ATA Flash Fiction Winner Announcement

Our 2018 - Week 31 Winner is ...

First, a word on judging and a look behind the scenes:

I've come to love, and loath judging this competition. I love reading the stories and I loath having to then go over the mechanics, dissect the stories and evaluate them for artistic merit... some judging is easier than others.

One of the first things I do is check the word count. I first use the word count in Scrivener, if that's good I move on, if not, it then gets put into Microsoft Word for a word count - if that fails, I hand count the words. If any of the three methods gets the right word count, I move on to the rest of the technical.

For technical evaluation I have two levels - me eyeballing it (when I notice spelling errors you know its bad) and note what I find. I then move on and let Grammarly be my guide. I have to be careful with that because it highlights grammatical errors and doesn't take into consideration dialog and speech.

For artistic judging I look at a lot of different things - the initial impact of the story and then how the story stays with me. That staying power is one of the things that sets the story apart. Does the story haunt me? Does it make me think? Do I want to revisit that world? Do I need to?

Artistic values are harder to evaluate because they are personal and they are opinions. The technical is easy, it's constant - but artistic... artistic lets us bend the rules, try something new - test ourselves and hone our skills.

I think what I love about this week's entries is seeing authors I love push the boundaries and working to create something fresh and new, and I am honored to get to witness this.

So thank you!

This week' prompt:

You both stepped away from the picture - used it as inspiration, but did not make the story about the picture and I love that. The prompt is to inspire, and you have to leave enough of the prompt in there so that the judge can see the inspiration - but I love that both of you took the image and ran in different directions.

Mil Ana - .Your story shows us a world, and what lays beneath that world - that no matter where you go - you take yourself with you and your subconscious can have a mind of its own. It makes me think and it haunts me to no end.