NYC-100 Word Microfiction Competition

My entry and results in the NYC-100 Word Microfiction Competition!

On May 15, 2021, I entered the NYC 100-word Microfiction Competition Round 1. This was my first time entering a writing competition. I didn't place in the top 15 candidates but I did enjoy the challenge of writing this short story within a 24-hour period of time,  and I found the feedback useful for any future writing. I look forward to entering future competitions.

I was given the following criteria to use in my story:

Genre: Drama
Action: Playing a Musical Instrument
Word: Friendly

This is what I wrote:

The Unknown Harpist - 05-15-2021

Her eyes were filled with tears. She claimed she was a harpist and could play a musical instrument: the beautiful stringed harp. No one checked. No one disputed her claim. She is an unknown but friendly young girl with an enormous dream. The harp is her dream instrument even if is just to own it, take lessons, listen to its magnificent sound, or just admire its beauty. Suddenly, she was selected to play her harp at the largest concert in the world. Where is her fairy godmother to magically transform her into the world’s best-known harpist? The tears flowed.

This is the feedback I received: 

The 100-word Microfiction Challenge 2021 / 1st Round Feedback – 07-22-2021

Dear Anita Wladichuk,

The feedback from the judges on your 1st round submission from the 100-word Microfiction Challenge 2021 is below.  You should be proud of rising to the challenge and we hope you find the feedback helpful.  Thank you for participating, stay safe, and we hope to see you in a future competition!

''The Unknown Harpist'' by Anita Wladichuk -     WHAT THE JUDGES LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY - {2035}  I thought that starting the story with tears in her eyes and ending with her crying was a nice way to encapsulate the whole piece in one small moment.   {2008}  This is a creative idea, and the reader does become interested. The reader also certainly feels for the main character. The opening and closing lines echoing each other, is effective, and there are some very good touches, such as the fairy godmother line.  {1943}  Oh my gosh, this was a beautiful, poignant story. I loved the simplicity of the premise, with the girl telling a lie that then got her into a terrible predicament. The fact that her lie was that she could play the harp was intriguing and original. My heart broke a little at the explanation that "The harp is her dream instrument even if is just to own it, take lessons, listen to its magnificent sound, or just admire its beauty." I really wanted to know more about this girl, and to find out if she ever did tell the truth. I also wanted to see if she ever had the opportunity to learn how to play the harp. :)   WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK - {2035}  To me, the story raised questions of how she managed to trick people into letting her play her harp at this big concert. I like the idea of her trickery coming to get her, but I think it happens too quickly. I think condensing the first half and her dream of owning the harp significantly and instead focusing on concrete actions that happened in the story would help it spring to life and answer those questions.   {2008}  Things are left slightly too vague. The reader can gather the basic idea, but being directly told some further details, would be very helpful. The reader understands the main character's desires, but despite some attempted explanation, not exactly how things played out to this outcome.  {1943}  I would suggest reading your story aloud so you can hear where you switched from past to present tense. You opened in past tense, with "Her eyes were filled with tears" and "No one checked." You then switched to present tense at "She is an unknown but friendly young girl with an enormous dream", and stayed in present tense until "Suddenly, she was selected to play the harp..." You then move back to present tense at "Where is her fairy godmother..." Reading aloud can help you hear where you make the switch, so you can choose which tense to write the story in, and make the use of tenses consistent.