• The Elissa Award

    The Elissa Award, formerly the Readers' Choice Award, is named for our dear friend and regular contributor Elissa Nelson, who passed away in 2013. We miss you every day, Elissa. Thanks for supporting Sledgehammer and sharing your writing with us.

    The award is given to the story and writer(s) with the most votes on the website.

  • Visit Indigo

    Sledgehammer is proudly presented by Indigo, which offers editing, design, and more to authors and publishers around the world.

    Visit us at www.indigoediting.com to learn more and to schedule a free sample edit and initial consultation.

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  • Photo Gallery

    To view photos of Sledgehammers past, visit our Facebook photo albums!

    All photos property of Sledgehammer Writing Contest. Most photos copyright Doug Geisler.

Eastern Oregon Word Round-Up Flash Sledgehammer 36-Word Writing Contest

Congratulations, Kristen Blanton, winner of a one-hour consultation with an Indigo editor!

Incorporating the prompt exhibit, Kristen wrote this piece of flash fiction (a week before :

Imagine an exhibit where people want to be, with lots of gadgets and tables to see. Sounds like the fun you’ll have at Wordstock, without me.

©2013 Kristen Blanton

Wordstock Flash Sledgehammer 36-Word Writing Contest, Part 2

There is usually only one winner of our Mini and Flash Sledgehammers, but our judges were so taken with another entry to the Wordstock Flash Sledgehammer that we decided to award a second place to Kaitee Steiert. She’ll receive 15% off an Indigo service. Congratulations, Kaitee!

Incorporating the prompt free-for-all, Kaitee wrote this piece of flash fiction:

It starts perfect. A smile, a free-for-all with the air. Next: pain, eating dirt, that stubborn horse wondering why the hell I did something like that. She won’t be broken after all.

©2013 Kaitee Steiert

Wordstock Flash Sledgehammer 36-Word Writing Contest, Part 1

Congratulations, Eric Butler, winner of a one-hour consultation with an Indigo editor!

Incorporating the prompt free-for-all, Eric wrote this piece of flash fiction:

The meeting adjourned, the doors opened, the free-for-all began. I moved a moment too late, and found myself shut out. Their conversations were walls against me; how strange to have no audience in a crowded room.

©2013 Eric Butler

Flash Sledgehammer 36-Hour Writing Contest: Wordstock Edition

Congratulations, Deena Anreise, winner of Ink-Filled Page anthologies and $10 off entry to next year’s main Sledgehammer event, the 36-hour contest!

Incorporating the prompt roots, Deena wrote this piece of flash fiction:

We clung to familiarity, to the place of our birth, as our father dug us out dandelion-style, using his multi-syllabic wanderlust like a sharp spade or spud bar. Eventually, he would win us out.

Deena Anreise is a prolific writer, young mother, and publishing graduate student at Portland State University. She writes young adult genre fiction (urban fantasy), adult and middle-grade contemporary lit fiction, and creative nonfiction for Oregon Music News. Deena lives in the stunning cultural mecca that is Portland, Oregon where her two wildly “entertaining” sons make sure that she is never ever bored.

Micro Sledgehammer: National Tell a Story Day 2011

Thanks to those who played our National Tell a Story Day Micro Sledgehammer on April 27. While we posted the winner on our Facebook wall right away, we neglected to post here, too! Challenged with writing a complete story in 36 words or fewer and incorporating the prompt “key,” Eva Sylwester won!

In addition to fame, Eva has won $10 off our main event, Sledgehammer 36-Hour Writing Contest. She’s now looking for a Portland-based partner to team up with—if you’re interested, let her know via our Facebook wall, Sledgehammer Writing Contest.

The manager fingered the new building key as she showed the police officer photos from the cleaned out desk. “She shot this bear and had it made into pepperoni.” 

© 2011 Eva Sylwester

Micro Sledgehammer: Write to Publish 2011

We love to do on-the-spot writing contests at our fair and trade show booths, and last weekend was no exception. We had a great time chatting with everyone at the Ooligan Press’s Write to Publish industry mingle and reading your Micro Sledgehammer 36-Word Writing Contest entries!

Prompt: Revolution

Congratulations to Judith Arcana, who penned the winning piece and won fame (umm, here, of course!) and $10 off her registration fee for September’s main event. Our judge said of her entry, “I liked the part about the rising revolution. I also thought it was clever that they came up with a carousel from ‘revolution.'”

We keep turning around, round the turn, going round and round and round as if we were riding carefully carved and brightly painted giraffes, ponies, tigers and greyhounds, rising into the blue sky of white-clouded revolution.

© 2011 Judith Arcana

Micro Sledgehammer: Writers Resource Fair 2011

We love to do on-the-spot writing contests at our fair and trade show booths, and last weekend was no exception. We had a great time chatting with everyone at the Multnomah County Library’s Writers Resource Fair and reading your Micro Sledgehammer 36-Word Writing Contest entries!

Prompt: Marigolds

Congratulations to Bonni, who penned the winning piece and won $10 off her registration fee for September’s main event.

“If you don’t do it, someone else will.”
“I know.”
She turned away and looked first at her withered mother and then at the pot of marigolds beside her bed. Gently, she removed the oxygen mask.

© 2011 Bonni

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