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


  1. Thank you, everyone, for your patience with all my errors this go around. And boy were there plenty of them! :)

    Congratulations to all the winners, your entries were thought provoking, inspiring, and humorous!

  2. Thanks Yolanda, for running this challenge. It did have its challenges but you overcame like the pro you are. Your first time running the show after quite a break. I'm humbled by your support and the team support and Elephant's Child who stepped in and helped out so much, especially writing the blurbs.

    Congratulations to the winners, JLenni, Donna and Hilary and to all the writers! Your entries were once again exemplary and hard to choose between. So much quality reading to return to!

    Looking forward to June and Urban Nightmare. Thinking of what to write is a nightmare, but a delicious one!

    1. Thank you, Denise, for your patience. Thank you, Sue, for your priceless help! Thank you, writers, for you continued support and participation!

      June will definitely be a fun one!

      But a special shout-out for all the winners!

  3. Thank you so much! And congrats to all my fellow winners.

    1. J Lenni, thank you for a unique entry that won raves from everyone!

  4. As always huge congratulations to the winners - and to all the participants.
    And applause to the WEP team too. I always suspected that there was a LOT of behind the scenes work to maintain the WEP space as its supportive and encouraging self and I was right.

    1. LOL, Sue, a lot of behind the scenes for sure. Thank you for picking up and stepping in and especially for your insight and advice! As I said, priceless!

  5. I am moved beyond words. Please know that your support, prayers and well wishes have meant the world to me during these past weeks. Heartfelt thanks for them and for the award.

    I hope to return and catch up with each and every one of you as soon as I straighten myself out. Many congratulations to all the winners.

    1. You're are more than deserving, Nila. After reading your work, then all the responses, People's Choice was more than appropriate!

    2. You definitely deserved the recognition. I hope you're taking care of yourself and look forward to reading more of your wonderful writing in the future!

    3. Wholehearted agreement with both Renee and Laura.

    4. High time your prowess with the pen was acknowledged again. Keep safe and well. I hope you're coming to terms with your loss.

    5. Have finally been round to read everyone's work. Absolutely stellar bunch of entries, all. Superbly creative and such a wide range! So pleased with where this prompt has gone.

  6. Hi Everyone,
    First, congratulations to all the WEP Winners. I am indeed happy and look forward to writing with you in tthe next challenge.

    @Nila- I wanted to comment on your post but couldn't. Denise told me you had disengaged it for the challenge for personal reasons. I wanted to tell you though that I was bedazzled by your piece. I have long been convince that you are a historical writer that goes into the deep like Irving Stone, but your submitted April submission confirmed what I thought. It was an awesome submission and I wish you all the best Shalom aleichem, Pat G

    1. Thank you, Pat! Your thoughtful comments on all posts mean so much to all the writers!

    2. Thank you, Pat. Value the feedback.

  7. Congratulations to J. Lenni, Donna, Hilary, Roland and Nila.
    Well done to the rest of the participants too-I enjoyed each and every entry.
    A big thank you to the WEP team. I'm looking forward to June's challenge!

    1. Thank you, Anstice! June will indeed be a fun challenge!

  8. Congrats to J. Lenni and all the winners! All the stories were so well done.

    1. Thank you, Christine! Your gift to J Lenni is much appreciated, as is your support for the WEP!

  9. Well done everybody and my best wishes and hugs to everybody. x

    1. You too, Sally. Your piece was well received!

  10. Thank you everyone for being amused by my chamber pot ... and congratulations to the winners - J Lenni and Donna in particular, as too Nila - her writing is always so powerful ... while her posts are just amazing. Also to Roland ... always a thorough commenter. Take care and I'll be over to your posts in a day or so ... stay safe - Hilary

  11. Congrats to the winners! It was an amazing challenge, despite all the real-life challenges we are all facing today.

    1. Thank you, Olga. May your days be blessed with health! May all our days be blessed!

  12. Congratulations to all the winners! The stories this time around were all wonderful to read!

    1. Thank you, Laura! Your comment counting is no small feat! And it is so very appreciated! I'm yours for whatever task you wish to assign!

  13. Thank you to the WEP team for shortlisting me and Nick for the kind words! Congratulations to the other winners, to all the entrants in fact, for such high-calibre writing given what is going on in real life.

    1. Congratulations, Donna! I hope you don't mind my calling your post The Sneeze, but it was perfect, as was your writing!

  14. Great choices!!! Congrats to all the winners - spectacular writing once again :)

    1. Thank you, Jemi. I know April was as crazy a month for you as for any of us! We appreciate your continued support!

  15. Congratulations to all the 'writing' winners - I loved commentating on your pieces and all the others. Reading all the posts and writing appropriate comments is another interesting challenge, and mentally rewarding - and many thanks to whatever gave me that award, again. I love the 'again' badge, Olga - heading off to add it, again. ;-)

    1. The again was a brilliant touch to the Champion Commentator badge wasn't it? Congratulations Roland - and I echo your thanks to Olga.

    2. Yes, a brilliant touch on the badge, which I've now added to my site. Thanks WEP Random Selector.

    3. Your win is well deserved! Your thoughtful words on all the posts shows your commitment and appreciation of great writing!

    4. Thanks Yolanda. Only thoughtful as their writing showed great thought. I suspect I'm not alone in thinking about my 'Urban Nightmare' already.

    5. As I started my Challenge reading with Nila's wonderful piece, I'm making my final comment to say, " Congratulations, Nila - you deserve the People's Choice Award not just for your 'amazing imagery' and wonderful entry, but for your perseverance and your staunch support of WEP. You are one of the mainstays who keep us inspired. Please, stay safe, sensible, and successful.

    6. Roland, your support is beyond words. You've so much going on this month, yet there you were, now a mainstay yourself to WEP, commenting, encouraging, offering words of praise. Your second round of Commenter badge was well deserved. We tried to think of a way to make it different. Olga came up with 'again'.

  16. Thank you everyone for this delightful challenge.
    Congratulations to J.Lenni, Donna, Hilary and Roland for their fun, hopeful and powerful contributions.
    Once again I am disappointed at not making the short-list though I commented on ALL entries by the cut off date , and I am still not included in the list of commentators. Can someone please tell me openly what I do wrong, it would be very helpful.
    Thank you , however for all the encouraging critiques, comments and praise for those of you who read my story. See you in June.

  17. There seems to be a blogger/wordpress error and messages get lost - mine just disappeared from here. You also appear here as Susan B and on my Wordpress site as 'susanrouchard'. Last Challenge, I visited every post and commented, but failed to make the list. This time, I revisited a few Blogger sites and had to re-post my comment on one as there my original comment had disappeared - yet I was being notified of other comments. Weird - a cyber-glitch, I fear.

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  18. Roland is probably right. Several regular participants comment under more than one identity (the WP/Blogger thing I think) which adds an additional level of complexity to comment counting.

  19. Congrats to Nila for the People's Choice Award. Well deserved.

  20. Susan B and susanrouchard are one and the same, me. The photo is also the same. And I check that my comment has been taken with a follow up email too. I also checked in on this blog as soon as I had finished commenting to give info, but my comment , taken on 22nd has now disappeared. Also my reply to Nila’s story, here. Pat, I gave my comment on Facebook.

    Thanks Roland for taking the time to reply and offer an explanation. On the Wordpress blogs I comment with my Wordpress account, directly on the app , on the Bloggers with my google account, through Ecosia. Last year I tried to use Safari at first, but could not. So with my blog both on Blogger and Wordpress I can cover pretty much the whole field.
    Hoping that by June the situation will have improved somewhat. Take care, Happy 1st of May.

    1. Susan this is disappointing for you. I’m sorry for the glitches. It’s past my bedtime but I will look into your comments tomorrow. You did make the original cut but not the final cut with the shortlist. If you want I can reread and give you feedback tomorrow.

      It’s always difficult. So many stellar entries. And reading is so subjective.

      We all value your contributions Susan.

    2. Hello Susan. I've been in contact with Laura, our comment counter for April. I'm sorry, but human error is responsible for your missing out on acknowledgement this month.

      Thank you for reading all the entries but some of your comments have definitely disappeared as did your comment on the previous post. We can only wonder at the disparity between WP and Blogger re comments and people moderating comments, using multiple names to comment (not in your case). It makes it a very difficult task.

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  21. I don't envy you the counting problem, Sue (EC). I've noted how my photo changes on different sites as does my name. Susan, yours is one of the easier ones to spot, and yet the Wordpress/Blogger/Google/whatever interactions attempts to chew up comments, links, identities, etc.

    I always wondered how Jeff Goldblum's character in 'Independence Day' managed to hack into the aliens' computers. Even more so now when our computer technology struggles to communicate even in 2020.

    1. Thanks Roland for your input while the team except for Elephant’s Child has been off piste.


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