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Make Every Word Count Flash Fiction Contest

Posted on February 15, 2011 in: Don't Miss!, Feature Articles, Fiction

Flash fiction is a complete story told in a set amount of words, usually 300 to 1000 words. It contains the necessary story elements—character(s), story world, plot, dialogue, conflict and resolution.

My Book Therapy (MBT) offered Voices the opportunity to try their hands at writing flash fiction with a short contest. Each entry was to be no more than 300 words.

A huge thanks goes out to Amy Lindberg for coordinating the contest, and the judges who graciously volunteered their time to read and score the entries. As part of the contest, the first place entry is published in this issue.

Congratulations goes to the following Voices for their winning entries:

1st place “Dave’s Dilemma” by Tom Tarver

There was a three-way tie for 2nd place. In no particular order:

“First date” by Chandra Lynn Smith.
“Grace Among Us” by JoAnn Durgin.
“Life Giver” by Elizabeth Schultz.

Tom and his wife Ellen spent 1995-2000 in Russia as missionaries. They now call southwest Wisconsin home, where he writes and she edits.


Phil Stanton strolled into the McDonald’s hungry. The local coffee klatches already seated ground out the past weekend’s gossip.

A slim, silver-haired man sporting a John Deere cap slid a notebook across a corner table and stabbed at the open page. “That’s my bottom line for the year.”

A portly fellow in a red plaid shirt and suspenders whistled. “That’s a lot of bottom line, Dave.”

“So what are you going to do with all that cash?” said the man to Red Plaid’s left.

“Don’t know yet. I’m heading over to Thompson’s to see about one of those On-Star specials.”

Phil sure wished he had Dave’s dilemma. He would make his biggest purchase of the day before he left McDonald’s. He slipped through to the counter and ordered a Big Breakfast.

By the time he settled into a booth, the trio had departed. Slicing through his sausage patty, Phil had two questions on his mind: How much money and what kind of car?

Thursday Phil plopped into his plush recliner with the Timberton Times. Fresh Italian bread bathed in garlic butter toasted in the oven. Homemade spaghetti sauce simmered on the stove. Supper’s fragrances told him he had fifteen precious minutes to catch up on the latest local news.

Phil perused the headlines until he came to page five. A smiling John Deere Dave beckoned him to linger and read.

“Charles David Brown died unexpectedly at home in the early hours Tuesday morning. …  David Brown is survived by … ”

A silly question popped into Phil’s thoughts. “Did Dave get his new car?” He let loose a nervous laugh. Then he sobered. “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee. … ”

He stared at the obituary. Maybe Phil could live without Dave’s dilemma after all.


Amy Lindberg has been writing for the past 10 years. Her first publication appeared in Guideposts, and since then, she’s had success in writing contests. Currently, she’s completing her first novel and involved in the Voices ezine. During the day, she’s working toward a doctorate in pharmacology. She and her husband, Gregg, live in Saint Louis Park, Minnesota. Contact Amy at

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My Book Therapy was started out of a desire to help authors of inspirational fiction hone their skills and become the best writing craftsman they can be. Join the My Book Therapy Voices and Discover the Writer in you!!