If you don't happen to follow me on Facebook or Twitter, I announced that I entered my first short story contest. I tried writing a short story before National Novel Writing Month (NaNo) last year, but it ended up turning into an unfinished novella. I really, REALLY needed to figure out the ending before meandering.
I've read and agree that writing short stories can help a writer become better and get published. I haven't written many, but when I have a word limit, I have to be more careful about which words I use and what actions I show to complete a story.
I follow the website The Write Practice pretty regularly and they host a few contests a year. This fall contest was co-hosted with Short Fiction Break with a 1,500 word limit, along with a theme: the season Fall and Love. The Write Practice also has a work shopping component called Becoming Writer where you can post your work and receive feedback from other members. If anything, receiving feedback is something I need to work on, but it really does help my work and to learn.
The judges are reviewing each entry, but in the meantime, Short Fiction Break announced the Reader's Choice Award. Everyone has the chance to vote for their favorite story, and the deadline is September 12. I'm really proud of this story, and I'll post a little excerpt below.
You can read the rest here! Win or lose, it was a great experience and I'm researching more contests and places to submit my work. I feel like it's really helping my prepare for NaNo this year, and I love being part of such a supportive writer community.
Have any feedback? Post it below or to firstname.lastname@example.org!
The barista wiped down the counter for the thousandth time, almost stripping the varnish from the wood. After the regulars bought their morning caramel cappuccino concoctions, he would go hours without seeing another soul until close. Bennie’s Beans lost business every summer, and the owner blamed the larger coffee chains down the road.
“They sell frozen and iced coffee, can you believe that?” he said last week before the temperature dropped. “Coffee is supposed to be hot, dammit!”
The barista opened the first pumpkin spice mix carton of the season and winced. The brown liquid mix sloshed in its container, and he held it as far from his body as possible. Last year he couldn’t wash the sickly-sweet stench out of his uniform until February. He was about to load it in a dispenser when the front door opened. The auburn and golden leaves littered the ground outside and scattered into the shop every time someone entered. They were still soft, but the barista didn’t enjoy sweeping them up any more than when they were brown and crunchy.
Nicole C. Thomas
Nicole is a writer working on her first novel Samantha Darkened, created during NaNoWriMo 2016. She writes weekly posts regarding books, writing, and mental illness. She has an interesting sense of humor which includes a love of alliteration and puns.