brain4rent, Romance Writing, Uncategorized, Valentines Day, Writing contest

One Perfect Love Story 24-Hour Short Fiction Contest

“Regular guy causing my irregular heartbeat”   Alison Colby-Campbell

 See that quote at the top of this page?  A couple of years ago it earned me first place in a national writing contest on Daily Candy.  The challenge – write a six word story about my Valentine.  Six words – that’s such a paucity of letters.  That’s not just short, that’s Kardashian marriage short (cheap shot I know).  But I wrote what I knew, and I won.

I was so excited I called/texted/emailed EVERYONE.   And that’s when the trouble started.

My cynical and sarcastic friends, chosen specifically for those characteristics that I typically admire, tormented me and my Valentine.  Barbs ranged from:

“He’s causing you that much stress”

To concerns that I was saying he was just average when everyone should know he’s extraordinary

To queries about the high fiber routine that makes this all possible.

With my 24-Hour Short Fiction Contest, I am going to spare you that agony.

1.   A Picture is Worth 300 Words – Not 1,000, as this is “Love on a Literary Budget”.  You get 50X the number of words that I had when I entered my Valentine story (that’s 300 words for you math-phobes).

2.  You will write a fictional (entirely made up, no real people involved) 300-word (or fewer) story based on one of four of my photographic images.

Choose one of these four pics as your inspiration

DEADLINE – By 11:59 pm EST on Monday, February 13, 2012.  Stinger, do I have the time and date right this time?

RULES:  Craft your best 300-word original fictional love story (we’re talking love and romance, smut will be edited out) inspired (at least minimally) by one of the four photos and submit it to me at  Only one story per person.  Do not post to Facebook.

JUDGING: Stories will be divided into four (4) categories based on the picture that inspired them.  On Valentine’s Day, the stories will be posted on the blog and anyone and everyone will visit my blog to vote for their favorite in each category while also identifying his/her overall favorite.  So you will vote ONLY IN THE COMMENT SECTION OF MY BLOG, once in each of the four categories and then identify your personal favorite.  SINCE VOTING IS BLIND AND BY THE PEOPLE, EVEN FAMILY MEMBERS CAN ENTER. Voting will be open from February 14 to the end of day February 17.  Finalists and Grand Prize Winner will be announced on Saturday, February 18.


Selection of the populace is final.

PRIZE: Love is like a box of chocolates….One box of gourmet chocolate.

“Research tells us fourteen out of any ten individuals like chocolate.”    Sandra Boynton

Let my blog be your love muse this Valentine’s Day.

MY OBSERVATIONS ON CONVERSATION HEARTS:                                          The Official name is Sweethearts Candies.  More than 50% of the hearts in 7 oz. bags are illegible.  Yellow hearts have the highest number of and most diverse sayings.  They are made in Revere, MA of 10 ingredients:  Sugar, Corn Syrup, Dextrose, Glycerine, Artificial and Natural Flavors, Gelatin, Vegetable Gums, Citric Acid, and five Artificial Colors.  What used to just taste of sweet paste now comes infused with 6 flavors – Strawberry, Grape, Green Apple, Lemon, Orange and Blue Raspberry.  The paste actually tasted better.

© 2012 by Alison Colby-Campbell

10 thoughts on “One Perfect Love Story 24-Hour Short Fiction Contest”

  1. 1. Sweethearts are a blast. How did you get to taste the paste? (lol) My son John’s German roommates got a kick out of them. Can you believe it cost me $80 (surprise!) to mail him some shirts, sheets, and Sweethears?!

    2. LOVE your award winning 6 word story. It’s perfect! (No, this is not flattery just to get your vote, either.)

    3. I’m afraid to enter my story. Insecurity reigns.


  2. I’ll enter your story for you….thanks for the compliment of always reading and commenting on my blog. I’ve been reading both of your kids’ (Jacqui and John) blogs. Great way to see what everyone’s up to. We sent a care package to Grace (Jon’s second oldest daughter) who is teaching in Korea and it would have been $200+ through the UPS store, a little more than half that through the USPS. We choose very light things for her now!


  3. A scant 300 words can convert that feeling of love into sweet, melty love-in-a-box — aka chocolate. Short fiction love story contest.. Write about tennis, animals, a great meal, that certain someone (guy) who cooks like a chef, cleans better than Merrymaids because he loves to see you happy, has the heart of a poet and the muscle mass of a big strong dude (he exists at least in fiction)…Or that certain gal who enjoys blowing stuff up with firecrackers, crashing beer cans on her head, can pretty nearly beat you in an ATV challenge, has a favorite race car driver, can change her own flat, and make a steak and potato meal on the top of her hot car engine while wearing stillettos and one of the last twelve outfits you bought her at Victoria Secret. – Fantasy is fiction, too! Anything that means love to you and is inspired (at least minimally) by one of the four photos in the blog. Deadline is tonight at midnight.


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