50 MM Microfiction Contest
Microfiction Contest—May 2018
50mm Fiction is our new Bending Genres microfiction contest. The premise of the contest was simple: write a piece of fiction, 50 words or less, using the 50mm photo as a prompt.
Here is our photo prompt.
This month’s contest will be judged by none other than fantastic Jayne Martin!
Some words from the Judge…
My gratitude to all the amazing writers who participated. Your stories were off the charts in inventiveness. They were emotionally charged and skillfully rendered. Some even found humor in the dystopian-themed prompt, a skill that no doubt serves you well in these often dark days. Since every contest has to have “winners,” I want to emphasize that no one entry was better than another. These four stories were the ones that resonated most with me. Had any one of you been the judge, without doubt you would have chosen others, and those choices would have been just as valid.
- First Place: A Man Named Magritte by Abby Burns
- Second Place: Happiness is Gold by Jean Reyes
- Third Place: Sisyphus Speaks by Jennifer Wortman
And for pure whimsy and most original form…
- Honorable Mention goes to: Wings of Desire by Jude Higgins
Thank you to Robert Vaughan for bestowing upon me this behemoth responsibility and trusting me to be up to the task. My bill for Xanax is in the mail.
First Place—Abby Burns
A Man Named Magritte
In the wake of the drought, he carried grief in the crook of his back. He ritualized desperation, returning each morning to the wind-tortured remains of his family’s farm, grains clasped tightly between withered palms. Here, his hope and regret seeped through well-worn cracks. Wasted.
And yet still, he returned.
2nd, 3rd Place and Honorable Mention
Happiness Is Gold
The land had been completely picked over: the last stem stripped, last pollen grain picked, the last larva sprouted. The Golden Land barely glowed with a tarnished glimmer, and the flutters—their glistening new wings—collected dust in the pollution of vice. To the suffocating, he fed the last Gold.
Forget the rock, the hill. For an eternity, I caught and released butterflies. Not a punishment: I was trying to learn about love, the fluttering trust of its landing, the scattershot of one wrong move. Each effort produced the same broken-glass beauty, the thick spray dispersing. Then, rising hope, anew.
Wings of Desire
Robert Vaughan teaches workshops in hybrid writing, poetry, fiction at locations like UWM, Red Oak Writing, The Clearing, Synergia Ranch and Mabel Dodge Luhan House. He leads roundtables in Milwaukee, WI. He was a finalist for the Gertrude Stein Award for Fiction (2013, 2014). He was the head judge for the Bath International Flash Fiction Awards, 2016. His short fiction, ‘A Box’ was selected for Best Small Fictions 2016 (Queen’s Ferry Press). Vaughan is the author of five books: Microtones (Cervena Barva Press); Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits (Deadly Chaps); Addicts & Basements (CCM); RIFT, co-authored with Kathy Fish (Unknown Press) and FUNHOUSE (Unknown Press). www.robert-vaughan.com.