• Micro Fiction Challenge: Donkeyman & Donkeywoman

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Micro Fiction Challenge     Comments 2 comments
    Sep
    9

    donkey-1342350_960_720Our latest Micro Fiction Challenge, “fizzle,” did just that. What happened, y’all? I picked a bad word? Nobody wanted to write about July Fourth fireworks fizzling out? You all think I’m some sort of donkeyman?

    Donkeyman. What a fun word to say. Try it out. Just one step away from assman. (Cosmo Kramer, anyone? The ASSMAN?)

    It sounds like a slur, but it’s actually a nautical term for someone who works in a ship’s engine room. Merriam-Webster says a donkeyman is responsible for running the donkey engine, also known as the steam donkey. From Joseph Conrad’s story “Typhoon”: “One of the stokers was disabled, the others had given in, the second engineer and the donkeyman were firing-up.”

    Oxford says donkeyman is “a man with responsibilities in a ship’s engine room.” A man. So if a woman were running (or manning) the steam donkey, would she be a donkeywoman? The only search results I get for “donkeywoman” are NSFW. Volumes have been written about the sexism in this here language.

    But in the Micro Fiction Challenge, succinctness reigns.

    Your task is to write, in 25 words or fewer, a short story using the word donkeyman or donkeywoman. Or both!

    You can use it either as originally intended or in your own special way.

    Make us laugh like donkeys and you’ll get extra points.

    The winner, chosen by me because I don’t know a flawless way to crowd-vote, gets to choose a title from our ever-growing stack of hot-off-the-presses hardcovers and ARCs and galleys.

    Leave your micro fiction in the comments section below. Use a pseudonym if you’re shy. Click “Notify” to follow the competition. Enter as many times as you’d like.

    This donkey of a contest will shut down one week from today.

     

    WriteByNight is a writers’ service dedicated to helping you achieve your creative potential and literary goals. We work with writers of all experience levels working in all genres, nationwide and worldwide. If you have a 2016 writing project that you’d like a little help with, take a look at our book coaching, private instruction and writer’s block counseling services. Join our mailing list and get a FREE writer’s diagnostic, “Common problems and SOLUTIONS for the struggling writer.”

    David Duhr, co-founderWriteByNight co-founder David Duhr is copy editor and fiction editor at the Texas Observer and contributes regularly to the Dallas Morning News, Publishing Perspectives, the Observer and other publications.

    0 0 votes
    Article Rating
    Subscribe
    Notify of
    guest
    2 Comments
    Oldest
    Newest Most Voted
    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments
    Jon Sommers

    The donkeywoman looked at the donkeyman and his stupid asshead. “You’re an ass,” she said.

    “I *am* an ass,” he responded. “So are you.”

    “Brrrrrraaaaaayyyyyyy.”

    Alex Jackson

    “Donkeyman!” the captain beckoned.

    “Woman,” said the donkeywoman.

    “Oh, man,” moaned the captain.

    “Woman,” said the donkeywoman.

    “Yar,” said the captain (suddenly becoming a pirate).




    Find WBN on Twitter


    2
    0
    Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
    ()
    x