7:00 AM

Less is More Contest!

Edit: I'm pushing the closing date/time back to Monday Feb. 7th at 9pm EST!

During my recent editing journeys, I've noticed how many  unnecessary words I was removing. What's up with all that flowery redundant prose? Pointless.  It wasn't helping the flow of the story. In fact, they bogged it down and made my writing look immature.  Being succinct and tightening up your writing is a talent in itself. Less is more, right? So I decided to hold a contest to help you, my fellow writers, get in the habit of writing without using all those extra words.

What I need from you guys is a piece of micro fiction.  101 words exact. It does need to be a story. That means a beginning, middle and end. 101 words should be a snap for those of us writing novels over 50k, right? I think you'll find it's harder than it seems!

You can go here and see an example I wrote a couple of years ago.

Here's what you need to do to enter:

  • Post your piece of micro fiction in the comments section of this post by Sunday, Feb. 6th 9pm EST
  • "Like" me on FaceBook: MB Mulhall
  • Follow me on Twitter: queenbeetf 
That's it! I'm not going to ask for proof of your "liking" or following because let's be honest, you can just go unlike me or not follow me right after the contest. We'll leave it up to the honor system.

Now before you start to swamp me with entries, we've got one more thing to discuss. The prize! While the skill is an important one regardless of prizes, I though I would sweeten the deal. The winner will get to choose one of these great books that I read in the last year:

  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson - John Green & David Levinthan
  • Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins
  • Lament - Maggie Stiefvater
  • Leviathan - Scott Westerfeld
  • Incarceron - Catherine Fisher
  • Graceling - Kristin Cashore
Along with the book, I will post your piece and promote your blog and/or website and Twitter account (if you don't have one, you should get one!).  Runners up will receive a web badge and I will also post their piece and promote a site of their choice.

I think that's about it!  The contest is open to anyone who's interested and I can't wait to see what comes in. Good luck everyone!


~* (aliyah) *~ said...

That was certainly a challenge, but a fun one! Here is my entry:

It had been a week since Casey had opened her husband John’s will and noticed the strange series of lines at its bottom. They still mystified her. Sadly, Casey fingered John’s wedding ring, which hung on a chain around her neck.
Until now, she hadn’t noticed the engravings on its interior.
After turning on the light and examining them further, Casey was convinced. Between the ring and the will, John was trying to send a message.
It took Casey until the next day to decipher the strange lines. Finally, she smiled. When overlaid, the lines spelled “Our hearts are still together.”

XchylerConn said...

In this place where life has lead me,
I am the person whom i always wanted to be.
I have a few kids, a house, a yard, but getting here was not easy, it was hard.
My life started with school, then switched to work,
Way back then i was just a file clerk,
With a stuck up boss, gosh was he a jerk.
I was told to read this, then told to edit that,
Then i started to like what i had to look at.
I picked up a hobby and began to write,
One book then two, ironic right?

Eric Satchwill said...

Looking at this contest, I think I have just the thing. I hope the fact that it's only 71 words won't be a problem ;)

“I'm an alien,” I confessed. After everything she'd seen, what choice did I have?

“Yeah?” She said this as though I'd mentioned that it might rain later. Somehow, I'd expected a bigger reaction. “I just have one question. What do you take with you wherever you go, your towel or your sonic screwdriver?” She smiled at me then. “I just want to know what I'm in for.”

Eric Satchwill said...

All right, a proper entry this time, coming in at exactly 101 words.

A gentle nudge was all it took to send it rolling, bouncing down the stairs.

“Look out!” I called.

They scattered just in time, returning to crowd around where it fetched up against the wall. I jogged down the stairs to join them.

“Well?” someone asked. “What is it?”

I shrugged. “Does it matter? It's treasure.”

Everyone nodded in agreement.

“Maybe you shouldn't have kicked it down the stairs,” said another. “You've cracked it, see?”

We all leaned in for a closer look. The crack widened to reveal a sharp beak.

“A baby Phoenix!”

Autumn2May said...

Very fun! I'm glad you extended the contest, I almost missed it!

Jennie :)


A single snowflake floated down from the soft gray sky. Drifting back and forth as it sank slowly to the cold earth below. Just a single flake, it lay lonely on the stone on which it landed, staring up at the clouds above. It wondered why it was there, what purpose it would serve, and whether it would be alone forever. Its fears were allayed when the sky above it opened and millions of its brothers and sisters began to drift lazily down around it. Whatever happened, whatever purpose it was designed for, at least the snowflake would never be alone.

Betsy Ashton said...

Thanks for extending the deadline. Here's my entry called "Healing."

Richard McCarthy stared at the bubbling red water of the ancient spa. He’d been told it had healing powers. God knows, he needed healing.

He looked at his misshapen hands, fingers as thick and white as bratwursts. He tried flexing them, something he hadn’t been able to do for a dozen years. He’d seen every doctor at home but none knew what caused the deformity. If he plunged his hands into the rotten-egg water, would they be healed? Would they work normally again?

Or, would they cook? He wondered what they would taste like on a bun with mustard and relish.