Post 83 / Hour 88: Flash Humor Writing Contest #4: We Have a Winner!

By Dave Fox

The results are in, kids! I just heard from our illustrious rabble rouser of a judge, Mr. Thomas Kohnstamm, and he has chosen a winner in our fourth and final flash humor writing competition.

Thomas is the author of the controversial, hilarious, and not-for-the-faint-of-heart confessional,”Do Travel Writers Go to Hell?: A Swashbuckling Tale of High Adventures, Questionable Ethics, and Professional Hedonism.” With a title like that, you know you can expect a tender coming-of-age story about a shy but affable chinchilla in the American heartland.

Or not.

In any case, here’s what Thomas had to say about his selection of the winning story on the theme, “Bad Tourists”:

All of the stories had some highlights and showed a nice trend of being self-effacing rather than simply mocking others — which is the easier path. I liked the personalization of the stories.

 Overall, I liked “Burning Bridges” best. It had unexpected turns and humorous, colorful language — but I was most engaged by the storytelling itself. There is even a touch of suspense as to what is going to happen (created by the structure of the story with a bit of a teaser at the top).

 It would have even been better if we found out something about the fire (who set it) in the conclusion. If the author doesn’t know, it would be funny for them to riff off a few fantasies of what might have happened. As it is always good to see change in the protagonist, I’d also like to get a bit more of a sense of what they learned from the experience, even if what they learned was negative.

 “Lessons Learned from a Eurotrip, Once Upon a Time” gets an honorable mention for creative format although a short intro might have helped as a lead-in.

Attending this year's conference gave me the opportunity to meet some of my students from my online writing classes. It gave them the opportunity to fondle my head. (Photo: Mike McHugh)

I even happen to have a late-night photo of our winning entrant, Jules Fredrick (right), along with another of our guest contributors over the past 88 hours, Angela Peralta (middle), playing with the world’s weirdest bowling ball. The photo was taken at the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop in Dayton, Ohio, after the bowling ball spoke there last year on the topic of how to write travel humor.  (Photo: Mike McHugh)

In all of these contests, I have stayed out of the judging to avoid any bias, and removed entrants’ names from their stories when sending them to the judges. And it so happens the author of the winning entry, Jules Fredrick of Atlanta, Georgia, is one of my repeat offender writing students. Nice work, Jules! You’ve done me proud!

Jules has won her choice of any two of my books, a copy of Thomas’s book, and her choice of either my written critique of one of her stories, or a 45-minute writing and/or humor coaching session by phone or Skype. (Or at a bar in Southeast Asia if you’re in the hood, Jules.)

Thomas’s honorable mention selection was written by Tonette dela Luna of New Westminster, British Columbia in Canada. Tonette has entered several of our contests over the last four days. Keep writing, Tonette! You’ve got some great stories!

I’ll have Jules’s winning story up in our next post, with Tonette’s and some of the other notable entries coming in the next few hours.

Thanks to everyone who entered any / all of our flash humor contests! It’s been fun for me to see what people have come up with… and even more fun for me to have stories to fill the slots when my brain was in full-scale atrophy mode.

Humor writing online courses

When I first met Jules Fredrick, she was living in the backseat of a dilapidated forklift, begging on the mean streets of America’s deep south for free writing critiques. Then she discovered my online writing classes and now wins highly prestigious contests judged by America’s edgiest authors.

Want to be more like Jules and take your own, special kind of  funny to hilarious new heights? My online writing course, “Professional Humor Secrets for Writers, Speakers, and Other Misfits” is on sale at a big discount — but only until this “100 Hours of Humo(u)r” thingy is going on. Find out more here!

[countdown date=2013/03/06-01:59:59] Special sale ends in [timer]. [/countdown]

Published on Tuesday, March 5, 2013

One Response to “Post 83 / Hour 88: Flash Humor Writing Contest #4: We Have a Winner!”

  1. March 5, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    the honor is all mine!!!!

    No longer do I like in that forklift- I have graduated up to an abandoned pop-up trailer that lives permanently parked under a bridge near the airport.

    And no longer do I beg for free critiques, I dance for pennies on the side of the road to scrape up enough for Dave’s classes! My efforts have FINALLY paid off!!!

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