Flash Fiction Winners and a presentation teaser

Apr 15, 2024 11:52 pm

The team has voted and the winner and runners up of the flash fiction contest are named farther down. First, take a look at this:

imageI've got a story in this one, along with some other fine authors who are probably better known than am I. That cover calls for an appropriate quote:

Adventure is just a romantic name for trouble. It sounds swell when you write about it, but it’s hell when you meet it face to face in a dark and lonely place.

— Louis L’Amour


I continue to prepare for an upcoming presentation. Here's the teaser/invitation:

A great story leaves a mark. Some stories deliver an indelible kiss; others open a wound in the psyche; their impact cannot be forgotten. What makes these stories unforgettable? The three elements of literary alchemy: The Trauma, The Drama, and The Dream. Master these elements, and you will find yourself forging tales that stick to the reader's soul.

Join Stanley Wheeler for a presentation and discussion on forging unforgettable stories with emphasis on:

Creating Reader Investment in Characters 

Compelling the Reader to Turn the Page

Exploiting the setting, and 

Nailing the ending


Let me know what you think of that teaser/invitation.

Work continues on the bugmageddon novel. Here's an excerpt from the draft of chapter 15 of Bugs in the System:

“Again, that’s only evidence of the wasp. Nothing else. So, you’ve come from the Shire to Rivendell with tales of black riders and bugs, but with no proof other than what you claim is the one ring itself in the form of a coded book and mysterious flash drive. You’re somewhat of a pathetic fellowship, my friends.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Wade said. “Is that some kind of code?”

“In fact, it is. It’s a relic of another time—when people used to read books. There was a time when people read and shared stories with meaning hidden within them. There was an entire foundation of cultural history of shared experience that transcended generations. People knew the bible and understood references to it. They knew history and realized how something happening in the present resembled something that had happened in the past, and they could discover or apply solutions based on those similarities. They traded in discussions of shared passion for subjects and stories which were well known in society. When I make references to Rivendell, Mordor, Gondor, and Rohan, I’m using cultural history to extend a hand of friendship and seeking common ground in common knowledge. Alas, I see that my attempts have been in vain. Tolkien’s works have been buried by endless streams of AI generated videos and mountains of hours of video games. These are so much easier to access than the works of masters.”


Flash Fiction Contest Results as determined by the rankings of my Skirmish Team, who votes I compiled for these results:

Let me begin with the Honorable Mention for "Ol' Red" by Colleen Lawler.

Coming in as Second Runner up is "Legend of the Centennials" by Marica Bernstein.

First Runner up is "The Modern Gunfighter" by Zak Lilley.

The Winner is (drum roll please...) "Tractor Singularity" by Rob Grigg.

I would love to post these stories on my webpage at StanleyWheeler.com. The authors need to let me know if they will allow me to do that. As I stated in the contest announcement, the winner will receive his choice of one of my autographed paperbacks. I would love to provide ebooks to the other runners up and honorable mention if they desire. They can contact me to make those arrangements. I can also forward them the comments from the judges if they would like.


Luna Fox and F. Lowberry invite you to check out Burning Skies: Fall of the Dracomancer Book One. image

If whimsical Lit-RPG building to Epic Fantasy is more your speed, image download Ultimate Fantasy by Merick N.H. Ulrik.


Here Be Dragons has your free sci-fi and fantasy fix for adventure and world building.


Finally, any interest in serialization of a fantasy adventure story in this newsletter? I have one I want to use, and this seems like as good a place as any - say 500 words per letter?