Photo Flora Contest

Photo Flora - 2019-01
"Blue-White Stairs"

Final results, winners red ribbons and author’s names have all been published.  Congratulations to all of you!

Countdown to entry deadline


113 stories have been submitted

Congratulations to all you wonderful writers who entered this latest contest!  There were so many excellent stories entered; we wish we could give all of them a prize!   The next steps are:
  • staff selects the short list.
  • The short list is published so that everyone can read all the stories selected.
  • The public votes on their favorites during the designated voting period.
  • The final winners will be announced at the end of public voting.

Many thanks to Doran Erickson at for this beautiful, intriguing photograph!

New Contest! is excited to bring you a new addition to our ongoing Flash Fiction contests.  This new contest is inspired by a single picture!  Each Photo Flora contest will feature a photograph that contains some reference to gardens, flowers, flower pots, or the like.  

Our first picture is called “Blue-White Stairs”.  You can click on the picture to enlarge it.

Winners will be decided by public voting, rather than by a judge.  We want to hear which stories you like!

Good luck!

Photo Flora Flash Fiction

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

Study the current picture, especially any flowers within the picture, then write your story.

Deadline: Wednesday, September 25 , 2019  5 pm ET.  Please read the guidelines below before entering.

Let our great writers inspire you!  Each previous contest has links to the winning stories for that contest:
Nutshell Narratives 2019-04
Nutshell Narratives 2019-03

Nutshell Narratives 2019-02
Nutshell Narratives 2019-01

Guidelines for entering:

  • Write a short story about the current picture in 350 words or less. 
  • You must be a Member to enter – Membership is free and easy!  Free Registration
  • 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 September 25, 2019 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.


  • First prize – $50.00 plus free life-time subscription to, permanent winners page, and permanent publication of the story on the site
  • Second prize – permanent winners page, permanent publication of the story on the site
  • Third prize – permanent winners page, permanent publication of the story on the site
  • All shortlisted stories are eligible for inclusion in the Kindle Anthologies

Contest Rounds and 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
    • Are repeat entries or corrections of stories already entered
  2. Round 2  – Qualified (ZenGarden Staff)
    • ZenGarden staff will review all the qualified stories and select a short list.
    • Only shortlisted stories will be eligible for our Kindle ZenGarden anthology.
    • 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.
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 flower reference
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