Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

May Flash Fiction Challenge

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Flash Fiction Challenge

By Renee Miller

Great literature shapes our culture as much as people, places, and traditions. Through the writer’s pen, we are given a picture of our world that we might never have considered on our own.

This month’s writer in residence, Amy Lavender Harris, for example, shows us the Toronto of fiction in Imagining Toronto. We journey through Toronto’s portrayal in literature and see the rich culture that is abundant in this great city; a history and people that may not have been evident to those outside of it if not for the authors who put it on paper.

Like these writers, I want you to contribute to the culture of your favourite city in this month’s flash fiction challenge. Why do you love your city? What might cause another to hate it? Imagine experiencing the city for the first time, what would you see?

The rules for this challenge are pretty open, because I want your interpretation, your city of fiction. Let me see your city, hear its sound, feel its pulse, understand a small piece of its culture, but in the form of a story. The city might be in the background, a prop for any sort of story, or it might play a central role, like a character on its own. The choice is yours, writer.

Now to the technicalities:

Stories must be written in first person POV, but in the genre of your choice. First person is a tough POV to write. For example, we sometimes forget that while putting us deep in the character’s POV, the reader still must see, taste, touch and hear the things around him. We must resist the urge to “tell” the story in this POV. But when written correctly, first person is an intense way to experience a story.

Word count is a maximum of 500 words. Submit your story by midnight (Eastern Time) June 15, 2011. Late entries will not be read. Challenges are open to all countries.

Please send all entries with the submission pasted into the body of your email (no attachments please) to submissions@openbooktoronto.com. Include your name, pen name (if using one), your email and the title of your entry. In the subject line please write “Open Book May Writing Submission”. The winning submission will be published in Open Book Toronto.


Renee Miller has written fiction in one form or another since she could hold a pen. She has written for a local newspaper and freelances for several online sites including two pages spotlighting writing and publishing in Canada. Renee also moderates a fiction writing group of about 1100 members and two Canadian literature and writing groups on Goodreads.com. She lives in Tweed, Ontario with her two children and a lucky man who insists he is not her husband.

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