The Ultimate “How To” Writing Book by Christopher Fielden.
Amazon: 5 starts.
Order a FREE taster PDF
BUY the Book

Follow me on Twitter.
Find me on Facebook.
My Facebook Business Page.
Connect with me on LinkedIn.
Circle me on Google.
Subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Subscribe to my mailing list

* indicates required

Writing Challenges

Quick links on this page:

about the challenges - submit - suggest a challenge

Writing Challenge

What Are The Flash Fiction Writing Challenges All About?

I'm developing these writing challenges for a variety of reasons.

Primarily, they:

  1. Guarantee publication (so you see your work published)
  2. Support some amazing charities

But there's more to it than that. Below is a little more detail.

The Fun Stuff

  • The flash fiction challenges get you thinking about different aspects of your writing
  • They encourage you to practice your writing and complete stories
  • Your submissions will be published (sometimes edited, but always published) on this website
  • Most of the submissions are published in anthologies:
    • Printed books (with registered ISBNs)
    • eBooks
    • All are sold through Amazon and raise money to support different charities
  • Submitting isn't too daunting and doesn't take long as the word count limits are so low (no more than 100 to 200 words) and the rules are very simple

By getting a lot of writers involved I hope to generate a nice lot of money for some very worthy causes. All the published books will contain 100 very short stories, so up to 100 different authors could be featured in each anthology. By submitting and spreading the word about the books your work is featured in, you will be helping raise money for charity at the same time as gaining exposure for your writing. Everyone's a winner.

The Educational Stuff

  • Many of the challenges invite you to purposely make common writing mistakes (like using lots of adverbs or clichés, for example)
  • This will make you more aware of the mistakes and (I hope) will help you write better, more publishable stories in the future
  •  By participating, you gain the experience of working with an editor/publisher (me) and have your work edited into a professional format for release in a book
  • You obtain a publishing credit to add to your writing CV, often in a book with an ISBN

One of the aims of running these challenges is to raise awareness of common mistakes that fiction competition judges and magazine editors frequently highlight as reasons for rejecting stories.

Challenging you to purposefully make these 'errors' means you'll become more mindful of how to avoid them in the future. This means you're much more likely to see your stories published.

How The Challenges Support Charities

Each time 100 stories are submitted to each challenge, I will produce a professionally formatted book in print and eBook formats. The books will be distributed through Amazon and made available for sale all over the world. For every book sold, £1 will be donated to charity.

You can see how much money has been generated for charity via book sales below, as part of the overview of each challenge.

The books will be priced to generate an average profit of just over £1. I have to use an average because unit costs vary. This depends on the format the book is sold in (EG, print is more expensive because of the costs of printing a physical book) and many other factors including:

  • the country the book is sold in
  • current currency exchange rates
  • tax laws in different territories
  • the distribution channel the sale is made through (eg, if the book is sold by an independant book shop, the profit margin is lower as you have the print/production cost + Amazon's cut of profits + the book shop's cut of profits)
  • print costs (these vary, depending on the number of the pages in each book)
  • etc.

So, prices and profit margins do vary quite a bit.

As an example of price, Adverbially Challenged Volume 1 (the first anthology I released) retails at:

  • £5.69/$6.99 in print format
  • £2.49/$3.49 in eBook format
  • £1.49 in PDF format

I plan to ensure that every book produced through these challenges is always available for less than £10 in print format.

As I mentioned before, for every book sold, £1 will be donated to charity. The average profit per book is around £1.25. The 25p from each sale goes towards admin costs, so there is very little (if any) profit in it for me.

So why do I run the challenges? What IS in it for me?

The challenges are becoming increasingly popular, so more people are learning about my website. This means I gain more visitors/readers and brand recognition. I have adverts placed on my site (you can see them at the top and down the sides of the page). Each time someone clicks on an advert, I receive a small amount of money. Increasing the volume of website visits I receive means more people click on the adverts, so I generate more revenue from advertising.

I run my website full time and, currently, don't make enough money to live. But I want to be able to offer the content on the site for free, without having to put everything behind a payment wall. This creates a supportive community available to everyone to get involved in, even if they're totally skint. I hope to increase visits to my site over time and that will generate more money from advertising. So that's how running the challenges helps me.

back to top

Challenge Sign

Get Involved With The Writing Challenges

Here you will find details of the micro fiction writing challenges that are currently running. Anyone of any age can submit from anywhere in the world. It doesn't matter how experienced you are - any level of capability is fine:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Professional
  • Literary genius (we all secretly hope we're one of those...)

The rules for each challenge are simple and the word count limits are short, so they're not too daunting.

I love to publish writers for the first time, so please get involved and see your work in print.

Here are the challenges that are currently open for submissions:

 

Adverb Writing Challenge

This challenge's full name is: Mike’s Not-Entirely-Serious Wantonly-Rule-Breaking Adverb Writing Challenge

Writers Mike Scott Thomson & Christopher Fielden

Mike & Chris & the Humber Bridge

The idea for this challenge was conceived by Mike Scott Thomson.

Many new writers overuse adverbs in their writing. To raise awareness of this, the Adverb Writing Challenge was born. All you have to do is write a story crammed with as many adverbs as you can.

Learn more about and submit to the Adverb Writing Challenge here.

The adverb writing challenge has been running since April 2016. The first anthology, Adverbially Challenged Volume 1, will be released in November 2016. We are currently accepting submissions for Volume 2.

To date, we have sold 101 books, raising £101 for charity.

 

N0nsense Writing Challenge

This challenge's full name is: Lesley's Nifty Nib-Nibbling Nonsensical Narrative Challenge

Chris Fielden & Lesley Truchet

Lesley & Chris hanging out on a Kawasaki, as you do...

The idea for this challenge was conceived by Lesley Truchet.

This challenge will highlight the need for a coherent plot and satisfying conclusion to a story. Leaving unanswered questions or having an incomplete story-arc can leave a reader feeling disappointed and unlikely to read any more of your work.

Learn more about and submit to the Nonsense Writing Challenge here.

The first anthology, Nonsensically Challenged Volume 1, will be released when we've received 100 stories.

 

Sensory Writing Challenge

This challenge's full name is: Allen's Sensory Overload Challenge

Allen Ashley & Christopher Fielden

Allen & Chris, trapped in some sort of Photoshop-mirror-body-twin hellish nightmare

The idea for this challenge was conceived by Allen Ashley.

Many 'How To' books will tell you to be precise and careful when using sensory words. Here, we invite you to be profuse and bountiful in your use of purple prose.

Coming in February 2017.

 

Preposition Writing Challenge

This challenge's full name is: Ville’s Preposterously Placed Prepositions Writing Challenge

PICTURE COMING SOON

The idea for this challenge was conceived by Ville Nummenpää.

A common piece of writing advice is never to end a sentence with a preposition.

Ville says, "I have always resented that 'rule'. I keep hearing about it, and get the feeling it´s just a very snobbish, intellectual-bully sort of thing, and it wakes up the little anarchist in me."

So we've decided to wake up the anarchist in every writer across the planet, and invite them to misuse their prepostitions wantonly.

Coming sometime in 2017.

 

Cliché Writing Challenge

This challenge's full name is: Chris's Crippling Cliché Catastrophe Conundrum Challenge

PICTURE COMING SOON

A lot of writers overuse clichés in their prose. This detracts from the originality of their voice and can lead to a lot of rejection. The cliché challenge will focus on this common mistake.

Coming sometime later in 2017 or early 2018.

back to top

Suggest A Writing Challenge

Have you got an idea for a writing challenge?

If so, contact me with your idea and I'll consider launching the challenge on the website.

I'll also involve you with running the challenge. You can see how other writers have been involved with previous writing challenges by reviewing those that are currently running.

Note (written December 2016): I now have enough challenges to see me through to the end of 2017/beginning of 2018. Blimey... what have I started? Anyway, don't let that stop you suggesting a challenge - just be aware that there is a looooong queue :-)

 

How to Write a Short Story, Christopher Fielden

back to top

Leave your comments

Please use the form below to leave your comments. All comments will be reviewed so won't appear on the page instantly. I will not share your details with anyone else. Most recent comments appear at the bottom of the page, oldest at the top.

Your Details:

Please prove you're a human by entering the security code in the box below: 3233

Comments:

Your comments:

Judith W
By the way, your challenges are very encouraging for new writers, whether they are young, or not-so-young.

Thank you for your continuing contests and support.

Chris Fielden
Thanks, Judith.

It’s always nice to hear that people enjoy the website :-)

Lesley T
Great to know there are other challenges coming up.  I will keep my pen ready.

Chris Fielden
Fabulous.

I'm hoping to run 2 or 3 or 4 a year :-)

Lesley T
Lovely to see that the 2nd adverb challenge is reaching its target, the nonsense one too is over the half way mark. I can't wait for the forthcoming ones to appear.

Chris Fielden
Thanks Lesley. It's nice to see so many writers participating - makes it all worthwhile :-)