3 days to win $25 in prizes

My post on ways to obtain editing help for those who can’t afford a professional editor will be delayed until after I return home from vacation. Today I’m reposting Rachael Harrie’s Second Challenge for her fourth Platform Building Campaign because I realized there were only two days left to guess the end of my book pitch and the few previous guesses missed by miles. It’s up in the air, literally. Since I’ll be flying home on April 1st, I extended the contest through that day. You now 3 days to win $20 in guessing prizes for one contest, with a $5 random Rafflecopter prize to one entry just for voting, and another 12 days to enter for a random drawing for a whole mailer of books to US or a $10 Amazon international prize. 

First, you only have to guess a measly 8 words to end my book pitch because I added over half of the original 17 missing words last week. You don’t even have to guess the exact words. You can win a $10 Amazon prize for being the closest guesser. There’s another $10 prize for guessing my overall three word theme for all 3 of my contest entries.

I’m also posting my chocolate contest form on this page so you don’t want to guess, you can still win a large mailer of books and chocolate (or just books if you choose) for US entries or another $10 Amazon prize for international. This contest goes through April 10 and you can see most of the books by clicking the “Win Chocolate and Books”tab at the top of this blog.

If you like my 3 contest entries, please click the link after the last one and vote for number 57. Here are the rules I had to follow in writing my poem, flash fiction, and book pitch: 

Do one or more of the following:

  1. Write a pitch/logline for a book based on the prompts (less than 100 words) 
  2. Write a short story/flash fiction piece of less than 200 words based on the prompts 
  3. Write a poem with a twist using the prompts as inspiration (in less than 200 words) 
  4. Write a story/poem in five sentences, each sentence based on one of the prompts 
  5. Write a poem/flash fiction piece (in less than 200 words) about the water pear *without* using the words “pear”, “spoon”, or “droplet”. 

For added difficulty/challenge:

  • Complete at least three of the above activities and tie them all together with a common theme (feel free to either state the theme in your post or leave us to guess what it might be) 
  • Write in a genre that is not your own 
  • Ask Challenge entrants to critique your writing. After the Challenge closes, you may wish to re-post your revised piece(s), and I’ll include a Linky List at the bottom of this post for those wishing more feedback on their revisions (note: revised entries will not be judged, so please label clearly your original post and your revisions. Please do not offer critique unless someone asks for it, as per the usual blogging conventions. If you do ask for critique, make sure you ask for it clearly so people know you want it, and please be prepared to receive feedback that may not be 100% glowing. If you are a critiquer, please be tactful and courteous, and remember to provide positives as well as negatives.) 

Since I chose to do all of the added difficulty elements,  none of my three pieces are in my middle grade fantasy or SF genres. If you want to guess my overall theme, here’s a hint: It’s sort of a cross between two opposite genres. There’s a prize for the closest answer if you put your guess for my theme into my Rafflecopter form. Just don’t put in my blog comments, please. 

As for critiques, I’ve received some very tough ones, and the only comments that are hard to take are criticisms with no suggestions for a better way to achieve the right impact. So please tell me how to fix whatever you think I did wrong. Do that in my blog comments area.

Here are the writing prompts I must use:

Prompt 1:

Two people are sitting together under the remains of a concrete bridge. Their backs are against a rusted bridge support. One person’s leg is cut. The other person has wet hair.

Prompt 2:


Prompt 3


Prompt 4


Prompt 5


Now here are my responses. This poem is for challenges 3 and 4, combined in one five sentence poem with a twist:

Under the bridge, two homeless men sprawl.
A well-dressed child above kicks a ball.
Rich photographer shoots water’s fall,
Blind to the waifs with nothing at all.
Who sees the light when darkness may call?*

*If you don’t see the twist, read again, deeper. Or should I say higher?
This is challenge 2, flash-fiction at 199 words:

White knuckled, Joe gripped a foot-long bolt he’d pulled from the water after it cut him. Shoddy bridge workmanship—he ought to sue. Feeling the cold metal against his back, he glanced at the last whole concrete span above. “What’s that awful thumping?”

Susan shifted beside him. “Some kid playing with a ball.” Bending over, she wiped blood from the gash on his thigh.

He gritted his teeth as her wet hair dripped. Through his tears, the drops coalesced into a pear shape, the art of never-ending pain. He slid down onto the sand, for the rusted bridge support was anchored near the water’s edge.

When thumping awoke him again, fog had rolled in. He wondered how long he’d slept.

Where was Susan?

Childish voices floated through the fog—along with the incessant thumping. As Joe glimpsed street urchins squatting in the storm drain garbage nearby, his bile rose from the stench.

He closed his eyes, remembering. One leg useless, he’d fought the riptide, swimming through inky blackness lit by wispy multi-hued—jellyfish?

The thumping stopped. Though surprised, Joe couldn’t open his eyes. The light strands, brighter now, drew him upward while paramedics put his body into a bag. 

Did you see that coming? Last but not least, here’s another opportunity to guess. I intentionally used the same character names, but you can decide whether these are the same characters or not.

Last, I present challenge 1, a pitch/logline for a book, 99 total words.  I emailed the last 17 words to Rachael Harrie because I have my own small contest to see who comes closest to my concept in the same number or fewer words. 

Sequel to Meet Joe Black:

Susan leans against the rusty support of some bridge remains. Crying, she wipes Joe White’s leg with her wet hair. They talk, their lives presented in flashbacks as his consciousness fades in and out.

At her father’s party, Joe’s photos preserve fireworks as streaks. Later, they marry and travel as he photographs everything from starving children to water art—until their son chases a ball into the ocean. Distraught, they also attempt drowning, except Joe gets cut.

In ____________, they see their _______ ____________ the _______________ ______________ photo.  “___________,” he whispers.
_____ ____________ arrives.*

*edit. You can find the real ending in my April 2 post.

I’ll let you decide if these are the same characters I used for my flash fiction story. Do you think they live? You can write that in my comments, but put your guess for my pitch ending, up to *8 words in my Rafflecopter form where only I and another judge can see them. *edit  I came back and supplied over half of the original 17 missing words.

If you liked my entries, please vote “like” for #57, here. Whoever you vote for, it counts as an entry for a book prize if you fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Here’s the form!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note that this contest closes April 2, so there’s not much time to guess my challenge theme and the end of my pitch. But you can guess once every day through April 1st! 

I sent the real pitch ending to Rachael so the challenge judges have it. By April 3, I will post the real ending here along with the winners so everyone can see this wasn’t an April Fool’s joke. Thanks!

Now here’s the entry form for the large mailer of books and chocolate for a US winner or $10 Amazon prize for international winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now you can go hopping to other book giveaways featured by Kathy at I am a Reader, Not a Writer.

Share A Heart

Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.


  1. I live in the US. I thought this post was really interesting. Loved the poem!

  2. This contest is fun. But now I see I was off by miles! Oh, well, I’m looking forward to seeing the answers. I live in the US. Thanks for the chance to win!

  3. Hey, you’ve been nominated for an award on my blog. Just thought I’d let you know.

    -Matt (mattswritinglair.blogspot.com)

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