Monday, 9 March 2020


Hello all, Denise here!

February 2020 has been a personal favorite challenge for me. It had it all - a van Gogh (yes, the 'v' is lower case) work of art, a rich history behind the art, and a plethora of talented writers to bring CAFE TERRACE to life.  Thank you everyone! I'm especially touched by those who were new to van Gogh and took the time to research before putting pen to paper. That is extra special and we're humbled.

A warm welcome to new members, Carole Stolz (friend of Pat Garcia) and Donna Hanton. I hope you enjoyed the experience and will join us again!  


Thanks Nila for writing up the blurbs for every entry.

Roland Yeomans – Flash fiction. Samuel Clemens and Oscar Wilde meet up at Cairo’s Shepheard’s Hotel to ponder the treasures of Tutankhamun and what money can or can’t buy.

Damyanti Biswas – Flash fiction. An artist channels Van Gogh a little too accurately as a lover tries to save her from herself.

Beth Camp – Poetry. Free verse persona poem written in tribute to Van Gogh, an interesting take on the POV.

Sally – Flash fiction/Poetry. A charming Valentine flash contrasting the chronology of young and mature love, incorporating poetry for greater effect.

Kalpana Misra – Flash fiction.  A sharp thumbnail of contemporary work culture showing how naivete and honesty are rewarded in a corporate work ethic controlled by social media and sycophancy.

Donna Hanton – Flash fiction. Lisa meets her ex by chance when she stops for a cocktail at the famous café in Arles. Will her love be rekindled?

Carrie Ann Golden – Poetry. Galena’s café, destroyed by war, ravaged by disease, lies abandoned but not forever. From darkness to light,  from the ashes to hope.

Susan Rouchard – Flash fiction. A Sorbonne academic slips too deep into his own research and ends up eavesdropping unwittingly on some strange, bygone conversations.

Dolorah – Flash fiction.  A woman looks a ring of woven twigs on her gnarled finger and relives her youth and a lost love.

Team Netherworld – Flash fiction. A mature man reminisces about his brother on a long ago Valentine’s Day and how an illness can be worse than death itself.

Elephant’s Child – Poetry.  A hard hitting poem addressing artists, art, the impact and meanings of appreciation and success.

Ronald Clarke – Flash fiction. Sparkle and Kama ponder over the case of a burgled Van Gogh copy and the line between that and forgery.

Carole Stolz – Poetry. A well crafted and bittersweet tribute to the creator of the original Café Terrace.

C. Lee McKenzie – Flash fiction. A women steps into a…café and finds an old flame and a new definition of love.

Toi Thomas – Flash fiction. A trio of American black women think through the pros and cons of setting up a new café in an out of the way French town.

Jemi Fraser – Flash fiction. An alien being comes to a withered Earth, bleached of all colours and discovers the vibrant planet as it must have been in a painting.

Pat Garcia – Flash fiction.  An unusual Valentine tale of a great but unconventional, all-accepting, remotely conducted love.

Bernadette Braganza – Flash fiction. A modern day café owner tells a customer the story of its origins.

Anstice Brown – Flash fiction. An innovative flash where the work of two artists from two separate genres and periods combines to produce a haunting portrait.

Sonia Dogra – Flash fiction.  A unique POV where a setting turns into a character and tells rather a dark tale of love.

Hilary Melton-Butcher – Flash fiction. A widow processes her grief through a visit to one of the spaces she and her beloved husband shared.

L.G. Keltner – Flash fiction. A woman dresses up and meets a man for a somewhat unconventional date that ends rather unhappily for one of them.

Jemima Pett – Flash fiction. Arlene goes on a dream trip following Van Gogh’s painting and discovers a fresh, intriguing perspective on love.

Nilanjana Bose – Essay. A ramble through the history of cafés and terraces and myriad other things.

Olga Godim – Flash fiction. Monette uses her grimoire to humorous effect and straightens out an ex or two.

Yolanda Renee – Flash fiction. A couple hold on to each other and their memories in the stark, cruel reality of old age destitution.

Denise Covey – Essay. A tribute to Van Gogh and how his life and works continue to inspire journeys short and long.


We had an especially difficult time coming up with a shortlist. How could we not with the high quality entries? We finally came up with one we could all agree on. If you don't see your name on this last, it probably was at some stage. Competition was especially fierce which explains how long it took to find the top three. You just keep on improving!

And now, the official shortlist which was sent to Nick!

Thank you everyone! Congratulations on a job well done! It was also heartening to see so many people commented far and wide. Please keep it up, because in order to make the final shortlist, you must be commenting!


Nick commented: "This was tough, with everything being high quality."

So, here we go:



Congratulations, Anstice! 

Nick said: 

Striking and unique, I really like the idea behind this. It turns a prompt into multiple prompts and makes a great story out of it."

Anstice, please link the badge to your story and post it on your blog!

In addition to a critique of your first three chapters, or 10,000 words, afrom Lynda Dietz , you've also won a guest post here at WEP. Details will be emailed to you shortly. I'm afraid the time is short!


Congratulations, Damyanti!

Nick said:

"Bittersweet and poignant, and I also like the spare writing style, letting the reader draw their own conclusions for the most part."

Thank you for participating in WEP with your wonderful entry! Please link the badge to your story and post it on your blog!


Congratulations, Lee!

Nick said:

"Another intriguing idea, with a good tale woven in too."

Lee, please link the badge to your story and post it on your blog!


Thank you for showing respect and encouragement to all the enthusiastic writers who penned a post for the February challenge! 

There was the usual Word Press/Blogger incompatibility, but less than usual. Personally, WP made me log in every time I wanted to comment which was painful. Always watch the C-Box and the website comment thread to catch up on any commenting problems and fixes. Thanks to those who commented on the site when you couldn't comment on a post.

Those who read 22 and over, (allowing some leeway for the difficult commenting situation), by the cutoff date of Friday 28th February -- wow, just look at this list!!

Pat Garcia,
Jemi Fraser,
C Lee McKenzie,
Sonia Dogra,
Elephants Child
Sally Stackhouse,
the WEP team

The Random selector chose C Lee McKenzie for winner. Congratulations, Lee! Please display the badge on your blog with a link to the WEP website. Whoa! Two badges this month!

Here's our April prompt which will be hosted by Yolanda Renee. Very exciting, both the prompt and having Yolanda back on board. The thinking-caps post will be posted April 1.

Thank you so much for an amazing February challenge!  Check out the CHALLENGES PAGE and plan for the rest of the year.  

And SPAM alert! MailChimp sends emails with links into your SPAM folder. Please go to your SPAM folder and tick 'Not Spam.' I'm afraid there's nothing I can do about it atm. I'd really appreciate your dropping a comment to tell me if you received my WEP email. (I send out 4 per month. A shame if no one gets them, LOL!)

Denise for...

We'd love for you to tweet this post or share to Facebook or your favorite social media site. Plenty of choices.

#WEPFF CAFÉ TERRACE winners announced. @DeniseCCovey @yolandarenee  @LGKeltner @OlgaGodim #amwriting #flashfiction #wepwinners 

10 years of writing excellence WEP February winners @DeniseCCovey @yolandarenee @LGKeltner @OlgaGodim #amwriting #flashfiction #wepwinners

Come congratulate our February winners. #WEPFF CAFÉ TERRACE Challenge @DeniseCCovey  @yolandarenee @OlgaGodim @LGKeltner 

The #WEPFF writers had some fantastic entries! WEP winners announced! @DeniseCCovey  @yolandarenee @OlgaGodim @LGKeltner 

#WEPFF CAFÉ TERRACE winners all. @DeniseCCovey  @yolandarenee @OlgaGodim @LGKeltner #amwriting #flashfiction #wepwinners

10 years of writing excellence WEP Winners! @LGKeltner  @DeniseCCovey  @yolandarenee @OlgaGodim #amwriting #flashfiction #wepwinners

Come congratulate our February winners. #WEPFF CAFÉ TERRACE Challenge @DeniseCCovey  @yolandarenee @OlgaGodim @LGKeltner 

The #WEPFF writers had some fantastic entries! @DeniseCCovey  @yolandarenee @OlgaGodim

Give the #WEPFF challenge a try in April and let your imagination fly! #AntiqueVase a@DeniseCCovey  @yolandarenee @LGKeltner @OlgaGodim #amwriting #flashfiction #wepwinners


  1. Hello all! I want to thank each and every one of you for what was, in my opinion, one of our best challenges. Such great reads! You all deserve a gong, but sadly we limit it to 3! It was so hard making a choice, thus the late announcement. I hope you'll join us in April. I want to write about van Gogh again! How's your brain ticking over with Antique Vase?

  2. I agree, Denise, a rich response to a magical prompt! Congratulations to all the entrants, and especially for the chosen winners!

  3. Great choices!! Congrats to the winners - they all had fabulous pieces. Great job to everyone this month. :)

  4. Huge congratulations to all. And as always thanks to the team who put in an incredible amount of behind the scenes work.

    1. Thanks Sue. And it's writers/readers like you who make all the difference.

  5. Congratulations to all our winners in what was an amazingly productive challenge with so many incredible entries. Hard for the judge/s. Well done organising team too.

    Sorry to you all. I attempted to read them all before the closing date - by my records I did, but those are as faulty as my brain - unlike Sparkle's. Anyway, apologies to those I overlooked in my haste and ongoing on-line confusion. I will attempt to drag myself back for April, although my backlog increases at an exponential rate.

    1. I know you made a gigantic effort, Roland and we thank you. You were close. I hope you work through your backlog.

    2. How close, Denise, please? I suspect some of my comments didn't post, even if I read and wrote comments on all 28 according to my copy of the Linky list. But I failed to go back and check - oops. Sadly, the backlog has reached the hopeless 2000+ level and growing exponentially.

    3. Hi Roland. According to the records, there were 4 you didn't reach in time. Still a mammoth effort.

  6. Many congratulations to the winners!

    I absolutely loved what everyone did with the prompt - seriously varied, seriously awesome. Totally agree with you, Denise on this challenge producing one of our richest yields. Brilliant time reading.

  7. Congratulations to the winners. Good job, ladies!

  8. Oh gosh, I wasn't expecting this! Thank you so, so much. Congratulations to the other winners and all who took part. I thoroughly enjoyed all the entries and am in awe of the creativity in this group. Huge thank you to the admins and Nick for all your hard work in making this such a wonderful, supportive place to share our writing.

    1. Congratulations Anstice. Looking forward to your guest post!

    2. You had a wonderful entry! Congratulations!

    3. Your interpretation of the prompt was brilliant, so unique! Congrats again!

  9. Hi Denise - thanks to you all for organising WEP - coming up with challenging prompts and for all the background work that goes on. There were a lot of wonderful entries this past challenge ... while there were lots of commenters ... and then Nick with his really difficult decision to select the winners. Thanks to all ... cheers Hilary

    1. Thanks Hilary. Yes, WEP doesn't happen in a vacuum. We try to improve all the time. It was sooooo difficult to choose winners.

  10. Congratulations to all the winners- Anstice, Damaynti, Lee...It was such a wonderful learning experience and what splendid pieces of flash! Thanks and looking forward to the next challenge!
    Sonia from

  11. Congratulations to the winners. Anstice is one of the authors from last year's IWSG anthology and she's an excellent writer. And of course C. Lee was in the one before that.

  12. Lots of entries and well done to the winner.

  13. It was a great prompt, and I'm still working my way around the stories. My house move is nearly over... provided the delay to the flooring is finished before the removals van arrives!

    Congratulations to Anstice, Damyanti and Lee - and everyone else!

    1. I hope it is Jemima. Moving is a pain. Thanks for your entry as always.

  14. Well done to the winners. The stories were a treat to read and the prompt was so inspiring.

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  16. Well done to the winners and to everyone who wrote for the prompt. Great entries from everybody. Many thanks to the team for all the support they give us. Looking forward to next month.

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