Get ready for some turkeys, but not in The Great BR Year of the Dragon Writing Contest for November : )

Happy last day of October. Hope you all had a great month. Guess what? Give up? Okay, we're opening up the word limit to 200 words this month. Yeah baby! This is in honor of how stuffed you'll feel later this month.

The eight triggers for November are:

From BAMBOO RIDGE Issue Number 44, Fall 1989, Last Quarter:

Trigger #1. “To My Mother,” by Zou Difan, translated by Margaret Sinclair
#2 “Something of Ours,” by Robin Lim
#3. “An Image of the Good Times,” by Wing Tek Lum
#4. “An Infinitely Subtle Shame,” by Bill Miyasato

Here's Robin Lim's “Something of Ours”:

For a long time after — after you,
years maybe,
I had a small white clock with a
brick colored smudge on the top,
to one side.
Just a thing with a face.

How many hours were counted before and during?
How many intimacies does a clock witness, before
it tires of ticking?
Boredon and passage, measured in standard.
The grey gears inside, patient, tightening, relaxing.
With teeth.

Now — I remember; and bend close to see, it is a dried
rusty fingerprint. Ridges.
On the morning our daughter was born, in our bed,
you checked the time.
Your hand wet,
with my blood.

From BAMBOO RIDGE Issue Number 45/46: Last Days Here, by Eric Chock:

Trigger #5. “Confession”
#6. “Allowance”
#7. “We Knew”
#8. “And More”

Here's Eric Chock's “Confession”:

I thought we were poor, our family.
There were so many things I couldn't have,
like the lacquered bamboo fishing pole twelve feet long
that could hold the bait out far enough
to where the big ones lived,
deeper than I could see;
or the bicycle I rode down the hill
in my dreams, before I ever knew how;
or the pure white racing pigeon
who almost flew away, but who stayed
and hatched me half a flock
that we could carry by car
to the other side of the island,
and still they'd beat us home.

All these things somehow gave me courage
to sit on the edge of my mother's new bed
and calmly tell her why we didn't need
and more babies in our family.
I was sincere. Almost pleading.
But just acted like she had been waiting
all her life to answer me.
She just looked at me, almost sadly,
and said that when people have babies
it just shows how much they love each other.

I wanted to die.
How could I have known that, in time,
all those things I wanted would come to me?
At that age, how could I know the meaning of babies?
All it made me realize was the meaning
of her breasts when, accidentally
I saw her that time,
silhouetted against the afternoon light
that glowed in the Venetian blinds
and into my eyes, her hair falling
across her bare shoulders
as she toweled it dry before
my father came home.

Use one of the eight prompts to trigger your 200-word piece.


1. You can submit one entry per month. All entries must be posted on the Bamboo Shoots page of the BRP site between November 1 and November 30 at 2:00 p.m. HST.

2. Entries can be prose (including super short stories, nonfiction essay-lets, or whatever you write), poetry, or playlets — or any type of hybrid writing you dream up, and entries MUST be 200 words OR LESS.

Remember — no joke — if you want to do paragraph indentations to make it easier for the judges to read your piece : ), put the            tag — no spaces — in front of the line you want to indent five spaces.

And no joke plus, don't forget to click the “Year of the Dragon Contest” button for your entry.

3. Every entry must have a title, and the title does NOT count against the word total.

4. In the section below the title where it says:

A blurb about your piece or a good quote from your piece:

You MUST — REALLY NOT KIDDING — include your word count.

Your entry should look like this:

Title: Father, Forgive Me

A blurb about your piece or a good quote from your piece: 197 words


           As Springsteen says, “Once a Catholilc, always a Catholic.” . . . . blah blah blah . . . It made my Hail Marys feel like a series of those impossible passes, mishandled inevitably and dropped, one after another.

5. Winners will be announced with all possible BR speed after 2:00 p.m. HST, November 30th, and they'll win Bamboo Bucks credit to spend in the BRP online bookstore. WOOOOOHOOOOO!!!

6. Don't forget that 29 entries from July 2010 through June 2011 were selected for publication in the landmark 100th issue of BAMBOO RIDGE. So you never know. Your piece might be published in a future issue of BAMBOO RIDGE : )

Good luck to you, and write like you got nothing to lose : )


By participating in the Bamboo Shoots community, you agree to the following rules:
  1. We reserve the right to remove content that promotes hate or gratuitous violence. Be respectful and courteous to others.
  2. All contest challenge entries must be submitted by the designated
  3. Enter as many times as you like using a trigger/prompt (this page).
  4. Contest Challenge entries can be prose (including short stories, nonfiction essays, or whatever you write), poetry, or plays -- or any type of hybrid writing you dream up.
  5. Every entry must have a title -- unless you choose to enter a haiku, in which case you can simply enter the word haiku in the title section.
  6. All content/entries should be original work. You retain ownership of your entries; however, we may ask to use them elsewhere on the site or on social media to help promote Bamboo Ridge and/or the Bamboo Shoots online writing community.
  7. Winners will be announced with all possible speed after the end of each month. Winners receive 10 Bamboo Bucks credit to spend in the BRP online bookstore. Bamboo Bucks have no monetary value outside of the online store.
  8. Entries may also be selected for publication in the regular Bamboo Ridge Journal. If your piece is chosen, the editors will contact you via the email address on file.
  9. Please note that you need not enter the contest challenge in order to post on Bamboo Shoots. You may post other writing if you choose. We welcome that here:  Click this link to go to Shoot da Breeze.

This prompt is closed for submissions.

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