Winners are grinners #flashfiction

Winners are Grinners #flashfiction

During the month of October, the third annual Flash Fiction Rodeo was hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch.

The Rodeo consisted of four contests; one held each week during the month.

The contests were:

Modern Tall Tales

This contest required a 99 word (no more no less) tall tale that exaggerated something that happened to someone somewhere. It had to be exaggerated to the point it couldn’t possibly be true but could be humorous, sensational, or melodramatic from any genre.

Pro-Bull Mashup

In this contest, the 99 word (no more no less) stories were to use all three bull names (Bodacious, Nose Bender and Heartbreak Kid) as names, places or things. The stories were to combine two genres: game show and pirate but could include any tone or mode.

Three-Act Story

A 99 word (no more no less) story told in three acts with a recognisable beginning, middle and end was the requirement of the next contest. The story had to be about someone, set somewhere and in which something happens. It could include any tone or mood and be in any genre. No specific prompt for the story was given.

TUFF Beans

For this contest, the story had to include beans. Writers were instructed to submit four versions of a story: a first 99 word story, a 59 word reduction, a 9 word further reduction and then a final 99 word final.

I was both surprised and delighted to find that I was placed second in the Modern Tall Tales contest and first in the TUFF contest. You can read my stories along with other finalist and winning entries where they are collected on one page for your reading enjoyment in the 2019 Rodeo.


I congratulate all the other winners and finalists, and indeed everyone who entered the contests. By having a go and constantly striving to improve, we are all winners in the end.

Thank you

I am also very grateful for Charli’s ongoing encouragement and support and to the judges who generously gave their time to read all the entries. You can read about the judges and the judging process here.


While writers were invited to submit only one entry into each contest, if they wrote but chose to not enter or if they wrote more than one response, they were invited to post their stories as challenges. Some of the stories submitted as challenges make mighty fine reading and you can read them all by following these links:

Modern Tall Tales Challengers

Pro-Bull Mashup Challengers

Three-Act Story Challengers

TUFF Beans Challengers

Carrot Ranch flash fiction challenge - winners

For this week’s prompt, Charli challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about winners. Who are they, what’s the mood, and what did they win? Express emotion or subdue it. Go where the prompt leads!

This is my response. I hope you enjoy it.

Every Child Wins A Prize

Melissa goggled at the toy-laden shelves.

“Only $2 a ticket,” the vendor encouraged.

Melissa indicated a music box on the top shelf.

“You won’t win that. It’s just a ploy to get your money,” grumbled Mum.

“You won’t know if you don’t try,” he winked.

Melissa turned to Mum. “It’s my money.”

Mum humphed as Melissa parted with her coin.

The man fanned the envelopes, favouring one. “Take it,” he whispered.

Melissa ripped the envelope open and passed him the card.

“What did I win?”

The man handed the music box to Melissa.

“Prizes are for triers,” he smiled.

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

34 thoughts on “Winners are Grinners #flashfiction

  1. Prior...

    Powerful story! I could see the face of the girl when she got the Music box
    — and congrats on placing in the contest – when I have time this week I am
    Making tea and going to read and read to explore the entries

    Liked by 1 person

  2. roughwighting

    Yay and congrats Norah! I love reading your flash fiction, so not at all surprised you’re a winner. And as for your last story here, Prizes ARE for Triers, oh my gosh yes. How we all know that, don’t we? We write and try our best to show our scenes and characters and plots and we don’t expect success or prizes or even accolades. We write because we love to, and that’s the BIG WIN.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks so much, Pam. I really appreciate your support. I agree with you too – the big win is that we write because we love to, but receiving that acknowledgement is a great boost too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Annika Perry

    Norah, congratulations on your wins! What a terrific selection of categories. Ahh … a beautiful flash story and the happy ending is uplifting! I just admit I recognised myself as the mother when my son as young was ‘taken’ in by a stall and bought something I thought was not of value … sometimes smiles, sometimes tears!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Annika, and for sharing the experience with your son. Sometimes we get it right, sometimes we don’t, sometimes we think we have but the children tell us otherwise, and vice versa. Retrospect is a great teacher but it doesn’t change the past. We do have to teach our children the value of money though. But sometimes letting them find out for themselves can be the best. Sometimes … oh, why is life and being a parent so complicated? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

    Congratulations, Norah, on your fabulous winning stories. I could see your clever wordplay in your beans story. A worthy winner! And this week’s 99 words are fabulous — you should link to your posts on rewarding effort rather than success being the key motivator.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Norah Post author

      Anne, your words make me sing (almost and quite out of tune 😂). Thanks so much. Coming from a master, they are very much appreciated. I didn’t think of linking to my posts but there are certainly plenty of them. I could have got carried away. 🙂


  5. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    What a well done linked up summary of the rodeo! (Congratulations again on your successes in that!)
    Your flash also summarizes the premise of the prompt and the rodeo contest- what message would Melissa have integrated if she had not stood up to Mum? I like that vendor! (He might be a Teacher)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Norah Post author

      That vendor is a teacher in the real sense of the word. It is said that when the student is ready the teacher appears. I think the teacher may have been as much for Mum as for Melissa, but perhaps there’s another reason why Mum was so negative and Melissa was meant to win the music box.
      Thanks so much for your kind words – always appreciated. 💖

      Liked by 1 person


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