“Shoes” Flash Fiction Contest Final Results!

Stories have been submitted, votes have been cast, judges have picked their winners, and the “Shoes” Flash Fiction Contest is now complete.

Congratulations to Rocky Lewis, who is our overall winner!

Lewis’s story, “Perceived Threat,” was chosen as the winner by three of five judges.  Rocky will be awarded $45 in Amazon.com gift cards!

Congratulations also to Deborah Cottle, whose story “Star Showers” was chosen by two of five judges, netting her $30 in Amazon.com gift cards!

Congratulations also to the five finalists whose stories were not chosen as winners, you did a phenomenal job of promoting your story and collecting votes.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our “Shoes” Flash Fiction Contest.  Whether you participated as a writer, a voter or a judge, we hope you enjoyed yourself.

Browse all “Shoes” flash fiction stories.

The “Shoes” Flash Fiction Contest was brought to you by the release of our newest anthology, Across Town: Stories of Columbus, available online, on e-book and in stores now.  Ordering information.

“Shoes” Flash Fiction Contest Judge #5 – “Perceived Threat” by Rocky Lewis

Our fifth and final “Shoes” flash fiction contest judge, Brad Pauquette, has chosen “Perceived Threat” by Rocky Lewis as a winner!

Rocky’s story was also chosen by our second and third judges, making her the most-selected winner in this contest!

According to Brad Pauquette, “The challenge of flash fiction is to quickly develop complete characters and a narrative arc.  While many of the finalists wrote enjoyable pieces, in my opinion, only two wrote complete stories.  Between Deborah Cottle’s ‘Star Showers’ and Rocky Lewis’s ‘Perceived Threat,’ Rocky used the mandatory line ‘but those aren’t your shoes’ as an integral part of her story, while Deborah’s section about shoes could have been left out with little change to the story.  Thus, I believe that within the parameters of this contest, Rocky Lewis was the more effective writer.”

Congratulations Rocky, you have earned a total of $45 in Amazon.com gift cards!

Our judge, Brad Pauquette, is the director of Columbus Creative Cooperative.  He was published in all three CCC 2011 anthologies, Origins: An AnthologyOvergrown: Tales of the Unexpected and Across Town: Stories of Columbus.

This contest is brought to you by the release of our newest anthology, Across Town: Stories of Columbus, available online, on e-book and in stores now.  Ordering information.

Browse all of the “Shoes” flash fiction stories.

“Shoes” Flash Fiction Contest Judge #4 – “Star Showers” by Deborah Cottle

Our fourth “Shoes” flash fiction contest judge, Amy S. Dalrymple, has chosen “Star Showers” by Deborah Cottle as a winner!

Cottle’s story was also chosen as a winner by our first judge, Birney Reed.

Congratulations Deborah, by week’s end you now have at east $30 in Amazon.com gift cards coming your way.  One more judges has yet to give away an additional $15 Amazon.com gift card.

Our judge, Amy S. Dalrymple, is an accomplished writer who was published in all three Columbus Creative Cooperative anthologies, Origins: An AnthologyOvergrown: Tales of the Unexpected and Across Town: Stories of Columbus.

This contest is brought to you by the release of our newest anthology, Across Town: Stories of Columbus, available online, on e-book and in stores now.  Ordering information.

Stay tuned as we announce a flash fiction winner each day this week.  Browse all of the
“Shoes” flash fiction stories.

“Shoes” Flash Fiction Contest Judge #3 – “Perceived Threat” by Rocky Lewis

Our third “Shoes” flash fiction contest judge, Ben Orlando, has chosen “Perceived Thread” by Rocky Lewis as a winner!

Lewis’s story was also chosen as a winner by our second judge, Brenda Layman.

Congratulations Rocky, by week’s end you now have at east $30 in Amazon.com gift cards coming your way.  Two more judges have yet to give away an additional $30 in Amazon.com gift cards.

Our judge, Ben Orlando, is an accomplished writer and a teacher at Columbus College of Art & Design.  Orlando has been published in two Columbus Creative Cooperative anthologies, Origins: An Anthology and Overgrown: Tales of the Unexpected.

This contest is brought to you by the release of our newest anthology, Across Town: Stories of Columbus, available online, on e-book and in stores now.  Ordering information.

Stay tuned as we announce a flash fiction winner each day this week.  Browse all of the
“Shoes” flash fiction stories.

“Shoes” Flash Fiction Contest Judge #2 – “Perceived Threat” by Rocky Lewis

Our second “Shoes” flash fiction contest judge, Brenda Layman, has chosen “Perceived Thread” by Rocky Lewis as a winner!

According to Brenda, “Lewis chose a heart-rending scenario, that of a parent whose child ‘isn’t normal.’ The narrator speaks of the ‘critic column,’ that growing list of people who have negative things to relate about the problem child, and about the sense of disorientation that comes with being the parent of a child who does not fulfill happy expectations. Terse dialog carries the reader through the conflict. The stolen shoes, the victim’s tears, the teacher’s grim efforts to restore order, the parent’s shame, and Sam’s defiance are deftly presented in just a few lines. Lewis handles an explosive subject with powerful restraint, creating a tender portrayal of sorrow, confusion, and love.

Congratulations Rocky, by week’s end you have at east $15 in Amazon.com gift cards coming your way.  Three more judges have yet to give away an additional $45 in Amazon.com gift cards.

Our judge, Brenda Layman, is the owner and operator of Select-Authors.com, as well as a regular contributor to Columbus Underground.  Her story “A Fish Story” was published in Columbus Creative Cooperative’s newest anthology, Across Town: Stories of Columbus.

This contest is brought to you by the release of our newest anthology, Across Town: Stories of Columbus, available online, on e-book and in stores now.  Ordering information.

Stay tuned as we announce a flash fiction winner each day this week.  Browse all of the
“Shoes” flash fiction stories.

“Shoes” Flash Fiction Contest Judge #1 – “Star Showers” by Deborah Cottle

Our first “Shoes” flash fiction contest judge, Birney Reed, has chosen “Star Showers” by Deborah Cottle as a winner!

According to Birney, “This is a warm and fuzzy five hundred word tale. I enjoyed it immensely. It contained excellent imagery and great use of the mandatory line.”

Congratulations Deborah, by week’s end you have at east $15 in Amazon.com gift cards coming your way.  Deborah could potentially win four more $15 prizes, for a total of $75.

Birney Reed’s story “Shore Leave” was published in Columbus Creative Cooperative’s anthology, Overgrown: Tales of the Unexpected.

This contest is brought to you by the release of our newest anthology, Across Town: Stories of Columbus, available online, on e-book and in stores now.  Ordering information.

Stay tuned as we announce a flash fiction winner each day this week.

Official “Shoes” Flash Fiction Finalists!

The voting portion of our “Shoes” Flash Fiction Contest is now complete!  These seven top vote earners will now move on to the CCC judge determined portion of the contest:

1) “Love Endlessly” by Kirk Michael
2) “The White Shoes” by Pauline Micciche
3) “Angie Pays the Rent” by Laura Haddock
4) “Perceived Threat” by Rocky Lewis
5) “Star Showers” by Deborah Cottle
6) “The Frenchman’s Shoes” by Cherie Kail
7) “Finding My Own Shoes” by Sarrah Farris

Unfortunately, “Backstage” by Heidi Durig Heiby was disqualified.  Only tense and number of the mandatory line were permitted to be modified.  “But those are not your shoes” is not an acceptable permutation (more info).  Sorry, I know it’s an insignificant change, but rules are rules.

Five CCC selected judges will each award a $15 Amazon.com gift card to the winner of their choice.  One finalist could walk away with all $75 in prizes, or five different winners could each take $15.

Stay tuned to the blog next week as we announce the winners.  You can also browse all of the stories that were submitted here.

This contest was brought to you by the release of our anthology Across Town: Stories of Columbus, which features the work of 12 Central Ohio authors.  Every story is set in Columbus, Ohio.  The book is available in paperback or a variety of e-book formats.  If you enjoyed this contest, please support Columbus Creative Cooperative and purchase a copy today.

Also, don’t forget about our 3-Book Gift Set for only $25.00.

Last Day to Vote for Flash Fiction Finalists

Amazon.com Gift CardsIt’s your last day to vote for our flash fiction stories, and influence who makes it to finals.

The top seven vote earners will move on to the finals, where CCC judges will select the final winners.  The winners take home up to $75 in Amazon.com gift cards.

You can find the contest here.

Right now it’s a close battle between Sarah Farris’s “Finding My Own Shoes” and Cherie Kail’s “The Frenchman’s Shoes” for the coveted 7th place spot.  Pick your favorite and cast your vote to decide who gets the last spot in the finals.

One Week of Voting Left – “Shoes” Flash Fiction Contest

There is officially one week of voting left in the “Shoes” Flash Fiction Contest.  Voting will run through Friday, December 16, 2011.

There were a couple of late entries too, so make sure you check them out as well.  It’s never to late to submit your story either.

We’re going to be taking the top 7 vote earners as finalists.  CCC judges will award the winners with gift cards based on writing quality, creativity and how well the mandatory line was used.

Currently, “Angie Pays the Rent” by Laura Haddock is killing the vote count, while “Love Endlessly” by Kirk Michael fights for that coveted 7th place spot.  The most recent entry, “Unrecoverable” by Jason Helmandollar just got started.

Read all of the submissions here.

Life Just Ain’t Fair Sometimes, But We Do the Best We Can

We’ve received a lot of questions about the voting process for the flash fiction contest.  Most people seem to enjoy the game, but a few adamantly complain about our process of allowing one vote per email address per day.

I definitely understand where they’re coming from and it’s certainly something that we’ve taken into consideration.  There are a few things to remember:

1) It’s a game.  We are not benefactors of the great art of flash fiction writing, we created a game that’s supposed to be fun, and is fun for most participants.

2) We need some way to reduce the number of submissions for our judges.  Any system will inherently favor someone.  Sorry.

3) Votes do not determine winners, votes only determine finalists.  Winners are still determined based on writing quality.  Certainly, not all finalists are the best written stories, but not all finalists are solely the result of a skewed voting process either.

4) No web traffic = no prizes.  The web traffic sells ads and books.  We use that money to pay for prizes.  Nobody’s skimming off the top or getting paid to run this contest, it basically all goes back to the contestants.

We need a way to reduce the total number of submissions to a manageable number of finalists – voting is an effective, fun way to do this.  However, any type of general voting is a popularity contest.  I believe that allowing multiple votes LEVELS the playing field.

Someone who does not have as deep of a friend base still has a chance to win if they play hard and apply a lot of energy.

Consider Mr. Smith and Mr. White.  Mr. Smith has 800 Facebook friends, most of whom he’s never met, and 500 followers on Twitter, none of whom he’s ever met.  Mr. White, however, only has 30 Facebook friends, but he’s connected to all of them and routinely rejects friends he doesn’t really know, and he doesn’t care much for Twitter.

If we only allow one vote per email:  Mr. Smith will put out the call on Facebook and Twitter, and get a 10% response from his acquaintenances, netting him 130 votes.  100% of Mr. White’s friends, however, who dearly love him, all enthusiastically vote for him, netting him only 30 votes.  Mr. Smith wins!

If we allow daily votes per email:  Mr. Smith will put out the call on Facebook and Twitter and still get a 10% response on one day for a total of 130 votes.  Mr. White, who is dearly loved by all 30 of his friends, gets 30 votes for 14 days and wins with 420 votes!  Congrats Mr. White!

Which system is “fair?”  Neither one really.  I, for one, prefer a system that rewards hard work.

Does our system promote more web traffic?  Absolutely!  I haven’t yet found a benevolent organization who wants to sponsor our contests and pay our judges to fairly sift through all of the submissions.  Until we find that, if we want to give away prizes, web traffic helps sell books and advertisements, so that we can purchase said prizes and give them away.

CCC has no paid staff, and no shareholders.  The money that comes in goes directly back out to the contributing authors, and in the form of fun writing-related contests.

The book publishing industry is half promotional work and half writing talent.  Our contest is the same way.  The first half is all promotion and work, for better or worse, the second half (the CCC judge determined finals) is all writing skill.

I hope you enjoy our flash fiction game.  It’s fun and most people have a good time.  Don’t let those bellyachers get you down.  Haters gonna’ hate.

All that being said, we’re always open to constructive criticism.  Please contact us with suggestions to make the next contest even better.

Happy writing!