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Flash Face Off – 20th November

Wanna know what we’re doing? Clicky right here to find out how we Flash Face Off.

The two opposing themes for this week’s Flash Face Off are: SPOTS vs. STRIPES

Use the prompts below and/or the theme to write – in any way that inspires you.

Pick a side. (Or write about both!)

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

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.

You have until midday on Thursday 25th November to think, write, and post up your story to our Flash Face Off forums. A maximum of two stories each, please and thank you.

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). And remember, flash doesn’t have to be dark and traumatic to be effective.

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!

SPOTS vs. STRIPES

A cheetah walks in the foreground, with a striped hot air balloon behind some trees
Image credit: Hu Chen

A woman wearing a yellow, grey and white stripy t-shirt gives the peace sign next to some yellow flowers
Image credit: Zach Reiner


A yellow spot on paving stones surrounded by people's feet in smart shoes
Image credit: Jon Tyson

A man in a black and white striped dressing gown walks across a cracked tiled ground
Image credit: Noah Rosenfield


feet in spotty socks above crumpled white bedsheets
Image credit: Rafael Lodos
a gondolier looks at his phone next to his gondola.
Image credit: Clay Banks


“Fifteen. Fifteen puppies! How marvelous! How marvelous! How perfectly! Oh, the devil take it, they’re mongrels. No spots!”
–Cruella DeVil

“Stripes make a habit
   Of repeating themselves, go on
      Ad infinitum, distinguish art and ordinary things:
Tree rings, traffic cones, wrapping paper. Hear
   Rainbows jangle as light splits through
      Water; the art is to notice.”

— Alison Riley

“I used to run a night club in Fort Myers, Florida called Norma Jean’s Dance Club. That was the hottest spot from Sarasota to Cuba.”
— Diamond Dallas Page

“Getting bad reviews or doing something that’s not great is also really good for you as an actor. It also makes me feel as an actor that I’ve earned my stripes a bit.”
— Greta Gerwig


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.

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