We were so lucky to have so many talented writers submit entries for the South Florida Flash Writing Contest. We will be uploading video entries here for you to vote on!
This is our Reader’s Choice Awards Pool and voting ends this Friday at 8pm!
And join us on Thursday, November 17th at 6pm at History Miami where we will be announcing our official winners!
We will announce our winner at our HistoryMiami event this Thursday, 6-8pm! Join us and join your friends in support at this fun event open to the public!
Name of Event: WLRN-Miami Herald “South Florida Flash Contest” Event
Date: November 17, 2011
Address: HistoryMiami is located in the Miami-Dade Cultural Center, 101 West Flagler Street, Miami, FL 33130.
Event Information: (below)
WLRN-Miami Herald “South Florida Flash” Writing Contest!!!
What were the rules: WLRN-Miami Herald News asked for brief stories that would linger in the mind.The finalists entries were all 305 words or less — “3-0-5” being at one time the area code for entire state of Florida. Submissions were fiction, non-fiction, poetic prose or prosaic poetry – the creative sky was the limit!
Their stories were on the air! Every day leading up to the book fair, we’ve read their South Florida Flash pieces on air at WLRN 91.3 FM and published them online at www.miamiherald.com/wlrncontest.
What are they winning: A very special guest literary judge, John Dufrense, will pick the winner at the History Miami Event. The grand-prize winner will get a grab bag of goodies during a 5-star dinner with Christine DiMattei, afternoon anchor of WLRN-Miami Herald News.
OUR FINALISTS! CONGRATS! By Dan Grech
The rules of the South Florida Flash writing contest were simple: keep it short and make it about South Florida. More than 500 people took up the challenge sponsored by WLRN-Miami Herald News.
The 507 entries ranged from lyric poetry to searing memoir. They poured in from 13 states, including Wyoming, Tennessee and Washington. And they featured the perspectives of teenagers and octogenarians.
We partnered with HistoryMiami on the contest, and all the entries will be added to the museum’s “Miami Stories” archive.
Our hard-working preliminary judges, local authors David Gonzalez and David Beaty, faced the daunting task of whittling down entries totaling more than 120,000 words to a list of 25 finalists.
The finalists reflect the full range of experience and personality of South Florida. All of the finalists are from Florida. They range in age from 15-year-old Osmany Corteguera, who wrote a David Mamet-like flash fiction piece called “My Neighbor,” to 83-year-old Arnold Slotkin, whose fiction story “A Birthday” tackles death and memory and manages a surprise ending in a spare 305 words.
And then there was Miriam Rosen. The 67-year-old from Miami managed to have four entries among the finalists, three poems and a piece of nonfiction. That’s no small feat, considering it’s easier to get into Harvard than to make our finalists list.
You can read the finalists, and vote on your favorite, at miamiherald.com/southfloridaflash.
The contest culminates in a live reading this Thursday, November 17, at 6 p.m. in the outdoor courtyard of HistoryMiami, 101 W. Flagler St., Miami.
A number of the finalists will read their entries, and then guest literary judge John Dufresne will announce the runners up and the winner. Dufrense is the author of four novels, two books on the craft of writing, and is editor of the forthcoming collection of unhappy holiday stories called Blue Christmas: Stories for the Rest of Us.
The runners up will get schwag from WLRN, the Miami Herald and the Miami Book Fair International, and the winner will get a dinner with WLRN-Miami Herald News anchor Christine DiMattei.
The poet and critic T.S. Eliot gave this advice to writers: “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.” The South Florida Flash writing contest borrowed its idea for the contest from “Tigertail, A South Florida Annual: Florida Flash,” a collection of 54 flash pieces edited by Lynne Barrett and published by Tigertail Productions. Authors will read from the Florida Flash at the Book Fair on Saturday at 11 a.m.
Here’s a list of the finalists of the South Florida Flash writing contest, in no particular order:
1. Arnold Slotkin, 83, Hollywood FL, Fiction, “A Birthday”
2. Gemeny Hernandez, 17, Miami FL , Non-Fiction, “Cuban Lightning”
3. Lisette Alonso, 36, Hialeah FL , Non-Fiction, “A Day at the Beach”
4. Nicholas Garnett, Miami Beach FL, Fiction, “Typecast”
5. Hal Howland, 61, Sugarloaf Key FL , Non-Fiction “Newcomer in Paradox”
6. Nanette Avery, Miami FL, Poem, “Hialeah Roses”
7. Miles Black, 38, Miami FL 33155, Fiction, “Tree of Lives”
8. Christine Armario, 29, Coral Gables FL, Non-Fiction, “La Cafeteria”
9. Meri-Jane Rochelson, MIAMI FL, Other, “Birthday Call”
10. Jonathan Estrin, 43, Coral Springs FL 33076, Other, “Next Exit”
11. Stephan Nesvacil, 53, Miami FL, Non-Fiction, “Drawbridge”
12. Carla Pugh, 59, MIAMI FL, Non-Fiction, “RED ROAD”
13. Miriam Rosen, 67, Miami FL, Non-Fiction, “The Center of the World”
Poem, “6 PM, Miami”, Poem, “Assorted Miracles”, Poem :Night Music
14. Roxanna Elden, 32, Miami FL, Fiction, “Bright Blue Day”
15. Carlos David Garcia, 32, Miami Beach FL, Poem, “Leah”
16. Sarah Mason, 25, Hallandale Beach FL, Fiction, Hurl
17. Osmany Corteguera, 15, Hialeah FL, Fiction, “My Neighbor”
18. Jennifer Heit, 50, Plantation FL 33322, Other (Essay, commentary, etc.), “These sweaty streets”
19. Diego Quiros, 49, miami FL 33157, Poem, “Meditation on Biscayne Bay”
20. Peggy Nolan, 67, Hollywood FL, Non-Fiction, “One order of french fries split seven ways”
21. Joyce Baggerly. 71, Plantation FL, Non-Fiction, “AT THE TOP OF A POLE”
22. Tobi Ash, 46, Miami Beach FL, Non-Fiction, “Beautiful in Florida”
23. Maggie McCraw, 63, Miami FL , Non-Fiction, “Miami, Summer 2000”
24. Julia Mason, 31, Lake Worth FL , Non-Fiction, “Why We’re Here”
25. Julia del Rivero, Miami, FL, Poem, “Chronicles of Ukulele Serenades and Hand-Me-Down Wisdom (Part 2: The Story of Me Without You)”
Tomas Birriel, Ft. Lauderdale FL, “Almost Home”
The Florida sun radiates above head and its light beams through my office window. The thick glass insulates me from the heat and I am enveloped by conditioned, recycled air. The blacktop of the parking lot absorbs the warmth that I want to feel on my skin and in my bones. A crow settles on the telephone wire and assumes an invariably vigilant stare—watching me, pitying me.
Two more hours and I’ll be out of here.
As I stroll through the halls I catch a glimpse of Frank at his desk, wide-eyed and kissing the rim of a steaming mug. In the kitchen I pick up the coffee pot and I hear the hollow sound of a thimble full of liquid hitting the walls of the steel thermal container. Apparently Frank did not read the memorandum sent from human resources relaying the importance o
Emily Webber, Plantation FL , “Everything Comes through Miami”
“Everything comes through Miami. Here is where you can find the impossible.”
This was how the last letter from Paul began. While reading it she imagined a giant funnel of people, animals and fantastic creatures being poured in through South Florida.
Paul loved birds, even though as a child he paid mightily for this. He was always looking up, scanning the sky, and this made him an easy target. But the secret he kept inside himself was that one day he would find something magnificent. He was small as a boy. The only thing big about him was his head. Adults told him it was because he had a big brain and knew lots of stuff. Kids never said anything about brains or being smart. They taunted him with words, in addition to their hands, and they never grew tired of it. So he kept his eyes on the sky. Some birds were ordinary and even ugly but they could always go wherever they wanted. And then there were some that went wherever they wanted and were magical. So in the end he wrote about the birds.
"There are some birds you always hear before you can see them and you only see them if very lucky. Green parrots are one of those - loud and cackling as if in a constant state of bickering - when you look up at the sky most of the time you see nothing but flashes of green or even more rarely pairs of them sitting on a wire. Legend has it these parrots are here because of a hurricane’s path of destruction that ravaged South Florida. So whenever I hear their loud cackling and look up at the sky to catch a glimpse of them, I’m reminded that out of the chaos can come something beautiful."
Erica Sklar, Wilmington, NC , “In Orbits”
It seems that we are in orbits that met for a time and are drifting away from each other, like the street between our buildings is the border of some undrafted territory that we are discovering now, separately.
"Neptune and Pluto have orbits that overlap, you know."
"You know that because you’re a scientist now, huh?" There is a half-smile there, and I feel an itch at the corner of my throat, in my fingertips. It floors me, how much we express with our pairs of eyebrows, the thin pallet of skin below them.
"Which would you be - Neptune or Pluto?"
"Pluto, I guess. Cold and distant, right? Uncommunicative?" We laugh, together, and then I say I ought to be going. Our kisses feel different now, now that I have an apartment fifty steps away. The dog goes insane when she sees me, and her insanity feels like my entrails, which have not been right for weeks now.
"So I’m Neptune? That’s the planet I can’t remember."
"That’s perfect. Now you’ll never forget." He looks, to me, like a cross between a duck and a bulldog. His smile is wide and his arms moved most of my furniture across the street. Later, he stopped by unannounced, and said, "I wanted to be your first houseguest."