Allusionary Assembly

The Writing of Kerry E.B. Black


writing contest

Writing Rodeo FREE Contest

This year, spin a yarn as long as the Rio Grande (in 99 words, that is) to be a contender in a Western-themed Folk Tale or Fable event of the Carrot Ranch Writing Rodeo

Yours truly is the leader for this event, so saddle up, round ‘em up, and write those words for a shot at winning a $25 Amazon Gift Card and your work immortalized at

How do you participate? 

SIMPLE! Write ONE original folk tale or fable in 99 words. Exactly 99 words (not including title and byline) *Don’t publish the piece anywhere until after the contest is completed (The end of November, 2020) because we want the blind judging to be fair and uninfluenced.

Is there an entry fee? NO, Cowfolk! No Entry Fee!

Can I enter more than one story? No, one only. Sorry.

Deadline? All entries must be wrangled and submitted to me by noon EST on Tuesday, 13 October, 2020.

Do I have to be a published writer to enter? NO, Cowfolk! All are welcome to try their hand at writing a western folk tale or fable in 99 exactly words. 

What if my story’s word count reaches 101 words? EDIT it to 99 words, my friend, before you submit your entry. The story must be 99 words (not counting the title and byline) to qualify. I know, I know. It’s a challenge to convey what you wish with brevity. You can do it!

Need inspiration? Check out the adventures of Pecos Bill and Paul Bunyan. Real life characters like Wild Bill Hickcock, Jesse James, Calamity Jane, and Doc Holiday provide fodder. Or re-imagine real-life happenings, like the shoot out at the OK Corral or the gold rush. Native American culture is another rich source of inspiration. Or mosey on to something western-themed in these modern times. 

*Any genre, as long as you keep the western feel. Stretch your imagination, mind the word count, and lasso something great!

Ready to saddle up? Submit to (subject line Rodeo Entry)!

Winner for this event will be announced on Tuesday, 3 November, 2020.

Meet the Judges:

Debra R Sanchez is an award-winning bilingual author and editor-in-chief at Tree Shadow Press. She leads various writing groups, hosts writing retreats, teaches workshops at conferences, and has been judging poetry and short story contests since 2010. Four of her books have earned awards from The Author Zone (2017, 2018, 2020), and her other writing has won awards at writers’ conferences in numerous genres. Several of her plays and monologues have been produced and published. Other works have been published in literary magazines, newspapers, and anthologies. Visit for more details. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @DebraRSanchez.

Beverly V. Blickenderfer is an award-winning Western Pennsylvanian writer and photographer. Her short works have appeared in Gannet Publications, and she’s written a novel and a children’s book. The writing influences of this avid reader are many and diverse, but her literary hero is Victor Hugo’s Jean Valjean.

Need an example for inspiration? Here’s something I whipped up.

Rattlehog, – told in 99 words

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Jeb rushed into camp, eyes wild, mustache bristled. “A creature talked to me!”

We eased him into a seat and handed him a whiskey. 

“A groundhog, but…” He bolted the whiskey and tapped for more. “Stood waist-high, wise-eyed as a Granny’s, lower half a rattler’s.”

“Was it trapped,” I asked. “Or bit?”

“No, listen. It talked, quiet as a breeze. Said, ‘Better clear out. Something bad’s aboutta happen.’ I asked what, but it lowered itself to the grasses.”

I scoffed, but Ed packed his things, saying, “If a Rattlehog says get, you get.”

A plains fire started that night.

“Snacks” – another 99 word story written for a prompt

Charli Mills posted the prompt for this week’s 99 word challenge, and I have a response below. Please, if you participate, let me know so that I can pop by and read your stories! And I’d love, love, love to hear your thoughts on mine.

Also, next month, Carrot Ranch will host not only weekly 99 word prompts, but also a WRITING RODEO. It is a series of great contest with NO ENTRY FEE! Prizes, experience, potential glory, and lots of fun await all of you Buckaroos! AND GUESS WHAT??? I am organizing the first contest!!!!!!!! I’ll post more details about it here NEXT TUESDAY!

Now, for my 99 word story:


Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Fans cluster, elbowing one another for a better position to see him. Modern “young adult literature” has proved such a boon for his waning popularity. 

Their eyes fill with desperation, their hearts pump intentions and desires they don’t even understand yet. They’re bunched together, a throng of feminine longing, as the creak and groan of rusted and ill-used hinges announces his appearance. They shriek – not with horror but with ecstasy!

His tight-lipped smile barely disguises his pleasure as he wades into the fawning assembly. 

At last, with fangs fully extended, he shows these deluded youths the truth behind vampirism.

Halloween Writing Contest Entry is hosting an intriguing Halloween writing contest. Write a 200 word poem or story based on a photographic prompt. I chose Image 8 as my inspiration.

I hope you’ll enjoy this not-so-innocent trick.


I Got a Rock

Written by Kerry E.B. Black


Gerta didn’t mean to poison children on Halloween.


She dressed in cellophane fairy wings and held her plastic jack-o-lantern bowl in hands trembling with excitement when trick-or-treaters arrived at her door. She returned their cheerful “thank you’s” as she closed the door to return to her paused holiday special. 


“Who would give that poor bald boy with the hole-infested sheets rocks,” she wondered sadly and she listened for the next round of candy mendicants. 


Gerta didn’t know an evil had infected her candy bowl, one that creeped through the wrappers and settled beside the dazzling crystals. An insidious powder had filtered every ill-intention of previous owners through the heavy oaken rafters of her ancient brownstone.


As darkness deepened and the time for tricks and treats ended, Gerta sighed. The Vince Guaraldi Trio punctuated Linus’ appeal for a sincere pumpkin patch. 


“Maybe next year,” Gerta reassured Linus, and perhaps herself. Maybe next year she’d have friends and host a party, or a beau to snuggle beneath her crocheted blanket.


She unwrapped the unclaimed candy and munched, licking sticky goodness from her fingertips, until despair choked her insides. As her intestines knotted within her, Gerta repeated her hopeless reassurance. “Maybe next year.”

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