Greetings, flash fictioneering friends, and welcome to Microcosms 189!
IMPORTANT! This week, we are SO pleased to announce “The Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction”, brought to you by Alert Terminal Warehouse.
That’s right – we have a sponsor! Our weekly contest remains free to enter, but now you may be eligible to win a $25 USD prize! Our sponsor has generously agreed to fund the prizes for the next 52 (an entire year’s worth of) weekly contests. Wow!!!
Who is Karen Cox? We are told she is an avid reader and a “pretty cool lady” who is very generous with her time. Hats off to you, Karen! And may every writer be so lucky to have such a person in their life. <3
Please read through the post before submitting, as it contains important information!
Here’s a brief rundown of changes we have made (details can be found on our FAQs page):
- Weekly contest runs Sunday – Saturday.
- New! Judge’s pick winner gets a $25 USD prize. (Default is by PayPal; other options available, including gift card or charity/pay it forward donation.) Contest is still free to enter!
- Community pick winner(s) for fun and bragging rights!
- We have a default spinner you can use now if you don’t like the prompt(s) offered. Enter as many times as you like!
- We’re using the Pacific Time (PDT/PST, as applicable – Los Angeles time).
Add Recurring Weekly Calendar Reminder
Never forget to enter again!
Click the arrow to expand options for a weekly recurring calendar reminder. (Choose as many as you like!)
^^^ This arrow right here. Click it!
- You have ONE WEEK (Sunday – Saturday, midnight – midnight) Los Angeles Time (PST/PDT) to submit your masterpiece.
- All submissions must be no more than 300 words in length (excluding the title and other header info).
- We enjoy fan fiction! Just not for this contest. NO FAN-FICTION, please, and NO USE of COPYRIGHT CHARACTERS for this contest.
- Include: word count, the THREE elements you’re using AND a title for your entry (see format guide below).
- If you are new to Microcosms, please check out the full submissions guidelines on our FAQs page.
- I feel like this should go without saying, but just in case – absolutely no AI submissions.
- Constructive feedback is fine, but all comments should be made in the spirit of kindness. Determination of what that means and if there are any consequences (such as warning or banning) is at my sole discretion. This is a safe space. Racism, homophobia, transphobia, or anti-Semitism, etc. (including “dog whistles”), will not be tolerated. This has never really been an issue, and we generally have a very nice community here – let’s keep it that way.
- You retain all rights to your story, except otherwise noted and unless otherwise agreed upon in advance (e.g., if selected for inclusion in an anthology, a contract will be sent with details). By submitting your story to this contest, you are granting us worldwide, non-exclusive, perpetual, royalty-free rights to display it on our website (and store it, as needed).
To qualify for the cash prize, you must:
- Submit your story as a comment below.
- Story must fit within the contest criteria, including word count guidelines, and be on time. (A few minutes is okay; contact us if there are technical issues preventing you from submitting more than 5 minutes past midnight, PT.)
- Include the prompts used. (You can use the ones we spun for or spin your own from the current or default spinner, but it must be clear what you used.)
- Vote AND leave a comment on at least one other story for the week that is not your own (doesn’t have to be the same story).
- Share a link to the contest on social media, if you have one. (I.e., if you include a social media handle in your submission to promote yourself, please extend the same courtesy in return.)
- Acknowledge that the decision of the judge(s) is/are final.
Please use the following format when submitting your entries (feel free to copy/paste and edit or save a copy of the Google Doc linked below):
My Amazing Story Title XXX words Element / Element / Element My Preferred Name Optional: website or social media link 1 (please include full URL) Optional: website or social media link 2 (please include full URL) Optional: Yes, I am open to derivative works, including audio productions. Please contact me via one of the above channels for more information. /// OR /// No, I am not open to derivative works at this time, thank you. *** My amazing story content goes here. You can use HTML to add a link. Example: <a href="https://twitter.com/MicrocosmsFic">https://twitter.com/MicrocosmsFic</a>
Please kindly use this format, then copy/paste your response as a comment on this post. (It’s totally fine to be creative with the “words” part, like “253 ripe bananas”, as we’ve seen some people do in the past.) Not using this format with NOT disqualify you. But it will help us out if you do use it.
We have prepared a free and easy-to-use, pre-formatted document in Google Docs to help simplify things. Just save your own copy and then replace the content with your own. (Sometimes, adding links will get your comment flagged by the spam filter. If you think that happened, please contact us for assistance.)
Also, it’s time to announce the Community Pick for Microcosms 187.
Huge congrats to:
- Eryn McConnell – For the second week in a row! (One more and you get a turkey or something, right?)
Don’t forget to vote for your favorites from last week and this week, too. All being well, MC 188 Community Pick(s) will be announced at the end of the week.
(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/setting, and genre/style.
In celebration of the new prize, we spun twice this week – pick one! The three elements are:
Alligator / Doll Factory / Action
Someone Who Just Got Botox / Pirate Ship / Sci Fi
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. (Don’t like any of these? Try our default spinner.)
- Just got Botox
- Doll Maker
- Fast Food Worker
- Yoga Instructor
- Train Conductor
- Plastic Surgeon
- Doll Factory
- Fast Food Rest.
- Yoga Studio
- Pirate Ship
We are always and forever in need of assistance. If you have any spare time to help, we will happily accept. Even something as little as 5-10 minutes a week would be amazing. (You have no idea.) To find out how you can help, please visit our volunteers page.