FLASH FICTION CONTEST: April 2016


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Post April 03, 2016, 02:45:35 PM

FLASH FICTION CONTEST: April 2016

The "Museum Earth" Challenge:


Welcome to the Museum Earth, highlighting all the wonderful things about the Terran system before their sun so mysteriously disappeared three centuries ago. We have mops to mopeds--quite hilarious devices, both of them. There are examples of their primitive communication devices, their most fiendishly challenging test of manhood, called Jenga, and details of the tragic life or their greatest hero, the boy genius Wesley. (He was murdered, you know.) Plus, so very much more!

If you prefer some refreshment before you begin, the commissary just to your left has samples of an exact recreation of what was called fudge ripple ice cream and everyone's favorite, the Earth beverage commonly known as rum and Coke. I am Melvian, curator. How may I help direct your tour experience?



The challenge this time is to tell a story that starts during a visit to the Earth Museum--but the museum or the tour is not what your story needs to be about. The museum is the setting. The plot is up to you. It could be about time travel, a heist, a romance... whatever. All things are possible in the future, except, of course, that alien beings have no reasons to value the same things as us, so there are no jewels, precious metals, or pieces of what we would consider great art in the museum. That is all just trash to this future.

It's time to think outside the box. Are you up for it?



REQUIREMENTS: (1) Your story must begin on a "Museum Earth" visit three centuries after the Earth's sun has disappeared. (2) Things that we normally consider precious treasures are not allowed in your stories. (3) Melvian, the curator or the museum, as well as product names, such as Coke, Jenga, etc., and any items or areas mentioned in the description above may be used in this challenge. (4) You must have at least two characters that "talk" to each other in some fashion. (5) 1,000 words or less, not counting title, byline, or "The End"; (6) The characters and story must be fictional and not previously published, even in these challenges; (7) One entry per author; (8) Give your story a title and a byline; and (9) Keep it clean. Rated 'PG-13'. (Basically, think, "Could I see or say this on network television, even late at night?" That allows a lot, really.)

CHARACTERS & SETTING: No copyrighted characters or settings, or references thereto. Famous, non-copyrighted fictional characters like Santa Claus, or religious figures such as the Devil, named angels such as Gabriel, or gods like Thor, etc. as supporting characters at best and at my discretion. The Wicked Witch and Dracula may be in the public domain, but don't expect me to allow them. No person that was ever a "real life" human being may be used as a character, but can be referred to, as in "President Kennedy had declared it would be so." Except as noted above under non-copyrighted fictional persons, character names may not be copied from fiction or real life, even if changed, i.e. Char-less Darween. All non-copyrighted settings are ok. Famous, unique sites like Stonehenge may be used over and again. No fan fiction or sequels, so don't bother putting your story in the Land of Oz or that great place you thought up two challenges ago.

DISQUALIFICATIONS/REFUSALS: If, in my judgment, any requirement or rule is missed, I won't post the story for voting, but authors are free to resubmit with changes until the deadline. Should a story be initially accepted and posted in the challenge, but then later judged by me to be in violation, the story may be disqualified and removed from contention at any time before contest end. Authors who feel a story may be in violation should send me a PM and state their case.

HOW TO ENTER: Stories must be sent by PRIVATE MESSAGE, and NOT posted into a thread. Just click the 'PM' button at the bottom of this post and paste your story in the message. You are responsible for doing your own formatting, and leave an extra line between paragraphs, just like when you see them in the 'zine. I will allow different colors, but not changed fonts or sizes, artwork, or any other embedded or external links.

DO NOT send a regular email to me.

Stories will be posted "blind"--without the author's name on them. All tales are literally tossed into a pith helmet and chosen in random order. When the poll closes after the voting week, I'll post a list of the stories and who wrote them. All entries will then be reposted in the Flash Archive with the author's byline.

Entries from new authors are strongly encouraged. C'mon. Give it a try!

NOTE: ONLY REGISTERED MEMBERS who have posted at least one message may submit a story. Without that one post, the system will not let you send a PM.

DEADLINE: Stories should be in by 9 p.m. Central Standard Time (GMT-6), Sunday, April 17, 2016. The stories will then be posted for voting at approximately 10 p.m. Voting will close on Sunday, April 24th at approximately 9 p.m., GMT-6.

VOTING: Stories are rated on a scale of 0-10 in whole numbers in 6 different categories by filling in scores in a form that is posted by me immediately following the post containing the stories for this challenge. Voters copy and paste the form into a PM and send it to me for tallying. One vote per user (that is, per ip address), and authors may not vote for their own story.

IF YOU WISH TO SCORE A ZERO FOR A STORY, YOU MUST ENTER A ZERO IN THAT POSITION ON THE VOTING FORM. A challenge entrant who does not vote for the other stories will receive a 10% deduction in their own score at the time of contest close, and the other stories will be given marks equaling whatever their story's average is at the time of contest close.

If more than two stories are tied at the end of voting, there will be a succession of one-day runoff votes until a single winner is chosen or the number of winners is reduced to two.

WHAT YOU WIN: Writers get improved short fiction skills, increasing their chances in the marketplace, without the lengthy investment in time a longer story would take. That, as well as bragging rights and pride--there is stiff competition each month amongst some great stories.

LEGAL STUFF: I'll try to do my best lawyer impersonation: By entering this challenge you are technically granting Aphelion: The Webzine of Science Fiction and Fantasy perpetual electronic rights only to post and archive your challenge entry. Aphelion would rather not lay any claim on them at all, but by posting them on a public site, they'd legally count as being published no matter what.

Ok. A real lawyer would have been less interesting. I tried.


All the things I do to get Aphelion out each month (find the artwork, design the covers, correspond with submitting authors, read & format the short stories, format Dan's editorial, upload all the sections, and create the forum folders) do not allow me time to write an example. I will, however, write one right alongside the rest of you. Whatever I come up with, even if unfinished, will be posted for voting with the rest of the entries.

Good luck to all of us.
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Post April 04, 2016, 04:25:43 AM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: April 2016

A very good setting, for sure!!! :D

Mine is already completed, now I just wait for some useful suggestions/reviews before sending it for the Challenge itself...eh,eh :D :D
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Post April 04, 2016, 11:12:40 AM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: April 2016

I'm always amazed at how fast you write.

I have only about 50 words done, myself, but I have to say that generally I think it's better to not write so fast. There is more time to formulate a more complicated plot if you think about it for a while. At least, for me, anyway.

Then again, I prefer flash stories that seem like one thing, but then when you reach the end, the reader learns something that changes the meaning of everything in the story. That's my goal when I write one, anyway.

I suppose it might be about how I write flash. I often have no idea how it's going to finish when I start. I find an opening that interests me, start with that a little, then see where that leads to. Around then I get a general idea of where I want end up. Usually that means tweaking the original bit, then find a way to the finale, which then ties in with the beginning and the surprise reveal.
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Post April 05, 2016, 09:04:14 AM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: April 2016

After the usual useful reviews/suggestions, I have sent it today...eh,eh :D

As for me, it happens in two ways, commonly: the first one is when I want to write the story, but it is still a draft on my mind, so I don't know yet how it will end, and it will become clear over the course of the writing process; then, there is the second way, when the story develops in my mind very fast, from the beginning to the ending, and in this case I have to write it down the sooner the better as otherwise I lack interest, because it's a story I already know everything about...and as I'm lazy, still I have to complete it as fast as possible, and immediately think of something else...eh,eh...or,I think I should think that way... :D
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Post April 05, 2016, 10:01:17 AM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: April 2016

I see your story is there, but I won't look at any submissions until I have my story written just to keep everything fair.
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Post April 05, 2016, 12:22:32 PM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: April 2016

ente per ente wrote:After the usual useful reviews/suggestions, I have sent it today...eh,eh :D

As for me, it happens in two ways, commonly: the first one is when I want to write the story, but it is still a draft on my mind, so I don't know yet how it will end, and it will become clear over the course of the writing process; then, there is the second way, when the story develops in my mind very fast, from the beginning to the ending, and in this case I have to write it down the sooner the better as otherwise I lack interest, because it's a story I already know everything about...and as I'm lazy, still I have to complete it as fast as possible, and immediately think of something else...eh,eh...or,I think I should think that way... :D

Wait a minute ... you outproduce all of us put together because—you're LAZY?? :shock:
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Post April 05, 2016, 02:49:18 PM

Searching for an outlet

I've been looking for a place to send my stories and I remembered I had posted here once in 2008. Is this contest only for members?
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Post April 06, 2016, 02:18:33 AM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: April 2016

For Lester Curtis:

Wait a minute ... you outproduce all of us put together because—you're LAZY??


eh,eh...actually, the lazy thing is to write down a story when I already know all about it, from the beginning to the end, as it flows on my mind...at times I think: at this point is of no use...and then I thing again: and how can the others read it if I don't put it on paper/file anyway?

A neural shut might be useful, as predicted in some Cyberpunk novels, as this way I could make a dowload of a draft of a story much more easily...eh,eh :lol: :lol: :lol: But we don't live yet in that world :mrgreen: , even though it is getting nearer day by day given modern science...well, ok, too much Sci-Fi for today... :D
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Post April 06, 2016, 11:58:35 AM

Re: Searching for an outlet

The Dark Angel wrote:I've been looking for a place to send my stories and I remembered I had posted here once in 2008. Is this contest only for members?

Yep. And since you're still a member, you can join the fun. Have at it—and welcome back!
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Post April 06, 2016, 09:10:07 PM

Re: Searching for an outlet

The Dark Angel wrote:I've been looking for a place to send my stories and I remembered I had posted here once in 2008. Is this contest only for members?
As Lester said, all anyone has to do is join the forum and then they can enter the contest.

Plus, stories you have already written, flash or longer, can be submitted for publication into the regular webzine, too. Everything about that is explained under the magazine's "Guidelines" section.

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Post April 06, 2016, 09:31:30 PM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: April 2016

Dark angle, join the fun. This is one of the best sites on the internet! I've been a member for about 14 years and have enjoyed it very much.
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Post April 08, 2016, 08:44:53 PM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: April 2016

Thank you three for making me feel comfortable. That is so sweet.

It's hard for me to imagine getting immediate commenting on my writing. I'm so use to sitting in my room writing for an audience of one. Finally having someone to read my stories makes me a little nervous and happy.

I've started researching an idea.

Angel
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Post April 10, 2016, 01:27:45 AM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: April 2016

I have mine first drafted now, and I just loaded in Sergio's.

Anyone care to make it a three-way race? Only one week left to write your story.

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Post April 10, 2016, 09:21:06 AM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: April 2016

I gotta start mine. I begin today!
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Post April 12, 2016, 11:57:33 PM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: April 2016

What about you, Ed?

EddieSullivan wrote:Just putting it out there... I will dust off my flash fiction writing hat for a challenge involving booze and ice cream. That kind of challenge must be answered toot sweet.


I left booze and ice cream as an element you can have in your piece, so I feel like I held up my part of this...
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Post April 13, 2016, 08:24:06 AM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: April 2016

Yes I think so. I can whip something up.
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Post April 13, 2016, 10:33:12 AM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: April 2016

ok. Done
Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. – Neil Gaiman
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Post April 17, 2016, 11:48:09 AM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: April 2016

It'll be a four-way race now. Any other takers? You have until 9 tonight (CST) to submit your entry.
Hardcover, paperback, pdf, eBook, iBook, Nook, and now Kindle & Kobo!
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Post April 17, 2016, 07:06:29 PM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: April 2016

Got mine in!!!
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Post April 17, 2016, 09:42:45 PM

Re: FLASH FICTION CONTEST: April 2016

Well, I'm in.

Be easy with me guys, it's my first time.

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