Enchanted Spark

Writing Inspirations

Deadline has been extended to June 30th for both contests.

$50 Prize for Two Month Short Story

$10 Prize for One Month Flash

You have until June 26 to write a story between 1000-3000 words using two out of the four posted pictures in a significant way. Significant is ultimately the judges' opinion, but if you just have a character referencing the object of the photo in an off hand manner, your story will likely be rejected. The more the whole picture is integral to the plot the better. If the pictures are not included, your story will be rejected. Submit stories by 11:59 pm MST on the 26th of June (yes you have two months). One winner will be chosen, and the story will be posted on the site on the last day of June. The winner will receive $50 on publication either via paypal or check. We reserve the right not to choose a winner.

On Monday, June 2, I will be posting one picture for a Flash Fiction Contest. Those stories must be 1000 words or less and are also due on June 26th.

The winning stories will be posted on here for at least a month. I'd like to keep the stories up for a full year, but after a month, the winner may request that it be removed.

Any genre except horror and erotica is okay, but please keep in mind that the judges are partial to fantasy and science fiction.

Do NOT send us stories like the ones below. It will result in the story being sent to the Seventh Circle of Hell where it will be immersed in Phlegethon.

  1. Terrible things happening to children.

  2. Rape.

  3. Horror.

  4. Erotica.

We don't have a problem with well placed swear words, but if you show little ability to use other vocabulary, it will be rejected.

Submission Specifics:

  1. For the short story contest, write a story using two of the four pictures posted for the month using 1000-3000 words. For the Flash Fiction contest, use the one photo posted and write a story 1000 words and less.

  2. Format it single space with a double space between paragraphs. No Indent at the paragraph.

  3. At the top left corner of the first page, put your full name and email address.

  4. At the top right corner of the first page, put your word count.

  5. Center your title followed by your byline.

  6. Submit in RTF format. At this time, I can't guarantee I'll be able to read any other format.

  7. Keep your cover letter simple, but please include the number of the pictures you use. 

  8. Send submissions by 11:59 pm MST on the 26th of June to submissions@enchantedspark.com. You should receive an auto response saying that we received your story. If you don't in 24 hours, email melinda@enchantedspark.com.

  9. No simultaneous submissions. Don't submit a story to us and some place else at the same time.
  10. You may send 2 stories per contest as long as they both use the required photographs. So that means you're allowed two short stories and two flash. 
  11. NEW RULE: If you've won, please wait six months before sending another story. Although we love to hear from past winners, we also want to encourage new people.

After a year of doing this, I wrote a blog entry about a couple of things that don't work. Please read Actual Writing Advice.

Melinda goes through the slush pile and Julie helps with the final decision. Keep in mind it's Julie's photos you're writing about, so make them shine! For an example of excellent picture use, please read The Cock and the Cloister.

And if your story doesn't get posted here, I hope you can rework it for a different market and submit it there!

Photo Flare Pictures for short story:

Photo Flash Pic: