National Flash Fiction Day and #OUATWriting WINNARS!

 HAPPY NATIONAL FLASH FICTION DAY!

Although this is a UK based website, National Flash Fiction Day (#NFFD on Twitter) has gained traction worldwide. You can click here to find international recognition of the winners.

To celebrate NFFD, I teamed up with renowned British Flash Fiction writer SJI Holliday to bring you the Once Upon a Time Flash Fiction contest.

To be a winner is pleasant, but a WINNAR is a consummation devoutly to be wished.

To select the WINNARS of the Once Upon a Time Writing Contest was akin to finding your favorite puppy in a kennel. Some of them bark loudly to get your attention, some nip at you, some have big puppy eyes and…okay, enough with the simile. It was tough.

After a great deal of consultation with my lovely co-host, SJI Holliday, we FINALLY narrowed it down to three authors.

To see the full and magnificent details of the prizes offered, go here. Thanks again to the generosity of Jessica Gray and Diane J. Reed!

And without further ado, here are the WINNARS of the Once Upon a Time Writing Contest!

* The winner of the AWAKE Prize Package (Best Adaptation of an Existing Fairytale)

ANGELA READMAN

You can read Angela’s reboot of The Little Mermaid, entitled A Mermaid in Texas.

* The winner of the TWIXT Prize Package (Best Original Fairytale)


MCKENZIE BARHAM

You can read Mackenzie’s original tale here.

* The winner of the Grand Prize Package

OLIVER BARTON

You can read Oliver’s story, Pink Bells.

Much thanks and congratulations to all who entered, who made it impossible for us to decide!

Interview with DJ Tina T

On a non-writing contest related note, I recently had the opportunity to have an exclusive interview with DJ Tina T regarding her DJ youth camp, Camp Spin Off. Because arts education is one of my passions, it’s my pleasure to share this interview about an artist who focuses on giving back to young people.

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DJ Tina T, voted Las Vegas’ “Top Female DJ” for the third consecutive year, is a well-known disc jockey playing in the hottest clubs in Vegas. Despite her meteoric success, DJ Tina T also has a passion for mentoring teens.


She founded Camp Spin-Off (now in its second year), a one-of-a-kind camp focused on teaching music and positive messages to teenagers.

Q: You’ve had a successful career thus far. What made you decide to start Camp Spin Off?

DJ Tina T: I went to all types of summer camps growing up and have the best memories from it all. Camp Spin-Off is a way to combine my passion for DJing with traditional summer camp in a positive way.


Q: Camp Spin Off is the first and only sleep-away DJ camp of its kind. What advantages does a sleepaway camp offer for musical kids?

DJ Tina T: Having it be a camp where we actually stay in cabins and live together as a community for one week allows everyone to be fully submerged in the culture. You eat, sleep, breathe DJing at camp. For many of these kids, it’s their first time staying away from home and it becomes a much more unique and memorable experience than just a day camp.

Q: What is your favorite class offered at Camp Spin Off and why?

DJ Tina T: My favorite class at Camp Spin Off is the basic DJing class using turntables and vinyl. Most of the kids have never touched a turntable before and with the technology these days, many of them will not end up using vinyl records. Its nice to see everyone taught in the original format before moving on to other platforms.

Q: I love the motto on your website: Less Skin, More Skill. What other positive messages and ideas does Camp Spin Off offer?

DJ Tina T: Every staff person, camp counselor and guest DJ brings a positive message to camp. I feel like we also break down stereotypes of DJs and show the kids that we are normal, down to earth people that they can talk to. Another positive message specifically to the girls who attend is that it’s not just the boys anymore.

We have an equal ratio of girls to boys at camp which helps girls not feel intimidated in a male dominated industry.

Q: You were voted best Female DJ in Las Vegas in 2010, 2011 and 2012. What special challenges do female DJs face? What do you find easier to accomplish because you are a female DJ?

DJ Tina T: The biggest challenge is being taken seriously as a DJ and not just a “female DJ.” As much as I am honored to get awards like this and love representing for the ladies, I also want to just be recognized as a great DJ and not someone who is good (for a girl).

It is easier to accomplish things like: getting your foot in the door with clubs who are doing niche female DJ promotions and getting booked for female industry related events in fashion, beauty etc.

Q: What makes you passionate about helping young people discover music?

DJ Tina T: Discovering my love for DJing when I was 15 makes me passionate about working with young kids who are in the same place I was. When the interest is there, you need people to support, motivate and inspire you. It feels great to make a difference in someone’s life.


Interested in Camp Spin-Off? You too can be a summer DJ star!

WHAT: Camp Spin-Off, where aspiring young DJs between ages of 13-17 go to play and learn

WHERE:
Forest Home Ojai Valley
655 Burnham Road
Oak View, CA 93022
Topatopa Mountains

WHEN: July 29 to August 2

WHO:
This five-day, sleep-away camp is located in beautiful Ojai, CA, where young teens get access to great hiking and outdoors activities. The teens are mentored by some of the biggest names in the DJ world.

Tina also sponsors a limited number of scholarships that fund the education of kids in need.

Learn more about Camp Spin-Off: http://www.campspinoff.com/

For more about DJ Tina T: http://djtinat.com/

Article first published as Interview with DJ Tina T on Blogcritics.

Once Upon a Time Writing Contest: Anna Meade

This is my non-eligible entry for the Once Upon a Time Flash Fiction contest. Of course, the linky is closed, but hope you enjoy it regardless.

The Ice Maiden

Greta traced small flowers in the window frost, “Mother, may I have some cocoa?”

Inge was accustomed to her daughter’s formal way of speaking. It’d been a mistake to read Greta poetry, but she hated how mothers gibbered at their babies. As a result, Greta was all precocity at six.

Inge stirred in milk as the wind blew ceaseless at the shutters. After Erik left, she’d scorned moving to her parent’s flat in Reykjavik, opting for country solitude. She’d raise her daughter in peace, without interference or superstition.

“A story, please,” Greta had the golden braids and command of a Nordic princess.

“I told you all the stories I know.”

“Tell me the Ice Maiden.”

“On dark, starred nights the Ice Maiden comes, robed in velvet black and crowned with icicles. If you do not leave her a tribute at the hollow tree, she steals under your sill and kisses you with frozen lips.”

Inge knew the words, but was hopeless at the rich cadences her father once infused in them.

Greta didn’t mind, listening rapt, “Then what happened?”

Inge scooped her up, “Then they lived happily ever after, because it was past their bedtime.”

Once she deposited Greta in bed, Inge snuck to her bedroom for a secret cigarette. She cranked the window open an inch, watching the ash blot the snow on the eaves. Stupid of her to tell Greta that story; she needn’t fill her head with dark-edged tales.

The stove was turned too high and Inge nodded off in her chair.

Outside, snow whirled wildly, like they were encased in a glass globe.

Inge woke abruptly. Something had burned – cocoa! She hurried downstairs, pulling on her thin robe. Uneasy, she switched the stove off. Didn’t she turn it off before? Then she saw the open door.

She ran, bare feet crunching unfeeling through ice crust.

“Greta, Greta!” she cried, wind stealing her words.

She found her at the foot of the hollow tree, mug of cocoa clenched in ice-rimed hand, an unclaimed offering.

Inge kissed her daughter’s frozen lips, to keep from screaming.

Photo by Suzanna Glaze