Challenge Winner: FFM 2018

FlashFictionMonth starts tomorrow, and it’s time to select a winner from among the 27 challenges I’ve been issued this month. That’s more than double the challenges I received last year!

It’s also kind of an awkward number. I could deal with this using a random number generator, but that wouldn’t afford me a chance to use my fancy dice; so I guess I’m using a d100 and re-rolling until I get a valid number.

The winning number is… 66! Wait… 88! No, 68!
…This may take a while.
Skipping all the invalid numbers, our actual winner is: 26!
Our winning challenge comes as a last-minute entry by Teague-Drydan:
At least half of the month needs to be fairy tale re-writes. Bonus if they aren’t well known fairy tales.
Thank you, Teague-Drydan! Your points will arrive shortly. (And sorry to the no less than five of you who voted for the All-Star challenge: another time, maybe!)
Because I was kind of on a …roll (badum-tsh) and we have plenty of challenges to go around, we have a second, lower-priority winner: 4! An anonymous contributor slapped me with a glove and challenged me to write every single character queer. Which, you know, I can do, but doing it explicitly is harder. Will I be doing it anyway? Possibly! Since this isn’t the actual winner-winner, I’m not going to do any acrobatic tricks to make it explicit (and I’m certainly not going to give it as much priority as the actual winner, not to mention the official FFM challenges), but we’ll see how far I get in avoiding allocishet characters over the course of the month. Queered fairy tales, here we come!

Challenge Me: FFM 2018

It’s that time of year again! Flash Fiction Month is fast approaching: and with it, the extra chance to WIN FABULOUS PRIZES and MAKE ME A SLAVE TO YOUR WHIMSY! I hope that’s a good pitch, because I barely altered it from last year!

For those who haven’t been around long enough to know, a bit of explanation: Flash Fiction Month is a month-long challenge to write a piece of flash fiction between 55 and 1,000 words for every day of July. There are challenge days and prompts aplenty, and also there are fabulous prizes (I’ve got a bit of a mug collection going!), and it’s a great deal of fun for everyone involved. Do join in if you feel so inclined; and if not, at least you’ll have plenty of reading to do!

I’ve participated for the past four years, and for the past two I’ve also crowdsourced an extra challenge to carry me through the entire month. In 2016 that meant murdering a whole bunch of people with shovels (…fictionally), and in 2017 it meant beginning each story with the previous story’s ending word. What will it be this time? YOU DECIDE.


Anyone – I repeat, ANYONE – may enter this. You don’t even need an account, here or anywhere else: you just need to be able to reach me. As long as you’re able to communicate your challenge to me, anonymously or otherwise, I will accept it.

Here are some convenient ways to reach me:

  • Comment on this post.
  • Comment on this mirror post DeviantArt.
  • If you’d like to remain anonymous, send me a note there.
  • Challenge me on Twitter.
  • Use occult forces to send me your challenge via a dream.
  • Hunt me down and slap me with a glove.
  • Slip a note assembled entirely out of newspaper clippings under my door.
  • If you communicate with me regularly anyways and/or have my email address, those options are always there for you.

(If you choose an anonymous method of communication (and I can’t reliably get back to you) but do not wish to be credited anonymously, please include whatever information you’d like to have included; also, if you have a DeviantArt account, keep in mind I’ll need to know what it is in order to distribute that part of the prize if you should win.)

You may issue as many challenges as you like. You may also add your vote to an existing challenge (the winning challenge will be chosen randomly: this will increase its chances), or modify an existing challenge by adding or changing criteria. (Keep it to one vote per person per challenge. I will enforce this as far as I am able; please don’t exploit the loopholes of anonymity.)

I will reject challenges only if I feel that the challenge is completely undoable (by, for instance, being incompatible with the actual rules of FFM) or in conflict with the spirit of the event. Please stay away from fanfiction challenges or ones that involve each story throughout the entire month having the same specific length; pretty much anything else is valid!

Your deadline is noon (Central European Summer Time) on June 30th. There will be no leniency. Winner(s) should be announced by that afternoon.

Fabulous Prizes

You stand to win:

  • Official credit for the challenge in whatever form you’d like, from complete anonymity to a name and a link, both in the eventual collection and on the stories themselves.
  • Up to 500 DeviantArt points, if you have an account (details below).
  • The grim satisfaction of watching me dance through your arbitrary hoops, knowing I am but a puppet upon the strings you have laid.
Boring technical details:

The person whose number I actually roll will receive 500 points, and so will the person who originally came up with the full challenge; if these are the same person, those points will overlap. If a modified version of a challenge wins, every contributor to the full challenge also wins 250 points. If anyone who would win points doesn’t have a dA account, they forfeit that part of the prize. Credit will be shared between all contributors to the winning challenge.

Challenges So Far

  1. Incorporate a quote from a different Bee Gees song into each story.  ~TheWarOfTheRing
  2. You must have a banana present somewhere in your story or you have to have a Bee Movie reference. Either works.  ~Domaex
  3. Each story must simultaneously be a serious example of one genre, and a silly example of another.  ~jdeyke
  4. Every character must be queer. ~anonymous contributor
  5. Puppies in every story. They must be happy and nothing terrible may happen to them.  ~jdeyke
  6. The first sentence and last sentence of each story, if taken separately from the rest, must construct a two-sentence story in their own right.  ~ilyilaice
  7. The main character in the next day’s story must be a character that was featured (however briefly) in the previous day’s story.  ~lion-essrampant
  8. Blow up at least one farm animal in every story. Bonus points if the number of farm animals blown up across the entire month exceeds one hundred billion. ~Damon L. Wakes
  9. Upvote #6.  ~Teague-Drydan
  10. Each story should feature a number that is at least 1 higher than the day before.  ~Teague-Drydan
  11. The last line of the previous day is now the first line of the next day.  ~Teague-Drydan
  12. Each day someone/thing has to have an allergic reaction to something. Bonus: each reaction is different.  ~Teague-Drydan
  13. Each story must follow the basic principle behind the Roller Coaster method: it must begin and end with opposites. (Bonus: a. Whatever the opposing force was in the previous story is incorporated somewhere in the middle ground of the next one.  b. No two opposing forces may be the same throughout the whole month.)  ~blackflamingo777
  14. Every story begins with a first line based on the same sentence, but it must be written differently in every story.  ~blackflamingo777
  15. Somewhere in every story, you must end one sentence with “in accordance with the prophecy”.  ~blackflamingo777
  16. Over the course of FFM, your oeuvre must address the following items: something somebody once told you; the sharpest tool; a finger and a thumb; the shape of an L; what does it mean to be ‘fed to the rules’?; a smart brain and a dumb head; “You’ll never shine if you don’t glow”; definitive proof that all that glitters is in fact gold; a  shooting star that breaks the mold; the meteor men, and the hole in the satellite picture; skating on thin ice; the world on fire; “Can you spare some change for gas?”; an all-star, getting their game on, and going to play, or alternatively and perhaps easier, a rock star, getting the show on, and getting paid; Shrek.  ~joe-wright
  17. Someone named with the name of your choice must appear in every story. Bonus points if the named character is the very same throughout the month.  ~WindySilver
  18. Upvote #16. ~Damon L. Wakes
  19. A space-time-dimension travelling house plant appears in every story. At least three stories must be written from the perspective of this plant.  ~Ffaunax
  20. A favorite song of yours is mentioned by lyric or title in each story. Bonus points if it’s a hit tune known to many.  ~xlntwtch
  21. Upvote #16.  ~xlntwtch
  22. Your character, in every story used, must be notably allergic to something – lethally.  ~PennedinWhite
  23. The question “How much do I owe you?” should be used in at least half of the stories.  ~PennedinWhite
  24. A phone rings in every conversation, and must be answered each time. The phone conversation much last at least 5 lines of dialogue. (The phone will not additionally ring during the phone conversation.)  ~PennedinWhite
  25. Upvote #16.  ~TheWarOfTheRing
  26. At least half of the month needs to be fairy tale re-writes. Bonus if they aren’t well known fairy tales.  ~Teague-Drydan
  27. Upvote #16.  ~Domaex
  28. Upvote #26.  ~LadyBrookeCelebwen

Thank you, and happy challenging!