Flash Fiction Contest: Tall Talk, Secret Stories

photo of pen and paper

UPDATE: Our 2012 flash fiction contest is now closed. Winners will be announced by October 9. Thank you to all who participated!

“Everything necessary to understand my grandfather lies between two stories: the story of the tiger’s wife, and the story of the deathless man. These stories run like secret rivers through all the other stories of his life…” Tea Obreht, “The Tiger’s Wife”

“Shere Khan is all long tail and tall talk.” Rudyard Kipling, “The Jungle Book”

These quotes inspire this year’s One Read writing contest. “The Tiger’s Wife” is rich in themes of personal myth-making, superstition and family secrets. Your challenge, therefore, in 250 words or less, is to craft a tale in which a secret is revealed or concealed. Your secret can be small and personal or significant. Its telling (or its concealment) can have happy or devastating consequences. The details are up to you! Entries may be submitted using this form or at any library or bookmobile. Winning entries and honorable mentions will be published on this site and winners will get a $20 book store gift card. Entries are due by September 24.

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

Contest Rules


  • The contest is open to those 16 years of age and older.
  • Participants must reside within the DBRL service area (Boone or Callaway County).

Contest Deadline

  • Entries will be accepted through Monday, September 24, 2012. (Mailed entries must be postmarked by that date.)

Submission Requirements and Guidelines

  • One entry per individual.
  • Submissions must be 250 words or less in length.
  • Submissions must be in English.
  • Submissions must include writer’s name, age, address and email address or phone number for eligibility verification and contact purposes.
  • Entries must be in text format and typed.
  • Entries may be submitted through the One Read website (oneread.dbrl.org) or by mail (DBRL, ATTN: Lauren/One Read Writing Contest, PO Box 1267, Columbia, MO 65205), or dropped off at a DBRL location.
  • Submissions must be original, unpublished works.
  • Each participant must be the sole author and exclusive owner of all right, title and interest in and to his or her submission.
  • DBRL’s publication and use of the submission in accordance with the terms set out herein will not infringe or violate the rights of any third party (including copyright), or require any payment to or consent/permission from any third party.

Content Restrictions

  • The submission must not contain any material that is inappropriate, indecent, profane, obscene, hateful, tortious, defamatory, slanderous or libelous.
  • The submission must not contain any material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age.
  • The submission must not contain any material that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations in any jurisdiction where the submission is created.
  • The submission must not contain any commercial content that promotes any product or service of the sponsor or any third party.


  • Entries will be evaluated and the winners chosen based on creativity, grammar and emotion evoked by the writing.
  • Two winners will be announced by October 9.
  • Winning entries and those receiving honorable mentions will appear on the One Read website.
  • Winners will be notified by phone or email and will each receive a $20 bookstore gift certificate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.