Saturday, October 22, 2011

Call and Response Flash Fiction: Request for Prompts

If you saw my "Suggestions, Please?" post you know that I'm interested in adding some new features to this blog. There was no great consensus (except around NOT having more frequent links posts) but the most popular item was Flash Fiction. I wanted to try to do something a bit different with this. Here's what I'm proposing:

"Call and Response" Flash Fiction. 

Every other Friday (when I'm not posting a "Dissecting the Short Story" post) I'll publish a new short story, definitely under 1000 words, probably under 500 words. Now here's the twist that gives the series its name... Each story will be based on a writing prompt supplied by one of my readers.

Here's how it will work. Every other Saturday I'll post a new request for prompts. The prompt can be anything at all. It can be a photo, a concept, a few words. Whatever. People will have until Noon Eastern Time on Thursday to submit their prompts. Thursday night/Friday morning I'll announce the winning prompt from among those posted. The following Friday I'll post the story inspired by the prompt.

I know that's a lot of days to keep track of. Here's a concrete example. This is the first request for prompts. I'll pick the winning prompt on Thursday October 28th 27th (edit: Bad at math, sorry...) and publish the resulting story on Friday November 5th.

Oh, yes... I've used the word "winning" a couple of times. That's not just a "hey, feel good about yourself, I picked your prompt" type of winning, either. The person who submitted the prompt which I select will receive a $5 Amazon gift card as a prize for having a great prompt. (See, I'm sneaking in the "contests" that 25% of the people voted for in the poll...)

So, readers, think up some killer prompts and you could win a few dollars and see your prompt turned into a honest-to-gosh flash fiction. The first round is open NOW! I'm looking forward to seeing the creative prompts my readers come up with.

A bit of fine print: All rights to the story created based on the prompt will be held by the author of the story. The $5 prize is only available to people with an Amazon account to which I can send the prize electronically. I reserve the right to add more fine print to future versions of this activity if I feel the need to do so. (Though I sorely hope I don't need to.) There are no guarantees that I will continue to run this activity beyond the currently-posted Request for Prompts. (Though I sorely hope that it will be fun for us all and that I will want to do so.)


  1. Attacking 2 for one with a prompt cool. Thanks so much for doing this. Now to make my brain work. Hmmm...

  2. Hi, Angela! Thanks for dropping by.

    Remember, the prompt can be anything at all -- it doesn't have to be complex unless you want it to be. It could be a picture, or a song, or... Well, whatever. :)

  3. Sounds like fun - contest and productivity rolled into one. :)


  4. After talking to some people, I think maybe I was too vague somewhere.

    Place your entries right here, as a comment, by Noon Eastern Time on Thursday 10/27. That's all you have to do to enter! :)

  5. Sounds awesome. I'm game! How about this?

    A child finds a candlestick in the gutter on her way home from school.

  6. David, thanks for your entry! I like it. (And a good thing, too, since if no one else enters, it's the one I'll be doing!) ;-)


    :) Enjoy

  8. Time's up! Thanks for the two entries. I'll announce the winner later today.

  9. I announced the winner in a separate post, but for the record, I'm going to use David's prompt. I also liked the image prompt provided by scribblingpencil.