Monday, August 17, 2009

Hint fiction contest

hint fiction (n) : a story of 25 words or less that suggests a larger, more complex story

Robert Swartwood is currently hosting a 25 words or less hint fiction story contest.

Click on his name to see the rules and where to enter.

These are my entries:

Danger, do not tease

Perusing the gushing stub, you rethink the whole lean over the fence holding sandwich so Dave can snap a picture idea.

Alcohol was involved

Witness to coroner, "I took his beer, he said 'Watch this!'…… but there were never TWO trains before."

Gee your hair smells terrific

When you're a wolf three days out of every month "having a bad hair day" is such an understatement.


Go to his site, read the rules, send him an email at with your entry and then come back and share your story so we can all see your brilliance.

I look forward to seeing what you all come up with.

Happy Monday Everybody!

The list of winners was announced October 16, 2009 here's the LINK

Thanks to everybody who participated!


mdvelazquez said...

Happy Monday, Karen!

Karen from Mentor said...

Happy Monday back to you Maria,
I loved what you prompted me to tell about Jon's tush in the comment thread for the Conan O'Brien piece. You get a gold star for the day. :0)

Hope you have a good week.

Karen from Mentor said...

Anybody who was with us on Joe Konrath's blog tour in March for AFRAID will recognize the first two stories.
I posted them back then at The Penn Ferno. The only difference is that they didn't have titles, and the first one has more words now since we could use 25(so much more freedom!) words this time instead of 20.

There are lots of contests like this one out there. If you enjoyed writing a short short today take a few minutes and look for other contests.

It's a great way to get noticed.

P.S. I posted TWICE yesterday, so make sure you scroll down so you don't miss anything.

Thanks to Robert Swartwood for giving us this fun way to spend today. :0)

Karen from Mentor said...

This is my favorite of Robert Swartwood's own hint fiction:

He had told her it was a treat, yeah, but it was her own damned fault for assuming the gooey middle would be marshmallow.

judy said...

Definitely want to try this. In the meantime, I love your first one especially. "Perusing the gushing stub" is... GROSS! (It's the prologue to a zombie story, I think.) ;-)

Anonymous said...

Good ones, Karen. My brain is mush right now and I think mine is probably too short, but I tried:


In the photograph, she had looked completely sane.

Karen from Mentor said...

I love it Linda!
Did you enter it?

11 words WITH the title is impressive.

The shortest one that I know of is Hemmingway's

For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.

I hope you entered yours.
It paints such a vivid picture.
Karen :0)

Karen from Mentor said...

It's not a zombie story Judy.
In my mind's eye it's two guys out and about and they see a fenced area with the sign.
Behind the fence is an alligator or a big big horrible drooling dog or a cougar or something.
And I do believe that either very low IQ's or alcohol could have been involved in this story as well.
The word gushing is the word that I got to add for this contest.
It just adds so much "flavor" to the word picture.

Can't wait to see what you come up with.


Cat Connor said...

here ya go!

His red car announced a mid-life crisis- like a flying flag. He rounded the bend, too fast. Rolled. Now a fresh and bloody crisis loomed.

Karen from Mentor said...

Nice Cat!
I can just picture the comb over and the flying metal and puddles of various liquids......


judy said...

Oh, Karen. I knew it wasn't a zombie story yet. I was guessing at the story that comes later, after the narrator loses too much blood (what with all the gushing) and Dave faints, and when he awakes (in a drunken stupor) he wonders if it was all just a dream. But then our narrator awakes, too, alive but also dead...

And THIS is why I don't write horror!

Karen from Mentor said...

lol ,
I like the follow up story. And eeewwwww.
(I just read it on an empty tummy...)

And Judy? You may not think you can write horror,but you HAVE proven that you can write zombie love stories:

Coming Apart by Judy Clement Wall

Sweet Bradley. He couldn’t get past it. He’d tried. “I’m sorry,” he told her, and she knew he meant it.

Attempting a smile, her jaw came loose, and though she caught it before it hit the ground, Bradley had turned away. Few things are harder to watch than Zombie heartache.

If anyone is having trouble with 25 words, try your hand at a fifty word story at Judy's place.(Zebrasounds) She started 50 word story days on August 13th. It's a lot of fun and sometimes you get awarded sparkly bonus points.

Keep the stories coming.....I'll be back after breakfast with a new post. Stories can be submitted to Robert Swartwood until 8/31/09.

Karen :0)

Rachel said...

You know, it's a good thing these are short since I still can't copy paste on your blog!


Huddled alone in the dark, she knew it was only a matter of time before the smell of her own blood gave her away.


Something wriggling caught his eye. A worm! Gulp. He thinks smugly: Not anymore.

Karen from Mentor said...

Oh Rachel,

Those are great!

They both make me want to know what happens next....


Kris said...

How cool! Thanks for bringing it to our attention!

How about:

Time cause my aging chest to sag. But as my philandering husband walked toward the cliff's edge, I realized gravity had an upside as well.

My drug stash lay strewn across my bedroom floor - a habit I just couldn't break. Until I saw my kid brother lying motionless beside it.

Karen from Mentor said...

Wow Kris,
They're both very visual and emotionally powerful. And the first one being funny as well of course added to its appeal for me.

Great job. I hope you entered them both.