duck sI know, it is one of those again, a word with more than one meaning. But I had some photos of beautiful water birds, so here we go, this week’s creative writing prompt:


If you’ve been here before, you’ll know this second series of creative writing prompts and exercises is following the letters of the alphabet, so this week we have a ‘D’ word.

But when I was thinking about where to go with this, I realised how many negative words begin with the letter D – dystopia, dungeon, dagger, demon, despair, dread, diatribe, dare, dark, dank, deranged. And they’re just the first ones to come to mind.

Nice D words? Well, delight is obvious. And dogs, of course. Then I got to ducks, and here we are.

It is flash fiction season, so have a go at writing a very short story (300 words) that involves a duck – or someone having to duck. Incorporate a few more D words like danger, drink, dust and diamonds and see if you can write a piece of devilishly clever flash fiction.

As always, if you are writing a tightly worded piece,  you are unlikely to fit in many characters. Also, you won’t have the luxury of describing their appearance or surroundings, your words will just be showing the action. Use your title – which isn’t usually included in the word count – to set the scene. And don’t forget to include some sort of twist, something to intrigue your reader (more tricky than it sounds!).

If you enjoy the challenge of writing competitions, there are quite a few out there for this genre. Beware of steep entry fees and the knowledge there may be thousands of entries – competition means just that, it is a competitive business. But someone has to win, why shouldn’t it be you, Duckie?

If you like this style of writing, something to look forward to is the 11th National Flash Fiction Day in the UK, on Saturday, June 18th, 2022. More info here.

Check out the contests below – and where possible,  take a look at previous winning entries. Like all things creative, some are brilliant, others not so, it’s all a matter of personal taste.

Irish-based publishers Fish Publishing have an annual flash fiction contest which closes at the end of February. Entry is €14, but there is a first prize of €1,000 at stake, and the promise of publication in an anthology for the top ten (300 word) stories.

Bridport is another annual competition for 250 words. UK-based, they have thousands of entries from around the world (and for their other writing contests, too), but kudos for the winners is bountiful – Kit de Waal first rose to fame in this one. First prize is £1,000, and the deadline is May 31st.

Brilliant Flash Fiction is a US-based quarterly on-line magazine devoted to the genre. There is an open competition for a 500 word story,  with one free entry per writer, running until April 15th 2022. First prize $200 and publication on the website for shortlisted entries.

Finally, if you are still here and thinking of Duck á l’Orange, please keep those thoughts to yourself, because no-one will thank you for writing about a duck dinner. Well, I won’t anyway. But I will think you quackers for thinking such a despicable thing.

Click for more info about what I’m doing HERE.

Call back next week for another creative writing prompt/exercise. There’s a new one every Wednesday at 5pm, Dublin time.