Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 2.25 WINNERS
And so endeth Week 2.25 of the Mid-Week Blues-Buster.
We got one more entry than we had last week, which is cause for celebration.
I’m hoping for a good turnout for next week’s Halloween MWBB.
We’ll be closing up shop for the month of November, as many of the writers associated with the MWBB, myself included, will be participating in National Novel Writing Month.
But before we get to next week we have to close the books on this week.
Judge Josie Beaudoin had good stuff to read. She chose one winner and one honorable mention as we had so few entries.
Here’s Judge Beaudoin, who offers some great constructive criticism for our writers…
Well first off, I need to say that I was pleased how diverse the stories were. There didn’t seem to be a single one that sounded like any other one to me. I love that fact. Everyone took something quite different away from the song prompt, yay!
So we got five entries, which means Todd has asked me to give him one Winner and one Honourable Mention. Which is a good thing, because there were two stories that really stood out above the others, and I wasn’t looking forward to not giving a prize to one of them! Let me get the awards out of the way, then I’ll examine each story individually for a little feedback for each of the writers.
Honourable Mention has to go to Miranda Kate for her piece, Addiction Demons. Let me tell you, Miranda, that wasn’t easy to decide. This piece is really good, and it was a fine line between the two “winners” in this contest. I’m glad I was able to give an HM to someone, because this is a really solid piece, and I’d love to see it expanded upon. It feels like the beginning of an episode of Supernatural or Dr. Who, and could really go places if you used it as a seed. It also stands alone nicely.
First Place this week goes to Ruth Long, who wrote Origins. This really gave me the shivers. I just adored it so much. Of course, how could you know that this week’s judge just happens to be a fan of serial killers and the inner workings of their brains? Luck of the draw, I guess. Also the fact that you had very few typos made the reading easy and enjoyable. I can be a bit of a Grammar Nazi, and those things really throw me out of the story and into editor mode real fast, which is very distracting. I only found four technical errors in this, so it read pretty well. The quality of the story was able to overcome those errors easily, which tells you how good it was.
Now for the rest, in order of appearance:
“Where is Powerslave?” by Josh Bertetta
Like Alan, I too appreciate the surrealism of this piece. I really do. I enjoyed reading it. But sometimes too much is too much. Surrealism needs to tie in to something for me. If this were a longer piece, it would have the opportunity to do just that, but being flash fiction, it doesn’t. It goes out on a limb and just sits there. It doesn’t fall down, but it doesn’t spread its wings and fly either. It’s fun, but it doesn’t accomplish anything. I liked it, and would love to see it go somewhere.
(Note from Jeff– Josh gets full marks for working so many titles of Iron Maiden songs into his story)
There Are Always Consequences, by Alan Young
I’ve always liked opening a story in media res. It’s a style that appeals to me. Unfortunately you don’t fill in the back story to make it clear how we got there. In 866 words, which is far above the 700 word limit, you actually apologize for being overly wordy (“Even my thoughts can be quite wordy at times.”), but you don’t actually provide a whole lot of information, just lots of description. It’s good description, but it doesn’t further the story much. In flash fiction, furthering the story is absolutely vital.
Just Enough Isn’t Enough, by Jennie C.
Okay, I didn’t feel the explicit content warning was really necessary. There was just nothing explicit in this piece. I mean, I braced myself, but it was very vanilla. No dirty words, no detailed descriptions. An X-rated situation, yes, but no X-rated details. Additionally, as the owner of a home that receives Section-8, you might be interested to know that slums are not allowed. If your building is not up to their standards, it’s not given S-8 status. I had to replace windows and add an extra fire alarm before my building was good enough for Section-8. I mean sure, it adds flavour to your piece, throwing around “poverty buzzwords” like slums or S-8, and I get that, but it’s inaccurate flavour.
Mazel tov to our Winners.
Ruth- here’s a Winner’s Badge;
Thanks to all of our writers & readers, and thanks to Judge Josie Beaudoin for the tough love.
See you on Tuesday for the Halloween edition of the Mid-Week Blues-Buster…