FLEUR - 2020-02 (CLOSED)
"Plum Blossom"

54 entries

27 shortlisted

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. This is the first month we are asking for a subscription to enter a contest.  If you are a previous 1st place or prompt winner, this does not apply, and you 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!

Plum blossoms in bloom,
Unexpected reunion –
Misty breaths linger.

Plum Blossom

Some of us have never seen plum blossoms.  The wonderful thing about imagination, however, is that we can experience things we’ve never seen!  With a brush, a pen, a computer keyboard, we can create the rich symbolism of this late-winter beauty any time we want.

The old haiku masters often wrote about plum blossoms.  You might enjoy learning more about this “Winter Gentleman” and reading the words of Issa and Basho in this article entitled Plum Blossom and Moon.

Our prompt creator is again Zantal Siah, one of our long-term members and prolific prompt writers. Notice how she combines images of flowers and of humanity in an effortless, almost mystical manner.  Thank you, Zantal!

Celebrate the beauties of late winter with a new story!  We invite you to enter an original story – or two, or three – inspired by the picture and by Zantal’s prompt.  Let your imagination run wild.  What stories do you see in the red and white tapestry of plum blossoms and snow?    You may click on the picture to enlarge it. 


Two Ways to Win!

Some of you love public voting, and others enjoy getting feedback from a highly qualified judge. We now have something for everyone!

Our judge for this contest will be Dr. Regina Higgins, writer, editor, and published author, who will select the Grand Prize Winner.  Regina is hard at work on her current novel which involves, among other things, ostriches on a ranch.  Stay tuned for news on this exciting work!

  • Public Voting will determine 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners
  • ZenGarden.club Judge will select the Grand Prize Winner.

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, February 26, 2020  5 pm ET.  Please read the guidelines below before entering.

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 February 26, 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 free life-time subscription to ZenGarden.club, permanent winners page, and permanent publication of the story on the site
  • First prize (Public Voting) – $25.00 plus free life-time subscription to ZenGarden.club, 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 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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