The finalists for Rachael Harrie’s second campaigner challenge

I have been asked to select five finalists from a short-list of ten for Rachael Harrie’s second campaigner challenge, and I’ve been given TWO days to do it in! Cheers, Mark. 

The rules were:

Do one or more of the following using the prompts (which should include at least one, some or all in your challenge):

  1. Write a pitch/logline for a book based on the prompts (less than 100 words)
  2. Write a short story/flash fiction piece of less than 200 words based on the prompts
  3. Write a poem with a twist using the prompts as inspiration (in less than 200 words)
  4. Write a story/poem in five sentences, each sentence based on one of the prompts
  5. Write a poem/flash fiction piece (in less than 200 words) about the water pear *without* using the words “pear”, “spoon”, or “droplet”.

Two people are sitting together under the remains of a concrete bridge. Their backs are against a rusted bridge support. One person’s leg is cut. The other person has wet hair. 


For added difficulty/challenge:

  • Complete at least three of the above activities and tie them all together with a common theme (feel free to either state the theme in your post or leave us to guess what it might be)
  • Write in a genre that is not your own
  • Ask Challenge entrants to critique your writing. 

The judging criteria is as follows:
  • How creatively the prompts are used (possible 5 points awarded)
  • How well the entries are written (possible 5 points awarded)
  • How engaging/entertaining/unique the entries are (possible 5 points awarded)
  • If the entrant completes more than one of the activities in their post, how well their pieces are tied together by a common theme and how strongly their theme shines through in their writing OR If the entrant only completes one of the activities in their post, how strongly their theme shines through in their writing (possible 5 points awarded)
  • Whether the judge wants to read more (possible 3 points awarded)
  • Creativeness/uniqueness of the entry’s title (possible 2 points awarded)

They are the rules, and my entries are:

Andy Brokaw 
Daniel Todd Noyes
Kaylie Austen

Alyza Smith 
K S Collier
View from Fairview
Sally Scribbles
Melodie Wright

Sara Bowers

All were very, very good and I had to choose FIVE. I read all their pieces and picked out my favourites for interest, a full story (beginning, middle and end) and use of the prompts above. Then I re-read my favourites and awarded the points. The highest points, and thus going through to the next round are…

Drum roll!

Daniel Todd Noyes
Alyza Smith
View from Fairview
Melodie Wright
Sara Bowers

The above people have been emailed and told. Well done, and good luck on the next round!

Survivor or Victim?

The petrol gage was in the red; it’d been running on empty for miles. I dodged vehicle pileups, but the car spluttered and then faltered and died. I opened my door and climbed out. The chaos that surrounded me was immense, but none that I wasn’t used to.

I was the only person alive. No birds, no animal, no insects, no people. Overnight everyone and everything had vanished leaving their clothes piled on the floor where they’d stood, it was as if their bodies had simply turned to dust; except there’d been no dust.

I chose a car that seemed the least damaged and pulled out the owner’s clothes. I reached to the well of the car and grabbed hold of his boots; the right was still resting on the accelerator. I tossed them outside and climbed in. I tried the radio, like I did in every car I took, but it was always the same. Nothing. Despair overwhelmed me. Humans were a social species. How’d I cope on my own? Totally on my own. I’d already lived like this for months – years even.

I’d noticed a high rise and headed towards it. I parked neatly and climbed out. The main doors were wedged open with a pile of clothes, and I slipped inside. The lifts still worked perfectly, but soon, with no people manning them, they’d stop. I stepped out at the top, and followed the balcony around, mentally counting the council regimented blue front doors. Behind those doors were once families.

I looked over the top of the balcony. Such a long way down. It called to me. I swung my legs over until I was sitting on the ledge. For the first time since I woke to find myself alone I felt happy.

With a smile, I let go of the ledge. As the ground raced to meet me, I heard a phone ring.