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Ten words, eight days and four prizes to be won at Flash Fiction Chronicles

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If you like to jump-start your creative process by writing to prompts, you are probably already aware of Flash Fiction Chronicles. If not, prepare to be made aware.

FFC exists to promote the flash fiction form in all its minute and scintillating beauty. With one exception, to be explained shortly, FFC itself publishes no fiction. Instead, they post writing-related non-fiction articles to their blog. For instance, check out Camille Griep's "5 Tips for World Building in Speculative Flash Fiction," an exceedingly useful read if that's what you write. (Your Examiner is still trying to master this art. It's tricky.) FFC accepts unsolicited submissions of such articles; view submission guidelines for details.

On FFC's Facebook page, they post a writing prompt every day of the year but eight (again, explanation to follow) for your Muse's delectation. And they are not your typical soul-searching daily-journal style prompts ("What was the name of your first imaginary friend's pet?"). Instead, the format is a string of ten words and a memorable quote.

Every year, however, the daily prompts go on hiatus for eight days. And only once per year do FFC publish fiction. That exception is their annual String-of-10 Flash Fiction Contest.

Which starts today.

Here's your prompt:

LITTER-ENTRANCE-SAFE-SPIRITUAL-SPOTLIGHT-BOOKMARK-CATASTROPHE-RAZOR-FAULTY-ULTIMATE

I prefer the errors of enthusiasm to the indifference of wisdom. -Anatole France

You have until February 4 at 11:59 PST (if that's 11:59 p.m., then it's 12:59 a.m. Feb 5 for us here in Mountain Standard Time. NOT THAT IT MATTERS. See below.) to submit one, and only one, story of 250 words or fewer, at least four of which must be from the prompt's String-of-10. "Seamless integration of any four of the prompt words is the goal." As for the quotation, it is "given for thematic inspiration" but need not be part of your submission. (Nevertheless, if you do incorporate that theme, you might be in the running for a special prize--see below.)

Cash prizes will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners, whose stories will be published at FFC (2nd and 3rd place) or at sibling publication Every Day Fiction (1st place). These winners will also receive copies of books by guest judge Gay Degani (who, incidentally, also posts word-list prompts and flash fiction to her blog). Additionally, the Patricia McFarland Memorial Prize will be awarded to the story that is determined to best incorporate the theme. See guidelines for further details about who gets what and how to be eligible.

Eleventh hour writers, note well that "there is a limit on the number of entries we can accept." In other words, if the question of whether the given deadline is a.m. or p.m. becomes relevant, it may already be too late. Ditch your modus operandi and submit early!

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