Monday, February 14, 2011

Women On Writing Contest

Today I entered the Women On Writing Flash Fiction contest. The Women On Writing site hosts a quarterly short story contest that seems like a great opportunity, and also seems fun, so I was excited to officially sign up for the winter contest today. I haven't sent in my actual story yet, I have until February 28 to do that, but I sent in my registration.

I just wrote the story I intend to submit yesterday, when I was stressed out after a lousy week, and felt like writing because it helps me relax. I know I need to review it and do some editing, but overall I'm happy with it. The contest stories can't be more than 750 words, and my story has 744, so I just came in under the wire.

I got the idea for my story using The Writer's Toolbox by Jamie Cat Callen. I ordered this from Amazon nearly a year ago as I thought it looked like a fun kit, but after I opened the box, I promptly put it in a drawer and didn't give it another thought.

But yesterday morning when I felt like writing, something made me think of that Toolbox, so I dug it out and started playing around with it. One thing that caught my eye was a group of  little sticks with "first sentences" on them. You choose a stick, and then use the sentence on that stick to start a story.

I browsed through the sticks, and came upon this sentence:

"I put tulips under all the pillows, and then I set fire to the house."

Isn't that a great sentence? I thought it was so intriguing, and so full of possibilities. I like thrillers and suspense stories, and this sentence was so dark and chilling, it caught my attention right away.

I sat down with my laptop and wrote out a story in a few hours. I changed the sentence to fit my story and didn't use the same wording, but the idea behind the story came right from this little sentence stick.

It was a lot of fun to write this, and I'm excited about the opportunity to enter the story into the contest. I'm so glad I decided to get my Toolbox out yesterday, as I'm anxious to go through the rest of the sticks, and also through the other tools, and see what kinds of ideas they generate.

I don't know why it took me almost a year, but I'm glad I finally put the Toolbox to good use. 

Hope everyone had a Happy Valentine's Day! :)


  1. Good luck with your Flash Fiction contest!

  2. Good luck. May the best (wo)man win! I just sent in my entry "Fate's Lottery" yesterday. Loved the challenge of 750 words. It really makes you get rid of all the extraneous verbiage.

  3. I have never heard of that toolbox, but it looks like a lot of fun. Good luck with the contest! That is a great sentence to play with. I was lucky and placed in the Top 10 of the fall contest. Maybe I'll use my Amazon GC to get the kit. :)

  4. I LOVE that first sentence. Good luck with the contest!

  5. Hi Karen! Thank you, good luck to you as well! I totally agree with you about the 750 words. I found it very difficult to not go over, it was a great challenge. Best of luck to you!

    Hi Janel! Oh, congratulations on placing in the fall contest, that's wonderful! I hope I can share similar news, thanks so much for your good luck wishes.

    Hi kim! Thank you! I loved that sentence so much, I hope it turns out to bring me good luck.


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