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“You fail only if you stop writing.”   —Ray Bradbury

Black Lives Matter

The Tampa Writers Alliance supports the Black Lives Matter movement.

It is our goal to help foster change that leads to the end of systemic racism in the United States. We encourage all creative writing endeavors that enable change by educating, enlightening, and inspiring a climate of equality.

We thrive on creative diversity and offer a limited number of scholarships to those who may want to participate in our learning journey but may not currently have the means to do so. For more information, please contact critique@tampawriters.org.


August Workshop (via video call): Flash Fiction Contest

Annette Masters

Wednesday, August 5 at 6:30 pm

Please Join TWA on August 5th for a Flash Fiction Contest!

Flash Fiction image

How it Works

  • All dues-paying members are welcome to submit
  • Entries must be 1,000 words or fewer 
  • The word flash must appear in the piece
  • We accept all genres other than horror and erotica
  • Each submission will receive 3 scored rubrics from anonymous judges
  • No author names will appear on the pieces
  • The three entries with the highest scores will earn prizes
  • If tied, a fourth judge will rank the highest scoring ties
  • Submissions open July 7, 2020 at midnight
  • Submissions close July 21, 2020 at midnight
  • THE FIRST 20 SUBMISSIONS will be accepted, so do not delay!

Everyone Can Participate!

  • Entries will be posted with rubrics within the TWA website
  • All members can read the submissions and fill out rubrics
  • On August 5th, we will refer to the rubrics while critiquing the entries 
  • See how your scores correspond to the judges’

How to Read and Score the Submissions

Submissions have been uploaded to the Critique Group download page. In the menu above, click on Groups > Critique Group > Critique Member Downloads. You’ll need to enter the password to download the file. If you don’t know the password, please request it from critique@tampawriters.org. (You do not need to be a member to receive the password or access the downloads). All submissions have been combined into three files that you can download from this page. Rubrics are included in the files so you can score these on your own and see how your reviews stack up alongside the official judges’. 

Questions? Email critique@tampawriters.org

Tips for writing flash fiction

What is flash fiction?

  • Flash fiction is a super short story, usually fewer than 1,000 words, sometimes much shorter 
  • Although it is short, it includes an emotional punch
  • Most flash fiction follows a traditional story format: a beginning, middle, and end, but some offer a variant of that structure 
  • Good flash fiction evokes an emotion, a realization, or a new idea to ponder 

Why should you write flash fiction?

  • Flash fiction teaches writers to be concise
  • Saying more with fewer words is a skill that creates better storytellers
  • Decreased word counts encourage writers to fine-tune dialogue; every word must work to move the story forward
  • Flash fiction is quick to write, so writers experience that sense of accomplishment, a good motivator for future projects 
  • With so few words, writers are compelled to hint at characterization, setting, and backstory; let readers use their imagination to fill in the blanks 
  • There are many writing contests that feature flash fiction 

How can you write good flash fiction?

  • Start close to the climax; there is no time for lengthy exposition or character backstory
  • Begin the story as close to the end as possible
  • Create a powerful ending; let the last line give the reader something new to contemplate 
  • In flash, the story might end in full resolution, or it might end in in a cliffhanger; either way, give the reader something to think about
  • Limit your characters; with little time for development, one, two, or (maybe) three is best
  • Use sub-text; readers don’t want to be spoon-fed; allow readers to make inferences 
  • Offer hints of backstory and setting; readers will extrapolate
  • Go online and read great examples of flash fiction 

How to connect for the August Speaker:

  1. At 6:15, click this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83330448597?pwd=SEhuVzNTYkpUSS9BY3NnWnhkVGYwZz09
  2. Your system may ask you to open or download the Zoom program. Say yes. 
  3. You’ll be presented with a screen of phone numbers.
  4. Here’s where you have an option.
    1. If you have an excellent internet signal and you are secure in your computer’s microphone and speaker ability, click on the “Computer Audio” option. 
    2. If you are unsure, then use your phone to call in. This means you will do all of your audio via phone, and your computer will just be used for video. (This is what most people should choose.) 
      1. On your phone, dial one of those numbers (there are so many because there are so many users trying to access Zoom these days. Just pick one). 
      2. When prompted, enter the Meeting ID. 
      3. When prompted, enter the Participant ID. (Scroll down to view it.) If you can’t find it, press #. 
  5. You should now be connected to both video and audio. 

The TWA Critique group will meet via video call

Here’s how it works:

  1. Download and critique submissions in advance, like always.
  2. On Wednesday connect via video call to share your critiques. The meeting will start at 6:30. 
  3. Email your comments directly to the author after the critique. The author’s email address will be included in their submission. 

How to connect for the critique group (2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month):

  1. At 6:15, click this link: https://zoom.us/j/96094374372?pwd=NG1xY0dXdm1CUjFmcEcwNHlLNGJYQT09
  2. Your system may ask you to open or download the Zoom program. Say yes. 
  3. You’ll be presented with a screen of phone numbers like this: 
  4. Here’s where you have an option.
    1. If you have an excellent internet signal and you are secure in your computer’s microphone and speaker ability, click on the “Computer Audio” option. 
    2. If you are unsure, then use your phone to call in. This means you will do all of your audio via phone, and your computer will just be used for video. (This is what most people should choose.) 
      1. On your phone, dial one of those numbers (there are so many because there are so many users trying to access Zoom these days. Just pick one). 
      2. When prompted, enter the Meeting ID. 
      3. When prompted, enter the Participant ID. (Scroll down to view it.) If you can’t find it, press #. 
  5. You should now be connected to both video and audio. 

Some things you should know:

  • I may mute you. I have some admin controls that allow me to address issues as they arise. I’ll use them as needed to help the meeting succeed. 
  • This might not work for all people on all systems. In general, video calls require a decent internet connection, and updated browser, and a few other tech requirements. We are choosing one of the most flexible video call platforms to help ease this, and we’ll do our best to support you, but please be patient. This is best effort on our part. 
  • This might be lumpy. There may be errors. We’ll figure this out as we go. 

FAQs

Can I mail my critiques to the author? 

No. We are not providing home addresses of the authors. Please send your comments via email. 

I hate technology and I don’t want to do this. 

That’s okay. You are welcome to download the submissions and email your comments directly to the author. No need to attempt the video call. Or, you can wait for the live group to resume. 

Is this free? 

Using the Zoom software to join this call is free. TWA is paying for a Zoom Pro membership to make this work. Your annual dues are covering this cost. Thanks for being a member and making this possible! 

What other questions do you have?

Email them to info@aksnyderbooks.com. 

Thanks for your patience as we work through the lumps in the process! Looking forward to seeing you all. 

Alycea