Wednesday, September 20, 2023

The Pete Wood Challenge • “Nine Lives”

The Pete Wood Challenge
is an informal ad hoc story-writing competition. Once a month Pete Wood spots writers the idea for a story, usually in the form of a phrase or a few key words, along with some restrictions on what can be submitted, usually in terms of length. Pete then collects the resulting entries, determines who has best met the challenge, and sends the winners over to Bruce Bethke, who arranges for them to be published on the Stupefying Stories web site.

You can find all the previous winners of the Pete Wood Challenge at this link.

This time the challenge was to write a flash fiction piece keying off the words, “nine lives,” whatever the writer might interpret them to mean. As usual, the results have ranged from amusing to disturbing. Without further ado, then, the winners are…

First Place: “There is Only One Black Cat” • by Pauline Barmby

Second Place: “Forced Perspective” • by Kimberly Ann Smiley

Third Place: “The Moments Between” • by Elis Montgomery

Honorable Mention: “Runt of the Litter” • by Gustavo Bondoni

Thanks to everyone who gave this challenge a try, and we look forward to seeing what you can do next month with the next Pete Wood Challenge!

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