IU Writing Exercise Contest Voting Poll: WEEK 4

The time has arrived to begin voting in this week’s Writing Exercise Competition. On behalf of the IU staff, I want to thank all the entrants for doing such a great job with the writing prompt and the merciless constraints of the exercise. One entrant was eliminated for exceeding the 250 word limit specified in the rules.

This week, there are thirteen entries from which to choose. You may review the entries here. Please spread the word and encourage your friends to vote by using the share buttons at the bottom of the post!

Select the entrant with the best story for the IU writing exercise competition, "Sudden Death."

  • #11. Sandra Campbell (17%, 15 Votes)
  • #01. Linda Rae Blair (16%, 14 Votes)
  • #05. Donna B. McNicol (16%, 14 Votes)
  • #12. Neil L. Yuzuk (12%, 10 Votes)
  • #02. Dannye Williamsen (10%, 9 Votes)
  • #06. S. Wayne Roberts (9%, 8 Votes)
  • #13 A. L. Kaplan (5%, 4 Votes)
  • #04. Garrett Hise (3%, 3 Votes)
  • #07.William C. Busch (3%, 3 Votes)
  • #10. Jacqueline Hopkins (3%, 3 Votes)
  • #03. Paula Friedman (1%, 1 Votes)
  • #08. Charles Ray (1%, 1 Votes)
  • #09. Salvatore Buttaci (1%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 86

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29 thoughts on “IU Writing Exercise Contest Voting Poll: WEEK 4”

  1. Mr. Busch is the only writer who had an engaging opening. The plot that ensued became predictable, but the writing is descriptive and visual. He also incorporated vivid narrative action. You go, Mr. Busch.

      1. The entries are ok, but most of the openers are predictable. At least they are to me. I also don't much care for the romance type stories or stories of lost or unrequited love unless the loss of love gets philosophical. The endless Goethesque alas/alack bores me—but this does not mean that I think these selections are poorly written. They are just not to my taste. And I am certainly not saying I can do any better. When I look at written work, and I am invited to critique narrative prose, I look at the art in the craft of description. I just prefer Mr. Busch's opener, and his ability to vividly depict action.

        1. Oh, and fair enough, Sheri. Taste is a free-for-all, and no one has the right to impugn someone else's (although, ha, we do it all the time!). I was just thinking out loud that this is a strong group of stories and tough to call.

          1. I agree. It is hard to choose just one. I love reading because I learn from what I read, and I learn new tricks of craft. And it occurred to me after I posted my response that instead of being asked to critique these selections, readers are encouraged to comment on them. There is a line between comment and critique that is a little fuzzy and easy to cross. I guess my habit for examination comes with having been an English teacher for 27 years. 😎

  2. What charms me in this is the great variety among the entries. I also liked the first several entries very much but found that most of the later ones needed considerable tightening and/or polishing. But generally these were high-calibre pieces.

    1. Paula, yes. And I say this in the spirit of encouragement and not criticism, but we all need to remember: edit, people! Readers will be even *less* forgiving of we indies if even our very short fiction is rife with spelling and/or grammatical errors! (And yes, I did use the word "even" once too often there.)

    1. DRY creek bed at time of death would indicate lack of flash flood, or at least it did to me. The DRY creek bed was one of the parameters given to the writers.

      1. True, but maybe this person was hit and knocked unconscious to the ground before the water hit the rocks. It would make a great sensory story. Something with the rumbling sound of water approaching so rapidly, there is no time to identify it to decide how to react. Creepy. You could make it metaphorical by having the character on a hike pondering just such an event that that jerked his/her life into an undesired alteration.

    2. That would have been a good idea and an interesting challenge to fit within the 250 word limit.

        1. My sister just recommended this site to me, and little by little, I have been investigating what is posted. I like it here, but I missed the deadline for this week's contest. Perhaps, if the picture next week sparks a memory or inspires me, I will enter. The rocks in the picture this week reminded me of a bazaar incident that happened at one of my favorite places to swim—a little inlet off the Clark Fork River, in Missoula, Montana, just off an old wooden foot bridge (which I don't think is there anymore), and a bit of a hike through some brush. In the summer, I used to stop there on my way to and from classes at the University of Montana. I am sure I was a site to my professors when I walked in to their classes half wet, but I was real cool none-the-less. 😎

  3. Some very good work here, although I am with David. I don't care for the Romance stories–but, yes, just my taste, not any indication of the quality of writing. My problem was two stories that I thought were really well done, Paula's and Neil's, both friends from Linked In. I didn't like having to choose between them.

    Boyd Lemon-Author of “Eat, Walk, Write: An American Senior’s Year of Adventure in Paris and Tuscany,” and "Digging Deep: A Writer Uncovers His Marriages," the author’s journey to understand his role in the destruction of his three marriages. Information and excerpts: http://www.BoydLemon-Writer.com.

      1. But the ones I am speaking of come from something specifically and they were kept in a box about a foot long, about 3 inches deep and about 4 inches in width that he kept them in. If you can't tell already, my story was loosely based on a true story; the practical jokes my father actually played on people.

          1. Oh right. My father was a computer programmer of the old big computers that filled an entire room and they used the key punch cards and the tiny little rectangles that came from them he kept in that box, so they were probably exactly like the chads from voting ballets. There were millions of them, lol. I can image those people wandering what the heck happened when they turned on the air conditioner and they blew out at them or seeing them in their 1970s shad carpet.

  4. Congrats to Sandra! Enjoy your abundance of prizes, golden whatever and…oh, wait…IU doesn't have those. Well, enjoy winning! Seriously, well done! Enjoy your reign!

  5. Thanks Linda. Tough competition here. Really enjoyed my first attempt at flash fiction. Congratulations to all who participated, great work!

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