First Writing Contest Prompt for December — 90 words exactly

Here are two possible prompts for this month’s writing contest.  You can always come up with your own.  This month we’re going to go for EXACTLY 90 words.  That’s not 89 words, and it’s not 91 words.  This piece, prose or poetry, or any hybrid you want to try, can be only 90 words EXACTLY.

From “Shakuhachi”
by Les Peetz

My friend Takao runs a small nursery in Portland, and in the unusually snowbound winter, he is worried about the frost.  Usually, in Portland, it merely rains and hails, and the spring finds the soil in his nursery hospitable and ready for another season of roses for the festival, tulips, and special bonsai trees, carefully trimmed for select customers.  This spring he is afraid of floods, small ones, but enough to wash down Fourth Avenue and onto his property.

Bamboo Ridge, The Hawaii Writers’ Quarterly, No. 15, June-August 1982, Full Moon

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Prompt #2:  If it feels to you as though you’ve learned something during the pandemic, or if you are missing something or someone, or if you’ve become intensely interested in something or someone, or if you just want to say, “Fuck the pandemic,” go ahead and write about it.

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The easiest way I know of to write a short piece is to dump everything you think of on the page, and then edit the heck out of it.  That’s a whole lot easier for me than trying to keep adding words to reach, in this case, 90.

Go for it.  Enter every day if you feel like it.  We all want to read your stuff : )

Everybody stay safe and well, and love your families.


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  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.
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  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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