Tag Archives: Flim-Flim contest

‘Happy New Year’, The Garden Gnomes Say

Happy New Year, garden friends. We’ve been at your service for four months now and have managed to publish some great flash fiction. The Flim-Flim Games continue to be popular. December’s winner is “Fear” by Tim Wilkinson. Congratulations Tim!

We’re going to make a change for the Flim-Flam Games going forward. Instead of just counting Likes, we’re going to count all social media shares between Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. For a fuller explanation of how this works, see our Flim-Flam Games page.

Our upcoming themes for the Flim-Flam Games are:

  • January: Legendary, mythological, or non-human creatures
  • February: Flaming arrows
  • March: Dragons, clovers, and/or ashes

Our target date for the Garden of Eden anthology is January 23rd. We’re hard at work to meet this date. Meanwhile, we’ve started planning for the next anthology, so start getting your submissions in!

Look for other announcements coming soon. We’ve got new products in the works, including more calls for submissions and possibly more games. We’ll also put out a call for an editor to join our team. Look for it by the end of the month.

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Goodbye September, Hello October

September came and went and so did the Flim-Flam Games. I only got two submissions and neither of them were really what I wanted to publish, so I didn’t choose a winner for last month. Already, I’ve received more submissions for October. Keep them coming!

I’m going to handle the games a little differently this month. I’m going to publish stories as they come in and decide on the winner from among the published stories at the end of the month.

Additionally, as a way of considering the tastes of readers, I’ll consider the number of likes each story receives, but that will be a small part of the Flim-Flam selection process. I will use a process determined by the number of Facebook Likes the story receives since publication divided by the number of days it has been published.

For instance, if a story is published today (October 6, 2013) and received 23 Facebook Likes by the end of the month, on November 1, its Like daily average will be 23/25, or .92. The highest Like daily average at the end of the month will receive as an extra dose of personal like by me in consideration for the Flim-Flam game for the month. The winner will receive $5.

October’s Flim-Flam Theme

I’ve stayed away from themes until now. This month, however, in lieu of Halloween, I’d like stories to involve some kind of legendary, mythological, or non-human creature. That’s a pretty broad brush. Use your imagination.

For the purposes of the Flim-Flam Game, the contest winner will be determined 50% by my personal tastes, 25% by popular vote as expressed through Facebook Likes, and 25% by whether or not the story includes a legendary, mythological, or non-human creature. It can be scary, funny, or somewhere in between, but it should include a creature as a character or a prop within the story.

I will still publish stories that don’t include the creature (if I like them), but in terms of the Flim-Flam Game, they’ll be at a disadvantage.

I hope all of that is clear. If not, feel free to e-mail me at gardengnome @ allenleetaylor.com and I’ll try to clarify. Meanwhile, happy submitting. Read these guidelines:

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Winner Of The First Flim-Flam Flash Fiction Contest

Choosing a winner of a contest can be difficult, especially for your first contest. I was a bit apprehensive going into this first contest because I wasn’t sure what I was looking for. I simply wanted to juice up the blog with some fast action – and, boy, did I get what I asked for.

My initial call for entries was vague. I put out a call on Facebook for some flash and said I’d pay a measly $5 for the first story I accepted.

One person was quick on the uptake. In just an hour I had my first submission. The submitter was proud of the fact that he wrote a story about a garden gnome. Since I didn’t put a deadline on the contest, I decided to initiate one, so I chose Friday, August 30, 2013.

I spread the word as far and wide as I could in such a short time – Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Craigslist. Then I sat back and watched the submissions come in.

I didn’t get as many as I’d liked, but the ones I got were quite good – most of them. I decided not to read any of them until the deadline, then I would read them all at once. The diversity of submissions was quite impressive. I wrote back to several of the non-winners and told them I’d like to publish their stories anyway. They all accepted.

But there was one submission that earned a spot in my heart even after I’d read all the others. It was the story about the garden gnome, the first submission received.

What’s So Special About Garden Gnomes?

It’s a fair question to ask: “What criteria did you choose the winner based on?”

Luckily, no one has asked me that question – yet. But if they did, I’d have to say in this case it was very simple. I wanted something that was representative of what Garden Gnome Publications is all about. That could be an easy thing to find or quite difficult. In this case, the winner had a leg up on everyone else. He helped me create the look and feel of the website. In fact, he created my header.

That may seem unfair, but I didn’t know David Anderson was going to submit to the contest (and he didn’t know I was going to have one). Nevertheless, he hit me with a story I couldn’t resist.

There were other stories that were better written. From a craft standpoint, several stories were much more winner-worthy. But most of them weren’t creepy enough, or funny enough, or weird enough. One, I felt, was too short, though it was an extremely well thought out and written story. Another almost took the prize but in the end, the garden gnome represented the essence of Flim-Flam. I had my pick.

Congratulations to David Anderson, graphic artist and writer in the Bizarro fiction genre. You can read his story on the Flim-Flam Blog tomorrow.

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