The silhouette twirled endlessly on Janet’s computer screen. It was the ponytail, she thought, that reminded her of her daughter. It was black of course, in the animation, but the outline… that was like Abby’s wheat-coloured hair had been, once.
“If you see the girl spin both ways you’re using both sides of your brain!” yelled the caption. Janet chewed her finger. To her, it was always going the same way.
She looked at her phone, then pressed a button. It began to ring. Janet glanced back at the computer screen and smiled as, finally, the graceful dancer changed direction.
This is an attempt to write something in exactly 100 words. Such pieces are sometimes called drabbles. Can you see the girl go both ways? I always see her moving clockwise. Maybe I need to make that phone call I’ve been putting off…
This is a little break from my usual thing, namely (mostly) flash fiction stories, to write a little something about an organisation that does great work getting writers’ work out there for everyone to hear.
This post is about Escape Artists, and Podcastle, and the Podcastle flash fiction competition, which you can go and participate in, right now.
Escape Artists produce FREE, weekly audio fiction. Yes, free. I know they say nothing in life is free, but this is totally, actually free. They do pay their authors and voice artists, but they mostly rely on voluntary donations to do so (via their Patreon and good old-fashioned PayPal).
There are four podcasts and they are all brilliant with incredibly high production values (seriously, ditch your Audible subscription and just subscribe to all these):
Last month (June) PodCastle accepted entries for this year’s Escape Artists Flash Fiction Contest. The criteria were that stories had to be fantasy (at least arguably, it’s a pretty flexible genre) and had to be 500 words or less. That was it. Simple.
And now it’s July and the contest is closed! But that’s cool, because it means you can read all the stories. And vote on them.
To protect authors’ publication rights the stories will be published on the PodCastle private forum. You have to register to access it, but that’s simple and quick and, once done, you can head straight over to the Flash Fiction Contest IV board and start reading, and voting.
In case you’re wondering, yes, I do have a story in the contest. But I’m not allowed to tell you which one – that might be cheating. Just go and vote for whichever stories you love.
There were quite a few entries and so they’re being managed in leagues. Like football only, much, much more fun (!) The stories with the most votes in each group will go forward to semi-finals, and then the best of those will go onto the final at the end of August.