Flash Face Off – 14th May

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Wanna know what we’re doing? Clicky right here to find out how we Flash Face Off. It’s a special May Madness open mic event this week so mosey on over to this thread to sign up.

The two opposing themes for this week’s Flash Face Off are: DO vs DON’T

Use the prompts below and/or the theme to write – in any way that inspires you. And remember – flash doesn’t have to be dark and traumatic to be effective.

Pick a side. (Or write about both!)

Pick an image and/or a quote, or more than one, or a mix of both.

It is tooootally up to you, so long as your writing has some kind of connection to this week’s themes and is no longer than 500 words. We only ask that you stick to a maximum of two stories. When you post a story it will go into a queue to be checked for all relevant content warnings before it goes live. 

You have until midday on Thursday 19th May to think, write, and post up your story to our Flash Face Off forums.

PLEASE make good use of these workshopping forums to offer feedback to others, receive feedback on your own story, and tweak/edit as much as you like. This really is the absolute best way to develop your writing (and it’s a really nice way to be part of your writing community).

We’ll be picking a handful of stories to be read on our live Flash Face Off online event at 8pm on Friday so will get in touch with authors on Friday afternoon to sort out logistics.

And that’s it! Enough preamble. Roll out the prompts!

DO vs DON’T

A hand writing a to-do list
Image credit: Glenn Carston-Peters
a sign saying 'no roller skating' next to a herd of buffalo
Image credit: Twitter
five women on a hen do, dressed in matching satin dressing gowns
Image credit: Fernanda Nuso
An old car horn in an antiques shop with a label attached - the label reads 'don't'
Image credit: Twitter
An illustration of a dodo
Image credit: McGill Library

Don’t
Don’t do,
Don’t, do
Don’t do that.
Don’t pull faces,
Don’t tease the cat.

— Michael Rosen

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields
which is what I have been doing all day.

— Mary Oliver

Do or do not. There is no try.
— Yoda

I don’t want the words to be naked the way they are in faxes or in the computer. I want them to be covered by an envelope that you have to rip open in order to get at. I want there to be a waiting time -a pause between the writing and the reading. I want us to be careful about what we say to each other. I want the miles between us to be real and long. This will be our law -that we write our dailiness and our suffering very, very carefully.
— Siri Hustvedt

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Poppy O'Neill

Poppy O'Neill

Poppy does lots behind the scenes at Writers’ HQ. She also writes nonfiction books about mental health for children and adults and reads entries for NYC Midnight. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester, for which she won the Kate Betts Memorial Prize. She lives in Sussex with her wife, two children, two cats and a dog.
A happy woman sitting on a green sofa with a laptop. Lovely kitchen in the background. I'd be happy too tbh

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