• 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.

    Indigo: editing, design,
    and more


    Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter.
  • Join Our Networks

  • 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.

Butterflies and Thunder

Butterflies and Thunder

by Dora M. Raymaker

My mother named me Thor.  Which clearly she regretted.

“Thor means ‘thunder.’  But the only thunder commin’ out of this one is a fart,” she would introduce me, slapping my shoulder with affection.

“No thunder in the Rose City,” my mouth would sound out, and everyone would laugh.  Everyone except me of course.  I never meant it as a joke.

Continue reading

No Apocalypse in the Rose City

No Apocalypse in the Rose City

by Team Baldwin

Erik Petersen stepped out of the airport and surveyed his surroundings, hands on hips and with a sense of expectation. His red eyebrows nearly met in a frown as those expectations failed to be met. First of all, it had definitely been brighter inside the airport than it was outside, and it was three-thirty on a July afternoon. What sort of climate made such a thing possible?

Continue reading

Marvel

Marvel

by Laura Anderson

No one famous has ever come to Krypton Komik in the Rose City’s historic Mississippi District. We mostly get middle-aged collectors, graphic artists, and pre-teen jerks in our store. I like the collectors the most. The collectors don’t ogle my chest, like the graphic artist types sometimes do and the teenie-weenies always do, because they’re married and have daughters my age, I figure. One regular customer, Russell, reminds me of my dad; not my dad as he is now, more like, the way he was before mom died four years ago.

Continue reading

The Flight of Black Friday

The Flight of Black Friday

by Tom Achor

NOV. 9, 2022 – PORTLAND, OR- On November 11 this year, citizens of the Southeast Portland neighborhood of Brooklyn will gather to watch the 10th annual launch of the Black Friday, their own community-built space ship, from its launch area near the former rail yards off SE McLoughlin Blvd.  This tenth flight, which will be the last for the Black Friday, will cement its status as the longest-serving community owned reusable space vehicle, given that it remains the only one in existence.

Continue reading

Exalted and Extinguished

Exalted and Extinguished

Lisa Galloway

Chris hurls the Vogue magazine at his partner’s Pomeranian who squeaks and then begins yapping. Chris grits his teeth, lambasting the pup, “I will fucking cut you, you little bitch. Shut up already!” Chris tosses a squeak toy into the bathroom and kicks the dog inside slamming the door. Then he makes the phone call.

The phone rings for the first time all day. Thor hates working for the family business. He reluctantly picks it up and answers in his artificially chipper voice, “Viking Sprinkler and Fire Safety, Thor speaking. Can I help you?”

Continue reading

A Trace of Revenge

A Trace of Revenge

by Night Writers

Sunny stood under the awning of The Senator Hotel with her arms clutched across her chest, shivering. Tomas, the doorman, was standing too close to the hotel entrance for her to make a break past him into the lobby and up to the bathroom on the mezzanine. It was so nice there.  All gold fixtures and flocked wallpaper. Maybe she could use the hand dryer on her hair and warm up a bit, too.  But mostly she just really wanted to pee.

Continue reading

Down Time

Down Time

by Will Gardner

“God, we’re so slow today.”

“I don’t know why you insist on being open past three – or even 2:30, for that

matter. No one wants knishes after lunch.”

“No one?”

She stared at him, blank. “You know what I mean. No one in Portland.”

“Okay, then.” He cleared his throat much louder than necessary. “I guess you

know what I got to do.”

Angie replied with a heavy sigh.  “Where this time?”

“The Standard Insurance building.”

Continue reading