Photo Flare Pics for June!

I think this is the first time I’ve posted the pics for the next contest before posting the stories for the old contest. Sorry about that. Both Julie and I were really busy at the end of April/beginning of May. But I think the end of June is fairly clear for me, at least. The stories should go up tomorrow and Wednesday. Please return to read them!

NEW RULE! If you win our contest, please wait 6 months before entering again. We love to read stories from former winners, but we also want to encourage new people to enter. You can read all the rules at Photo Flare Rules and Pics.

Stories due June 26!





Spark Tally Friday!

Congratulations to Wendy Nikel for her Photo Flare win and Shari Klase for her Photo Flash win! I will get the stories posted on Tuesday and Wednesday next week (I hope).

This month had the most submissions ever! Hooray! And the stories were good quality too. I had extra help for the Photo Flash: thanks to Julie and our friend Laura Thurgood for picking the winner. Julie was in town this week, so one of our get togethers was reading the flash stories. It’s a good thing we live apart because I would never get any writing done if we lived together 😛

Photo Flare I went through on my own this time. There were a lot of submissions, and I really enjoyed all the stories. I’m afraid Julie’s busy when she gets back home, so I’m doing the editing. It won’t be as good as hers, but I’ll do my best. Thanks to all the entrants for making this a great month!

A big Zero word count for me. Sunday I plan to get back at it. How did all of you do?

Day Off

My apologies, but I need to take the day off. It’s spring break for my kids, and my weekend was filled with lots of cultural events. I was intending on doing a review for one of them today, but I want to do it right and don’t feel I can at the moment.

So here is a reminder: Please enter Photo Flare and Photo Flash! The trickle of entries is even slower than usual. Am I mean in my rejection letters? Should I perhaps do a form rejection? The prize money is better than many paying markets out there, so I am a bit flummoxed after almost a year and a half of hosting this that I haven’t hit ten entries a month yet.

If you have ideas on how to improve the contest, please post them below.

Here is the link to the rules: Photo Flare and Photo Flash.

Photo Flare Pictures!

Here are the pictures for the short story due on April 26th. You must pick two pictures and write a story incorporating them in a meaningful manner. It has come down to picture use a couple of times when we have two great stories. We always go with the one with the stronger picture use, so it’s important.

In your cover letter, please give me the number of the pictures you’re using. Stories should be 1000-3000 words. Full rules are at the Photo Flare Rules and Pics page. (My website is experiencing problems so the rules and pics for February are still up. The rules are the same with the date being April 26. I’ll change it when it’s working again.)

Inspiration A1

Inspiration A2

Inspiration A3

Inspiration A4

Spark Tally Friday!

Hooray! The week is OVER! February is OVER!

Suffice it to say tonsil removal plus stomach flu plus stir crazy mom is not a good combination. So I will say it again:

Hooray! The week is over!

The winners of Photo Flare and Photo Flash have been picked, and Julie is hard at work on the edits. I will post the stories next week on separate days when everyone is happy with the final product. Monday, the new pictures for Photo Flare will go up. I’ll post four pics and you get to choose two for your story.

My word count reached 1200 this week. I feel like I need to turn in weeks of 20K next month to make-up for what happened this month. I at least plan on pushing myself.

Because I’m so relieved that my children are on the mend and looking forward to a happier, healthier March, I’ll give away $5 gift cards to Starbucks to the first five people who post their word counts for the week. I need some inspiration :)


I read all the submissions today for both Photo Flare and Photo Flash. I sent two in each category up to Julie for her final decision. If you didn’t hear from me and you sent a submission, please LMK.

I really enjoyed all the stories this month. My condolences to those of you who got a rejection. I hate that part :( I’m surprised I got so many more for the flash contest since the other contest had a much bigger prize. But it has been pointed out to me that the second picture was a tough one. Next month, I’ll post four pictures total for Photo Flare and writers can choose two to write a story around. The flash contest will remain the same with one picture.

Here’s my last soundtrack selection. It’s from Karl who introduced me to the world of anime. I picked one song from Xenogears Creid. I really like the Celtic influence in it. Enjoy:


Get your stories in today!

This is a terrible week. I will spare you the details and just say, Get Your Stories in Today!

I will also post a soundtrack suggestion. I’ve been a fan of Philip Glass’s minimalist work, and I was delighted when Jen Donhue posted that she enjoyed his new soundtrack for the 1931 Dracula movie. I had never heard it before. It’s a good one!