Wednesday 29 April 2020


Hi all, Renee here:

April 2020 has been an eye-opening month with physical/social distancing becoming the norm. And with the daily count of the dead leading the news, we had hope that going on with the WEP April Challenge -- Antique Vase -- would give all of us a break from the horror. We were right, well sort of. Some of us have been personally touched by the virus and death. So, finding an exercise to take us away from the horror for a while proved beneficial. The entries reflect that need.

Thank you, everyone, for your amazing tales, they were filled with hope, humor, love, life lessons, but especially the creativity that continues to amaze and inspire us.

It's always a delight to welcome new writers to WEP. New writers add an excitement as we eagerly anticipate a new writing style and approach to the prompt. This month we welcome Sanhita and Zaguzan/Karuna. Both presented wonderful entries and one made the shortlist! Thank you all for making them welcome in your comments!

Compiled by Elephant's Child, here's a summary and link to all those inspiring stories for your reading pleasure:

Zaguzan: Flash fiction. We follow the vase through four of its owners and rejoice that it has found a home where it is appreciated and valued. For now. Who can tell where it will go next...?

Jemi Fraser: Flash fiction. Even rich snobs love (and indulge) their grandchildren. And it is incredible how fast a heart-felt apology can change people's attitudes.

Toi Thomas: Flash fiction. The voice of the vase tells her own story, reflecting on generational change and reminds us that inanimate objects deserve respect.

Sanhita Mukherjee: Flash fiction: An intriguing look at the vase's history, geography, and mythology. So the vase returns home, a traveler, returning to its roots, slipping effortlessly between the POV of the vase, the employee who cares for it, its long-ago makers...

Anstice Brown: Flash fiction. A light-hearted piece reminding us that antiques were once new (and may not have been valued) and just how fast things can change.
Team Netherworld: Flash fiction. A vase and a wise man provide the impetus to ensure that a love story is finally recognized and allowed to fruit.

Rebecca Douglass: Flash fiction. Librarians should always be respected. A surprisingly light-hearted reminder of that truth - despite the incineration of yet another who didn't listen.

Elephant's Child: Flash fiction: Two scenarios. Two people dead. Their lawyers claim that he/she snapped. Did they?

Roland Clarke: Flash fiction: A continuation of Sparkle Anwyl's story - which also crosses WEP challenges and reveals a little more of her unique mindset, as she continues to investigate mayhem and mystery.

Christopher Scott: Flash fiction. A very descriptive take on a Coming of Age ceremony, in a culture which begs for further exploration.

J Lenni Dorner: Flash fiction. A powerful indictment of the treatment of so many indigenous peoples which blurs the lines between fiction, history, and current affairs.

Sally Stackhouse: Flash fiction and the poetry of the vase. A loved object is sacrificed for the benefit of the family, that object haunts the dreams of a descendant and is finally, triumphantly brought home.

Dixie Jo Jarchow: Flash fiction. A poignant slice of family difficulties/estrangements finishing on a hopeful note. 

Nilanjana Bose: Non-fiction. It crosses WEP challenges, countries, history, cultures, and artistic genres in rich and inviting prose - ensuring that there are links and rabbit holes to ensure that each visit uncovers new treasures.

Hilary Melton-Butcher: Flash fiction: A lighter (and unexpected) side to archaeology (and archaeologists.

Olga Godim: Flash fiction: A continuation of Monette's story. It might have been 'small magic,' but it more than got the job done.

L.G. Keltner: Flash Fiction. Clever aunt Margaret had a secret. A secret she carried to her grave - and one that Donna will maintain.

Jemima Pett: Flash fiction. Some vases should be left well alone. Elsie and Tom escaped. Will you?

Pat Garcia: Flash fiction. A continuation of Zelda and Bruno's love story. Sweeter than hot chocolate, stronger than cognac, with an undercurrent of mystery.

Kalpana: Poetry. A reminder that antique objects/people still have life left in them still have desires, longings, and passion. Rather than locked away and protected, it calls for us to respect their need to 'just be.'

Susan Rouchard: Flash fiction. A futuristic tale of the fight for survival (perhaps on this earth and perhaps on a new one) where the humans are assisted by 'little blue men.' Effort, hope, and gratitude are richly entwined and expressed.

Donna Hanton: Flash fiction. A continuation of Lisa and Pierce's story. The tension in their relationship continues and is explored with a little back story - and then a cliff-hanger to keep us wanting more.

Denise Covey: Flash fiction. A tale jam-packed with history, with warmth, with color, with loss and overflowing with love.

Yolanda Renée: Flash fiction: A curious (but well-meaning sister) wreaks havoc. Expensive havoc. Can she be forgiven?

Renée: Flash fiction: Some vases should remain sealed. Permanently.

As usual, we had a difficult time deciding our shortlists, but it quickly became apparent that everyone had a favorite: We sent this list to Nick:


Thank you, everyone! It is refreshing to see all the lovely comments on each post. And please know that the team reads your comments, always taking them into consideration when forming the shortlist. They are more important than you may think. Besides informing our decisions, it feeds the writer. Feedback is not a simple thing. It means the world to the writer.


Nick commented: "As always it was a tough choice, but it’s also an honor to read and judge these great entries."



Congratulations, J. Lenni!

Nick wrote,  "I had to put this first because the level of empathy created for the suffering of the narrator is exceptional. Powerful, and moving."

Congratulations J. Lenni! Please link the badge to your story, Lenape Antique Vase, and post it on your blog.

In addition, you've won a critique of your first three chapters or 10,000 words from Christine Rains, and a guest post here at WEP.
We'll also look forward to your Guest Post here at WEP.

Details will be emailed to you shortly.
Congratulations, on such an evocative entry!


Congratulations, Donna!

Nick wrote, "Some great character observation here, and I just loved the ending."

We're all looking forward to the next installment! 

Please link the badge to your story, 
The Sneezeand post it on your blog.


Congratulations, Hilary!

Nick wrote, "A fun tale with a very good sense of humor, injects some lightness into the proceedings."

We all appreciated the humor of your story. Laughter is a much-needed sentiment right now. Thank you! 

Please link the badge to your story, Ancient Vase,
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, a direct connection worked better than the Linky in some cases.

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 20 and over, (allowing some leeway for the difficult commenting situation), by the cutoff date of Wednesday, April 22.

Pat Garcia
Jemi Fraser
Toi Thomas
Rebecca Douglass
Roland Clarke
Donna Hanton
the WEP team

The Random selector chose Roland Clarke for the winner. Congratulations, on winning AGAIN! We appreciate your dedication to the WEP and for understanding the importance of feedback to all writers. Roland! Please display the badge on your blog with a link to the WEP website.

Congratulations, Roland!

Remember our earlier discussion about comments and their importance?

I'd like to announce an award based on those comments. The number of them and the appreciation found in them for the writer was specifically why this award, the People's Choice Award is being awarded to Nilanjana Bose.

She wanted to pull out of the challenge completely, but we talked her into posting. She did not want comments because she could not respond to them. But again, we intervened, and you complied with our request by commenting on the WEP page or the C-Box. They were spectacular, and all of that was quickly noticed by Sue, better known as Elephant's Child.

Sue had stepped in to help us with this post and immediately suggested that Nila, because of her amazing imagery, be allowed to qualify for the awards this time. To avoid taking away the opportunities for all other entrants, we decided to award The People's Choice Award. An infrequent but excellent tool that will allow us to give a special award when called for. 

Based on your comments, you agreed. As Roland Clarke wrote: "I love the way the piece is informative, rich with imagery and language, plus she returns to my favorite artist."

Toi Thomas wrote: "She always presents her pieces with a subtle dramatic flare that almost makes you forget that you are learning something."

Olga wrote: "I love Nila's piece. From abstract to Vincent's painted flowers in flash fiction - such a fascinating exploratory narrative."

And I think we all found the same as Sue described: -- "Elegant, informative and with a myriad of rabbit holes I will be exploring at length later."

Nila is an individual who I've found to be authentic. Beautiful on all levels, honest, fair, and wise beyond most, but it's her writing that always strikes a chord. A true reflection of the individual whose pen achieves gold every time.

So it is with great pleasure that we give this award to Nilanjana Bose for her inspiring historical piece titled The Grasshopper. The Pigeon. The Bulldog.

Congratulations Nila!

Your writing is always exemplary
and we're thrilled to be able to award your creativity.

Here's our prompt for June. So get those thinking caps on. The announcement will be posted on June 1st in the thinking-caps post.
And the Sign--up Link Post goes live on June 17th.

Until then, say safe and stay well!

Renée for...

And Sue!
Thank you, Sue, for stepping in and doing a beautiful job with the blurbs, helping to monitor the posts and report problems, and helping us choose the winners. But especially for recognizing Nila's entry as superb and deserving of recognition while disqualifying your own winning entry!

We'd love for you to Tweet this post or share it to Facebook 
or your favorite social media site.
#WEPFF ANTIQUE VASE winners announced @DeniseCCovey @yolandarenee @LGKeltner @OlgaGodim #amwriting #flashfiction #wepwinners 

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

Come congratulate our April winners. #WEPFF ANTIQUE VASE Challenge @DeniseCCovey @yolandarenee @OlgaGodim @LGKeltner #amwriting #flashfiction #wepwinners

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

#WEPFF ANTIQUE VASE winners all @DeniseCCovey @yolandarenee @OlgaGodim @LGKeltner #amwriting #flashfiction #wepwinners

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

Wednesday 15 April 2020




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The linky closes after the 18th April 23:59 EST.

- Read and comment on the participating blogs. This is one of the most important aspects for us. So sad if few read our work :-( Messes with our heads.

It's simple, so have fun!

Due to both Nila and Olga taking time this month, Elephant's Child is acting in an admin capacity. She'll help answer your questions and compile the shortlist. 

Thank you so much Elephant's Child!

Comment counting will cease at midnight on Wednesday April 22nd 23:59 EST time, which gives about a week to read/comment. (If this is a problem to you, let us know and we'll give some leeway). When you've finished reading, it would be helpful if you left a comment on the main post to tell us you're done.PLEASE everyone, make sure comments are allowed on your blog.


Sign up for the WEP challenge, Antique Vase. @DeniseCCovey @YolandaRenee @LGKeltner, @OlgaGodim, #amreading, #amediting, #ff, #flashfiction, #nonfiction, #poetry, #prizes

Join the enthusiastic writers at WEP. Sign up here for the Antique Vase challenge  @DeniseCCovey @YolandaRenee @LGKeltner, @OlgaGodim #amwriting, #amreading, #amediting, #ff, #flashfiction, #nonfiction, #poetry, #prizes

Second WEP writing challenge of 2020 @DeniseCCovey @YolandaRenee @LGKeltner, @OlgaGodim up or read. #amwriting, #amreading, #amediting, #ff, #flashfiction, #nonfiction, #poetry, #prizes

Read some great short #writing here at the WEP, @DeniseCCovey @YolandaRenee @LGKeltner, @OlgaGodim #amwriting, #amreading, #amediting, #ff, #flashfiction, #nonfiction, #poetry #prizes


Wednesday 1 April 2020

#WEP/IWSG April Challenge for 2020 - ANTIQUE VASE "Never lose Hope."

"Hope is being able to see that there is light despite the darkness." Desmond Tutu

   Hello all! Yolanda here, your host for the month of April!

The coronavirus has touched all our lives, and we understand and appreciate the seriousness of this threat. Our first thoughts are for you and your families, and our HOPE is that you and yours are safe.

   But here at the WEP, we want to throw a monkey wrench into this new 'world order.'

   Many writers are already taking advantage of the order to shelter in place and are tackling new writing projects or are putting more time in on their WIP.
Except, of course, those on the front lines - our heroes. Our doctors, nurses, lab, and other health care workers - all first responders. We give a shout out to them and offer our prayers for their continued good health as we pray for our own.

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." –Proverbs 31:8-9

   Most of us need a distraction from reality right now. I know that for myself, anxiety is high. I've been using meditation, and yes, my writing to distract myself.
   So here we are again, with a new challenge. One a little light-hearted - well, if that's how you wish to interpret it - Antique Vase.
But before we get to the challenge for this month. We want to celebrate 2 more writers who've been with us these past 10 years.

I for one still can't believe it's been 10 YEARS! Congratulations!
Sally and Donna!

Hi everyone, Sally here:

What an honour to be included in WEP’s 10th anniversary blog post.  Where has the time gone?  I started tentatively submitting stories as RFW, there was a prompt, usually a photo as a stimulus and a chosen viewpoint of a character with a few helpful ideas for settings.
From there it evolved over the years from two co-hosts to the wonderful team we have now, along with our founder, the wonderful Denise Covey (thank you for all your encouragement Denise). 
During my life I’ve had so many thoughts and ideas wondering around in my brain, they flitted in and out, life, work, family etc meant it wasn’t until later in life that I was able to indulge my writing. 
Many of my family thought I was ‘strange.’  Sally is a bit weird, she ‘writes poetry’ – they told me that they didn’t like/read poetry.  My response to that is always, what do you think the lyrics of a song are if not a form of poetry? 
My parents would say ‘that’s nice, Sally.’ 
Then there came a day when I asked mum if there was anything she would like for her birthday and she asked for a copy of all my poetry.  That’s when I felt a success.
WEP has enabled me to grow in confidence as a writer, has given me encouragement and allowed me to have unbiased opinions from strangers, people from all walks of life who have taken the time to say something, which is so appreciated by myself.  I’ve also been able to partake in various other blog hops but to be honest WEP is and will always be my favourite. xxx
The encouragement, help and valuable comments are what make this community of writers so very special.
Below is one of the earliest poems I wrote (not for WEP) which explains my feelings.  By the way, I am ten years older now than the poem suggests.

When you were at school
Did you sometimes feel a fool?
Physics and maths weren’t my thing
Nor the choir ‘cos I can't sing.

Now history was interesting
But not kings and queens and their bling
The ordinary folk such as you and I
Who toiled the land and watched the sky
Gave me more to think about and learn
Not good times to be born.

Give me a book and I would lose time
Transported to other worlds, romance or crime
Thrillers and sci-fi and then the classic writers
People who are long dead with words that survive
With a heritage to revere and characters that come alive.

So, head out of the clouds and prepare for a career
Typing and shorthand were part of my future
To stand me in good stead for the next of life’s adventure
Loving the English language opened new frontiers.

So now I’m in my fifties and am able to indulge
This passion of mine that started at a young age
Some praise from family although they are biased
But I’ll take it and try not to be pious.

An opportunity has opened which I will embrace
Hoping I won’t get egg on my face.
My brain is in gear
Stamping down on my fear.

With encouragement and love
I’m going forward, onwards and above
To get it all out before it’s too late
Before all my brain cells dissipate.

Thanks, Sally! Please accept this badge made especially for you by our master badge-maker, Olga Godim.

Now here we hear from Donna Hole, (Dolorah) the first WEP co-host.

My photo
Thanks for hosting me Denise and the WEP crew.

WEP, and RFW before that, has been one of the best experiences of my writing life. If you know me, you know I can be verbose. Writing to a word limit has taught me – mostly – to be concise. Telling a complete story in flash is not easy, as I am sure you know.

Not only has WEP taught me to write concisely, it also taught me to pay close attention to story line, concept development, and more importantly, to check and double check my work before hitting that ‘publish’ button. Nothing ruins the perfect story faster than a bunch of typos, poor word choices, or mis-placed punctuation. This has been an awesome environment to experiment.

I have loved writing to prompts, and getting the encouragement to take chances outside my writing comfort zone. WEP has helped me develop as a strong character driven story teller, and I credit my short story publication successes to the lessons I learned with RFW and WEP.

Good luck to all WEP participants and Admin in your continuing writing adventures.

Thanks, Donna! Please accept this badge made especially for you by our master badge-maker, Olga Godim.

So without further discussion - here's the challenge for April. This is the put-your-thinking-cap-on post ONLY. Sign up post goes live April 15, EST and will remain open for 3 days. Be ready to pounce! Be ready for 3 days of reading/commenting.

We at the WEP know how important the A to Z Challenge is to many of our participants and we hope you will be able to create a post that will coincide with your theme! In years past we've seen some amazing creativity that wowed all of us.


I was so inspired by this challenge I wrote 2 stories. Each very different from the other, but such a great writing exercise! 
What does this Antique Vase inspire in you?
Will Aunt Martha's antique vase be found in the attic and change her family's lives forever?

Or will your Sammy topple a priceless one and shatter it only to expose the family secret hidden for generations?

Maybe the one Neil finds at a flea market will turn out to be a portal to another universe?

What will your antique vase hold - flowers, coins, memories, fantasies, or just a bunch of withered old leaves? Because an antique vase can contain a lot of things, sweet-smelling and not-so-sweet!

Don't forget. You can always access ideas for each challenge from the CHALLENGES 2020 page.


This month we have a CRITIQUE prize for the WINNER. Author Christine Rains, is offering the winner a 10,000 word (about a 3-chapter) critique.

 Thank you, Christine!

 Christine's latest release is Of Gods and Sorrow
Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s playing games with friends or going on an adventure in the woods. She’s a proud member of S.C.I.F.I. and Untethered Realms. She has four novels and several novellas and short stories published.


For those of you who like to write ahead of time, the next challenge is: 

We'd love if you'd Tweet Tweet Tweet some/all of these:

WEP Spring 2020 writing prompt Antique Vase @DeniseCCovey @YolandaRenee @LGKeltner, @OlgaGodim Sign up April 15! #amwriting #flashfiction #WEPFF #poetry #nonfiction

Get-your-thinking-caps-on for Antique Vase @DeniseCCovey @YolandaRenee @LGKeltner, @OlgaGodim Sign up April 15! #WEPFF #amwriting #flashfiction #poetry #nonfiction

Join WEP @DeniseCCovey @YolandaRenee @LGKeltner, @OlgaGodim  for the first challenge of the year Antique Vase Sign up April 15! #WEPFF #amwriting #flashfiction #poetry #nonfiction

Begin Spring by joining @DeniseCCovey @YolandaRenee @LGKeltner, @OlgaGodim  for the latest challenge Antique Vase Sign up April 15! #WEPFF #amwriting #flashfiction #poetry #nonfiction