The Kafka Konundrum: Our newest contest

New contest.  The Kafka Konundrum: What happens when nothing happens?


This is a tough one.  Upon reading this, reconstruct your previous hour before you read the prompt even if—especially if—nothing drastic happened. Start your mini essay with the time of day you read the prompt.  What happened before this?  It does not matter if nothing dramatic occurred.  In fact, that’s the point of the prompt: be introspective.

“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quite still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”

Don’t Bogart that Kafka, my friend

And we’re going pay-it-forward on this one. Pay nothing, or pay ten bucks for yourself, or 20 bucks to cover you and an anonymous someone else, or, if you prefer, tell us to pay you ten bucks for your first submission.  It’s all good. If you choose to pay any amount, do it by Paypal to

Limit of 250 words. Send as a word attachment, double spaced, Times New Roman 12 point font to

Judging will be as follows:  Everyone who enters gets three votes, of which only one can be for themselves.  For every comment (excluding your own!) on your story posted within 7 days of your story going live, you get an additional vote, and it can even be for yourself. (You can’t have the same friend post seven comments, but you can have seven friends each post one comment.) AND you get a bonus vote if you sign up for our RSS.  We’ll repeat the details when the contest closes and it’s time to vote.

This is all about fulfilling our mandate to help you become a better writer, and increase the population of our tribe.

Contest ends  February 28th. We’ll start posting stories as they arrive. First prize $100.

By entering the contest, you are giving us one-time rights to publish your story online, after which all rights and wrongs revert back to you.

2022 will be a great year for A Word with You Press.  We have acquired nonprofit status that will allow us to solicit funding for major, save-the-world projects, and will be in California in the spring to resume our writers’ reunions which covid so rudely interrupted. We’ll make it a world-wide zoom event to include all our friends wherever on the planet they dwell.


wishing you abundant joy. I’ve got too much not to share it









4 thoughts on “The Kafka Konundrum: Our newest contest

  1. anneta greenlee says:

    The “nothing happens” manifests itself in stages: first, hesitation: should I try to sleep some more or should I get up and make a cup of coffee?
    Should I go back to the memoir I’m writing (or trying to write)?
    Yesterday, I went out to a karaoke bar. Wow! It was my first “going out” after a long of being a hermit.
    So, yesterday was my first time going out. I mean sociolazing. I joined a group of people from the Inter Nations, organization I belong to. I danced, spoke Spanish, made a couple new friends. It gave me a lot of confidence! Today, I’m invited for dinner to a friend’s home and I hesitate. Am I really welcome or is he just trying to repay for my friendship and help? What will happen? Nothing will happen? Sad.

  2. Charles R says:

    one question about the rules, Thornton: can one or more of my (7) friends (people i would ask to comment on my piece), be folks who are do not contribute to the contest? can they be folks who do not otherwise participate in the writers’ group? thanks!

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