Tag Archives: Flash Fiction Contest

And the September Flash Fiction Contest Winner is…

Steven Bouchard

Steven won with his story “The Whole Tooth.”

The prompt for this contest was a photo taken outside the hotel this year’s Horrorfind convention was held at. A creepy little thing, indeed!

The contest was close this month. The top three were all within a point of each other, and we had a three-way tie for Second!

In addition to Steven’s winning tale, Megan Engelhardt (her fourth top-three finish), H.L. Fullerton (July’s winner), and Amanda C. Davis (her sixth time in the top three) all tied for Second Place, and Allison Dellinger took Third Place.

Steven’s story, plus this year’s four previous winning stories, will be judged by a neutral reader, someone who is not on the staff and has not participated in any contest, and the story he or she chooses will be published in issue #6!

So a big congratulations to all the winners throughout 2012!

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And the May Flash Fiction Contest Winner is…

John Guzman

John won with his story “Magnolia’s Prayer.”

The prompt for this contest was based on something that has intrigued me for a few years now, ever since I read a few articles on the mystery of undelivered mail. I’ve wanted to write a story about it, but the muse hasn’t been moved, so 41 other authors gave it a shot.

Why do some mailmen hoard undelivered mail? There are obvious reasons, of course—theft, hoarding, etc.—but the authors were instructed to be more creative, write about the not-so-obvious reasons, be unique, stretch the boundaries.

In addition to John’s winning tale, Michael Wehunt, top dog in March’s contest, came in second with “Pavement Rich in Gold”; and Third Place went to “The Things We Hide From View,” by Damien Walters Grintalis, which is her sixth top-three finish!

Congratulations, fellas!

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And the March Flash Fiction Contest Winner is…

Michael Wehunt

Michael won with his story “Beside Me Singing in the Wilderness.” Not only did he win the contest, but we just sent him an acceptance letter for another story to be published in issue #6. He’s had quite a good day!

The prompt for this contest was this photo, the so-called “blood waterfall,” which Nick wrote about last year. Obviously it is not blood (unless Nick is to be believed), so we asked the authors to explore a simple question:

What if it was blood coming from the earth?

Participants were required to build their story around that image and question. Nearly 50 signed up, 29 finished.

In addition to Michael’s winning tale, Andrew Bourelle came in second with his brilliantly titled “Haemorrhagia Memoriae,” and Third Place went to “Alizarin, with Variations,” by Gio Clairval.

Congratulations, fellas!

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And the January Flash Fiction Contest Winner is…

Lani Carroll

Lani won with her story “Mid-Autumn Moon.” The prompt for this contest was based on Xochimilco, specifically Santana Barrera’s chinampa, sometimes known as the Island of Dolls. You can read about it here, here and here. Sleep well!

Participants were required to build their story around the concept of an island of dolls. Nearly 50 signed up, 31 finished.

In addition to Lani’s winning tale, Damien Walters Grintalis came in second with “Wednesday’s Child,” her sixth top-three placing. Third Place was “Build-A-Dolly,” by Ken Liu.

Congratulations, fellas!

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And the 2011 Flash Fiction Contest Winner is…

Little Knife Houses
by Jaelithe Ingold


As many of you know, throughout the year we host a bi-monthly flash fiction contest on our forum (not to be confused with the bi-weekly one-hour flash challenge). From those bi-monthly winners, an overall winner is chosen by a neutral judge, to be published in the next issue of Shock Totem.

This year’s judge was James Newman, and from the five stories he chose “Little Knife Houses,” by Jaelithe Ingold, which was based on the artwork for our third issue.

Ah, but now we have to break Newton’s Law, the rule we set forth in issue #2, which, after publishing Kurt Newton in our first two issues, stated that we would never again publish an author back-to-back.

Jaelithe, however, was featured in issue #4, with her story “Fade to Black”—which, incidentally, was also the contest-winning story for Café Doom’s 2010 short-story contest. So…rule broken.

And for a good reason! You’ll be able to read “Little Knife Houses” in issue #5 (see the cover and more info on that issue here).

Congratulations, Jaelithe!

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Jaelithe Ingold Strikes Gold…Again

Our fifth and final flash fiction contest of 2011 has come to a close. The prompt for this contest consisted of two images. (You might recognize them.) Participants were required to build their story around the people who live in the six individual dwellings in the images, not the ominous red light in the window. Of the nearly 50 who signed up, 31 finished.

And once again the women dominated.

This month’s winner was Jaelithe Ingold, who won with her story “Little Knife Houses.” This is her second First Place finish this year, meaning she has a two-in-five chance of winning overall and being published in our next issue.

Gio Clairval took Second Place with her tale, “Six on the Hill of My Heart,” and just a point away was Amanda C. Davis, with her story “Why Ulu Left the Bladescliff.”

All three have either won or made the top three numerous times in the past. Well-deserved, of course.

Incidentally, since we began these contests in January 2010, the ladies of Shock Totem have, in two words, kicked ass. In that first year, we had 19 top-three winners overall (a few contests had ties), and 13 of those winners were women. In 2011, 14 of the 15 top three were women.

The lone man of 2011: Simon C. Larter. (Stand proud, good sir, we salute you!)

That said, congratulations, ladies!

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September Flash Fiction Contest

Every other month we host a flash fiction contest on our forum. The next contest begins on Thursday, September 1.

Participants have one week to write a story based on a prompt that we provide. The prompt must be integral to the story. This requirement, we hope, forces writers to pen a brand-new tale rather than submit some previously written or reworked story.

When the week is up, the stories are anonymously posted in the hidden contest forum. The entrants then have three weeks to read each story and vote on their top three. Additionally, most give feedback on each story, thus ensuring everyone gets something out of the contest.

This will be the final contest of 2011. Once completed, we’ll have a special guest judge pick his or her favorite from this year’s past winners. That winning story will be published in issue #5 (January 2012).

If interested, sign up here. It’s a good time.

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The Taste of Victory

Our fourth flash fiction contest of 2011 has come to a close. John Boden came up with this month’s prompt, which was “Monsters and Fireworks,” and Damien Walters Grintalis claimed the top spot with her story “The Taste of Duty.”

Damien’s story is now in the running to be featured in issue #5 (January 2012).

Gio Clairval’s “Sparkler” took Second Place, and just one point behind was Third Place winner Sarah Hendrix, with her story “The MoonEater.”

Congratulations, ladies!

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July Flash Fiction Contest

Every other month we host a flash fiction contest on our forum. The next contest begins on Friday, July 1.

Participants have one week to write a story based on a prompt that we provide. The prompt must be integral to the story. This requirement, we hope, forces writers to pen a brand-new tale rather than submit some previously written or reworked story.

When the week is up, the stories are anonymously posted in the hidden contest forum. The entrants then have three weeks to read each story and vote on their top three. Additionally, most give feedback on each story, thus ensuring everyone gets something out of the contest.

The winner of that month wins a prize. At the end of the year, a guest judge picks an overall winner that will then be published in our January 2012 issue.

If interested, sign up here. It’s a good time.

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March Flash Fiction Contest

This contest is now closed. We will announce the winner soon.

Every other month we host a flash fiction contest on our forum. The next contest begins on March 1.

Participants have one week to write a story based on a prompt that we provide. The prompt must be integral to the story. This requirement, we hope, forces writers to pen a brand-new tale rather than submit some previously written or reworked story.

When the week is up, the stories are anonymously posted in the hidden contest forum. The entrants then have three weeks to read each story and vote on their top three. Additionally, most give feedback on each story, thus ensuring everyone gets something out of the contest.

The winner of that month wins a prize. At the end of the year, a guest judge picks an overall winner that will then be published in our July.

If interested, sign up here. It’s a good time.

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