Flash Fiction: Haunted

Mystical Beech Wood Tree“Humans haunt more houses than ghosts do.”
-Angela Flournoy, “The Turner House”

 

In this year’s One Read selection, the characters are haunted by a variety of issues. Francis Turner moved from Arkansas to Detroit to start fresh and escape his past, while, years later, his son Cha-Cha is haunted by a “haint.”

Taking inspiration from “The Turner House,” we invite you to tell a story about a haunting in 250 words or less. It could be about a haunting by a ghost, the haunting consequences of a past decision or some other type of haunting entirely — the choice is yours!

Enter September 1-26 using this form. You can also mail in your entry or drop it off at any library or bookmobile stop. (See full rules below for details.) Winning entries and honorable mentions will be published on this site and in the Columbia Missourian. Winners will receive a $25 book store gift card.

Participants must be age 16 or older and residents of Boone or Callaway Counties. Read on for complete contest rules.

 

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Flash Fiction Contest Winners: After the End

As part of this year’s One Read program and taking inspiration from “Station Eleven,” we invited you to tell a story about a world’s end, and what came after.  The world could be small and personal, like one’s family or home, or more literal, like a country or planet.

We received thrilling tales about the collapse of human civilization and quiet stories of people soldiering on after the loss of a spouse or a close friend. Some characters adapted to the loss of technology, others to an empty nest – and they did so in no more than 250 words.  Thank you to everyone who entered and shared the worlds of your imagination with us.

Our two winners are Janese Silvey and Amie Burling.  Writer Ann Youmans received Honorable Mention.

We are pleased to share with you the winning stories.
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Flash Fiction Contest: After the End

UPDATE: This contest is now closed. Winners will be announced by October 12. Thanks to all who entered!

“Everything ends. I am not afraid.” – Emily St. John Mandel, “Station Eleven”

Great minds only need simple tools by Antti KyllonenIn this year’s One READ selection, a famous actor dies of a heart attack on stage during a production of King Lear, and hours later, life as we know it begins to unwind. A flu pandemic eliminates 95% of the population and the survivors, 20 years later, navigate a world without electricity, transportation or medicine.

Taking inspiration from “Station Eleven,” we invite you to tell a story about a world’s end in 250 words or less. This world can be small and personal, like one’s family or home, or more literal, like a country or planet. Give us an ending — and what comes after.

Starting September 1, entries may be submitted using this form, mailed or dropped off at any library or bookmobile. (See full rules below for details.) Winning entries and honorable mentions will be published on this site and winners will receive a $20 book store gift card.

Entry Form

Entries are due by September 23. Participants must be age 16 or older and residents of Boone or Callaway Counties. Read on for complete contest rules.

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Flash Fiction Contest Winners: Underdog

As part of this year’s One Read program and inspired by the grit, perseverance and the way those “Boys in the Boat” overcame the odds, we challenged writers to craft tales containing an element of the underdog for this year’s flash fiction contest.

We received plenty of stories about unexpected triumph on the playing field, but we also read tales of cheating death, of immigration and unlikely survival – all told in no more than 250 words. Thank you to everyone who entered and shared the worlds of your imagination with us. Our two winners are Carl Kremer and Von Pittman.

We are pleased to share with you the winning stories. Read More

Flash Fiction: Underdog

NOTE: This contest is now closed. Winners will be announced by October 10.

Photo of person typing, by Sascha Pohflepp, via Flickr“It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down . . . What matters is how many times you get up.” – Rower Joe Rantz, quoted in “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown

In 1936, the crew team from the University of Washington won Olympic gold. They shouldn’t have. They were certainly talented and determined enough to win, but the odds were stacked against them, with one team member sick, their boat given the worst lane assignment, and them missing the signal that started the gold-medal race. This year’s One Read selection, “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown, follows members of this ragtag group of rowers as they struggle through the Great Depression, physical adversity, and personal tragedy to become one of the greatest crew teams in our nation’s history.

Taking inspiration from “The Boys in the Boat,” we invite you to tell a story about beating the odds in 250 words or less. The moment can be significant or subtle, but all stories must contain an element of the underdog, of someone unexpectedly prevailing, or of a character getting up one more time than he or she is knocked down.

Starting September 2, entries may be submitted using this form, mailed or dropped off at any library or bookmobile. (See full rules below for details.) Winning entries and honorable mentions will be published on this site and winners will receive a $20 book store gift card.

Entries are due by September 23. Participants must be age 16 or older and residents of Boone or Callaway Counties. Read on for complete contest rules.

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