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.

Read More

Flash Fiction Contest Winners: “Outsider”

As part of this year’s One Read program and inspired by the themes of displacement, disconnection and longing for the feeling of home in “The Ruins of Us,” we challenged writers to craft a tale that somehow explores this idea of being an outsider. We received stories of cliques and exclusion, moving to an unfamiliar city, the immigrant experience,  or of returning to a home that is no longer home–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 Josh Ray and Chinwe Ndubuka.  Writers Melody Hapner and Nidhi Khosla receive honorable mentions.

We invite all participants to come to our Flash Fiction Reading and Reception on Monday, September 16 at 7:00 p.m. in the Columbia Independent School Cafetorium (1801 N. Stadium Blvd).

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

Flash Fiction Contest: Outsider

Woman with typewriter

This contest is now closed. Thank you to all who entered! Winners will be announced by September 13.

“Imagine. To live out your life in a country not your own. Imagine it.” – Keija Parssinen, “The Ruins of Us”

This year’s One Read  selection is rich with themes related to displacement, disconnection and a longing for the feeling of home. In 250 words or less, craft a tale that somehow explores this idea of being outside – outside of a culture, a community, a family. Evoke the feeling of being a stranger in a strange land, whether that land is a foreign country, your childhood home or even your own mind.

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 Wednesday, September 4. Participants must be age 16 or older and residents of Boone or Callaway Counties. Read on for complete contest rules. Read More

2012 One Read Flash Fiction Contest Winners Announced

As part of this year’s One Read program and inspired by the themes of personal myth-making, superstition and family secrets in “The Tiger’s Wife, we challenged writers to craft a tale in which a secret is revealed or concealed. We received stories of deathbed confessions, affairs, love and loss–all told in no more than 250 words. Thank you to everyone who entered. Our two winners were Amy Ewing and Frank Montagnino.

We are pleased to share with you their stories. Read More