Fleur Contest

FLEUR - 2020-05 (CLOSED)

Shortlist and Voting

55 entries

Countdown to entry deadline


Our writing contests have become so popular that our volunteer staff needs more help to tend our online literary garden.  With your support, we can sustain our family-friendly floral writing site. We have recently begun asking for a subscription to enter a contest.  If you are a previous 1st place or prompt winner, this does not apply, and you are good to go. If you’re new to the site be sure and read our Mission page to see all the wonderful benefits you can enjoy.  Thanks for your continuing support!

Dewdrop suspended
On azalea petal –
The wren sings softly.


An online visit to the gorgeous Gibb Gardens in Northern Georgia, United States might help inspire your next creative masterpiece!

Those of you who have been ZenGarden.club members for quite a while may have noticed that our prompts are usually a combination of the natural world and the human experience.  This month, we’re featuring a lovely Azalea haiku by one of our favorite prompt writers, Zantal Siah, which portrays a scene entirely from nature!  As we’re all staying indoors and sheltering in place, we might wonder what Mother Nature and her wonderful community are up to?   Of course, humans will undoubtedly wander into our stories as well.  Perhaps we can learn new lessons from the natural world that will give us insight into our own situations.

You may enter as many stories for this prompt as you wish.  Each must be 350 words or less.  You may click on the picture to enlarge it. 

Remember that all stories selected for the shortlist will also be eligible to be included in our upcoming ZenGarden.club Kindle books.

Good luck to everyone!

Fleur Flash Fiction

We invite  you to create a short short story – 350 words or less – inspired by the featured picture and haiku.  What characters, background, stories and plots do you imagine? 

Study the current picture and haiku, then write your story.

Deadline: Wednesday, May 27, 2020  5 pm ET.  Please read the guidelines below before entering.

Two Ways to Win!

  • Public Voting will determine 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners
  • ZenGarden.club Judge will select the Grand Prize Winner and list of Finalists.

Some of you love public voting, and others enjoy getting feedback from a highly qualified judge. We now have something for everyone!

We’re thrilled to welcome back David A. Ross as our judge this month.  Dr. Ross is an Oxford scholar, a professor of Comparative Literature, a collector of fine art and a writer par excellence.  He will select the Grand Prize Winner and the list of Finalists for this contest.  We always look forward to his brilliant comments and insight.  Thank you, David, for your continued commitment to our ZenGarden.club contests!

Guidelines for entering:

  • You must be a Subscriber to enter –   Subscribe now
  • Write a short story about the current picture in 350 words or less. 
  • Write your story, then fill out the entry form in the link below.
  • You may enter as many times as you like with different stories, but each entry requires a separate entry form.
  • Multiple entries of the same story will be disqualified. Please do all your editing and make all your changes before you send it in!
  • Accepting entries until Wednesday May 27, 2020 5 pm ET
  • Check this page for contest updates.

Helpful Hints:

  • Title does not count toward total word count
  • Hyphenated words count as one word
  • Give your story a unique title that no one else is likely to use.


  • Grand Prize – $100.00 plus permanent winners page, and permanent publication of the story on the site
  • First prize (Public Voting) – $25.00 plus permanent winners page, and permanent publication of the story on the site
  • Second prize (Public Voting) – permanent winners page, permanent publication of the story on the site
  • Third prize (Public Voting) – permanent winners page, permanent publication of the story on the site
  • All shortlisted stories are eligible for inclusion in the ZenGarden.club Kindle books.

Contest Rounds and Public Voting:

  1. Round 1 – Pending (ZenGarden Staff)
         Pending items will either be disqualified or qualified.
         Entries will be disqualified if they:
    • Contain more than 350 words
    • Contain excessive spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors
    • Are not family-friendly
    • Do not contain any reference to flowers or gardens
    • Are repeat entries or corrections of stories already entered
  2. Round 2  – Qualified (ZenGarden Judges)
    • ZenGarden judges will review all the qualified stories and select a short list.
    • Only shortlisted stories will be eligible for our ZenGarden.club Kindle books.
    • Only shortlisted stories will be available for public reading and voting.
  3. Round 3 – Short List  (Public) published after entry deadline
    • All shortlisted items are published “blind” – Title, age group and story only.
    • The voting period will have a posted begin and end date.
    • Public votes by clicking the “like” button within the voting period.
    • Public can “like” as many stories as they wish.
    • The highest number of likes will determine the first, second and third place winners.
    • Our judge will select the Grand Prize Winner and the list of Finalists from the short list.
Double-check your story against the following check list, and make all corrections BEFORE you send!  Multiple entries of the same story will be disqualified.
  • Correct length (350 words or less)
  • Correct spelling and grammar
  • Family-friendly content
  • Includes at least one reference to gardens or flowers
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