Summer Flash Showdown: Attack of the Picnic Ants!

Photo courtesy of demilked.com.  Artwork by Evelyn Bracklow.

Photo courtesy of demilked.com. Artwork by Evelyn Bracklow.

Sundress Publications is proud to announce the first installment of the Summer Flash Showdown. We hope to evoke your spontaneity, bend your imagination, and test your craft chops with the following five weeks of fiction. Tune in every Friday as we post the winning and runner-up stories respectively, decided by an all-star cast of judges from around the country. All finalists will have the opportunity to write for the Grand Prize Round, in which the supreme victor could walk away with endless boasting privileges, publication of their story on The Wardrobe, and FIVE FREE SUNDRESS TITLES OF YOUR CHOOSING!!!The prizes don’t begin and end there however. The first All-Star to write the most compelling interpretation of the following prompt will receive a free Sundress book, also of their choosing.This week’s honored judge will be…

MEAGAN CASS!!!

cass
Meagan Cass is the author of Range of Motion (Magic Helicopter Press). Her fiction has appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Pinch, DIAGRAM, Washington Square, and Puerto del Sol, among other places. Meagan is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Illinois Springfield, where she teaches courses in creative writing, publishing, literature, and composition. She founded and is a curator of the Shelterbelt Reading Series at UIS and serves as an assistant editor at Sundress Publications, coordinating fiction for the Best of the Net anthology. Over the last ten years, she has done editorial work for a range of national literary journals, including Stirring, Harpur Palate, and Rougarou, of which she is a founding editor.

THE CHALLENGE: Attack of the Picnic Ants!

antpicnic

The fine china pictured above is the work of German innovator and artist Eveyln Bracklow. One may be quick to assume the china has some tiny arthropod companions. Look closer.

Like the meticulously drawn bugs on the serving ware, we want you to defamiliarize and thereby revitalize the dilemma of ants at a picnic. In as many ways as a colony has legs, the ants of the story can be the kick-starters for a plot gone awry. Or maybe the ants could serve as a collective pivot into a flashback? Who knows?

What can you do with such an old issue? Will you skirt it and/or use it to add tension in subtext? How will you evolve the cute old problem and surprise us? Will you offer up magical realism or just the same old, pissed off couples on red checkerboard blankets? Don’t bore us with missing butter and carrion crumbs. Give us the goods. Give us characters to take back to our underground queen and cherish.

And in honor of the world’s smallest, yet mightiest heroes, all submitted stories should be no longer than 350 words. Make the microscopic details resonate in macroscopic ways.

Send all stories to sundressflashsummer@gmail.com. RTF or DOCX file format preferred.  Stories must be submitted by Friday, July 17th at midnight EST!

Best of luck, and may the hungriest stories win.
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