Fleur Contest

FLEUR - 2020-07

Contest Closed

38 entries

Countdown to entry deadline


Our writing contests have become so popular that our volunteer staff needs more help to tend our 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 won a contest in 2019, you earned a life-time subscription and 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!

If you love flowers, and pictures of flowers, you’ll enjoy two new posts featuring a special flower in India and the lovely countryside of Northumberland county in England.  Special thanks to members Adrin Jason and Susan Dawson for inviting us into their worlds!

Woodbine – a love that clings
A heavenly smell –
Till death do us part

Honeysuckle (Woodbine)

Honeysuckle, woodbine … by any name smells just as sweet!  Shakespeare lovers may remember King Oberon’s description of Queen Titania’s flowery bed, from Midsummer Night’s Dream:

I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight;
And there the snake throws her enamell’d skin,
Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in.


Member Grainne Armstrong has created a prompt featuring this luscious flower.  We can’t wait to read the stories inspired by one of our favorite summer flowers!  To learn more about all the flowers in the quote from Shakespeare, read our article:  Where the Wild Thyme Blows

You may enter as many stories for this prompt as you wish.  Each must be 350 words or less, and each must have a unique title.  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, July 29, 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 one of our favorite judges, Regina Higgins.  Regina is currently finishing a novel set in the 19th century United States, featuring many voices and contradictory points of view about a conflict in the southwest. She lives with her husband in Lexington, Kentucky, where she Zooms with friends and FaceTimes with two-year-old grandsons. Regina loves being part of the Zen Garden community, and delights in seeing it grow like a real garden.  Thank you so much, Regina!

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 July 29, 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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