“Like a Ton of Bricks”–our new contest!

Literati!  Oh! The Pressure!…

to come up with a new contest prompt! It was on my mind last night and this morning, and then, as I was rolling my cart down cliche’ mart, looking for comfort food, the answer hit me Like a Ton of Bricks!

Write about two hundred words (250 max), a conversation on a plane or a bus, and use ONLY cliche’s to convey a story.  Pull out all the stops!  Avoid original phrases like the plague!



[klee-shey, kli-]



a trite, stereotyped expression; a sentence or phrase, usually expressing a popular or common thought or idea, that has lost originality, ingenuity, and impact by long overuse, as sadder but wiser,  or strong as an ox.

(in art, literature, drama, etc.) a trite or hackneyed plot, character development, use of color, musical expression, etc.

anything that has become trite or commonplace through overuse.

Do you catch my drift?

To qualify your story must have at least twenty cliche’s, but don’t worry, they are cheaper by the dozen even if they are half-baked ideas.

But Wait!  There’s more!

As a separate, 100 word entry, take a cliche’ and make it fresh and meaningful, as if it were a pristine use of the language, never heard before.  Strong as an oxymoron?  or “I know the result left him sadder, but wiser men have made the same miscalculation.”  Tough as nails, huh?  (“he was no longer tough, as nails dug into his back.”  Good thing I didn’t say “hard as nails”!)

You will be judged only by your first entry, but must submit the second in order to qualify, and the second must be between 100 and 110 words.

Each entry must have a title and author identification, and sent as a separate word doc (not docx) attachment to thorn@awordwithyoupress.com no later than midnight, November 20th. By submitting you are allowing AWwYP full rights to make millions of dollars off your work and publish it on line and in print, and we reserve the right to decline to publish any story at our discretion. (discreet? moi?)

Winners will at my discretion win a date with me or get a really kuhl trophy, which I promise to post later this week.  Wait til our judge for this contest, Michael Stang, opens his mail box this week to see the trophy He won for our last contest!

How hard can it be? Any idiom can do this!

Like WHAT kind of a house?

25 thoughts on ““Like a Ton of Bricks”–our new contest!

  1. Tlrelf says:

    Be still, my beating heart. . .what a great contest prompt! My Muse is planning to sink you like a ship and cast you up the river without a paddle and. . .Oops. . .better not give all my cliches away!

      • Tlrelf says:

        And it’s raining cats and dogs so better get out of the rain or slip and fall on a crack and break your mother’s back.

        • Tlrelf says:

          So, where are the entries? I was hoping to read a few tales. . .Oh well. I am working on mine, and looking forward to (hopefully) “Finishing” it over the weekend along with paper grading and reading slush at Sam’s Dot Publishing. . .

          • Thorn says:

             Thorn is here.  Waiting to collect a few more entries before I start posting.  This must be a tough one, as I have had only three or four entries to date. And I certainly need to date.  And entries would also be good

          • Tlrelf says:

            I vote you post what you have. . .We are anxiously awaiting being inspired by the literary geniuses who have already submitted their work.
            I had a tooth pulled and have an abscess and am on penicillin and pain pills and need some cheering up. It hurts to laugh, but I’d rather laugh and be in pain than not.
            (she says hopefully)

      • Tlrelf says:

        Yes, as easy as pie. . .I have an advantage, though, as I’m a writing instructor. . .hehe I teach a unit on cliches! Hope this doesn’t disqualify me.

        I love coconut cream, chocolate cream, peach, berry, apple. . .and the list goes on.

  2. Mac Eagan says:

    Is each author limited to one set of entries (one 200-250 word piece to be judged and one 100-110 word piece to be used as an access pass)?
    And just a note to the other contributors:  Twenty phrases minimum and assuming an average of five words per phrase uses up 100 words, which is half of the word allotment.  There will not be much room for other description or plot development.  Choose wisely.

  3. Tlrelf says:

    I sent mine in yesterday. . .Hope you all enjoy it. I thought about a plane setting first, then decided on the bus. . .You’ll see why. I suppose the plot would also lend itself well with a plane trip, too, though. Perhaps with even more unsettling results.

  4. Tlrelf says:

    Come on troops! Drop down and give me 250. . .then another 110! Submit your entries. . .Thorn won’t post any until he gets more in. . .

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