The Codex Writers group holds a periodic “Weekend Warrior” contest where writers are given a set of prompts on Friday evening, and are challenged to write and submit a 750-word (max) flash fiction story, due the following Sunday night. The writers in randomly-organized divisions all score the stories on a ten-point scale, and give their feedback and suggestions for improvement. There are five rounds, and the three best scores are added to determine a writer’s final score. The prize of ranking in the top three in one’s division is bragging rights, but the real prize is that each writer has completed up to five stories, with reader comments.
This collection contains the expanded (more than 750 words), revised-per-feedback versions of my entries for Weekend Warrior 2022. I enjoyed the process of writing five stories in five weeks, under tight deadlines, and evaluating the feedback and scores (1 to 10, 10 being the best) to see what would actually help me tell the stories I wanted to tell.
I did not win 2022’s “Oscar” division. Not even close (I came in 9th out of 22 in the division). The Codex Writer membership has professional-level authors. But I’m proud of what I’ve written, and I had a lot of fun in the process. Here are where the stories ended up:
Week 1: The Air Will Catch Us
Prompt: Write about a liquid, chemical, or potion with an unusual property (four-dimensional, floating, invisible, etc.). Score: 7.45. Sold to Reckoning Magazine. 4 submissions, including rejections, withdrawals and acceptances.
Week 2: Don’t Make Me Come Down There
Prompt: What life lesson do you fear you’ll never learn? What mistake do you keep making over and over? Score: 5.95. Sold to Translunar Travelers Lounge. 3 submissions, including rejections, withdrawals and acceptances.
Week 3: Stag In Winter
Prompt: Write about a character who transforms into an animal, but there’s a heavy price. Score: 5.78. Sold to Cosmic Horror Monthly. 24 submissions, including rejections, withdrawals and acceptances.
Week 4: After We Won and Before It Went To Hell
Prompt: Choose a cliché trope. Find a new way to go with it. (“The rag-tag rebel army/fleet struggles valiantly to overthrown the Evil Empire.”) Score: 5.68. Trunked and put up on my blog. 19 submissions, including rejections, withdrawals and acceptances.
Week 5: Act One, Scene Five
Prompt: What falls between the lines? Score: 6.6. Sold to Brilliant Flash Fiction. 9 submissions, including rejections, withdrawals and acceptances.
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