Lyrical Beginnings: Flash Fiction Writing Contest

Woman writing music on the grass

In this year’s One Read selection, author M.O. Walsh uses John Prine lyrics and song titles for many of the book’s chapter titles, as well as for the name of the book itself. Taking inspiration from Walsh’s naming convention in the “The Big Door Prize,” we invite you to tell a tale in 250 words or less, and we ask that you title your story using a chapter heading from the book. You can choose any chapter title for your flash fiction. Your story can be about anything and anyone, but it should harmonize with your chosen title. The tone can be joyful, pessimistic or anywhere in between. Winning entries and honorable mentions will be published online and in the Columbia Missourian, and the winners will receive bookstore gift cards.

Starting September 1, entries may be submitted online, 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 in the Columbia Missourian, and 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. Read More

Flash Fiction Contest Winners

As part of this year’s One Read program, we invited you to take inspiration from “Nomadland,” and tell a tale of transition. The story could be about anything and anyone, but it should evoke the notion of transition, change or a journey, be it literal or personal.

All of the writers shared their stories in less than 250 words. Thank you to everyone who entered and shared your stories of transition.

Our two winners are Audrey Mueller and Stacie Strong. Honorable mentions go to Allen Fennewald and Kate Robbins.

We are excited to share the winning stories with you! Read More

Transition: Flash Fiction Writing Contest

This contest is now closed. Winners will be announced on October 16. 

 

There have always been itinerants, drifters, hobos, restless souls.”
~Jessica Bruder, “Nomadland”

asphalt road winding through green expanseIn this year’s One Read selection, author Jessica Bruder explores the experiences of folks living on the road in order to follow seasonal work. These nomads live in a constant state of transition, moving from one place to another, from one job to the next. Taking inspiration from “Nomadland,” we invite you to tell a tale of transition in 250 words or less. Your story can be about anything and anyone, but make sure it evokes the notion of transition, change or a journey, be it literal or personal. 

Starting September 3, 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 in the Columbia Missourian, and 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. Read More

Mini Mystery Writing Contest

“The perennial questions in the Osage land is, ‘who will be next?'”
-Daily Oklahoman reporter, quoted in “Killers of the Flower Moon” by David Grann

Photo of William Hale

Many members of the Osage Nation in 1920s Oklahoma lived in constant fear for their lives. They lost many friends and family to murders that were seldom solved or fairly investigated. Taking inspiration from this history as presented in “Killers of the Flower Moon,” we invite you to use the line, “Who will be next?” as a springboard for — and the first sentence of — a mini mystery story of your own. While the experiences of those in our One Read book were very real, your mystery can be completely fiction. The puzzle presented or the crime solved can be large (like a murder) or small (like missing possessions), but the writing must be about a crime or the threat or fear of one. The length limit for these mini mysteries is 250 words.

Enter starting August 31 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 bookstore gift card.

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

As part of this year’s One Read program, we invited you to take inspiration from “The Turner House,” and tell a story about a haunting in 250 words or less. It could have been about a haunting by a ghost, the haunting consequences of a past decision or some other type of haunting entirely.

We received many entries about ghosts and ghouls, but a few were a different haunting all together. All of the writers shared their stories in less than 250 words. Thank you to everyone who entered and shared your stories of hauntings!

Our two winners are Denise Felt and Leah Allen. Honorable mention goes to Wyatt Wilkerson.

We are excited to share with you the winning stories.

Read More