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Mike's Not-Entirely-Serious Wantonly-Rule-Breaking Adverb Writing Challenge

Quick links on this page:

rules & how to enter - what is an adverb - about the challenge - read adverb-riddled stories

Mike Scott Thomson & Christopher Fielden

Mike Scott Thomson & Chris Fielden, looking devilishly handsome (hmm...) after undertaking the long and arduous journey to Hull

Welcome to Mike's Not-Entirely-Serious Wantonly-Rule-Breaking Adverb Writing Challenge. Like its creator, it's very simple (sorry, Mike...). And fun too.

Writing Improvement Software

Rules & How To Enter

This is a flash fiction challenge. Here are the rules:

  • 100 words max
  • please include a title for your story (not included in word count)
  • try and use as many adverbs as you can
  • entry is FREE
  • anyone can enter
  • no more than 1 entry per person please
  • no profanity please - the competition has been shared with schools/children
  • your adverb-riddled tales will be published on this page
  • every time we receive 100 500 stories, we'll publish all of them in a book
  • any money made through anthology sales will go to charity
  • by submitting, you accept the terms and conditions
  • when anthologies are published, you will be involved in the book launch process
  • submit your story by filling in the comments form below
  • include a short biography (40 words max) for use in the published book - if you don't supply a bio, we will be unable to publish your story
  • include 1 link (optional) to your website, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc.

So far, we've received 508 entries. We need 492 more to publish the next anthology.

The first anthology – Adverbially Challenged Volume 1 – was released in November 2016. It contains the first 100 stories submitted to the challenge.

Adverbially Challenged Volume 2 was released on 30th March 2017. It contains another 100 stories.

Adverbially Challenged Volume 3 was released on 17th March 2018. It contains another 100 stories.

Adverbially Challenged Volume 4 was released on 16th March 2019 . It contains another 100 stories.

Adverbially Challenged Volume 5 was released in November 2020 . It contains yet another 100 stories.

We will release Volume 6 when we have received 1,000 stories.

You can learn how to buy the books below.

Mike and I would like to thank everyone who has submitted stories for their support – it is very much appreciated :-)

Proceeds generated by anthology sales will be donated to First Story.

First Story Charity Logo

First Story supports and inspires creativity, literacy and confidence in UK secondary schools where over 50% of the pupils are considered deprived. The charity helps young people nurture and develop their creative writing skills.

Below is a letter we received from First Story after we made the first donation payment to them in January 2017. I'm sharing it here so that all the writers and readers who have contributed to this project can read it:

Dear Chris and Mike,

I am writing to thank you for your donation of £101 towards First Story’s programme, made following the impressive sale of 101 anthologies. It is incredibly generous of you to donate the proceeds of Adverbially Challenged Volume 1 sales to First Story, and we are delighted to hear that you have already received many entries for Volume 2. Your support will make a significant difference to our work with young people and we are truly grateful.

As you know, First Story aims to bridge the creativity gap by bringing writers into schools serving low-income communities.Through participating in writing residencies and other writing activities, our students are flourishing in confidence and creativity, developing key skills that will underpin their future success.We’re presently running 70 writing residencies, working with 1,500 students in the East Midlands, South West, London, Hull and West Yorkshire.

The impact First Story has on students is truly extraordinary and it can enhance the quality of their lives. Our work simply would not be possible without those, like you, who share our vision and ambition for young people.

Yours sincerely,

Mónica Parle

Executive Director, First Story

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What Is An Adverb?

An adverb is a word that is used to describe an adjective, verb or another adverb. They are commonly referred to as 'words ending in ly', although not all of them do.

Adverbs are often overused by amateur fiction writers. Hence, a common writing tip is 'don't overuse adverbs'. For example, Stephen King advises this in his book, On Writing, A Memoir Of The Craft.

I made the mistake of overusing them when I started out in writing and learnt the hard way that editing most of them out of your prose can vastly improve your writing. That said, don't feel you can't use them at all. You can, just don't over do it.

You can learn lots more about adverbs in this very useful resource by Your Dictionary.

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How The Adverb Writing Challenge Came To Be

Mike and I first met through the To Hull & Back humorous short story competition. Mike won the inaugural contest and travelled to Hull when I made the first winner's video.

Mike Thomson and Chris Fielden

Mike & Chris at the To Hull & Back anthology book launch

About a year later, Mike wrote a post for my blog, featuring his short story Me, Robot which was published by The Fiction Desk. Part of the post talks about the 'rules' of best practice for fiction writing, one of which is – you guessed it – don't use too many adverbs. While we were discussing this by email, we thought it might be fun to create a challenge that wantonly breaks this rule. We're such rebels geeks...

And so, the Adverb Writing Challenge was conceived and born. Originally, the challenge comprised part of Mike's post.

We decided that if we received 20 entries, we'd create a dedicated page to the challenge. We hit that milestone on 24th June 2016, hence this page exists.

We decided that if we received 1oo entries, we'd release an anthology. We hit that target on 3rd August 2016. Since then the submissions have continued to pile in. We have published a whole series of books and are currently accepting submissions for Adverbially Challenged Volume 6.

If we receive 1,000 entries, we'll release the next book and, as always, the proceeds will go to charity. If we don't receive 1,000, it's a bit of fun, you can read all the stories here on the site and you now know about the fabulous First Story charity and might donate to them in the future.

Win, win, win.

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Adverb Riddled Stories

Below are all the stories that have been submitted, crammed to exploding point with unnecessary adverbage. They are published in the order in which they were received.

Adverbially Challenged Volume 1

The first 100 stories submitted to the Adverb Challenge were removed from the site on 1st October 2016. They are now available to read in Adverbially Challenged Volume 1.

You can learn how to buy the book and support charity here.

Adverbially Challenged Anthology Volume 1

The book contains stories written by 91 different authors.

Profits from sales will be donated to the First Story charity every 3 to 6 months, depending on the volume of books sold. You can see how much has been raised by all the challenges run on this website on the main Writing Challenges page.

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Adverbially Challenged Volume 2

The second collection of 100 stories submitted to the Adverb Challenge were removed from the site on 1st February 2017. They are now available to read in Adverbially Challenged Volume 2.

You can learn how to buy the book and support charity here.

Adverbially Challenged Volume 2

The book contains stories written by 72 authors who reside all over the planet.

All future anothologies will contain stories by 100 writers as we are now limiting submissions to 1 per person.

For the sake of history, here are the opening notes Mike and I wrote when we opened submissions for the second anthology.

An opening note from Chris Fielden

Sadly, the legendary Allen Ashley regrettably missed out on the deliciously tempting target of submitting story number 100 to the Adverb Challenge. Ironically, his delightfully entitled story 'The Final Word' will open Adverbially Challenged Volume 2. Somehow, I feel this is fitting for this splendidly silly test of tantalisingly titillating adverb usage.

And from Mike Scott Thomson

So, we made it to 100 (and beyond)! Thanks so much to everyone for contributing to this undoubtedly daft, but indubitably satisfying challenge - and I'm sure First Story will be pleased too. Very much looking forward to Adverbially Challenged Vol 1 being released in November, just in time – hopefully – for the filling of stockings (Yulely).

And as for Volume 2, in the spirit of wantonly-rule-breaking, I couldn't think of a more appropriate story to kick things off than one called "The Final Word". Verily, I see great things ahead.

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Adverbially Challenged Volume 3

We received our 300th story on the 11th of November 2017. The third collection of stories were removed from the site on the 3rd of January 2018. Adverbially Challenged Volume 3 was published in March 2017.

You can learn how to buy the book and support charity here.

Adverbially Challenged Volume 3

An opening note from Chris Fielden

Splendidly, we've received 200 adverb riddled stories. We're now carefully traversing the cobbly road towards 300 stories. Writers are still generously submitting their imaginatively conceived tales, so undoubtedly we'll acheive our goal. Thanking you all muchly.

And from Mike Scott Thomson

Gratifyingly, I sincerely wish to humbly and rapidly convey my...

Wait, I don't have to do that in this bit. Phew.

I would like to echo Chris's sentiments: a massive thank you to everyone who's submitted to our challenge, and/or bought a copy of Volume 1 so far. It's wonderful to see so many have got involved, and for such a good cause. Stay tuned for Adverbially Challenged Volume 2, coming soon.

Right now, I'm looking forward to seeing what entries we receive for volume 3. We live in interesting times; I doubt there'll be any lack of inspiration on that front. Although if you can't bear to turn on the news right now (and who could blame you), the Official Internet Default Option is also to be very much encouraged: cats. At the time of writing, we already have two feline-related stories out of five. More, please.

Thank you and meow.

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Adverbially Challenged Volume 4

We received our 400th story on the 19th of December 2018. The fourth collection of stories were removed from the site on 14th of January 2019. Adverbially Challenged Volume 4 was published in March 2019.

You can learn how to buy the book and support charity here.

Adverbially Challenged Volume 4

An opening note from Chris Fielden

Delightfully, our first tantalising trilogy of adverbially overloaded stories is complete. Onwards and, quite tritely, upwards - may Volume 4 bring more adverb infested joy to the planet.

And from Mike Scott Thomson

He says incredulously (but very gratefully): wow, we’ve made it to over 300 and a FOURTH book of adverb-stuffed stories? Heavens.

Well, thank you to everyone who’s made written contributions to - and generously bought the books resulting from - our not-entirely-serious literary project. Not only is it great to see First Story continue to be supported in this way, but also heartening to discover just how many writers there are out there more than willing to flout the so-called writing “rules”. Fun, isn’t it? Onwards we go, wantonly…

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Adverbially Challenged Volume 5

We received our 500th story on the 17th of August 2020. The fifth collection of stories were removed from this page on 31st August 2020. Adverbially Challenged Volume 5 was published in November 2020.

You can learn how to buy the book and support charity here.

Adverbially Challenged Volume 5

An opening note from Chris Fielden

400? Unquestionably. 500? Likely. 600? Possibly. More? Probably.

And from Mike Scott Thomson

He says unnecessarily sesquipedalianly: we've now eclipsed a score-squared of adverbially-engorged anecdotes? Amazing - thank you one and all.

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Adverbially Challenged Volume 6

You can read the current submissions for Adverbially Challenged Volume 6 below.

Story 501

Shard And Freud

by Mike Scott Thomson

Precariously, precipitously, Sigmund leans backwards. Counterintuitively he descends, ropes releasing repetitively, tightening compulsively, towards the ground, terrifyingly, so far below.

Incongruously, the shimmering tower reflects a city verifiably not Vienna, the epoch evidently not his. Feet on glass, horizontally, he sways: death drive tantalisingly taunting id, body transparently unmasking the mind.

Ich will zu meiner Mami, he dreams, tearfully. Who placed him suchly, so suddenly, obscenely deriving pleasure from the misfortune of others?

Sigmund looks up, tentatively. This edifice is phallic – obviously. He knows, sadly: there is no pleasure in this principle, as he edges, inescapably, towards the void.

Story 502

The Disturbingly Deviously Dreadful, Decidedly Dastardly Dragon…

by Christopher Fielden

…was perched upon a mountain ledge, silently surveying the lands below, stomach gurgling hungrily when lunch unwittingly loped courageously into view.

A knight approached gallantly, clad in ridiculously shiny armour. "Tell me thy name before I smite thee, lizard," he said cruelly.

"Deirdre," she replied calmly, "the Dastardly."

"What a stupendously stupid name for a disgustingly vile dragon," the knight said spitefully. He roared laughter heartily, dropping his sword accidentally due to guffawing maniacally.

Deirdre spewed fire ferociously, immediately barbecuing the knight perfectly. She seasoned him lightly.

Chomp.

Gulp.

Buuuuuuurp.

"I do beg your pardon," she said to herself demurely.

Story 503

Reflectively Conversing

by Lesley Anne Truchet

Dear extremely carnally active, newly-married couple, living directly opposite.

I'm emphatically certain that all the diversely ethnic residents within our conveniently situated housing complex are truly delighted with the cleverly designed, replacement one-way vision-privacy windows, recently installed in every apartment. It's really agreeable to have seclusion 24/7.

Personally, I thoroughly enjoy standing at my window, freely making offensively rude signs at people quietly passing by, knowing that they cannot actually see me. It certainly helps relieve my stress.

This note is to discreetly inform you that the window in your bedroom was unfortunately and inappropriately installed facing the wrong way.

Story 504

Upon Arrival

by Michael Rumsey

It was the first night of our honeymoon.

Impatiently, I turned to Trevor and said lovingly and not at all jokingly but as calmly as I could, "Right, my perfectly proportioned and superbly athletic man, let's do it quickly. I just can't wait."

Predictably we did, eagerly, willingly, joyfully and enthusiastically. Having parked the car carefully, we hastily unloaded our luggage as I suggested. With wildly beating hearts, we breezily ran into the brilliantly lit hotel foyer. I just could not wait to officially and legally book in as Mr & Mrs Ward.

Story 505

Rousingly I Awoke

by Neil Davie

Head pounding furiously, I groggily heave myself out of bed. I stumble drunkenly towards the door, awkwardly pulling on the jumper haphazardly left on the floor as I go. The handle taunts me jeeringly until I finally get a grip on it and open it dramatically.

Squinting blearily into the light, I clamber warily down the stairs. Whoever is knocking incessantly shows no interest in stopping. Approaching, a figure standing menacingly behind the front door comes into view.

Opening it slowly, a man confidently brandishing a clipboard greets me enthusiastically.

"Would you like to sign this petition on noise pollution?"

Story 506

A Day To Remember

by John D Lary

The photographer fussily arranges the line-up. "Parents now, quickly please."

They gather distractedly outside by the barn: mother-in-law, crimson lips grimacing unconvincingly; father-in-law, dressed uncharacteristically formally, his hands held uncertainly by his sides; brother-in-law, pressed unpreparedly into the best man role, sweating royally in the strong sunshine. 

Standing centrally amongst them is Jack's newly-crowned wife, her face painted vengefully by the maid of honour, so that she appears inappropriately more Japanese doll than blushing bride.

Jack's own friends linger listlessly inside, by the hopefully soon-to-be open bar.

Abandoned, the bridegroom turns despondently away, his eyes seeking out distant horizons.

Story 507

Insincerely Apologetic

by Clare Tivey

Unfortunately, it's 'come as your hero day' in the store. Spiderman and the unicorn's parents are suspiciously missing.

Anxiously explaining to parents that this year's fervently wanted toy is sold out, predictably replicates this...

"Honestly, imagine my child's face when I regretfully explain that Santa has selfishly forgotten him." She says this intensely, wincing because the unicorn has appeared and is gleefully, repeatedly kicking her ankle.

Sheepishly apologising, "I'm dreadfully sorry, madam. A New Year delivery?"

This is met by a furiously face-melting glower, before she purposefully stomps away, because, unquestioningly, a stomp always conveys that you're annoyed.

Story 508

Not Today

by Sasha Klyueva

I have never felt it before. It held me with cold and bony fingers. It deliberately, tenaciously, strongly and painfully squeezed my hand.

It was just the two of us. Its heavy night breathing sounded in my ears like a terrible and creaking noise.

It was fear. My fear. He desperately, mercilessly and furiously tried to break me. I looked at him with a calm, reasonable and indifferent look.

Not today.

I am stronger. I am better. I am the fear.

 

Adverbs

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Shirley M
Thanks Chris & Mike, splendidly compiled, beckoningly welcoming those who read avidly, who remain (pardon the brexitly unacceptable verb!) wilfully indifferent to the technically superb or creatively cracked.

A healthily-sprinkled selection of politically topical, tear-jerkingly-memorable June 2016 wormhole-suggesting international alternatives. Sally from stonily-cold Scotland is signing up for an apartment on the international space station so she can avoid the space-time censorship of European slagging and bloody-nosing that will surely stop sensible steps forward. Or is that backwards?

Joe H
Thank you, for everything about this challenge is phenomenally wonderfully and happily received. I especially and enthusiastically enjoy the dimensionally channelling of the money to charity. Yay!

Jerry W
Chris, congratulations on convincing twenty-one willing souls to join you and Mike in the not-so-serious challenge of using adverbs to banal excess. Appearing trite and foolish in order to benefit youth through First Story is not an embarrassment, but an honour. Well done, and wishes for the success of your proposed anthology.

Humbly, sincerely, and uh, OK, sanctimoniously, Jerry

Chris Fielden
Shirley, Joe & Jerry, thank you, unreservedly and many other words unceremoniously terminating in 'ly'.

Shaleen P
Really enjoyed story 24! XD very funny when you realise who they are at the end.

Sheila C
It's amazingly difficult to write fluently with lots of appropriately applied adverbs but all these stories make it look astonishingly easy. I'm nervously submitting mine. I hope it's meant to be in this box and there's not another one that I haven't noticed...

Chris Fielden
Sent successfully, Sheila. Received rapaciously. Published poetically.

Jerry W
Hello, Chris. I see that, to date, forty-four souls have responded to the Adverb Writing Challenge. Hardly the deluge of submissions expected for so noble a summons. Do you suppose that the absence of financial remuneration has caused a reluctance to take up the task? Sad testimony if writers are motivated only by the promise of sordid gain.

I am sure that, like other present contributors, I've recognized your cunning plan to offer us a life-changing opportunity. By wisely encouraging us to abandon restrictive rules of form, you and Mike have inspired a taste for liberation that extends beyond writing into broader areas of our lives. Personally, after writing only the first adverb-infested sentence, I shed my jacket. At the end of the first paragraph, I ripped off my tie. And the last few words found me completely naked. It was exhilarating. My dog, Spanky, did get up and walk out of the room in apparent disgust, but I felt released. It was profoundly fulfilling.

Writers, abandon your pursuit of filthy lucre. Ignore canine criticisms. Get on board Chris and Mike's Adverb Challenge. Wear the crown of success. If nothing else.

Just trying to help!

Chris Fielden
Thanks for your support, Jerry. Much appreciated, although I'm not sure Mike and I would want to take credit for inspiring nudism... :-)

I was quite pleased with 44 entries (now 45; they continue to arrive regularly). We received quite a few over the weekend, which is fabulous. Indeed, submissions have been equalling those of the To Hull & Back competition over the last few days, so I think money has little to do with it (one competition offers a huge monetary prize, the other a hugely rewarding charitably supportive prize). But, like you say, we do need more adverb engorged tales. And I'm sure, due to your motivational speech, more will follow. Others just need to discover the joy of wanton rule-breaking and, like you, sit naked at their computers (preferably in a secluded spot where they are unlikely to shock their neighbours) and get creative in the name of good causes.

Lesley T
Hi Chris, I just submitted another adverb filled piece called Somethings Brewing. There was nothing in your rules (as far as I know) limiting submissions from the same author.

If you prefer not to have 2 submissions from the same author, no worries. I will understand.

Chris Fielden
Hi Lesley. Great, thanks for your second submission. I’ve popped it live on the site.

As it’s all for charity we don’t really mind how many stories an author submits. A couple of other writers have submitted 2 tales as well, so it’s fine.

We might just wait until we have 100 authors before we publish the book, rather than 100 stories. We’ll see how many more submissions we receive over the next month or so and take a view from there.

Thanks for your support :-)

Betty H
Hi Chris.  Thank you for adding my story.  I thought I would try again and add a comment.  Good luck with everything.

Chris Fielden
No problem – thanks Betty :-)

Frank D
Great response! I hope we make it to 100.

I can truthfully say I would hate to be a judge required to pick a winner, or even the fifty best; every entity is unique and talented.

Chris Fielden
Hi Frank. A great response indeed!

I have enough problems selecting winners for the To Hull & Back competition, so there won't be one 'winner' of the Adverb Challenge, except the charity it supports. I think it's nice that we'll have 100+ winning stories. What other competition can boast that?!

Deborah P
Chris, thank you heartily for publishing my piece - it is wonderful to know that some people readily give their work for free. An unusually eclectic mix of stories and a worthwhile cause.

Chris Fielden
No problem, Deborah - thank you for submitting and supporting the cause :-)

Sandra O
Thank you Christopher... what an encouragement... very much appreciated.

Chris Fielden
No problem, Sandra. Thank you very much for submitting :-)

Anne W
These stories are really enjoyable, well written and almost immaculately conceived. This has been a cleverly thought out plan Chris. Ideally I would love to see you handsomely rewarded for your tirelessly keen efforts in the world of writing and your cleverly crafted stories. I have downloaded your book on Kindle and will certainly post a kindly comment. Thank you. Anne Whittet.

Chris Fielden
Thanks, Anne, very much appreciated :)

Jonathan M
Hi Chris - another awesome anthology idea here!

Chris Fielden
Thanks, Jonathan. And thanks for submitting :-)

Jerry W
Greetings,

As encouragement to be more like them, the gods sometimes descend from Parnassus and shoulder in with the writing proletariat. Chris and Mike, esteemed judges of writing and eminently regarded authors (whispers of knighthood whir about), have not only devised a cunning plan for us neophytes to be published, but also have lent credibility to the endeavor by themselves submitting entries.

Note the significance: your name can be joined to the Adverb Challenge Anthology's list of contributors with the illustrious names of Christopher Fielden and Mike Scott Thomson. A treasured distinction. One anticipates invitations to glamorous functions.  Frenzied pursuit by editors. Discounts and preferred seating at Hungry Horse. Future generations will remember your name with reverence. And chicks will dig you.

If you require further motivation, please visit http://firststory.org.uk/. Tremendously heartening cause that is gleaning significant success. Kick in with your bit. Glamour and fame await you.

Chris Fielden
Jerry, you are a LEGEND. Thank you for all your continued support :-)

Jerry W
Hello, Chris. A milestone. A veritable milestone. The number of needed submissions to Chris Fielden and Mike Scott Thomson's Adverb Challenge has been reduced to single digits. Eight opportunities to unbridle your defiance of adverb restrictions remain. The dark forces that enshroud us in the shadows of hesitation grow frail. Act now. Step boldly forth into the light of fame and glory. Bring rejoicing to the children at First Story.

Chris Fielden
Thanks, Jerry - we're nearly there :-)

Benita J
This website is a very good site to enter writing competitions.

Chris Fielden
Thanks Benita :-)

John W
What a fun challenge. I hope you received my contribution, The One-Word Joke Challenge, and that it might slip in the anthology at number 100. It's such a relief to be able to write without adverbs now, finally.

Chris Fielden
There was a battle for the 100th spot, John. You will be pleased to hear you won :-)

Ian T
Congratulations for hitting 100 entrants - amazing effort, there are clearly more lunatics out there than I realised.

Chris Fielden
There are. Makes me feel better knowing I'm not alone.

John N
Dear Chris,  thanks for accepting my entry in the adverb challenge. I am most impressed with the speed in which your acknowledgement arrived. I have only recently discovered your website and find it extremely interesting and informative. I had three short stories published a few years ago and a number of poems. I have now taken up the "pen" again and intend to enter the next Hull and Back comp. The only problem is that I don't know how to be funny in print!  Thanks again.

Chris Fielden
Hi John. Glad to hear you find the site useful. Good luck with wielding the pen once more :-)

I'll look forward to reading your Hull & Back entry.

Judith W
I am human. This sounds like fun.

Chris Fielden
Glad to hear it, Judith :-)

I'll look forward to reading your submission.

Alice G
Hang on, don't clock up 65 more just yet, just have to enter his waylaying purple descriptive necessity, so up my streetly.

Chris Fielden
I think you'll have plenty of delightfully long hours to submit, Alice :-)

Margaret E
Hi Chris, thank YOU. ( I almost put an exclamation mark there.) I had a great time this morning taking a break from writing a ghost story, and reading through the Challenge entries and laughing aloud. I think comedy writers should be at the Top of the Pile.

I have found your website excellent for a number of reasons... writing can be quite an isolating experience, especially if you don't get published. I feel a !  would really have helped then, even though you hate them, as it would imply I wasn't too discouraged (yet), which is true. I have been shortlisted for Writers' Forum, so feel I shall proceed for a while...

I am exceedingly grateful for your comprehensive information on short story competitions, magazines etc. It really helps to sift through which ones to start with.

Chris Fielden
Hi Margaret. Thank you for your kind words.

Congratulations on being shortlisted by Writers' Forum. It's a great magazine and the standard is excellent, so you've done really well there. Let's hope they publish your next submission.

Yes, I do have an inherent dislike of exclamation marks, but only in stories. I think that in an email or a website comment they're fine. Or should I say... they're fine!!

Valerie G
I agree with Joe H's comments, this is a very addictive challenge, great fun and all in a good cause. I've now reached my quota for anthology number 2 and am waiting impatiently for anthology number 3 to start.

Chris Fielden
Glad to hear you're thoroughly addicted, Valerie :-)

At the current rate of submissions, I reckon submissions for Volume 3 will be starting early in 2017. To keep you entertained, there will be a brand new writing challenge launched towards the end of the year.

Valerie G
Yay... :-)

Ros B
Dear Chris, I wanted to send you a thank you message. I've spent most of my life 'not writing'. My excuse is that I don't have any ideas and I need an imminent deadline. When I happened upon your adverb challenge, I thought I'd give it a go and was so pleased to then see my entry there 'published'! I went on to read more of your stuff and found your recommendation for 'Writers' Forum'. There I found exactly what I need - a monthly flash fiction competition with a theme and an impending deadline. I am now a subscriber and have just entered the competition for the second time. I found it extraordinarily difficult both times and have no illusions about the amount of practice I need before I have a chance of producing anything good. But, this is exactly what I need to get going.

So, a big thank you. You're a very generous person.

Chris Fielden
Hi Ros. Thanks so much for your message – it’s really great to hear you value the site and it’s helped you.

Writers’ Forum is an excellent magazine. I’ll look forward to receiving an email from you in the not too distant future, telling me they have published one of your stories :-)

I wish you the best of luck with your writing.

Steph S
Thanks for the opportunity to participate in this wonderful challenge again. Love it!

Chris Fielden
No problem, Steph - thanks for submitting again. Much appreciated :-)

Steph S
Really enjoying this. Thanks for the experience.

Lorna G
Hello!

First timer here so not entirely confident but nervously, shakily taking a massively large leap into the vast, enormous and ridiculously huge yawing gap that is the Great Unknown. I am known for being clumsy so this could be a dangerous move.

Chris Fielden
Nothing clumsily written there, Lorna :-)

Your story is publicly published.

Sarah W
Hello Chris. Thanks, this is just what I needed to make me pick up my pen/get typing again. There are some really good ones you've had submitted, I've enjoyed reading them. I'm sending these now before I change my mind again and delete them.

Chris Fielden
Thanks Sarah :-)

Sivan P
Although we are advised to use adverbs sparingly, it was fun reading so many storied crammed with adverbs.

Chris Fielden
Glad to hear you like them Sivan :-)

Michael R
Hi Chris. I said after the publication of Ad Chall One how much I enjoyed reading the wide variety of Bios. So too with Volume 2, but thirteen contributors did not supply a Bio.

It seems a shame having done the hard part (the story) a few more words are not added. Perhaps out of modesty, but you are not asking for a CV and the challenge produces a fun book so the Bio does not have to  be too serious and, in my opinion, adds to the whole. So, for Volume Three is it possible to ask for 100% Bios? I look forward to your comments and those of other contributors.

Chris Fielden
Hi Michael. I agree - it's a shame that some writers don't supply a biography.

However, through liaising with some of the writers that don't supply biographies, I've discovered that there are different reasons for this. Some of them are quite private and prefer not to. Some don't have a writing CV and prefer not to for that reason - they feel they don't have anything relevant for a bio. And some simply don't respond to my emails.

Unfortunately, the only way to get 100% bios is to exclude writers who don't provide them. Then I'd have to get more stories to be able to produce the book. The admin involved is just too much of a headache - the challenges already take up loads of my time, so I have to minimise the work involved.

I could request bios when people submit stories I suppose, but that could result in fewer submissions, which would mean fewer books, less exposure for the writers who submit and less money for charity.

So the format will remain as it is for now. Plus, I want to keep the challenges open to everyone, even those who don't like writing bios. I will always encourage writers to supply a bio as I think it's important, but sometimes you have to respect the wishes of others and allow them their privacy :-)

Ron B
Chris, I just submitted an entry to the adverb challenge. I'm a retired U.S. civil servant living in McAalester, Oklahoma and  I enjoy trying to write short science fiction stories. I enjoy reading the stories submitted in your challenges and trying to think of ways to use your advice.

Thanks.

Chris Fielden
Thanks, Ron. Glad to hear you enjoyed the stories. And thanks for submitting - much appreciated :-)

Laura P
I've had such good fun writing this 100 word piece. It has been quite a while since I last wrote anything and things like this are really good to keep me writing when I don't have as much time as I used too! Thank you!

Chris Fielden
No problem, Laura. Thanks for submitting - very much appreciated :)

Patricia M
Hi. This challenge looks interesting and a fun, creative way to raise money for charity. I'd like to take part but can't see how to upload a story on this page. Sorry if it's really obvious.

Chris Fielden
Hi Patricia. No problem. Just paste your story into the comments form. Or you can send it by email if that's easier. See my contact page for details.

Michael O
Hi Chris. I have a question.I presented a story for the adverb challenge. Considering the 'not-entirely-serious' nature of it, if I re-engineer the story and send it to a writing contest, will it be considered as previously published?

Chris Fielden
Hi Michael. If you rewrite the story and call it something else, I guess it could be considered previously unpublished.

The best bet is to contact the publication you want to submit to and ask them if they would consider it previously published or not.

I hope that answers the question.

Rene A
Guess what Chris? I published my first poetry book. It's called 'What's So Funny? And Other Poems'. My Uncle Patrick Dodson published it through Pause For Effect, an independent publishing company.

If you look on Amazon and type in my name, you'll definitely see I'm not joking.

I hope you like it.

Chris Fielden
Congratulations, Rene - that's excellent news :-)

Gavin B
Hi Chris, I'm pleased you were able to get the 100 authors required for the 3rd anthology. Am I able to submit as part of the next 100?

Thanks.

Chris Fielden
Thanks, Gavin. Yes, you can - I accept 1 story per author, per anthology.

I'll look forward to receiving your story.

Rene A
I'll be extremely impressed to see my short story in your anthology. I'm sure that I might become recognized for my true genius.

Chris Fielden
Glad to hear that, Rene. I'm sure your true genius will be recognised, as will all of ours, eventually... :-)

Rene A
Besides, I just finished drawing all 45 caricatures of Presidents of the United States of America in my first illustrated book entitled Presidents of the United States. I'll work on the introduction after doing some research. .

Chris Fielden
Most excellent - good luck with that!

Rene A
If I have a chequebook, I might give half of my royalties to you for your charitable work on publishing the anthologies.

Chris Fielden
Very kind, Rene, very kind indeed :-)

Rene A
We might even revive old magazines from the golden age and the victorian era, that even includes humour magazines such as Punch, Fun, California Pelican, Judge and Life Magazine. I particularly love these old magazines and periodicals - better than today's magazines.

I'm sure we might work together on bringing them back into permanent circulation.

Chris Fielden
A fine idea :-)

Rene A
My style of comedy is aimed at everybody - kids and adults. In other words, general audiences.

I'm sure we'll create some satirical verses for a children's magazine.

Chris Fielden
Fab stuff, thanks Rene :-)

Rene A
You won't believe what just happened, Chris.

One of my poems has been accepted by the International Poetry Monthly Digest. It's called 'Tunnel Train'.

I submitted it to the magazine and they finally agreed to publish my poem. Isn't that exciting?

Chris Fielden
That's awesome news, Rene - congratulations :-)

Joseph M
This is a really fun challenge and a great way to attempt writing a short story in only 100 words. My method was to write the story then trim it to a 100, 'adverbially.' Flash fiction is a lot of fun and is best with some inclusion of irony or humour.

Thank you to Chris and Mike for this fun opportunity. It is an impressive way to encourage new writers and to continue to participate within the literary community.

Congratulations to new writers for figuring a way to start getting your name known and developing a wider audience. In my opinion, Chris's recommendations on how to craft a great short story and his advice on publication and marketing are valuable.

Chris Fielden
Thanks, Joseph. And thanks for submitting too :-)

Michelle P
I just want to say that this is an amazing idea! Thank you for putting so much work into this.

Chris Fielden
No problem - thanks for submitting :-)

Jay B
Hi Chris, I hope this one is suitably fitting?

Chris Fielden
Indubitably :-)

Kelly VN
Love this amazingly wonderful adverb challenge and all for a superbly fabulous charitable cause. Thanks for posting my 100 words and intentionally sending good luck wishes on attracting more splendidly varied stories to pull your next collection together.

Chris Fielden
Thanking you muchly, Kelly :-)

Khamis K
I'm grateful for having contributed to a worthy cause. Thanks, Chris.

Chris Fielden
Thanks, Khamis. And thanks for submitting - much appreciated :-)

Sandra P
Hi Chris, I submitted story number 303, 'Keep The Red Nose Flying', for the 4th Adverbially Challenged anthology, but didn't submit a bio - I don't think I realised I had to - and on re-reading the rules I note that unless a bio is submitted, authors won't be published.

Anyway, I'm quite excited that only a few more stories are to be received in order for the 4th anthology to go to print and to cut to the chase  (at last, I hear you roar!) , am I too late to drop you a few notes regarding a bio for myself? I understand perfectly if I've missed the boat by the way.

Chris Fielden
Hi Sandra. Thanks for your message.

I made author bios mandatory after you submitted to the challenge to reduce admin when the books go into production.

Anyone who submitted before that will still be published, but if you have a bio you would like to appear in the book, then please do send it through - I'm more than happy to include that for you :-)

Debaprasad M
It was fun, frankly. Thanks Chris, Mike, sincerely, for the initiative, and efforts you've put in. Enjoyed, thoroughly.

Chris Fielden
You're certainly welcome, Debaprasad. Thank you very extremely much for submitting :-)

Dave M
Hi Chris, great news volume 4 is going into production in the New Year. I'm looking forward to buying a few copies to help get us on the Amazon bestseller list, and making a contribution to volume 5. A merry Christmas to you and all the authors who contribute to the various challenges.

Here's hoping 2019 is a successful one for us all.

Keep up the good work.

Chris Fielden
Thanks very much, Dave. Amazon bestsellers here we come!

Have a great Christmas.

Tom S
Thanks Chris for this brilliant opportunity to join in a good cause and see my writing in print. Some excellent stories here.

Can anyone enter a piece? If so, I could signpost my FB group to this and other challenges, if that's all right to do.

Chris Fielden
No problem, Tom :-)

Yes, anyone can submit. It doesn't matter how old you are, where you live or who you are - everyone is welcome.

Any signposting would be very much appreciated, thank you!

Jessica B
Hello, Chris! Thank you so much for adding my story to the list. It really means a lot to me, not only because it'll be my first time being published, but because this story is about the first memory I have of my first dog. I'll definitely be buying this book once it's published. It's for such a good cause.

Chris Fielden
Thanks, Jessica. I'm very pleased to be publishing you for the first time - congratulations! Let's hope it's the first of many :-)

Phil M
My favourite has to be 'Passport Control Blues' by Barbara Hill, it had me smirking.

Chris Fielden
Thanks, Phil :-)

J. W
Thanks for the email. I entered in one of your other adverb challenge books not so many years  ago. Thank you.

Chris Fielden
No problem, thank you for submitting again, J – very much appreciated :-)