Writing

NYC Flash – It’s That Time!

This morning, I opened my email to exciting news. The NYC Flash Fiction Challenge for 2015 is open for registration!

*faints from excitement*

Yes, I’ve already registered. If you love writing, you should register, too.

The NYC Flash Fiction Challenge is not your ordinary writing competition. Every writer knows the frustration of competitions. You pay a fee, send off your work into a deep, dark, black hole, and you wait. And wait. And wait. And sometimes you hear absolutely nothing. You become fairly convinced that you flushed $50 down a cosmic toilet. Bye-bye money! So long, story! All that effort, wasted.

That is not the NYC experience.

1. Guaranteed Feedback by Multiple Judges

Every story submitted for every round of the NYC Flash Fiction contest is guaranteed feedback from a panel of judges. Whether you submit in 2, 3 or all 4 rounds, you will get a page of solid feedback giving you the good, the bad and the ugly of your submission.

2. It Stretches Your Abilities

You are given a prompt: a genre, a setting and an item. You are given a time limit: 48 hours. You are given a word-count limit: 1000 words. And, GO! This contest pushes you outside your own little world and makes you think and grow. It also forces you to work on a time constraint regardless of what’s going on in your life. Last year, one round took place the weekend of my daughter’s 10th birthday party. I literally wrote that story at 1 AM while 17 ten-year-old girls terrorized my house. Yes, 17. I know, I’m crazy.

3. It’s Not a “One Shot, You’re Out” Contest

Every participant is guaranteed two rounds. In some cases, participants completely bombed one of those two rounds and still advanced to the semi-finals. It’s a weighted, points-based advancement model that gives everyone a fair shot to learn and improve on the fly.

4. You Are Judged Against Similar Stories

Most contests are very nebulous, even if they’re themed. With NYC Flash, you can rest assured that your story has a lot in common with every other story in your heat, regardless of unique interpretations of the prompts. Judging seems mostly fair. And you know that it’s mostly fair because….

5. It’s All About the Forums

When you participate in the NYC contests, you get added to the forums. Don’t dismiss the power of these forums! Once given the “all clear” that submissions are received, participants link to their stories and offer critique. The feedback through the forums is incredible. Every round, I received at least 15 messages providing excellent critique. When official feedback was received, we all posted that, too. We were able to see what the judges thought of each of the stories, and we got a feel for what the judges loved, liked and hated. Those lessons got carried to subsequent rounds. Each round kicked it up a notch, and made everyone bring their personal best to the table.

6. Lasting Friendships are Formed

We made silly videos. We kept in contact after the contest was over. We follow each others blogs. The forums bring like minds together and help build that all-important writer’s network.

Get out there, writers, and sign up now! You’ll love it!!

Here are my stories from rounds one (11th place), two (3rd place) and three (nonscoring – super tough round!) last year.

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5 thoughts on “NYC Flash – It’s That Time!

  1. I’ve enjoyed these contests, and will probably sign up again.

    The feedback is a crap shoot, though. In the short story challenge, I got very detailed, thoughtful feedback for my first round. For the second round. I got a few generic comments that were almost identical to others in my heat. I just wanted to point that out here in case NYC Midnight ever performs web searches to see what people say about them. They are not good about responding to emails and Facebook communications.

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    1. Yeah, I was pleased with 90% of the official feedback last year. There was one judge in the third round that really seemed like he/she was phoning it in. “This story was great…. nothing negative to point out.” Seemed like every entry had one of those in that round! But mostly, it was very good feedback 🙂

      Like

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