Furious Fiction turns 21 and fans sign the card

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Furious Fiction this month celebrates 21 months of fantastic flash fiction fun! So to get into the party spirit, we bought one of those huge novelty cards and passed it around some of our biggest fans for them to each say nice things (sniff… you GUYS!… now we’re getting all teary…). If you didn’t get a chance to put on a yellow hat and ‘sign’ this card, feel free to share YOUR love of Furious Fiction with the tag #furiousfiction on Twitter or Insta. Oh, and there’s also cake in the break room— oh, nope, sorry that’s all gone now…

Tim Law (SA)

Has entered every month since Dec 2018
@somecallmetimmy.blogspot.com and @trippin_timmy (Insta)

Why do you love entering Furious Fiction? I just love the challenge of creating a complete story in such a short time with no opportunity to plan ahead. It is a true thrill remembering that the first Friday of the month has arrived and that the clock is ticking. I hope to submit every month this year and then with any luck I’ll be able to push on. The longer I stick with this the better a writer I feel I’m becoming.

What has been your favourite round to date, and why? I love discovering the new challenging requirements each month but my all time favourite thus far has been July this year. All sorts of adventures can happen on a train. Nowhere to run and only a limited number of places to hide.

Charles K Manila (VIC)

Has entered every month since Sep 2018
@mrcharleskm (Insta, Twitter)

Why do you love entering Furious Fiction?
I got really ill and went through a really dark period of my life. I really needed an avenue for creativity and expression… And just like an old friend, writing became part of my life again and I have never looked back. Furious Fiction was one of the competitions that I discovered during my intense recovery and I just fell in love with the format. I have gained a richer experience for writing. And since then, I have had short stories, flash fiction and poems published.

I also really love the support and encouragement that I recently discovered from the Twitter community. My friend Ruth also participates and we both encourage each other, eagerly wait for the results at the end of the month and then share what we came up with when the results are announced. There's something so magical about that sense of community that makes it a highlight every first Friday of each month! 

What has been your favourite round to date, and why?
It's really difficult to choose! While the first one I ever did (September 2018) will always hold a special place in my heart because it was the first and really helped me through a time of recovery and while I recently got long-listed for the most recent one (September 2019) – those will always be memorable for me. However, in terms of the challenge and the eventual product – I think my two favourite rounds were April (2019) and July (2019). April really made me reconsider the power of well-written dialogue not only in the content or phrasing but where it was placed within the story as well. I had never really considered that aspect of my writing before and it was a wonderful learning experience. 

Michelle Upton (QLD)

Has entered every month except one

Why do you love entering Furious Fiction?
In the space of 55 hours, I end up creating characters and worlds that I fall in love with. I’m often sorry to see them go when I hit the submit button.

Furious Fiction’s criteria always pushes me out of my comfort zone, and the tight deadline means I get the satisfaction of writing a story and sending it out into the universe within a short space of time. I’m currently in the process of querying my first novel and writing my second, so to have one weekend a month where I write something different is so much fun.

I also love using my Furious Fiction stories as content for my website, as this allows me to connect with my readers and get their feedback.

What has been your favourite round to date, and why?
August 2019 was one of my favourite Furious Fiction rounds. I loved experimenting with the descriptions, and it resulted in one of my favourite stories, ‘The Numbered’. This story is so vivid in my mind, I’m almost tempted to turn it into a novel just so I can find out what happens next.

Belinda Grant (VIC)

Has entered every month
@belindagrant80 (Twitter)

Why do you love entering Furious Fiction?
One of my favourite things about writing is coming up with brand new story ideas. And with Furious Fiction I get to do it every month! The community around it is pretty fun too, there is a gang of us on Twitter cheering each other on and that is really precious in the mostly isolated world of writing.

What has been your favourite round to date, and why?
Hard to pick, but I really enjoyed writing my story set on a train. I find the more restrictive the monthly constraints are, the more my speculative fiction brain goes into hyperdrive and I have a blast watching the story and world building go off in weird directions. And that month it certainly did (shape-shifting steam-punk ice-aliens anyone?)

Trish Armstrong (SA)

Has entered every month since Nov 2018

Why do you love entering Furious Fiction?
I look forward to opening the FF email on the first weekend of every month.

I read and reread the criteria and then spend the weekend thinking of stories that could work. Love the challenge.

What has been your favourite round to date, and why?
My favourite was the laundromat – every time I am in one or drive past one I think of the stories that could have been.

Erwin Zehentner (NSW)

Has entered every month except one
Pictured here with his paintings!

Why do you love entering Furious Fiction?
Because I love to challenge myself and hone my skills at writing, not that I have had much success, but it's a big task, more than 1000 entries at times. Wow!

What has been your favourite round to date, and why?
My favourite round is the next one, which will enable me to finally break the drought and come good. It's not always the winning, but the competition. It's the journey, not the destination. Add another gong, I am a finalist for the Newcastle Slam competition, which I can blame squarely on your influence, as the monthly task of the 500 words has sharpened my skills.

Nathan Phillips (ACT)

Has entered several times in 2018 and monthly since Dec 2018

Why do you love entering Furious Fiction?
There are two things I really enjoy about Furious Fiction. First of all, it forces me outside my comfort zone of long, drawn out stories. In five hundred words or fewer, I have to introduce theme and setting, transition a plot point, make the character or voice engaging, to try and vary the writing and the senses all within the confines of random parameters – it’s a huge challenge, and I love that.

The second part is that as someone who enjoys writing 100k manuscripts, it’s hard to get that sense of completion. Furious Fiction give me certainty that every month, I’ve got a story. Might not be perfect, but they’re complete, even if I can expand on them later, and I can share them.

What has been your favourite round to date, and why?
I know this is a bit of a controversial one, but the Mayonnaise Round (May ‘19) was absolutely my favourite. It’s the first one I felt like I was really able to dive in with my own darker style of writing. I ended up going with a Pied Piper kind of story that naturally leant itself towards melting eyeballs (as naturally that’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions mayonnaise). It was a lot of fun and really felt like I was writing as my own brand.

Jeff Taylor (NZ)

Has entered every month since Oct 2018

Why do you love entering Furious Fiction?
I first entered Furious Fiction in October 2018 and have entered every one since. It introduced me to Flash Fiction as I had up to then been concentrating on short stories (1500 to 5000 words) boosted by somehow winning the NZ Writers College Competition in 2015 ($1000 first prize!). Furious Fiction has honed my flash fiction skills and I was thrilled to win the NZ Flash Fiction Day competition this year (another $1000 for 300 words of my nonsense). And at the young age of 76. 

What has been your favourite round to date, and why?
My only success in Furious Fiction was a shortlisting in Nov 2018 ‘The Incident' – the one set in a supermarket, so that one is my favourite. I enjoy writing humour – funny, dark, or hopefully both, and find the monthly challenge excellent. I like having prompts and themes and getting the ‘what we liked' from the judges. It is a great competition, and we aspiring writers are grateful to you for running it.

Sarah Jackson (VIC)

Has entered every month

Why do you love entering Furious Fiction?
Entering the Furious Fiction competition every month is a great way for me to develop my short story writing skills, while feeling a part of the writing community. I like the challenge of coming up with an idea for the ever changing range of story variables offered, and working to a deadline is good practice for meeting other publishing deadlines. The super short story format is easy enough to complete over a weekend, and means that I’m guaranteed to complete at least one writing project per month. I love reading the winner and shortlisted writers contributions too. Writing can be such a solitary existence and having a chance to interact with others in the field (even at a distance) is a happy experience.

What has been my favourite round to date and why?
This is a hard one to answer as I have enjoyed almost all of them equally. I particularly liked the story which needed to involve a train. I am particularly fond of trains, and stories on or about trains, but I guess my favourite at the moment is the one where we had to write a story to go with the photo of the laundromat. I like the endless possibilities that a random image generates and the ability to slot the story into any genre. It was a great challenge and I was happy with my end product.

Anne Tavares (NSW)

Has entered every month except one
Anne is on Facebook (find her on the AWC podcast group!)

Why do you love entering Furious Fiction?
I love entering Furious Fiction because it gives me an incentive to keep writing. When I find I'm procrastinating or feeling dead and uninspired for my other writing projects I can at least achieve something with Furious Fiction. When I was stressed because of a horrible job and then depressed because of long term unemployment I knew that at least I can still write. Writing is what keeps me going. Somehow, even when life throws other challenges at me, I always find I can meet the challenge of coming up with 500 words that meet the requirements in 48 hours. I eagerly look forward to 5pm every 1st Friday of the month, counting down the minutes to when the criteria are released.

What has been your favourite round to date, and why?
My favourite round has been the September round. It gave me a prompt that inspired me to do a speculative fiction story (which is my preferred genre), and because I made it in the competition this time by being long listed – after almost two years of trying.

Ray See (QLD)

Has entered every month
@rayseewriter (Twitter)

Why do you love entering Furious Fiction?
I have found every month challenging, which is a good thing, because the guidelines usually lead me into writing in genres that I would never have considered before.

What has been your favourite round to date, and why?
I think my favourite month was November 2018, which was set in a supermarket. My entry was probably the funniest thing I've ever written.

Carly Mitchell (VIC)

Has entered every month

Why do you love entering Furious Fiction?
I really like the writing practice it gives you and having to work to a deadline is beneficial as well. But I think as the months have gone on, my favourite thing is the camaraderie in the Furious Fiction Twitter hashtag! Each month there's a buzz waiting to hear what the prompts will be, then either delight or slight panic when we find them out. And as the weekend progresses, there's a lot of cheering, encouragement and funny gifs happening between everyone and I think that's really cool.

What has been your favourite round to date and why?
The first round will always be one of my faves as it kicked off something really fantastic that's been a part of my life for 21 months now! But I also have a special place in my heart for the round where ‘mayonnaise' was one of the prompts because we all had a collective meltdown on Twitter over it and it was hilarious.

Michael McLoon (NSW)

Has entered every month
Pen name: ‘Ward Masterman’

Why do you love entering Furious Fiction?
What I particularly like about Furious Fiction is that it ignites my imagination and reinforces my belief in my ability to cheat writers block. And, because I am a procrastinator, I enjoy the rush of composing a story in just two days. 

What has been your favourite round to date and why?
I think my best effort was September last year when I wrote about a priest and a little boy at the airport called The Sins Of The Fathers. This is a photo of me taken by my granddaughter Chelsea yesterday. My wife, Elaine, and I are proud of our three children, four granddaughters and four grandsons!

Dianne Honey (VIC)

Entered four times in 2018 and every month in 2019
@DianneJHoney1 (Twitter)

Why do you love entering Furious Fiction?
I really enjoy the challenge of taking random words to create a story with only 55 hours to do. Often the stories that I create aren’t my preferred genre of murder mysteries. Thank you so much for this opportunity.

What has been your favourite round to date and why?
My favourite FF was in April. Put Jack on, is it me you’re looking for? It’s a beautiful and terrible thing and therefore should be treated with great caution and the rest sparked my imagination. I was able to use those sentences to write a sci-fi.

Seetha Nambiar Dodd (NSW)

Has entered every month since May 2018

Why do you love entering Furious Fiction?
I love the challenge of trying to shape the criteria into something creative. It's like getting a mystery box of ingredients and having to be resourceful with what you get. The imposed deadline gives me the perfect excuse to write, and reminds me that it is possible to get the words down! I also love reading the selected stories to see what other people have created with those same ingredients.

What has been your favourite round to date, and why?
May 2019 – Starting with an 11-letter word opened up so many possibilities. It's my favourite because once I decided on the word (Springsteen!), the rest seemed to flow and it was so exciting to write. I also got to try my hand at writing dialogue.

Sharyn Swanepoel (QLD)

Has entered every month in 2019
@sharynlee_booksandme (Instagram)

Why do you love entering Furious Fiction?
I love to enter Furious Fiction as it gives me a challenge each month and a break from my other WIP. 

It also gets me writing in different styles, depending on where my ideas take me. A great way to try new things.

My first thought when the criteria is revealed is always “how am I ever going to get a story out of that?”, then my mind just keeps ticking over until an idea starts to form. 

What has been your favourite round to date, and why?
I really enjoyed the task with the periodic table, as it forced me to do research, and then I went down a completely different path to what I thought I would. That's half the fun.

Anna McEvoy (QLD)

Entered sporadically and then every month since Nov 2018
@AnnaSMcEvoy (Twitter)

Why do you love entering Furious Fiction?
My writing group [L-R Kylie Fennell, Anna McEvoy, Lane Thornton, Jodie Woodward] has committed to entering Furious Fiction every month this year, and I love reading their amazing stories and sharing in the ups and downs of the FF roller coaster with them. Every month is a fresh reminder of what we’re capable of achieving with only a few weird and wonderful prompts. Incidentally, I first met my writing group at Valerie’s AWC Brisbane Meet-up in February 2018! 

What has been your favourite round to date, and why?
Is it too obvious to say that my winning entry in May 2019 was my favourite?! Regardless of the outcome, it was a joy to write—the words came easily and I didn’t agonise over it like I usually do. Other notable rounds have been ones where I didn’t even get a mention, like May 2018. My entry was peppered with Easter eggs for eagle-eyed Star Wars fans, and it remains R2-Dear2 my heart… (I know, I know…)

Lou Bell (WA)

Has entered every month since Dec 2018

Why do you love entering Furious Fiction?
The excitement of course! And seeing just where the journey of the words take me also being swept up in the inspirational adventures of writing something and the big rush you get afterwards when you have accomplished actually hitting that SUBMIT button. It is one of my most favourite things to do every first Friday of the month it puts that extra spring to my step.

What has been your favourite round to date and why?
December 2018 my very first Furious Fiction that I dared to enter, I still remember the adrenaline I felt after I pushed the submit button I didn't know whether I wanted to vomit, laugh or cry with tears of joy because I was finally walking towards my biggest dream and doing something just for me even if it is just a small step it is a step just the same and it has had me hooked ever since.

Robyn Noble (NT)

Has entered every month

Why do you love entering Furious Fiction?
I couldn't imagine missing a furious fiction. It's my monthly challenge and I love it. It has made me realise I work best with a deadline.

What has been your favourite round to date and why?
My favourite month was January. Sitting at the breakfast table with my 95 year old father (my Mum is 91), watching him do the crossword he does religiously every morning, inspired me to write that month’s winning entry. Thankyou AWC!

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