September 3 Sentences

Welcome to the End of Summer 2013 writing contest…

Serving his sentence

Serving 3 sentences?

“Three Consecutive Sentences”

This page is for contest entries. (total, 20)

We are now closed to new entries. Thank you all! ~Jim

How to enter:

Have you read the General Contest Rules? By entering, you agree to abide by those rules, plus any special conditions listed on this page.

Use this page’s Comments section to submit your entry.

(see Directions, farther down this page)

Contest dates and times:
  • New entries accepted until Saturday, Sept 21 at 11:59 pm EDT (“midnight”)
  • Judging begins on Sunday, 9/22
  • We’ll announce contest Winner by Saturday, Sept 28
  • Among non-finalists, one random entry will be awarded a $10 bonus prize
  • Winner’s submission will be published and featured on this website at that time
Specific Rules for End of Summer Contest 2013:
  • This contest is for ALL WRITERS
  • FIRST ENTRY IS FREE for site subscribers
  • Contestants may choose to add one extra paid entry (see below)
  • Submit your 3 sentences as your entry (properly punctuated, no word limit)
  • You must own full copyright to your submission. Prior publication is fine.
  • SoWrite reserves the right to edit entries if necessary (see General Rules)
Entry Directions:
  1. Use the Speak Your Mind box for your entry (at end of this page)
  2. Enter your name or pseudonym, as desired
  3. Enter the email you prefer for contest communication (kept private)
  4. Include your Website URL, if you want to
  5. Type, or copy and paste your 3 Sentences into the Comment Box (plain text)
  6. Be sure to click “Notify me of follow-up comments by email
  7. Proofread, then Click on the green box that says “Post Comment

Would you like to add one more entry? Use this $2 entry fee button. (Adds $1.50 to First Prize)

$2 for ONE EXTRA ENTRY via PayPal:

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SECURE PAYMENT INFORMATION: When you click the Pay Now button, you will be directed to PayPal’s secure payments processing page for Payments made in error will be cheerfully refunded upon request.

Need help with your submission?

Email contest editor Jim Bessey at: jimbessey @ (omit the spaces)

You can also find Jim on Facebook and Twitter. Use the Social Icons top right of this page.


»“Jail” graphic by: GSofV


  1. I drove my battered Ford to the edge of the cliff. For a few moments, I watched four buzzards circling something dead far below. I finished my cigarette, put the old truck back in Drive, and pushed the gas pedal to the floor.

  2. Jewel Kennington says

    1) For hours Dad sat silent on the front porch after we returned from taking the food Mother had cooked to Jonas Black’s family. My Dad, a southerner who hated all black people, was grieved beyond words when Jonas, the janitor who worked in the furniture store my Dad managed, had been killed on the street by two black teenagers, who then stole $5.00 from Jonas’s pocket. When we arrived that afternoon at the small white house, Jonas’s whole family–his children, grandchildren, sisters, and brothers–ushered us into the house as if we were royalty, and Jonas’s wife told us all about how much Jonas loved my dad–he was just an old black man who swept up the floor, but he loved my dad, and my dad, who hated all black people, sat on our front porch and wept.

  3. 2) Jordan wavered, his foot hovered mid-air as he pressed against the brick wall, he took a deep breath, leaned forward and then abruptly stopped to listen to the new voice in his head that told him to stop. He inched to his right, squatted on the window sill hunched forward, his head rested in his hands, his eyes wide as his brain reeled at the flurry of memories as they flooded by. Jordan tipped backwards as arms grabbed him from behind and pulled.

  4. 3) “The contest, oh the challenge”, she thought and pulled the worn thesaurus out of her bag, perusing each page in a frantic search for glittering adjectives and sparkling adverbs to dazzle and delight the judges. The people in the coffee shop thought she was insane as she carefully enunciated each astonishing sentence over and over until the words became radiant phrases of lyrical music. Satisfied that the prize was firmly in her grasp, she cut and pasted the entry into the comments on So Write.US and leaned back in her chair, waiting for the $20.00 prize to appear in her PayPal account.

  5. 4) My Daddy decided that being tossed over a fence into a swamp was an insult, so being smaller than runty and hopping mad, he hurled a line of impolite and ornery invectives back over the wire instead, a descriptive diatribe not fit for moonshine-runners gambling out behind Shenanigan’s pub at 2:00am.
    “Git now,” -and don’t be botherin’ me again.”
    Hog Johnson laughed and turned away, then grinning widely, showing all three front teeth gone on vacation he said quietly, “maybe now you’ll remember I don’t do fences, and kindly say hello to that pretty little wife of yours”.

  6. Aura Burrows says

    5) With his handsome smile and his tailored suit, he asked her out to dinner at the best restaurant in town that evening. His diamond pinkie ring flashed in the moonlight as he gave her a bouquet of perfect red roses. Upon opening the menu, he asked the fatal question, “So, you’d like a sandwich?”

  7. 6) “Years ago a ranger came by these parts and was never seen again.” I followed behind the adults who stopped to dig in the rumored spot. A spur was uncovered, and they decided maybe they needed to go do something else.

  8. Rebekah Jones says

    7) Just prior to the United States involvement in World War II, 20 year old army sergeant, Leonard; a quiet gentle young man standing tall, thin, and lanky at 6’1”, with wavy, coal black hair, deep-set violet blue eyes, long black eyelashes, and a smile that could melt any girls heart; was home in Oklahoma on leave from the army in the summer of 1939, when, one hot, sultry evening, he strolled into a local restaurant for a glass of cold beer and there she was, working behind the bar…Goldie…a gorgeous, feisty, young woman with long, curly dark blond hair, piercing green eyes; who, compared to Leonard, was a shorty just under 5’4”; and to him she looked like a beautiful, priceless little porcelain doll just waiting to be held and treasured and so at that very moment, feeling his body tingling with excitement; his heart pounding so fast and hard he felt as if it would jump out of his chest; he knew he wanted to be the one man to hold her forever and he saw no reason that forever should not start immediately and so he rushed behind the bar and without saying a word, scooped her up in his long arms and carried her out of the restaurant. Goldie’s uncle, the owner of the restaurant, rushed out of the entrance door after them, yelling, “Leonard, put her down this instant because she’s my best worker and I can’t lose her.” Upon hearing Goldie’s uncle yelling, and as was Leonard’s quiet nature, again without saying a word, he dropped Goldie right there on the ground in the red Oklahoma dirt but he knew with all of his heart, mind, and soul this would not be the last time he would see her, hold her, touch her or be with her, but rather, he knew she was the one he’d waited for all of his life, the only one for him, and they would be together always which is exactly what happened just one month later on August 1, 1939, when standing before a justice of the peace, Leonard and Goldie became Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Jones, embarking on a 54-year love affair … a love affair which remained alive in Goldie’s heart even after Leonard’s death in 1993 … a love affair in which they, with God’s help and direction, overcame all of the challenges along with enjoying all of the precious moments in the life they built together as partners; a true and loving team; a life which included traveling over half the world plus becoming parents to three children, the youngest of whom is honored and pleased to share this story – my amazing parent’s story – with you.

  9. 8) The beautiful smell of the tiny flowers from that tree came smoothly towards my nose that starry night. The smell made me feel so high that I didn’t even notice the claws of the beast going through my bowels. If I’m allowed to say, dying under the stars, full of the smell, was one of the best ways to die that you should try once.

  10. Contest ENTRY from Olivia B: (not Jim!)

    9) I was of your blood and heartbeat. Yet, torn from your security you gave me up as my silent cry went unanswered. I quivered and let life go as a brief encounter, for I had inconvenienced you.

  11. Tamara Narayan says

    10) “So, you’re back,” she said, offering her perfumed cheek for a kiss.
    “Yes,” he said, his suitcase leaning against his leg like a protective dog, “and did you miss me?”
    She sighed as the dull voice came over the speakers heralding his departure, “You can’t miss what you never had.”

  12. Rebekah Jones says

    comment not an entry: I’m really enjoying reading the entries! I want to read the “rest” of the stories! Please let me know about any articles or books that come from this contest. 🙂

    • Thanks for your feedback, Rebekah.

      Since this contest does not conceal our writers’ identities, I encourage contestants to comment if they want to. Our judges will wait to make any comments until after the Sept 21 deadline.

      Since this is not a popularity contest, you won’t be influencing the competition’s results if you do decide to leave feedback for other writers. Glad you are enjoying these wonderful entries, Rebekah!

    • Rebekah, I had not thought of making an entire story out of the short event. It was based on a true story from my childhood at my Grandparents’. They lived on the last house on a gravel road in Louisiana. I asked my mom about the story. She knew the rumor of the ranger, but did not know about the adults who did the digging. I would have to do some fast interviewing as all of my aunts and uncles that are still living are old.

      • Rebekah Jones says

        My parents and all of my uncles and aunts on both sides of the families are deceased. Growing up I heard my parents (mostly my mom) tell their stories but I only have bits and pieces of the rest of the family. Everyone was spread out across the country. Since you still have family living, Eva, my suggestion to you is…get busy, girl!!

        • I have asked about some stories. However, this is one I had forgotten about until I wrote it for this post. My dad died when I was a teenager, and one uncle died two years ago. Several aunts have also died. My dad came from a large family. I did, however, ask my cousins on a post in Facebook to see if they knew of this story.

          If I can’t find out the details, I guess I could, um, work on my writing – ha!

        • Thanks for your suggestion Rebekah. Through talking with my cousins on Facebook I now have more details. With those details we did research online and have a real name of a real ranger who “disappeared” while undercover around the right timeframe working on something that fit with the rest of the story. It also got my first cousins and I talking about a family story before it disappeared.

  13. Hi Contestants,

    I just gave away three extra free entries to writers who replied to the Contest Announcement comments section.

    Are you subscribed to that page’s comments? You never know what’s going to happen there! 🙂
    (all you have to do is leave a short comment, and click on “Notify me of follow-up comments by email”)

  14. 11) He stood wearily on the edge of tomorrow, with opposing forces weighing heavily on his mind. With some wounded and barely visible pride, he did what humble and wise men in the past have done. He slowly and reluctantly fell to his knees.

  15. 12) The neighbor

    Of all the people who lived on her street, none noticed her more than the drunk who owned a 19-foot reticulated python, which he proudly wore around his neck one late afternoon while swaying unsteadily, face redder than usual, on the sidewalk in front of his house.

    His fury knew no bounds when she drove by behind those big, black sunglasses as if she hadn’t noticed him and didn’t care for him and, as the light began to fade into swirls of purple and deep blue, he stumbled to her house, took a deep breath, and heaved the snake over her fence, snickering and gasping at the same time before taking another swig from his empty whiskey bottle and screaming.

    The ambulance siren howled and the door started to close, but she leaned in, found his wheeling eyes, took off her sunglasses, and said, “I’m sorry, I… I don’t know your name, and I’m sorry about your snake and the Taser, but Animal Control says she has a good chance of recovery though you won’t be able to keep her, and, well, you take care now, ‘kay?”

  16. 13) Was this man seriously kneeling in front of her, holding out a sparkling diamond ring as enticement while his other hand enveloped her fingers in what could only be called a vise-like grip and at the same time he was gazing up at her with those sad puppy-dog eyes of his which never ever failed to get him what he truly wanted?
    He knew as well as she did that they HATED each other since almost birth and yet, things had changed drastically over the years and now they could barely be apart for more than an hour without something close to withdrawal pains attacking them both.
    She pondered this for a moment and seeing the futility of it all, she shrugged saying, “What the heck,” and flung herself into his arms toppling them both onto the dewy grass, and there they stayed holding each other closely, getting quite damp and cold, kissing and laughing like completely insane loons.

  17. Jim asks (but we’ve run out of nested reply space) “Are there any participles in there, Leah? I always wanted one, but I’m never sure if I’ve seen one or not! :-)”

    Oh, there are a bunch. “Snickering and gasping,” for example. There are even some participial phrases. Woo 🙂

    Not like I think of them much. Gives me anxiety attacks that go back to tortuous linguistic classes in which we diagrammed sentences that filled 11×14 sheets of paper while tears rolled down our cheeks :).

  18. Jennifer Rodriguez says

    14) The convenience store is the most reliable business establishment in Japan. Earthquake, typhoon, tsunami – you name it – and it was sure to be the only establishment to remain open during the entire catastrophe. And today, as she felt the incessant urge and desire for alcohol rise up in her throat and throb mercilessly in her brain, today, it was all that she had.

  19. 15) The record button flashed red. Giddy with anticipation, his sweaty hands nearly slipped as he shifted his weight pumping, pushing, pounding against the grimy bottle while shards of glass popped like birthday balloons as the girl choked on cool wine gurgling with warm blood. Adding a few notes to his thick logbook before proceeding, he was so glad he’d saved the rare wine for someone special.

  20. 16) It rained and rained–no end in sight. As the flood waters inexorably mounted, Nori offered up a heartfelt prayer. “Praise be to God, for making me a fish.”

  21. 17) “Take my mind, and dunk it in the water until it submerges within the stones at the bottom of this stream.” You speak the words to me with a pale face that began depriving itself of oxygen long before we met. As I push you toward the liquid edge, you turn to me and say, “Drink up life, my friend, or the day will come when you too will long for the stones to call an end to your wasteful life.”

  22. 18) 2nd Entry:

    The limitless reaches of space surrounded them–spangled with uncountable stars. “I am so glad we got to share this moment,” he said, taking her hand. “Me too,” she whispered, as she hit the button to jettison the hatch.

  23. 19) They were ardent lovers bound to secrecy, fellow musicians, and passionate poets who hadn’t seen or spoken to one another in over three decades.

    Heartbreaking circumstances kept them apart until romantic desire that never waned over the passage of time and The Almighty Universe intervened and prompted him to email her.

    Serendipity prevailed and they are, at long last, happily reunited in a partnership destined for success, joy, and boundless love.

  24. 20) When I saw Caroline Anderson’s mother in the grocery store, I ducked behind the tallest family I could find and followed them around the corner at the end of the pickle aisle. “I see you still love Oreo’s,” she said, when she found me later staring blankly at the blue and white packages, remembering the summer when we ate dozens of them in her tree house, bribing her little brother with the leftovers to leave us alone. “Please come visit any time, honey, because no matter how long she’s been gone, you will always be Caroline’s best friend.”

  25. Wow, fantastic entries Jim, a great contest! “:)

  26. This comment marks the end of our entries. Thank you, everyone!

    Now that the contest deadline has passed, judges and contestants alike are encouraged to provide feedback to our contestants’ entries.

    Our judges will be awarding their digital book prizes by replying to individual entries. Stay tuned!

  27. All I can say is …
    WOWZERS!! Way cool entries, everyone. What a great community this is. 🙂

    • Thanks very much, Melanie.

      I love the part where our contestants start getting more feedback and winning prizes. I also love it when people say “WOWZERS!!” — always makes me smile! 🙂

  28. How lucky am I LOL

  29. I want to thank the judges and Jim for choosing my 3 sentences. It was quite a shock especially when you read the other entries. I mentioned to Jim that if I had read the other 3 sentences before I posted mine, I would not have submitted it at all. I am feeling humbled by the talent and creativity of the other entries.

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