The write time

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

All right, everyone. It is officially time for our annual 95-Word Fiction Contest. The goal is to write a short story that is exactly 95 words long—not 96 or 94. It has to be exact. It’s an exercise in creative writing under pressure.

Here’s an example:

“I Want a New Drug,” he said.

“I Can’t Go for That,” I countered.

“You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” he shot back.

“I Just Want to Be Your Everything,” I replied.

“I Want to Hold Your Hand,” he retorted.

“Where Did Our Love Go?” I asked.

“What’s Love Got to do with It?” he exclaimed

“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” I said.

To which he replied, “Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict.”

Choosing our roadtrip playlists is always a chore.

There you go. It’s an all right story, but I bet you can do better. We want 95 words—as counted by LibreOffice, Google Docs or Microsoft Word. Email submissions to and include the subject line “Fiction 2017.” You’ll need to put each story you submit in the body of an email, because we definitely won’t open strange attachments. We require the author’s name, email address and phone number listed above each story. (That stuff won’t count toward your word count, and will be removed before judging.) Titles are acceptable—but not required—and don’t affect word count.

Stories must be received before 9:01 a.m. on Jan. 11. We’ll publish the outstanding stories and award prizes to the very best. Need some inspiration? Look at last year’s winners here: