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Article by Bernadette Sukley


Closing up with our final post about this year’s GLVWG Write Stuff Conference™, we are honored to list the winners of the Flash Fiction Contest held on March 24, 2018.

Bernadette Sukley, contest chairperson for the last eight years, gives us a quick rundown on how the process worked.


  1. Contest is open to Conference Attendees Only.
  2. Participants provide 100 words of poetry, fiction or non-fiction (or all three genres).
  3. Entries submitted via email or in person at the Write Stuff Writers Conference™.
  4. Entries are posted for reviewing and voting by all attendees.
  5. Tally of votes and announcement of winners (first, second, third prizes awarded for each of the three genres) at the end of conference.



For the Fiction Category:

1st Place – Rita Civitella: “Round Up”

2nd Place – Chris Ochs: “An Evening Encounter”

3rd Place – Douglas Troxell: “One More for the Pile”


Winning Entry – Round Up, by Rita Civitella

“Don’t do it Steve. Think of the loss.”

“They’ll only take over. Should’ve killed them all before.”

“No, some are good. We need them.”

“I’m only shooting the bad ones.”

“How can you tell bad from good? To you they all look the same. If you shoot at anything you don’t like, you’ll kill all the good ones, too.”

“You know how much I’ve sunk into this place? I’m not letting them take over. You can let your property value go down, but not me.”

Steve aimed the weed killer at the flower bed and pulled the trigger.




For the Non-Fiction Category:

1st Place – Rita Civitella: “The Escape”

2nd Place – Rosemary Detrolio: “Garden Blessings”

3rd Place – Suzanne Mattaboni: “ Near-sighted Girl’s Guide to Twins”


Winning Entry – The Escape, by Rita Civitella

 While she inspects some contraband, I see my chance. I slowly back away, attempting to soundlessly reach the tiny room, avoiding the squeaky floorboard near the stairs. I purse my lips, exhaling a short silent breath, trying to quiet my thumping heart as I reach my goal.

The door closes with a soft click. Easing myself onto the seat, I relax.

Sudden pounding on the door causes me to nearly jump to my feet. I see the doorknob turning back and forth.

“Grandma what are you doing in there?”

At least I got into the bathroom before I wet myself.




For the Poetry Category:

1st Place – Douglas Troxell: “The Express Lane”

2nd Place – Suzanne Mattaboni: “Lie Glitter”

3rd Place – Rita Civitella: “The Curse of the Blarney Stone”


Winning Entry – The Express Lane, by Douglas Troxell


Twenty-four items?


Lady you’re gonna bring 24 items into the express lane?

The sign above the cashier reads 15 items or less not 15 items or best offer.

I’ve got two items

A Gatorade

A hoagie


We arrived in the lane that same time.

And I being a gentleman I am, ushered you forward

Grocery store chivalry is not dead

YOU looked at me

You saw my items

You glanced at my Gatorade

You glanced at my hoagie

And still, you stepped forward with your 24 items.

Twenty-four items.




Bio Bernadette Sukley

Bernadette Sukley, Write Stuff Writers Conference™ Flash Literature Contest Organizer and Chairman of the GLVWG Anthology, ‘The Write Connections’, has been researching, writing and editing for over 25 years. Her work has been featured in national and international publications. Her focus is human interest, health, and lifestyle. She’s also written and edited guides, pamphlets, columns, stories, and novels. She’s published two novels (A Saving Hurricane, Find Me a Woman) and a nonfiction book (Made in Pennsylvania) within the last eight years.