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A Short Story Contest!

Creative Writing Institute’s Short Story Contest offers a fabulous opportunity for publication, in addition to cash prizes.

Prizes: $200, $100, $50. First place winner may choose a free, tutored writing course in lieu of $200 prize.

Top five winners and ten Judge’s Pick stories will be published in 2017 anthology along with best-selling guest writers and stories written by CWI staff. (Available December.)

Word limit: 2,000 words.

Themed, unpublished story must include this sentence: “I am completely and utterly lost.” 

No swearing, profanity, explicit sexual scenes, graphic violence, etc.

Contest closes midnight, EST, August 31, 2017. Only five dollars to enter.

Join the fun!

See full set of guidelines and book cover at http://www.CreativeWritingInstitute.com. Direct questions to head judge, Jianna Higgins, at jianna.higgins@gmail.com.


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The Gingerbread Man


The sole gingerbread man stared at me from the plate of assorted Christmas cookies. I couldn’t resist. I placed him in my empty wine glass and snapped a photo.

I sensed Hubby’s discomfort, his certain glare at me. I’m in for it now, I thought, but then Jane snatched the little guy from my glass, plopped him into her empty glass, and proceeded to take numerous photographs!

Jane, Paul, Hubby and I had just finished dinner in a casual cookhouse in the country. Another couple we hadn’t met previously, Diane and Jim, sat at our table.

The episode was hilarious. Or perhaps it was the wine? After Jane took photos, Diane demanded that Jane toss Mr. Gingerbread to her. And Diane promptly dropped the cookie into her wine glass and proceeded to take photos.

Everyone laughed. Even Hubby—I think.

A silly, simple incident: a gingerbread man cookie in a wine glass. Who would have thought?

Jane posted her photos to Facebook.

I posted my one photo.

The evening over, Hubby and I headed to our vehicles. I felt vindicated that my actions had been appreciated and emulated by others. No way could Hubby chastise me on the drive home like he would if no one laughed or picked up on my antics. And, truly, I’m not bashing my husband; my actions can be embarrassing when I drink. And, yes, putting a gingerbread cookie into a wine glass is childish, and he had the right to be annoyed, but we only live once, right (as Jane so nicely informed me)? And at the time it was side-splitting humour. And did it harm anyone?

Hubby didn’t say a word all the way home, but had the other four not laughed and followed suit, I’m sure he would spewed choice words, and then he could legitimately say the act had had been uncalled for. But FOUR others thought it hilarious, so he couldn’t say anything.

When we arrived home, I checked my Facebook post. I experienced an “aha” moment. Unbeknownst to me, Jane’s husband had placed his eyeglasses beside my wine glass.

I had captioned the photo: “The gingerbread man is eyeing you.” How apropos!


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