Wednesday, October 11, 2023

The Pete Wood Challenge • “You Need to Make New Friends”

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 phrase:

“[character]’s mother told [character] they needed to make new friends.”

As to be expected with a slow lob of a pitch like that, our writers belted it out of the park, with results ranging from amusing to disturbing. Without further ado, then, the winners are…

First Place: “Don’t Ignore Your Television’s Captioning” • by Carol Scheina

Second Place: “Honeybunny and the Embroidery Witch” • by Brandon Case

Third Place: “Literally” • by Yelena Crane

Honorable Mention: “Watch Over Me” • by Addison Smith

Honorable Mention: “It’s Alive!” • by Kimberly Ann Smiley

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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