Journal logo

Call Me Les Summer Fiction Series

by Call Me Les 4 months ago in literature · updated 4 months ago
Report Story

An index

Vocal's Summer Fiction Series was my first real attempt at short fictions. Prior to this, my primary writing attempts were novels or books. I did manage to publish one, Owl in a Towel, which you can find here.

I summarized my rationale for entering Vocal challenges and I maintain they are one of the most cost effective and uplifting writing contests you can enter. I learned so much by pushing myself and sharing and collaborating with my peers. If you're on the fence, this article just might convince you to take the plunge. After all, it's cheaper than Netflix and you walk away with a new portfolio entry.

About the contest:

"This series is comprised of eight short fiction Challenges ranging in length from one week to eight weeks long. Each prompt is inspired by a different book from a traditional summer reading list, full of the classics that so many of us read and reread throughout childhood and adolescence to prepare for the school year ahead. We'll start with childhood classics like Matilda and Charlotte's Web, and work our way up through those high school staples like Catcher in the Rye and The Bluest Eye. It’s a little nostalgia, and a whole lot of creativity."

My entries

SFS 1 Old Barn Prompt Inspiration: Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

Must include: Old barn

Bear in mind here, the audience is for tweens.

SFS 2 Death by Chocolate Inspiration: Matilda by Roald Dahl

Must include: chocolate cake

I've since updated this story from chocolate cake to pancakes.

SFS 3 Brown Paper Package Inspiration: The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Must include: brown paper package

My tabby cat approves of this entry. My calico says she is severely unappreciated and demands her story be entered into this index as well (even though it was for the EmPAWyee of the Month contest).

SFS 4 Golden Summer Inspiration: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Must include: marigolds

I managed to blend my favourite opera with my favourite Tolkien quote and I was quite pleased with the result.

SFS 5 Raging Bull Inspiration: The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemmingway

Must include: a bull

This was my absolute favourite. Something about it just clicked. I was able to take some inspiration from one of my own childhood favourites, The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. Le Guin.

SFS 6 Green Light Inspiration: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Must include: green light

This was inspired by a dear friend who lives up north but the plot is a work of fiction. I also adore the song, "The Sound of Silence" by Simon & Garfunkel and used that as ambience for the piece.

SFS 7: Long Thaw Inspiration: Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Must include: a frozen pond

One of my favourite movies of all time is Funny Girl with Barbara Streisand. This was a fictional exploration of the inner thoughts of the main character Fanny and her divorce from her embezzling husband. Of course I included the song "My Man I Love Him So".

SFS 8: Pear Tree Inspiration: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Must include: pear tree

This story very nearly didn't make it into the challenge. I had this grand idea and lots of description but I couldn't get the plot to close. So, I turned to my writing partner, Tom Bradbury, along with my co-worker, James U. Rizzi. Tom has since passed and this story will remain one of our greatest projects together in our too short partnership.

My SFS Magnum Opus Featured All the Prompts

This is actually an excerpt from a novel I hope to finish one day. I hope you enjoy this retelling of an old myth from a woman's lens.

After EmPAWyee of the month I went on a writing hiatus for personal works. It just wasn't the same without Tom. Then Foggy Waters was announced and I rallied for a final fiction— a horror no less!

Whether you read some or none of these, I will treasure this 2021 index as a lasting entry in my burgeoning writing portfolio. I owe Vocal so much for pushing me to expand my horizons, step outside my comfort zone and create a remarkable selection of short fictions.

This index is dedicated to the memory of Tom Bradbury. My eulogy for him is featured below. His fictions and Vocal career are immortalized in a double set of compilations included within.


If you'd like to learn more about my portfolio on Vocal Media, why I write and the suite of products I've created thus far, including 2 Facebook Groups and a magazine, it's detailed below in my Vocal Creator Spotlight

Find me online in the Vocal Social Society

Check out my book here:

And my magazine here:


Published by Call Me Les on January 15, 2022.


About the author

Call Me Les

Founding admin at the Vocal Social Society. Editor/Founder of the Vocal Creators Chronicle.


No words left unspoken. For Tom.


Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2022 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.