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WRiTE CLUB 2015 - Elimination Round #8

Over the past five weeks forty writers have stepped into the WRiTE CLUB ring and twenty emerged victorious. We whittled our ten winners down to five in the first the elimination round (named that way because it’s the first time winners face off against one another), now its time to send home five more. Our ten winners from phase two will again be shuffled and -- like the first bouts -- randomly matched to compete against one another with their same submission. A writer who emerges victorious from this round will earn a spot in the play-offs and will be asked to submit a new 500 sample to use in the next round. Let me remind you that our competitors are not only scuffling for notoriety…recognition…a $75 Amazon gift card…but also free admission to the 2016 DFW WritersConference, who helps sponsor this contest.  

This week there will be daily bouts (M-F) between the Anonymous 500 word writing samples, submitted under a pen name by the winners of our first 10 rounds.  The writing can be any genre, any style (even poetry) with the word count being the only restriction. Today is Elimination Bout #8.  Read each sample carefully and then leave a vote in the comment section for the one that resonates with you the most.  If you didn’t have a chance before, please leave with a brief critique of both submissions as well.

This week, voting for each bout will remain open only until noon (central time) on Sunday, June 28th. The winner of each will be posted at the WRiTECLUB scoreboard. 

Are you ready?

Here are today's randomly selected WRiTER's.

Standing in this corner, please welcome back to the ring……..Shibby

Derek rolled over, kicked the quilt off and looked at the clock. Three AM. Anna, his fiancé, tugged the covers exhaling heavily.

“What’s up?” She asked.

“It’s like a damn sauna in here.”

“Open the window or go watch TV. Just let me sleep,” she said and turned back over.

Derek climbed out of bed, made his way out of the bedroom and down the hallway. He flicked on the lights as he walked through the open plan living room to the kitchen.

“TV, on. News 24,” he said opening the fridge and grabbing the orange juice.

The television flashed on. A thin-faced woman with her hair tied back too tight sat reading the bulletins. In the bottom right hand corner a message read ‘Eight missed calls – Frank’.

Derek drained the contents of the orange juice carton and tossed it into the trash can.

“TV, call Frank,” he said heading toward the sofa. He slumped onto the black leather two-seater.

Frank answered immediately. His angular face appeared on the screen. The dim blue light of his television gave him a ghostly quality. “Hey Buddy. Thanks for calling back.”

“Do you ever sleep?”

“I’ll sleep when I’m dead. What's your excuse?"

“Too hot,” Derek said. “So what’s up?”

“I’ve got something to show you,” Frank said. “Here look at this.” He turned in his chair and hit a few keys on the computer on his desk.

A video replaced Frank’s face, it was a recording of the assassination attempt on President Ford last year. Edward Peters shot the President three times in the chest and abdomen but the wounds inflicted weren’t fatal.

“What am I looking for?” Derek said.

“Come on Buddy. Don’t you see?" Frank’s face reappeared. Somebody stood in the background, dressed in black, wearing a mask and holding a gun.

“Frank,” Derek stood and pointed. “Behind you.”

Frank turned in his chair. The masked assailant raised his arm. Gun pointed at Frank’s forehead.

“NO!” Derek yelled. The corpse of his best friend slid out of the chair and out of the picture. Derek fell to the sofa. The intruder stood with emotionless eyes staring straight through the television.

“Derek?” The voice was rough and deep. “Derek. Are you going to sit there all day?”

It took him a moment to respond but he managed to choke it out eventually. “No.”

“Good. Look-“

“I’m going to sit here until I figure out a plan to rip your face off with my teeth you son of a bitch!”

“No need for that Buddy!” The man raised his hands and lifted the mask up. Frank’s smile beamed back at him.

“What the fuck?”

“Pretty cool isn’t it?” Frank said and moved the camera down to show the body. “Derek, let me introduce you to my clone.”

“Your. What?”

“My clone. Not a bad looking fella, if you ignore the hole in his face.” Frank was grinning from ear to ear. “I think you should come over here. Now.”

“I’ll get dressed.”

And in the other corner, representing the Humor genre and weighing in at 491 words, please welcome back to the ring……..Cloudwatcher

After clicking through fifty, age-appropriate profiles, there he was: tall (what I look for first), handsome (good photo), professional (doctor: jack pot!), and widowed (divorced people have baggage—I have a portable moving pod). An “adventurous,” man who cooks (!), is “extremely romantic,” enjoys movies, the theatre, reading, AND wants companionship as well as love. Sounds too good to be true!

So why haven’t I whipped out my credit card, filled in the bubbles, and sent him a wink? Because I have to wring the life out of this possibility by over-thinking, overanalyzing, assuming, judging, and ultimately concluding that he wouldn’t wink back. The man wants a “lady” (red flag) who is “beautiful”, “kind”, “educated”, and “loving.”

First, I hesitate because, while I’m attractive, I’m not man-ready beautiful like Michelle Pfeiffer or Betty White. Besides, I live in the south. I’ll never be a petite charmer. I have concluded—without asking—that he is looking for the stereotypical “Dallas bitch.” I only half-qualify.

As for “kind,” don’t ask my ex-husband (or his mother). Others, such as my children, call me warm-hearted, friendly and nice. I’d love to say, “Yup, “generous,” that’s me,” or “Considerate? Always!” But, honestly, if the good-looking physician wants warm-hearted and humane all the time, I can’t sustain it. I can be kind to some of the people all of the time (my kids and grandkids), all of the people some of the time (everyone else in the world), but I can’t be kind to all of the people all of the time.

Undoubtedly, I’m educated. I am a lawyer. (Did I just hear him click “no”? Doctors hate lawyers, right? Everybody hates lawyers, right? I’d defend my profession but enough of us have corrupted, embezzled, and lied under oath (“I did not have sex with that woman…”) that I can’t rehabilitate my fellow attorneys. In my own defense, I am an honest lawyer (not an oxymoron). I have helped people who needed my skills during difficult times in their lives. While dream doc has saved lives (probably, he’s that cute) and while the world needs doctors, the world needs lawyers, too. Damn it.)

Finally, he lists “loving.” By “loving” does he mean “affectionate” or “willing to have sex?” Heavy sigh…. Yes, I’m willing to have sex, not on the first date, but eventually. Remember the “beautiful” part above? Well, I’m not fat, but I have some padding around the middle and am “sufficient” in the thigh and buttock regions. And I seldom notice the skin that hangs down from my upper arms that can be waived like flags at a parade. Oh, and I snore. But, yes, I am willing to have sex. How about it?

So, am I beautiful, kind, educated, and loving enough for the tall, handsome, widowed, adventurous professional? Should I pay to get on the site so I can flirt with him and maybe get a date? Nah. I’ll save my money.


Enjoying two talented writers at work is only part of the price of admission, now it’s up to you to decide who moves forward.  In the comments below leave your vote for the winner.  Which one tickled your fancy?  After you vote please tell all of your friends to stop by and make a selection as well.  Yes, it’s subjective, but so is the entire publishing world.  It’s as much about the readers as it is about the writers. 

This is WRiTE CLUB – the contest where the audience gets clobbered!


  1. I'd go with Cloudwatcher ... sounds like she has some sense, yet needs to find someone ...

  2. I vote for Cloudwatcher. Amusing and well-written. Shibby took too long to get interesting. Half of 500 words spent on getting out of bed and drinking orange juice. Wish I read more about the clone-killer. Both good entries.

  3. I voted for both in their first rounds, so I guess now it comes down to what I would continue reading. Even though I have a lot of issues with the first piece (like the gun never goes off, but the victim becomes a corpse), I see potential and could easily get sucked into this story so Shibby gets my vote.

  4. Cloudwatcher for me, too!

  5. I'm voting for Cloudwatcher, even though I was really distracted by all the parentheses. As mentioned above, Shibby took too long to get started. It has a lot of promise, but I just couldn't get into it today.

  6. I vote for Shibby. And I'm going to say the opposite of some other comments. I like the beginning the best, the second half least. I enjoyed being grounded in the character and the futuristic setting. I think the best writing in the piece is at the beginning. All the way through his friend being killed, I'm with you. Then, I felt like his response to the "killer" didn't ring true - would he be so angry, so quickly? And then the tone just changed so suddenly, to like "neat trick, huh?" Perhaps this is a condensed version of the real scene, and I hope so. Obviously the connection to the assassination and the clone is also missing. Is there an actual connection? If not, it feels like a trick on your reader, and your reader will bail on you if they don't trust you. If there is a connection, I hope in the real scene, even if you don't say it outright, you at least hint that they are connected. When I get done reading this scene, I definitely want to feel like all these pieces are going to add up to something, even if I don't know what - as I finish it right now, I'm not sure that they do, and that's irritating.

    Cloudwatcher - you do a very great job of deep POV, and your writing is witty and humorous. I think you could tighten up the writing to improve flow - even if it is stream of consciousness, you want it to be super engaging. The main reason this doesn't get my vote is the meandering nature of it with no clear destination. To me, this is just a really long self-analysis without much story. If you could take this and put it in the context of something bigger, I think it would be far more engaging.

    Congrats to both writers on making the elim round! Looking forward to seeing new writing from one of you soon!

  7. Voting for Shibby. It has an interesting twist and it flows better.

    Cloudwatcher's style was too cumbersome with all of those parenthetical interruptions to what basically was a deluge of thoughts, not a narrative. I might be more willing to listen to this mental on and on if I knew the character better and had some reason to care what she thought.

  8. Thanks for sharing your work!

    My choice: Shibby.

  9. Shibby sucked me in with the details of the futuristic setting, but the introduction to the clone was too far off base. Obviously the rest of the story could go differently as it resumes, but why would you want to kill off a clone of yourself for an intro? Not to mention, what are you going to do with, or how are you going to explain, the dead body? Wouldn't the clone realize you're about to kill him? A lighthearted prank would be a more plausible introduction.

    Enjoyed Cloudwatcher's story the first time, and will give them the belt again.

  10. Shibby for me. I love the idea of clones, but also loved how direct and to the point the work was.

  11. Voting for Cloudwatcher. Not that keen on either story, really.

    Shibby spins its wheels too long on mundane stuff before getting to something interesting.

  12. Neither story really interest me, or would make me read more (not my thing) but Cloudwatcher had the better writing, and as a writing contest, I give my vote to them. If I were reading it for pleasure though, the parenthesis would have had me putting the book down early.

  13. Both are good. But Shibby makes me want more, personally. So that's my vote.

  14. Shibby. Situation efficiently implied by action.

  15. Cloudwatcher made me laugh, so that one gets my vote.

  16. Voting for Cloudwatcher, although I felt it began to lose momentum towards the end. It could have just been all those brackets, I'm not sure what it was.

    Shibby's actually had a good story but the way it was written didn't come across authentic to me. Shooting the clone to prove a point, but think of the mess! It just didn't seem logical, but hey, maybe Frank's not that kind of man!

  17. I'm not much of a sci-fi reader, but Shibby is my favorite here. Too many parentheses in Cloudwatcher's piece pushed me away...but it is a funny piece.

  18. Cloudwatcher--It seems overdone, but it gets the vote because I saw what was coming in Shibby's.

  19. I'm voting for Cloudwatcher. I thought she was relatable and witty. Shibby was a little hard to follow.

  20. Voting for Cloudwatcher. Nicer flow to the writing.



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