Rootless Weekend Flash-Fiction

Chris HowardChris Howard imagines a bleak future in his debut novel, Rootless. It’s set in a world without nature: no trees or flowers, bears or fish. The U.S. has become a deserted wasteland, plagued by constant dust storms. No trees, means no paper, which means no books. No cows means no cheeseburgers. Life is pretty terrible.

Inspired by Rootless by Chris Howard, we’re hosting a weekend flash-fiction contest!



This weekend we’re challenging you to create your own future world. Each day, we’ll ask you to describe a small detail of this world in 150 words or fewer.

You have 24 hours (until 11:59 p.m. ET on the day the prompt is posted) to enter a story in response to the prompt. You can enter one story for each day’s prompt. If you respond to multiple prompts over the course of the challenge, those stories do not have to be related.


The Figment editors will choose our four favorite entries from all three days to feature on the Figment Homepage. The four winners will each receive a copy of Rootless.

Saturday’s Prompt (11/10):

“The microwave pinged and I pulled the popcorn out. Superfood, GenTech calls it. Engineered for everything a body needs. And maybe that’s true if you eat enough of it.”

Your challenge: In 150 words or fewer, describe what people would eat in the future. Tag your writing RootlessFlash and RootlessDay1.

Sunday’s Prompt (11/11):

“They figured me too young for a tree builder. I could see it in their eyes. Bunch of rich freaks, staring at me like I needed to impress them. But I did need to. . . .I built the best trees in the Steel Cities, but you’d never know it from the drought I’d hit.”

Your challenge: In 150 words or fewer, describe what kinds of jobs people would have in your future world. Tag your writing RootlessFlash and RootlessDay2.

Monday’s Prompt (11/12):

“I slammed down the hatch to seal up the wagon. I ran to the front where the hood was still gaping wide And right before I turned back to the engine, I spotted the silhouettes of those two pirate vehicles, their oily color leaching through the dust storm, looming closer every second.”

Your challenge: In 150 words or fewer, describe what kinds of transportation people would have in your future. Tag your writing RootlessFlash and RootlessDay3.

How to Enter:

1. Read the full rules.
2. Create an account on
3. Start a new writing of 150 words or less.
4. Tag your writing with RootlessFlash on the “Details” tab. Tag your writing with the correct daily tag (RootlessDay1, RootlessDay2, or RootlessDay3) on the “Details” tab.
5. Enter your response by 11:59 p.m. ET on the day the prompt was posted.
6. Press “Publish Now.”
7. You should receive a pop-up confirmation of your entry, and in about two hours or so, your piece should appear among the submissions.

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