Thank you to everyone who participated in Round 11  of the WU Flash Fiction Contest. What an exciting month is was, with a higher number of entries than almost every other round this year. (The only month with more was January.) As always, the quality was high, and choosing a winner was difficult.
And that’s it, my friends. We are at the end of the year-long contest. There’s only one round to go, where the finalists compete against each other for the grand prize. More on that shortly. But, first:
To all the writers who have won a place in the finals, or been awarded an Honourable Mention this year, I say congratulations.
To everyone who participated in the contest prompts, thank you. I’ve loved reading your stories, and stepping into the magical landscapes of your mind more than you can know. You’ve made this year fun.
And to all those community members who didn’t choose to enter, but who showed up every month to read and vote on entries, and to celebrate with the winners, thank you for being part of this exciting event.
Let’s talk about the finals.
Unlike previous rounds, the final round of competition is limited to those who have won previous rounds. You are, of course, welcome to use the prompt to craft your own flash fiction story, but it won’t be considered by the judges.
The finalists themselves were given the prompt one week ago, and asked to write a 250 word flash fiction story within the usual 7 day limit. Those stories go live tomorrow. So make sure you come on over and check them out.
In all previous rounds, the winner has been decded by a combination of your votes and a panel of judges. For the final round, we encourage you to vote for your favourite, however the winner will be chosen based on a blind-reading (that is, reading each story without knowing its author) by a panel of five judges.
What the winner receives:
The overall winner of the 2015 Writer Unboxed Flash Fiction Contest will be announced on Sunday 13th December 2015, and will receive:
- A signed copy of Dave King ‘s Self-Editing for Fiction Writers
- A signed copy of David Corbett ‘s The Art of Character
- A 15-page manuscript critique by bestselling author Catherine McKenzie  (double spaced, normal margins, Times New Roman 12pt font)
- A one-hour Skype lesson with Scrivener expert, Rebeca Schiller 
- A free, non-transferable pass to attend the next Writer Unboxed UnConference (does not include travel or hotel expenses)
- A copy of John Vorhaus ‘s Poole’s Paradise
- A copy of Erika Liodice ‘s Empty Arms
- A copy of Grand Central, a compilation of stories featuring Erika Robuck 
All finalists will receive a beautiful “Edit” poster from Three Figs Villa , as kindly donated by the generous Cyd Peroni.
And now, with no further ado… announcing the winner of Round 11 of the WU Flash Fiction Contest.
Rick Bramhall (“He smiled ever so slightly…”)
Pauline Yates (Dream Date)
Lola Garza (The Covenant)
Please join with me in wishing a huge congratulations to our November winner: Ann Howes. Please read and enjoy her story in its encore performance:
It’s Your Lucky Day
“How much for the cup?” I asked the old woman in the floppy hat who was in charge of the garage sale.
“Five dollars. It’s a lucky cup.”
“You’ll have to buy it to find out.”
Sure. Still, I couldn’t blame her for trying to sell it. It was pretty. It shimmered when you held it up to the light and felt good in my hand. No, I decided. It would end up on the shelf with all the other useless trinkets.
I placed it back on the table but the moment I let go, my hand felt…empty. I ignored the feeling continuing to browse the books and oddities, touching things as I came across them.
I did a full sweep but nothing interested me.
“Will that be it for you?” She pointed to my hand.
Somehow, I’d picked up the cup without realizing it.
“Oh! No.” I put it back on the table.
“It likes you. You should buy it.”
“I don’t want it.”
“Then why do you keep picking it up. That will be fifteen dollars.”
“Fifteen?” Had I misheard her?
It was in my hand again, and I tried to put it back on the table, but I couldn’t let go. It was beautiful. Maybe I should buy it. I was waiting for change when a giant redwood uprooted, crushing my car on impact, where I would be if I hadn’t bought the cup.
“I told you it was lucky,” she said.
Ann Howes is a single mother of two teenagers, and two adorable tuxedo felines, who rule her world. She grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, but currently lives in California. Sunshine and the ocean, good wine and chocolate are some of her favorite things, and she finally understands what it means to be bitten by the writing bug. Follow Ann on Twitter .
Congratulations, Ann. Make sure you tune in tomorrow to read all the finalists entries!