The Injury Writing Challenge Results + New Challenge

InjuryThe WEbook editorial staff has been hard at work reading all of your great submissions. As always, thanks to everyone who participated in this writing challenge! The injuries described ranged from deadly to minor to just absurd, and we enjoyed reading them all.

When picking the winners, we looked for entries that revealed something unique and engaging about the injured character. This was a tall order, since the writer needed to juggle the injury's description with some character development. 

And the winners are:

Slice of Life by M_A_Granse
Runway Mind by Charlainej
Ring the Bell by dfmatthews

Congratulations to all of the winners! You will receive your PageToFame coupon via direct message. We hope to see more of your great writing among those first page submissions!

LiarNext up is
The Liars Challenge. For this one, writers must write a short scene of dialogue between 2-3 characters where one of them is caught in a lie.

This is a useful challenge because a great way to develop a character is to show them withholding the truth. Everyone (except George Washington) lies occasionally, and we all do it differently. What will you show us about your character?
Submit here.

Or, if you're up for a video challenge, check out Paula's latest Writer's Block Conundrum!

But before you go, check out M_A_Granse's winning entry to the Injury Scene Challenge.
Slice of Life

The cold-pressed turkey loaf slid back and forth in the archaic slicer like a hypnotist’s pendulum, sloughing the shavings below. She was too apathetic to yawn at the monotony, her robotic hand pushing with gravity alone on the meat as it slowly whittled down.
Zhing, zhing, zhing. Back and forth.

Her trance was unbroken with the tug on her fingernail. Only a motor hiccup, a dusty recording in the back of her mind dismissed.  Zhing, zhing, STING!

She started, whipping her bleeding hand away, wincing at the two shorn tips of her middle fingers. The loaf slid back and forth. She stared at the blood snaking down her raised arm, the one ribbon of color in her drab existence. Absently grabbing a stiff brown paper towel, she paused a moment to admire the change in routine, and wryly laughed that she would be serving more than turkey that day.

Writer 2.0

Pagan The WEbook Guest Author Series continues with Pagan Kennedy, author and editor of the website Writer 2.0, which is dedicated to tracking the death and re-birth of the publishing industry.

Pagan has written ten books; contributed to The New York Times MagazineThe NYT Book Review, The Village Voice, among others; and taught at writing conferences, Boston College, and Johns Hopkins. Currently, she is the Visiting Writer in Nonfiction at Dartmouth College.

Pagan was nice enough to give us some background on Writer 2.0. Take it away, Pagan!

Soon after I arrived at Dartmouth College, a girl appeared at my office door. “Professor, you don’t know me,” she said. “But I absolutely have to talk to you.” Her voice quavered, as if she might cry.

“Sit down,” I said, and gestured to the armchair near my desk. She flopped into it and dumped all her equipment around her. Then, she leaned toward me, fiddling with a strand of her long blond hair. Her cheeks were still pink from the cold. “I absolutely have to become a writer,” she moaned. “I want it so badly.”
Almost all of my adult life, I’ve made my money from books, articles, journalism, and film options. Now, in 2009, Dartmouth College had hired me for a year-long stint as a professor. The students knew I had managed to transform words into paychecks. And they wanted to do that too.

This girl turned out to be just the first in a parade of students who came to me. Over and over, the students asked, “How did you get started?”
 I’d sigh, and say, “The way I got started doesn’t exist anymore. When I was just out of college, I wrote for the alternative weeklies, like the Village Voice.” I would explain that the Voice used to be as fat as a prime steak, and so heavy that it made a huge “thunk” when it hit the floor. It paid. It hired hundreds of writers.  Once upon a time, thousands of us had worked for the alternative weeklies in America.
But now that was gone. Poof! Gone with the internet. And writing books had also paid a lot more, once upon a time, but now the industry had been ravaged. The Old Media was dying. New forms of literature and journalism would rise up, eventually. It would be like when a fire rages through a forest, and then, in the charred wasteland, new shoots sprint up, and baby trees take root. A new publishing industry would arise – and it would pay people. But we weren’t there yet. We were still in the charred-forest, wasteland period.
“So what should I do?” the students would ask, when I told them they couldn’t follow my path.
“You have to figure out what the publishing industry will look like in five years, and then go in that direction.”
During my year at Dartmouth, I repeated that sentence over and over again. And then, one day, I realized that I, too, would have to take the advice. Part of my job as a working writer would be to figure out what a book would look like in the future—would it be paper, a text file, a phone app, or an audio file, or all of these? And who would sell books?  Ditto newspapers and magazines. And so, I began compulsively researching the industry—and thinking hard about the way we will read and write.
That led me to start a web magazine about the future of publishing, aimed at writers:
I welcome readers, contributors and comments. Please come by and join the think tank! 

Thank You, I’ll Have Another

6a00e54ff9f2cf88340120a786bd73970bI was recently at a wedding of an old college friend. I’ve been away for a while traveling, so it was fun to come back and see him and so many of my other friends all at once. Who doesn’t love a wedding? Free food and drink, dancing, speeches, tears of joy, perhaps a little familial calamity. The only hitch came when I had to explain to people what I’ve been doing for the past few months.

The conversations went something like this:

“What you been up to, man?”

“Almost done with the book.”

“Is this a new one?”

“Nope, same one I’ve been at for a bit—the one about the guy who goes back to his hometown?”

“So you’re close?”

“Yup, just finished another draft but still need to do some more tweaking.”

“Well, I’d love to read it when you finally finish…”

The draft of which I speak is my fifth. And yes, I am almost done. The first draft was to figure out what the story was about, the second draft was a disaster that lost me an agent. The third and fourth drafts I barely remember and the fifth I finally I struck gold, I think. Which is to say, I finally created and followed a detailed outline and then a whole bunch of surprising twists and turns emerged on their own during the writing.

So I’m a proofread away from being done, right?

The truth is I’m not sure. When are we done? How do we know? Here’s what I think: You’re done when you’ve written your story to the best of your abilities. For me, that means multiple drafts, constant re-writes, and endless picking amidst of a ceaseless shower of self-doubt. This is my first novel (second manuscript), so maybe it’ll be easier next time but—as someone “almost” done—I find it nearly impossible to let go until my work is as bullet-proof as possible. And that means my plot must be devoid of loose ends, my character arcs resolved and all my details and threads linked up from chapter to chapter. And the sentence-to-sentence writing has to be solid.

This has taken me an inordinately long time. Like I said, it’s my first and if it doesn’t get published I want to make sure that it’s not for lack of effort or attention to detail.

Now, like all things writing, what works for me or you might not work for someone else. I know successful novelists who do no more than two drafts before turning in a manuscript. I’ve met writers who do five drafts just to figure out what it is they’re writing. Some people outline and research and formulate like mad before even thinking of beginning a draft. Others have only the faintest notion of what their book will be about and start writing just to see where it takes them.

And that, WEbookers, leaves us with the question of the week: How do you know when your manuscript is done?


JMHammock1 John Meils is currently finishing a first novel, tentatively titled The Warring House. He has written for Elle, Men’s Health, and, among others. To learn more about him, visit

First Lines by Poets & Writers for May and June

PoetsandWriterslogo-1Spring is a time for new beginnings. And today is officially the end of spring. (Hooray Summer Solstice!) To celebrate the changing seasons, and our continued partnership with Poets & Writers, we're sharing some excellent new beginnings to a few recently published books. Read and enjoy! If you really enjoy, read even more first lines of novels here.

"To put it as simply as possible: This is the story of a polygamist who has an affair." The Lonely Polygamist (Norton, May 2010) by Brady Udall. Third book, second novel. Agent: Nicole Aragi. Editor: Jill Bialosky. Publicist: Erin Lovett.

"Dear Luddie, I don't remember much about the first thing I killed, but I remember I killed it with a knife." Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder (Coffee House Press, May 2010) by Travis Nichols. Second book, first novel. Agent: None. Editor: Chris Fischbach. Publicist: Esther Porter.

"The ground was the color of rust." The Marrowbone Marble Company (Ecco, May 2010) by M. Glenn Taylor. Second book, novel. Agent: Terra Chalberg. Editor: Daniel Halpern. Publicist: Michael McKenzie.

To read more first lines, go to Poets & Writers. If you can't get your fill there, try rating some PageToFame entries, where there are first lines galore!

What is WEbook?

Resizewebooklogo We're making a video about WEbook and designing some fun Twitter wallpaper…and we need your help!

We will be collecting information about what WEbook means to each of you. What better way to do this than with a photo and a short sentence? We’ll pick our favorites and use them in the video and for the new wallpaper!

KatieOutside Here’s how it works:  Everyone who would like to participate should take a photo of themselves holding a sign that starts with the words:

“WEbook is my…”

Whatever comes next is up to you, so feel free to get creative (unlike Katie). You can see a few more examples from WEbook on our flickr account.

We’ve set up a bunch of different ways to submit your photo. You can:

  • Upload directly to our flickr group (you’ll need to have an Yahoo account)

  • Tweet @WEbook with a link to your pic. Also include #whatiswebook in the message!

The first fifty people to submit a photo will get a coupon good for one free entry to PageToFame, so act quickly!

Submission deadline: July 23, 2010

Get to it!

Doing the Editorial Shuffle

Goodgodbird_publicationMany of you are probably curious about the publication process and what I, as a first-time novelist, have been doing over the past few months in preparation for my debut next May. After my trip to New York, where I met my editor, Nami, and discussed the novel with her, as well as some details about how the process works overall, I got back home and waited on her notes.

A few weeks later, I received a copy of my manuscript, printed out, with liner notes and comments from Nami. My task: to read the notes and make the appropriate modifications. I will admit, I was quite nervous when I first saw my manuscript marked up—ink on nearly every page. But, once I sat down and started reading, I was so relieved and surprised to find that the approach my editor had taken to my novel was as respectful and genuinely caring as possible. In place of red ink “change this” comments, there were subtle scribblings in green ink (incidentally, my favorite color since childhood).
These “notes” on nearly every page ranged from questions to suggestions to paragraph-length compliments. I could not have been happier with the notes and the manner with which Nami approached my work. After reading her first few comments, I knew that she and I saw eye-to-eye on every aspect of the story. It was as if we’d worked together from the novel’s first inception years earlier.

It was so exciting to be able to revisit my characters and settings that I worked on and finished my first round of revisions in about three days. I sent the revisions back to her and waited again.

During this time, Nami and I also discussed these revisions, particularly the need to alter the order of the two-narratives, over the phone. Each and every time I felt uncertain about anything, we were able to talk it out. I sincerely hope every writer on earth experiences such an easy and fun a time working on revisions.

One more quick round of revisions a couple of weeks ago, which I completed in an afternoon (mind you, I work particularly fast when I’m having fun) and Nami and I agreed that the novel was in its final form.

Now, I get to wait for more excitement as I anticipate the arrival of the first composites of the tentative covers for the novel. This, in my mind, will really bring all of this to a hard-hitting reality. I can’t wait to be able to have a visual image to match with the words of my story. I have full trust that the design team is taking great care to create and image that will go perfectly with the novel. Nami and I have already discussed how we both envision the cover art, and, as you may have guessed, we agreed completely. 

I am so glad that I am able to share this exciting process with others who are as passionate about writing as I am. I wake up every morning hoping that I haven’t just had a really long dream about all of this. I’m so glad I get to share it with you all.

Happy Writing,


PS: I’m hoping to be able to reveal the official title of my novel to you all soon.

Corey Whaley hails from Shreveport, LA, where he works as an English teacher. He signed with Ken Wright, a literary agent at Writers House, last fall using WEbook's AgentInbox query service. His debut novel was purchased by Simon & Schuster early in 2010. To read more about Corey's amazing story, go here.

A Huge Dose of Writing Challenge Results

20100216writingchallengeblog A lot's been going on in the WEbook writing challenge world. The Character Creation Challenge went extremely well, and Paula's 911 Writer's Block Series (these have evolved onto YouTube). You can submit to Paula's latest plot conundrum right here.

And, of course, PageToFame is still going strong. We've implemented a special summer price of $3.95 for all entries, so if you've been tinkering around with something, now is the time to submit!

Qmarkpersoncrop And now, on to the winners announcements. First up, The Character Creation Challenge. We switched things up a bit this time and had Sarah Jae-Jones, editorial assistant at St. Martin's Press, guest judged this challenge. Thanks, JJ! To learn more about Sarah, check out her website or follow her on Twitter @sjaejones.

And the winners are:

Uranus Casper Phelps by vivalavida
Simone Sazz by Sabe_Cuinn
Abir Hamad by GraceNix

Sarah also chose two honorable mentions:

Oda VonSteiner by kentchapman
Christopher Hartman by ReeVera

Congratulations winners! You will receive a coupon for free admission to PageToFame via direct message.

Also, be sure to check out the next one, The Injury Scene Challenge. The deadline to submit is June 25, 2010!

Next up, we've got Paula's Writing Block #2: Killer title, no first sentence.

The winning first sentence for "The Lies You Told Me" is...

"You once told me that you loved me, but since you also once told me that soap bubbles carried wishes to God, I guess I should have known you were lying." 

—by Hyperbole. Congrats!

Paula Headshot Rolling right along to Paula's Writing Block #3: Fantastic plot, no main character. We ran things a bit differently this time, and experimented with Google Moderator on Youtube. This allowed the community to vote on their favorites, and we actually ended up with a 3-Way tie.

The winning authors for the main character creations are...

mhdubu1, gnabrookins, and 1CCCWriter

Great work you three! You will receive your coupons shortly as well (just message your penname to Bnaslund).

That's all for now, but submission are currently open for the Injury Scene Challenge and the 4th (and final!) installment of Paula's Writers Block Series. So get writing!

Before you go, have a look at the winning character bio, created by vivalavida:

Uranus Casper Phelps

Age: 22

Birth place: Honolulu, HI

Job: presently a student and aspiring astronomer who can't quite seem to pass astronomy 101

Most admirable action: keeping up her dream of studying the stars, despite the fact that the entire astronomy department at the University of Hawaii Manoa seems to have something of a vendetta against her

Least admirable action: refusing to give surfing lessons to her younger cousin, who later drowned

Greatest fear: that she'll never find out what she's meant to do with her life and never be remembered for her own work, but only as the daughter of "that couple that discovered a bunch of stars, or something"

Greatest desire: that her parents (astronomers at the Keck Observatory) wouldn't have chosen to display their ridiculous naivete by naming her after a planet whose pronunciation sounds remarkably like "your anus" and a male ghost starring in quite a few children's movies

Darkest secret: she has 26 pairs of name-brand shoes and has never once given to any sort of charitous organization

One sentence philosophy on life: My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.

Things that would drive character to tears: failing her astronomy courses one more time, just because she can't remember the difference between a planet and an asteroid

Things that would drive character to murder: someone stealing a pair of her Manolo Blahniks

Ideas from History

The WEbook guest author series continues with Mary Doria Russell, author of four novels—two science fiction and two historical fiction. Mary's subjects have varied from alien species to Winston Churchill, so she decided to write her post about how she chooses her topics.

Take it away, Mary!

Authors are always asked, Where do you get your ideas? From history, is my answer, even though my first two novels are science fiction.

The Sparrow The Sparrow
was my response to the 500th anniversary of Columbus landing in the New World, and to the historical revisionism that started up in early 1992. Suddenly, Columbus wasn't a hero anymore; he was a disease-ridden capitalist exploiter who came to America to plunder, rape and kill. Now, granted: things got ugly fast in the Americas, but it's not like Columbus woke up one morning and thought, “Depopulating a couple of continents might be fun... I think I'll get a ship and sail west.” He thought he was going to Japan.

The Sparrow put modern, intelligent, well-meaning people into the same position of radical ignorance that Columbus and his men faced. Children of God was set on another planet, but that story drew on the 1917 Russian revolution. A Thread of Grace got its start when I read that 85% of the Jews of Italy survived the Holocaust. (I'll be damned, I thought. What went right in Italy?) While my nephew was commanding a platoon of Marines in Al-Anbar Province, I wrote Dreamers of the Day, tracing the roots of the Iraq war back to the 1921 Cairo “peace” conference, when Winston Churchill, Gertrude Bell and T.E. Lawrence invented the modern Middle East.

Dreamers of the Day While watching the movie “Tombstone,” I wondered, How much of that was real? I started with biographies, and fell in love with Doc Holliday. Or, more accurately: I fell in love with Alice Jane Holliday's shy, frail, brave little boy, John Henry. Doc is his story, and he is going to break...your...heart.

So that's how it works for me. I hear something surprising. I'm reminded of something I accepted without question as a child. I start reading and sometimes... I fall in love. I hear dialog in the middle of the night, or while I'm standing in the shower. I accumulate scraps of paper with scribbled notes. Finally I open a file and get to work.

Of course, I don't always get that far. When Fess Parker died, I read about Davy Crockett, the iconic frontier figure Parker played on TV in the 1950s. I realized that David Crockett was the precise 19th century analog of Sarah Palin, but I quit on the subject because I didn't love David Crockett or anyone around him. Not even a little. There's a novel in Crockett's political life, but someone else will have to write it.

Is that you? Tell people you got the idea from WEbook!

Mary Mary Doria Russell's published novels include The Sparrow, Children of God, Thread of Grace, and Dreamers of the Day. Her fifth novel, Doc, will be published in May, 2011, by Random House. Learn more about Mary at or join her facebook fan page.

Should You Join the Bloggernaut?

6a00e54ff9f2cf88340120a786bd73970b I blog. Doesn’t everybody? If you’re a writer, surely you have a blog. No? Well get to it. Hurry up already and start posting something witty, profound, and useful every day. How else will you attract a legion of fans overnight, translate them into a massive book deal followed by a hit movie and millions of dollars in licensed products? You’ve always dreamed of managing your empire from a yacht, right? Well, you’re not going to get the big boat if you don’t start blogging.

Or not.

Does blogging matter? Do you have to do it in order to get taken seriously as a writer? Is it necessary to have a blog in order to secure a book deal? It depends on who you ask. Agents and publishers love to throw around the word “platform.” It basically refers to a writer’s potential audience. For example, celebrities have huge platforms—they’re in movies, on talk shows, featured in magazines, etc. Millions of people know who they are and those people are more likely to buy a book by someone they know than somebody they don’t know. Non-celebrities like you and me—sure, we know some people, we might even publish a little bit here and there, but how many people will definitely buy our book? Ten, a hundred, maybe a thousand, if we’re lucky. That means a lot more work for a publisher to insure their investment in us.

Enter the blog. A successful one can have many thousands of readers, even hundreds of thousands if you’re dogged, lucky and/or popular. So you have to blog, right? How else will a publisher respect your platform? Well, successful blogging—building and maintaining a large audience—doesn’t just happen. It takes considerable effort. And if a blog has any hope of attracting readers, it has to be about something those readers care about enough to return regularly. That means posting on a schedule, which takes time and effort away from other writing you might do.

Then there’s the technical and marketing side. You can start a blog easily on any of a number of free blogging sites (Wordpress, Blogger, etc.), but if you’re going to do it seriously you’ll ultimately want to host your blog yourself, add bells and whistles to its interface, and allow for advertisements. That means either teaching yourself how to implement all this stuff or paying someone else to help you. Finally, you have to do a lot of social networking—leaving comments on other sites, befriending fellow bloggers, link exchanges—if you hope to attract readers.

Suddenly, blogging feels like a full-time job and you haven’t touched your manuscript, short story or poetry in months. Then there’s your day job, which is now getting in the way of your blog. Before you know it, blogging has taken over your life and you don’t even have a potential book to shop.

Here’s what I think: you should blog if you have something you’re passionate about and it translates into a blog platform. For example, I like to write humor and fiction and I’m currently traveling in Latin America with my girlfriend while she hunts for a job. This means we’re moving every couple of months to a new place. So I started a blog called WorldofJuan that’s essentially a humorous, quasi-fictional account of our travels.

There are two contributors, John and his Latino alter-ego, Juan (hint: they’re both me). Yes, it’s weird and no, it probably won’t get me a book deal. I only post once a week and sometimes not even that. I do host my own domain, but my interface is very basic and stripped-down at the moment. I might get 500 unique visits a month. I do it because it’s fun and it keeps my friends and family in touch with what I’m doing. Also, I’m finishing a manuscript and I don’t want to dedicate an inordinate amount of time to blogging. However, my next book will be set somewhere in Latin America and eventually I plan to ramp up WorldofJuan a bit and try to build an audience, as they would be the ideal readers for a novel set here.

For me, blogging is about fit. Does it fit with your writing goals? Do you have the fortitude to deal with some of the technical headaches that go along with it? Do you have the time and energy to do it on top of your regular writing? Or maybe you don’t care about any of this stuff and you just like to put you’re writing online for all to see—because that’s fine too!

The question of the week is: Do you think blogging is necessary for writers and why? (If you've got a blog of your own, feel free link. Self-promotion is allowed.)


JMHammock1 John Meils is currently finishing a first novel, tentatively titled The Warring House. He has written for Elle, Men’s Health, and, among others. To learn more about him, visit

AP Style Changes!

APStyleGuideHUGE news in the online writing world! The AP Stylebook, one of the authorities for all things grammar/spelling related, has added 42 new guidelines for social media writing.

Some of the highlights: "Web site" has been converted to "website" (a move praised by Mashable), "smart phone" is now two words, and the hyphen in "e-reader" is here to stay.

The words "fan" and "friend" have blossomed out of their noun shells and become verbs. That's evolution.

Several acronyms have been christened by the AP Stylebook, my favorite being POS (parent over shoulder). Apparently, this is widely used by teens to warn against impending parental arrivals.

Some of the other newly standardized entries include: app, blog, click-through, unfriend (defriend is also acceptable, but less common), RSS, trending, widget, and wiki.

The Associated Press is also pretty open about why they made certain changes, go here to read about the motivation behind changing Web site to website, among other things. Even better, if you have usage questions of your own, you can post them on AP's Ask the Editor, and get your answer straight from the source!

Finally, in case anyone was wondering, "Internet" still needs to be capitalized, and the hyphen in "e-mail" isn't going anywhere. Oh well, at least we got website changed.

Have a good weekend WEbook!


Want more writing advice? Check out WEbook's writing advice, tips and techniques. Sign-up now and join the largest online community of aspiring writers and readers.

Why Write? Continued

Since there was such a strong response to John's post about why we write, we thought it would be great to get another writer's perspective on that fundamental question.

And who better to throw in her two cents than The Writing Life veteran, Esther Cohen? Nobody, that's who. Take it away, Esther!

6a00e54ff9f2cf88340120a786bd73970b Today's post is in response to a question many of you have asked: Why write? I've been thinking about that a lot. It's something about the pen, and my notebooks. I love them both. Micro thin pens (I like Uniball and Pentel. But there are others. I am not pen exclusive. I've never had a Mont Blanc. And if I did, I'd probably lose it).

I've bought notebooks with my money as early as I could. The last few years I've gotten gray hard covers, at the Hallmark Store on Main Street in Catskill. $2.49.  I'm in love with words, too. Indiscriminate, funny, loud and quiet words. Just words. I write on anything I can find if a notebook's not around: menus, Staples' cheapest copying paper. Once I wrote poems throughout my White Pages Phone Book, A to Z poems through the margins. I love the writing itself, words I know and words I don't and words I overhear and words I see and words I just imagine. I've been listening forever.

As a child, I'd sit on the stairs after bedtime, my ear to the heating grate. If what was said downstairs was even a little bit interesting, the speaker didn't matter, I'd write down the words. The subject often had the identical preface: Did You Hear. Did you hear that old Mrs. Steel was actually a witch? Did you hear that Cousin Tillie fell out of love with her husband Max? Did you hear that Anna Demosthenes, the principal of the grammar school, was in love with the school librarian? Love was most often the subject.

I began a handwritten newsletter, called Gab (Blab was my first choice for a title but my father said Gab was better, I believed him) where I wrote stories based on what I overheard. Some were neighborhood scoops, though I never thought of myself as a reporter because I loved making up the details. Joan M, anxious for Mr. Right, went on a blind date with Mary's cousin Ed. (Are there deaf dates? I have always wondered.) She wore earrings mad from feathers she found on her hedge. Ed said her earrings were objectionable. That was it for Joan and Ed, in the version I wrote back then, my own particular Ibsen tale. Joan walked away from Ed. In real life they married three months later. They never liked each other all that much, but that's a story we all know.

What about you? Why do you write? And where do you find your subjects?

Yours, Esther

Esther Cohen shares her writing life on the WEbook blog and teaches Good Stories at Manhattanville College. She’s the author of 5 books,
Book Doctor, Don’t Mind Me And Other Jewish Lies, and God is a Tree. Read more about Esther's Writing Life.

The Flash Fiction Challenge Results + New Challenge

Flashfictionlighting Flash fiction is a hard beast to pin down. Not really a vignette...but not a short story, either. It's sort of like a mutant fiction child type thing—existing in many worlds but a part of none.

Anyway, thanks for all of the great flash fiction submissions. WEbook had a great time reading them and being temporarily sucked in to so many different and interesting stories. When picking the winners, we looked for entries that had crisp writing, but also indicated a larger world behind those sparse lines of text.

And the winners are...

The Invasion by Leo1
Needlework by cherry_pie
Last Right by mellasa

Congratulations! You will receive your PageToFame coupon via site message soon.

Before getting into the next challenge, WEbook is trying something new with Paula's 911 Writers Block and Google Moderator on YouTube. It's a writing/ type of science experiment! Check out the details here.

 And, as usual, we already have the next challenge up and running, which is...

The Character Creation Challenge

Qmarkperson For this one, authors get to fill out some creative biographical information about a fictional character. To make things even more exciting, this challenge has a guest judge: Sarah Jae-Jones,(@sjaejones) editorial assistant at St. Martin's Press. She will pick the three characters she feels are the most compelling, and we'll give each of the creators a free coupon to PageToFame!

The deadline to submit is Friday, June 11th, so get writing!

But first, be sure to read through the winning flash fiction entry by Leo1:

The Invasion

A million years ago they seeded the Earth with breeding stock.  For the last two centuries they monitored our communications, calculating whether we were numerous enough to make a harvest practical.

Now they were on their way.  A thousand starships hurtled toward the small blue planet that was third from the yellow sun.  Inspired by an old television program, they joked about the many ways "To Serve Man."

They landed in an Iowian field among tall golden trees of wheat.

"Look up," cried the Grand Admiral. He pointed toward the immense shadow that slid in above them.

Then the centrifugal whirl of a threshing machine crushed him and his starship.

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