Story Starter November 2017 – Jean Pierre Schoss

Our November Story Starter showcases artwork by Jean Pierre Schoss  and Brenda Tucker (dogbitesteel).

To enter, write a short piece (100 words maximum) inspired by the art pictured here. It can be any form of writing (poetry, prose, dialogue, haiku, etc.) as long as it is original, in English, and based on the featured artwork. Submit your entry in the comment section below.

There is no restriction of age, location (subject to local laws), or cost associated with entering the contest. You have until midnight on November 30, 2017 to submit your story. Check the full entry rules and format here.

Finalists and winners will be determined by judges selected by the OWC and will be announced Spring 2018.

 We look forward to reading your Story Starters.

About The Artists

dogbitesteel “uses recycled materials, for a number of reasons.” On the website, it states, “First, it is our responsibility to contribute to this world in as many ways as possible. I never see just a steel object. I see the new life waiting to come out of it.”

A graduate of the Ontario College of Art specializing in metal, jewelry, and glass, Schoss has a studio and resides in Uxbridge. For more information, visit

Want to check out past contest entries? Click here.

Feeling inspired? Paste in your 100-word original entry below!

** Please note, there is a delay between comment submission and approval, so please submit an entry one time only. Thank you. **

  • Piper (tanka)

    Notes of salvation
    sweetly rise above the stench
    “Follow”, they whisper
    Naive, they blamed the heavens
    Yet who but He can save thee?

  • “What are you saving that for? Throw it out.”

    “I need it!”

    “You don’t need it, just throw it out!”

    “I can use it.”

    “For what? Just get rid of it! The house is full of junk you never use!”

    “It’s not junk. Preschool can use it; some of it is for the boys’ teachers.”

    “It’s all good stuff that can be used.”

    “It’s garbage. There is nowhere to move in here! Just get rid of it!”

    “I’m not throwing out good stuff! If someone can use it, why should I throw it out?”

    “But it’s everywhere!”

    “It is not!”

  • Standing brave and tall in the morning mist with flower flag bravely aloft while piping the stone men to battle. Hair standing like spikes in fear eyes hollowed from sleepless days and nights but non the less leading the men into whatever fray befell them among the rocky meadow shards.

  • He stood tall in the misty field shattering the sublime quietness of early morning, disturbing nature even though his instrument was small. People tried to thwart his tuneless noise, but to no avail. Then like the biblical figure of old he looked around with a mocking grin and suddenly turned to stone. Now when others pass by they see spikes protruding from his rocky head; one for each offensive tune he played.

  • He had found God amongst the tragedy. As the smoke cleared there he stood, the lonely survivor. Just hours before there were men dying in every direction as they cried out for their mother’s. He was a realist finding no purpose in a higher power. He needed logic and understanding. The sound of screaming steel echoed throughout the field as men plunged their swords into one another. Kneeling he took the bitter chance of death for a moment of supreme prayer. He surrendered. Now alone, the only thing to do was praise the inexplicable with a song of new beginning.

  • turn your words to stone
    clink them against the pavement
    divide them, space here, tempo there
    this isn’t about doctrine, or blowing trumpets
    it’s about gathering
    to walk in the deserts and marshlands
    and places even more dangerous
    where music concerts burst into flame
    it’s about the spikes of wounded wisdom
    and remaining upright under the weighted hope
    that inspires our preservation
    it’s about accepting the strange ideas
    that formulate in the ratio
    of throw-away and recycle

    Jan Wood

  • Only this morning
    I think I thought I summoned
    but a butterfly

  • rally up, the dawn approaches,
    tally up, blue fog encroaches,
    hair hurts and I need a new ‘do,
    it’s time to go, where is our crew?
    they’re on to us, the simple fakes,
    awake, awake before they take,
    no chance to stay or play for keeps
    it’s time to go, let’s leave my peeps …

  • A fife with no drum, but held high is a flower of hope. A small figure in Nature’s care, a symbol for us; persevere with optimism. Behind dark clouds are stars and the sun waiting for us. Can we wait for them? I say yes. What do you say?

  • “Who’s that statue of, Dad?”

    “Your great, great — too many to count — grandmother, Harriet. A quick-thinking rat, she was.

    “The story goes that one day, an evil piper came to Hamelin, and played a tune that lured every rat down to the River Heser.”

    The pup’s eyes bulged.

    “Every rat drowned, except Grandma Harriet. When her last paw touched water, she grabbed a vine on the shore, pulling her, and her unborn pups, back to dry land.”

    “Why is she playing a pipe?”

    “Harriet vowed that if that piper ever showed his face again, she’d change his tune.”

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