Briefly Write Prompt Game (2.7)

The Briefly Write Prompt Game aims to inspire bold, succinct micro fiction and poetry. 

Every Wednesday, we will provide a brief prompt to inspire your boldest prose or verse. The prompts will be released on Twitter (via @BrieflyWrite) and right here on the website.

Your creation can take any form and any style. The prompts can (and should) be interpreted loosely.


This week’s prompt ~

Use the word UNDERWHELMED in your micro story or poem

‘Write 10, Win 10’ 2021

A huge thank you to everyone who submitted to our inaugural micro competition. We received 116 entries and thoroughly enjoyed reading all of them. Entries were read anonymously by a panel of four judges.

We were treated to an inspiring mix of discoveries: everything from witches, treasure hunters, weddings, gods and new books to space, presents, mirrors, moons and murderers.

After many hours of deliberation, we are delighted to reveal that the winner is Rebecca Kinnarney. Rebecca’s story stood out for its humour, clever construction and inventive take on the theme.

The following writers made the shortlist: Laura Besley, Mandira Pattnaik, William Davis, Jessica Klimesh, Ruth Callaghan do Valle, Susy Churchill, Linda Sejung Park, Rita Lazaro and Gunnar De Winter. They all managed to tell a full story in ten words, hiding layers of meaning beneath the surface.

You can read our 10 selected stories below.


WINNER (£10)

10th January. One mince pie left. It must be love.

Rebecca Kinnarney


SHORTLIST

Letters unearthed. “Dad’s dead, you said.” “Sorry, love” Mum whispered.

Laura Besley


Childhood friend. Shared bed, dreams. Got married. Discovered a stranger.

Mandira Pattnaik


we sailed amongst the unnamed latitudes trading words for home

William Davis


Fumble for glasses, lamp. Open door to crickets singing summer.

Jessica Klimesh


Explorar: Explore / Exploit – An isthmus in ink – In Brazil landlessness

Ruth Callaghan do Valle


He emptied drawers, dispatched belongings. Every space revealed her face.

Susy Churchill


In bulging bags of homemade food, I found her heart.

Linda Sejung Park


Blue Light. Human gone. Empty bowl. Cat affronted. Now alone.

Rita Lazaro


“Look,” said grandfather, “endless worlds await.” He opened the book.

Gunnar De Winter


Judges’ notes:

  • The quality was exceptionally high. From our longlist of 30, we had a hard time getting down to a shortlist of 10.
  • The winner and shortlisted entries all told a story. It didn’t matter whether this was a grand tale of adventure or a tiny snapshot of a moment; each one narrated a full story in 10 words.
  • The best stories adhered closely to the theme, but perhaps approached ‘discovery’ from a less obvious angle.
  • It was important not to waste any words. Some promising stories that made the longlist were dropped on the basis of a single word that felt forced or out of place.
  • Clever use of punctuation made some stories stand out. Breaking up the 10 words allowed them to go further.

Submit to Briefly Zine

Briefly Zine is a literary journal seeking bold, succinct writing. We publish writers from the UK and around the world.

We read submissions all year round and publish quarterly. Upcoming issues will be released in December 2021 and March 2022.


Issue 7 has a special call for climate poetry. Regular submissions are also open. See more here…


We’re looking for:

Writing that blurs genres (prose poems, poetic prose, etc.) is welcome.


BRIEFLY RIGHT:

  1. Submit up to three pieces of your best brief writing
  2. Paste your work into the body of an email and send it to submissions@brieflywrite.com
  3. Include a short third-person bio (under 50 words). Please don’t feel under any pressure with this – we select submissions for their literary merit, not the publication history of the author!
  4. Please only submit previously unpublished work, i.e. nothing that has appeared in print or online (including on a personal website or social media)
  5. Simultaneous submissions are okay, but do make sure you let us know if your work is accepted elsewhere
  6. Please wait for our reply before sending us more work. If we publish your writing, please wait at least one issue before submitting again!

BRIEFLY WRONG:

  1. We will not publish writing that is sexist, racist, classist, homophobic, transphobic or ableist
  2. We are unlikely to be interested in gratuitous sex or violence

Our response time can be anywhere up to three months. If you haven’t heard back after ten weeks, feel free to send us a gentle nudge to check we received your submission.

There is no submission fee. There will never be a submission fee. Stories belong to everyone and financial barriers should not stop people sharing theirs.

That said, there are costs involved in running a literary journal. If you would like to support our work, please consider supporting our work.

By submitting to Briefly Zine, you are granting us first electronic rights. Copyright reverts to the author upon publication.


Expedited Response

For the price of two coffees, we will reply within three days and provide brief comments on your poems or stories. See more here.


Photography Submissions

We are now seeking photography submissions for Issue 6.

Please send up to 3 images (attached as JPEG files) in an email to submissions@brieflywrite.com

All work must be your own. We are looking for original and unpublished photographs only.

We want creative, thoughtful and thought-provoking images. Photos of people or pets are unlikely to be accepted. Any images that discriminate against a particular group will not be considered.

In the body of your email, please include a short third-person bio. You can also add links to your website/social media, which we would be happy to promote.

We respond to photography submissions within two months, probably sooner. If you haven’t heard back after this time, please contact us to check your email hasn’t gone astray.

Unfortunately, we cannot pay contributors at this time. We will, however, promote you and your work through social media.

You retain the rights to your image(s).

Photo by Marcelo Moreira