Author, Editor, Publisher, Coach

Flash Fiction

Let me first say that I’m not a fan of flash fiction, particularly the 55-word variety.  In my experience, 9 out of 10 pieces are not worth the reading, even if it does take only a few seconds.  People don’t tell stories; they write anecdotes, ask questions, set up a possible story.

Yet I entered a flash fiction contest.  Go figure.

I found Austin Briggs’ contest on Twitter, liked what he was doing (Hey, I love any opportunity for a writer to make money!), and decided to both spread the good word and enter my own piece.

He provided this prompt: “Eccentric Woman.”

His essential guidelines were clear: 55-words max (includes the title), must contain a setting and at least one character, and must present a conflict and resolution.

Those are ambitious guidelines for a 55-word piece, and that’s ultimately why I decided to participate (my entry, Sipping, took 2nd place in July).  Did all entries adhere to those guidelines?  Did all the winners?  Hmmm….  As I said before, flash fiction so rarely gives us a story.

Nonetheless, Austin is doing a good thing for writers.  If you like flash fiction, and you’d like an opportunity to make a little money in a contest, please check it out.  You’ll find the July results here: Austin Briggs’ Flash Fiction Contest.

‘Til next time, and as always, remember: To write well, you must work hard.  To succeed in this tough gig, you mustn’t be lazy (or discouraged).



  1. Austin Briggs

    Hi Lane,

    Wow, thanks for the mention! 🙂 I’ve corrected the small misunderstanding on my website: the story should be 55 words excluding the title… I had sort of mentioned it in the last bullet point, but now brought it all the way up on the rules page.

    I loved your story, and will explore your longer work with pleasure. Thank you for playing, you’re always welcome back 🙂

    I can see you’re doing a great thing for writers, too. I’m pondering your contest (although the ideal story description makes me shake in my flip-flops!).

    • Lane_Diamond

      My pleasure, Austin, I hope it brings some traffic your way. And we'd love to see your entry in our Evolved Publishing Short Story Contest.

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