottle of cheap red wine. But once absorbed - liked it

Sskbc
Sskbc

Loved it. Too true!

K10fyfe
K10fyfe

Oh my daugher will LOVE love the Glee reference! She is a diehard Gleek!

Kristen
Kristen

I had to come back and read this a couple of time because each time I did I got a different "aha" from it. And I really like the last line of the second graph. I envision myself using that line someday in the near future!

Connie Garlick
Connie Garlick

Loved the switch from seeming detachment to deep emotion; well done

Hal
Hal

Whether you meant it as an 80s punk song, a 90s grunge theme, or a sappy ballad, there's a Glee episode waiting to be written around this. Nice work, Kristen

Aaron Templer
Aaron Templer

Thanks np. I appreciate it, and I'm glad the reference came through.

Sienko
Sienko

Obviously I love that you mentioned the Devil twice... and all the implications associated :)Also the fact Facebook was an integral part of the story. It is part of romance today, after all, for better or worst.

np
np

I'll admit, I had to look up the relevance of the date. I love that the story is timely--as we are upon the 5th anniversary of Katrina. I like that the bus shelter is a character in the story-that it's a witness to the storm, the birth, the death, and the passage of time. It seems to represent the neglect suffered by New Orleans, the anonymity of all the victims, and the perserverence of the city's spirit. It's dark, but oddly hopeful.

Sienko
Sienko

Thanks so much!!

Dcmills74
Dcmills74

Impressive, and all from a picture. Emotional, intense and real. Very good.

Heidi
Heidi

I was there. I could see it, I could touch it, I certainly could feel it. And I heard the cry.

Sienko
Sienko

The Porsche would certainly make the character seem more juvenile and superficial when it comes to his tastes, but I thought the Jaguar was more business-ey =)

SandraLeeSchubert
SandraLeeSchubert

Too late for a vote.The bus stop was ruined and no longer offered protection. It was like the remains of his life. His barely beating heart offered no more safety then the twisted metal above him.

Sienko
Sienko

Haha I guess this is what I get for asking for a critique :)Thanks for your comment and support! Can't wait to read your other stories.

Junipergem13
Junipergem13

Two things:1. "Beneath this confident veneer, I was shocked to learn my heart was racing. Thinking quickly, I realized my head was spinning."Why was he "shocked," "beneath the veneer," to "learn" his heart was racing? Why did he need to "think quickly" to "realize" that his head was spinning? There's a lot of learning and thinking and realizing going on that could perhaps be summed up more simply.Maybe: "My heart raced and my head spun."What do you think? Is that too simple?2. “I will never return here until I’ve succeeded!” That would show her, I thought. In the end, my success would only prove that it was all a terrible mistake....What was a terrible mistake? Getting famous? That's what I thought at first until I read on and deduced that the "kiss" was the mistake (or, the relationship). That's why the "there is no way" line threw me off, because at first I thought it meant that the author felt he was better than her. This whole paragraph seems to be speaking in the present tense, but its voice is from the past. It's his past self speaking, and I can infer that it was probably from around the time he'd experienced that kiss. So, to fix this I would have written, "my success would only prove her and I were a terrible mistake."THAT ARE IT! (as far as critiques)Other than that, well, I already told you what I like: the despondent theme, about a character who thought he knew what would make him happy; I especially loved the ending's implication: hardly were his opinions about this girl correct, but he didn't really go anywhere spiritually, just like the bus. Very eloquent. Go to my fictionpress site and leave me comments! You can totally leave a comment without having an account.

Evelyn
Evelyn

I blame Candace for most everything in my life, too.

InfamousQBert
InfamousQBert

i like your style. not too flowery. nice work.

aehotchkiss
aehotchkiss

"lube and regret" is a great way to end a sentence. nice interpretation!

Aaron Bradley
Aaron Bradley

Thanks a lot Liz - appreciate your kind comment!

Nina Blair
Nina Blair

So much raw emotion conveyed in so few words. Deeply moving and well-writen.

InfamousQBert
InfamousQBert

ooh, that's pretty much how i've felt about SATC since watching a few random episodes. excellent work! pity hand jobs for all!

Kat
Kat

Ah, Candace! How many bad one-night-stands can you be held responsible for? You never showed us the sketchy bus-stop-esque side to our exploits!

Ben W.
Ben W.

Oh, the urban decay--the self-loathing sex. It's vulgar post-feminist angst, and I'm digging it.

Trackbacks

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