Short Story Smash at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts

Flash fiction contest now allows 500 words, entries due by Aug. 1

Writers, ready your pens, pencils and keyboards. The Short Story Smash Contest at WICA is back, with a twist.

The contest now allows entries up to 500 words. Submissions are being accepted for the event, which will culminate with an on-site reading of entries on Aug. 11.

This flash fiction contest means stories are short, and hopefully sweet — event organizer Chris Spencer said he prefers stories with humor in them.

This is the thirteenth contest he is hosting, and he decided to change the length requirements this year from the rigid guidelines of the “100 Word Short Story Smash” as in years past.

“People were laboring to trying to make it exactly 100 words,” he said. “That was kind of a struggle.”

He estimates that the typical turnout is 80 to 120 people who show up to listen to stories being read on stage by himself and actors Jim Scullin and Shelley Hartle.

Those whose stories are voted to be in the top three get honors and bragging rights.

There will be a prize for a winning story that is exactly 100 words long.

As stories are read, there will be a fictional book cover with their name on it projected on-screen, showing what the story would hypothetically look like, were it published.

Original and published works are allowed. Up to three entries are due by Aug. 1 and should be emailed as .doc or .docx files to cspencer@whidbey.com.

The on-stage readings will take place 7:30-9:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11 at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley. All seats are $20.

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