2021 Flashwords Contest

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Write a compelling crime story in 150 words or less, using at least ten of the title words from novels by our Guest of Honor, Hank Phillippi Ryan! 

Read or have your story read aloud at the 2021 New England Crime Bake, Nov. 12-14, and recorded for the online conference, Nov. 14-20. Plus, you’ll win a gift box of books! 

You must be a paid registrant to enter. Entries are due by Sunday, October 24, 2021. 

Title Words: air, drive, face, first, girl, lie, life, list, more, murder, other, perfect, prime, say, see, time, trust, truth, woman, wrong.  

Contest Description: Use at least ten of the listed “Title Words” from novels by Hank Phillippi Ryan in a flash fiction story of no more than 150 words, excluding title and author’s name. Plurals and forms that include the original word are allowed. (“lives” and  “driven” are okay; “living” and “mother” are not.) Submit only original, unpublished work. Do not use copyrighted characters. Include a crime or suggestion of a crime. Keep it clean. Write in English.

Tips: 1. Tell a story. Engage your readers in what is going on. 2. Use your ten words effectively. You can use more, but they should fit the story naturally.  3. Think beyond your first idea. Is it an obvious use of the word list or a different take? 4. Polish before submitting. 

Eligibility: Registration and full payment for the New England Crime Bake, either the in-person or online conference, must be received by October 24, 2021. Committee members, panelists, and unpaid registrants are not eligible (but may submit a story just for fun). One entry per person.

How to Enter: Submit your entry in the message box of an e-mail. No attachments. Include your name as listed on your registration form, e-mail address, and title of entry. Please underline the title words. Type “Flashwords Contest Entry” in the subject line and e-mail to flashwords@crimebake.org by 11:59:59 p.m. on Sunday, October 24, 2021.
Judging: Entries will be judged for creativity, quality of writing, and effectiveness of the flash story.

Prizes: The top three entries will be read aloud at the New England Crime Bake and recorded for the online conference. The authors will be notified in advance and will receive a gift box of books. All entries will be posted at www.crimebake.org after the conference and will be included in a booklet given to the winners and Guest of Honor.