Thank you to everyone who participated in round 4  of the WU Flash Fiction Contest. We had fewer entries than previous months, but we enjoyed reading all of them. I’ll be announcing the winner of round 4 at the end of this post, so stay tuned. But, first of all, allow me to welcome you to round 5.
The prompt for May is the picture above. Is it just me, or does that image make your fingers tingle with anticipated adventure? (Just me, huh?)
- Each submission must be 250 words or fewer.
- Each story must contain a beginning, middle, and end. Like all stories, a compelling narrative is essential.
- All submitted work must be original, not published elsewhere, and written by you. After the contest, what you do with your story is up to you; we hold no claim on your work.
- Each submission must be made in the comment section of the prompt post.
- No more than two entries per person, per prompt will be eligible for any given month.
- Deadline for entries will be one week after the prompt is posted, meaning 7 a.m. EST on the second Saturday of the month.
- The winning story each month will be selected by a mix of votes in the form of Likes in the comment section and our own discretion (which includes a blind-reading of the entries by a panel).
Please remember to Like the stories you enjoy!
What the winner receives:
Each month’s winning story will be announced the following month, and republished on Writer Unboxed, along with the author’s bio, and links to the winner’s website and social media accounts. As well as this platform-raising exposure, the monthly winner gets bragging rights and the exclusive opportunity to compete for the grand prize in December.
In December, each of the monthly winners will be asked to write a new flash fiction story based on a new prompt. The overall winning story will be selected by a mix of votes via a poll and our own discretion.
The overall winner of the 2015 Writer Unboxed Flash Fiction Contest will be announced by the end of December 2015, and will win a fabulous Mystery Prize Pack. The other ten finalists will also receive runner-up prizes.
The contents of the Prize Pack will be announced in one hour. Stay tuned!
I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with for this month’s prompt. Next month, you could see your name in lights, just like… Oh, hang on. Let me do this properly.
And now… announcing the winner of Round 4 of the WU Flash Fiction Contest.
The entries in round 4 included a variety of genres and writing styles, and it was interesting to see the many ways the image was interpreted. (That’s one of my favourite parts of this contest.)
Denise H. Long (“Neighbourhood Pool Party”)
Vincent Bracco (“Going to work, Christopher saw a penny, heads-up, near a sewer.”)
Christina Hawthorne (“Lattice”)
With her second winning entry of this competition, earning her a second entry into the December finals round, please say congratulations to the winner of round 4:
Kate Magner  with Early. Please read and enjoy the full story, in its encore performance.
“It’s too soon.” I tried sitting up, but another contraction laid me flat against the birthing room’s dirt floor.
“Sweet girl.” Maiara dabbed sweat from my brow. “It’s time.”
“But he hasn’t found everyone.”
“Give the boy a chance.”
Maiara shuffled from my bulging belly to stoke the fire.
Smoke perfumed with charred sage guided embers through the ceiling’s gaping hole. Sunlight promised the canyon where Tane rushed to gather scraps of hand-woven blankets and the plains where one day we’d ride.
Countless contraction swept thoughts of missing ribbons and galloping from my mind. White specks flared and, instead of worrying or dreaming, I gripped the blanket beneath me.
As the pain ebbed and the flecks cleared, Tane arrived up above. His nervous gaze locked on me.
“Am I too late?”
“Only if you’re empty handed.”
“I promised didn’t I?” He hurried halfway down the ladder, then pulled a crosshatched grid into place.
Scraps he’d tied around the interlocked branches dangled toward me. They swayed as the lid settled and Tane finished his decent.
“What else can I do?”
Maiara wiped my brow again. “Be near.”
With swollen fingers, I squeezed Tane’s hand as tightly as the knots above my head. The presence of our sisters, mothers, aunts, and grandmothers shone from each ragged bit of cloth. When another pain-filled wave came, I soaked in their presence, their belief I could accomplish what they’d all endured, and bore down until the three of us could ride into the sun.
Kate Magner  lives near Seattle, Washington. Working as a librarian pays her bills and escaping into the foggy, rainy, and sometimes even sunny outdoors helps maintain her sanity. When she’s not traveling as much as budgets and jet lag will allow, she writes fantasy short stories and novels in the hopes of giving all the characters in her head their own adventures.
Congratulations, Kate! If you want to join Kate, Pauline, Larissa, and Vincent in the finals in December, you know what to do. Good luck!