Microcosms 165

We’re baaaaaack!

Greetings, my flash fictioneering friends, and welcome to Microcosms 165.

KM, here. I’ve been gone for far too long, and Geoff carried the torch for quite a while. I cannot offer enough thanks to him for that, and he’s always welcome back here anytime.

I’m ready to get back into things. However, I do want to streamline the contest a bit to make sure it is feasible and flexible going forward. (I.e., I don’t want myself or anyone else to burn out.)

A few changes going forward – or at least in the interim. Things may not always be this way, but at least they will be for now.

  • I’ve decided to extend the time to include Saturday, as well.
  • That way, anyone who still wants to do it on Friday can, and anyone who isn’t able to do it on weekdays and submit on Saturday.

    Let’s try it this way a couple of times and then take a vote. (Just Friday, just Saturday, both days, or something else.) Sound good?

  • Judges will be using the “honor system”.
  • By this, I mean that they will read the stories on the site, rather than receiving them blind. Since this is not a high-stakes competition, I think we should be able to trust our fellow writers to not let the opinions of others or any personal associations cloud their judgments. This was actually how I’d originally intended for the contest to run, on the advice of other contest hosts, and I’d like to go back to that while I’m involved.

    The main reason for this change it to make the contest more sustainable going forward. If there are any willing volunteers, I’m happy to revert back, if that’s what people want, but this format gives judges a little more time flexibility, too.

    I’ll ask judges to submit on Sunday or Monday. I’ll do my best to post the results as soon as I can. I travel for a living, and there’s a chance I’ll be flying when results come in. So we’ll plan for them being posted on Monday, but there’s a chance they could be posted on Tuesday. I hope that’s acceptable to everyone.

  • Please include your Twitter handle, if applicable.
  • If you want your Twitter account linked to in the results and would like to be notified via Twitter, this would make things quite a bit easier, rather than trying to look them up. Some I still have memorized and some we have on file but certainly not all of them. If you don’t have a Twitter, a “no Twitter” note would be helpful, but don’t feel obligated.

  • Actively soliciting volunteers for assistance.
  • I’ve been having a lot of personal issues the last few years that have really taken a toll on my mental health. And I know Geoff had some issues of his own to deal with. However, I want the contest to continue. Not only did it bring me so much joy when I was involved with it, I think it does offer a service to the community.

    With that in mind, if anyone is willing to help out in any way (it does NOT have to be a long-term commitment), please let me know. This could be anything from coming up with contest ideas and hosting to helping us post on Twitter. Or if you have any ideas on efficiency, etc., I’m certainly willing to listen.

  • There’s a small chance of technical issues this week.
  • I know, I know. I’m really selling you on things. lol I’m having some minor hosting issues that might affect the contest at some point this week. I’m hoping they won’t impact things, but there’s a chance the direct URL may not work for a period of time.

    I’ll try to monitor Twitter. Please contact me that way if you have any problems. We’ll work together to get things resolved and address any potential issues.

    In the meantime, the base URL is zwoodle.com/microcosmsfic. Please take note of this in case there are any minor hiccups.

    It’s terrible timing, but I really need to get back into the swing of things. There will be huge benefits when things are all said and done, such as the site running faster and smoother, so I think the small risk is worth it. I hope you will agree with me.

    Again, this is just a potential and not a guarantee, but I just wanted to be as upfront as possible.

    Also, I still need to update some things, such as the auto-Twitter posts and the countdown clock. These may be temporarily incorrect. Please bear with me and let me know if I miss anything. Your patience is so appreciated.

I hope that summarizes things succinctly enough and that everything I said came through with the positive tone with which it was intended.

I’ve missed you all so much!

All right. Let’s jump back into things. 🙂



(1) You have just 48 hours until midnight, tomorrow ***(Saturday)*** New York time (EST) to write and submit your masterpiece.
(2) All submissions must be no more than 300 words in length (excluding the title)
(4) Include: word count, the THREE elements you’re using AND a title for your entry
(5) If you are new to Microcosms, PLEASE check out the full submission guidelines 

Thanks, all!

I took some inspiration from “Today in History” sites and added something from current events, so it’s going to be pretty random. But that’s part of the fun, right?

Best wishes,



(If YOU have an idea for a future contest and would like to be a guest host, please contact us.)


Our contest this week begins with THREE things: character, location and genre.

We spun, and our three elements are:

Greek or Roman Soldier; Movie Set; Historical Fiction

Write a story using those OR feel free to click on the “Spin!” button below, and the slot machine will come up with a new set – character, location and genre. You can keep clicking until you have a set of elements that inspires you.


  • Greek or Roman Warrior
  • Founding Father/Mother of a new country
  • A Census Taker
  • An Engineer
  • A Film Director or Actor
  • A (Horse) Jockey
  • A Musician
  • An Insect
  • An Alien
  • Battlefield
  • Area 51
  • Racetrack
  • Meeting
  • At Someone’s Door
  • A Movie Set
  • A Colony or Hive
  • Drama
  • Comedy
  • Romance
  • Action
  • Historical Fiction
  • Sci-Fi/Fantasy
  • Horror



Microcosms 164 winner David Lewis Pogson has kindly agreed to judge. 🙂


All being well, results will be posted next Monday.

Microcosms 166
Microcosms 164

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