We had our regular meeting on August 14, 2009. In attendance were Roger, Joyce, Claudia, and Jerry.
Joyce kicked us off with a new short story, Welcome to Kenya. “They passed a series of factories, and now she was looking at low cement block buildings with corrugated steel roofs, probably some sort of housing. They were all the same, going deep into the side streets, and running along one side of the main road for at least a mile. The gray structures stood about 10 feet apart on flat land, with no trees or flowers to break the monotony. Only scattered tufts of weeds provided a touch of green.”
Next up, Jerry and Claudia both presented several examples each of Hint Fiction. In 25 words or less, Hint fiction is intended to suggest a story rather than tell it. There is currently a contest, with a deadline of midnight EST on August 31. Only two entries are allowed per person. Winners (there will be 100-150) will be paid $25 each and published in an anthology by WW Norton. For a more detailed description and information about the contest, see http://www.robertswartwood.com/?page_id=8. That will get you to the site, where there are many pages (all well over 25 words!) that describe various aspects of hint fiction as well as the contest itself.
If you don’t have the time or interest in pursuing this concept, here are a few examples of past winners & honorable mentions. (Actually these were just honorable mentions, but Claudia, Kaye, and Jerry are all in agreement that these are better than the winners.)
PROGRESS: After seventeen days she finally broke down and called him “daddy.”
PEANUT BUTTER: He was allergic. She pretended not to know.
(I don’t remember what sequence we read ours in, so ladies first. Since entries were limited to two, we were looking for reactions to help decide which ones to include. Just one each is included here.)
The Affair: No wedding ring, no ring tan line. She fell in love. He was married, she found out. She made sure he hurt before he died.
Execution: He told them again that he didn’t kill her as the needle pierced his vein. One of them knew he was telling the truth.