Quick links on this page:
Through the writing challenges, to date we have:
These figures will be updated at the beginning of each month.
I'm developing these writing challenges for a variety of reasons.
But there's more to it than that. Below is a little more detail.
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.
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.
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 by each individual challenge below, as part of the overview of each challenge. You can see the overall amount raised by all the challenges at the top of the page.
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:
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:
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.
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:
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:
This challenge's full name is: Mike’s Not-Entirely-Serious Wantonly-Rule-Breaking Adverb Writing Challenge
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, was released in November 2016. Adverbially Challenged Volume 2 will be released in April 2017. We are currently accepting submissions for Volume 3.
To date, we have sold 106 books, raising £106 for charity.
This challenge's full name is: Lesley's Nifty Nib-Nibbling Nonsensical Narrative Challenge
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.
This challenge's full name is: Allen's Sensory Overload Challenge
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.
This challenge's full name is: Chris's Colossal Cliché Count 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 from publishers. The cliché challenge will focus on this common mistake.
Coming in June 2017 as part of the Bath Flash Fiction Festival. Come and see me in the Cliché Cabin on 24th/25th June at the New Oriel Hall in Bath.
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.
The challenge's full name is: TBC
The idea for this challenge was conceived by Heather.
When you're stuck for inspiration, you can use current events to spark your imagination. Fear, humour, exasperation, disbelief etc. are emotions often felt when hearing the news. Using a topical theme can inspire a writer, give a story focus and, therefore, interest the reader.
In this challenge we ask writers to use a current news story to inspire a work of fiction that has a clear theme.
Coming early in 2018.
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 :-)