As I announced last week, it’s time for our summer writing challenge!
Summer, when you just might have time to do what you love. For those back from the Realm Makers conference, the challenge might be the perfect writing exercise to try out something you learned, or to get you back into the writing flow after all the fun and games. For the rest of us, it might be a break from the usual. And of course it might be the spark we need to get our creative juices flowing. Besides, I know of at least one book project that has developed as a result of a Spec Faith challenge. You never know!
As we have for the last several years, Spec Faith’s summer writing challenge comes with rewards. There’s feedback from other Spec Faith visitors and there’s the potential for a $25 gift card from either Amazon or B&N. And for readers, there are stories or story beginnings to enjoy. It’s all very win-win!
As a refresher, here’s how this summer writing challenge works:
- I’ll give a first line, and those who wish to accept the challenge will write what comes next—in 100 to 300 words, putting your entry into the comments section of this post.
“What comes next” may be the opening of a novel, a short story, or a completed piece of flash fiction—your choice.
In keeping with Spec Faith’s primary focus on the intersection of speculative fiction and the Christian faith, writers may wish to incorporate Christian elements or to write intentionally from a Christian worldview, but neither is required. Likewise, I’d expect speculative elements, or the suggestion of such, but entries will not be disqualified because of their omission.
- Readers will give a + (NO MINUSES, PLEASE!) to the ones they like the most (unlimited number of pluses), and, if they wish, they may give a comment to the various entries, telling what particularly grabbed their attention.
By the way, I encourage such responses—it’s always helpful for entrants to know what they did right and what they could have done to improve.
- After the designated time, I’ll re-post the top three (based on the number of pluses they receive) and visitors will have a chance to vote on which they believe is the best (one vote only).
I’ll again sweeten the pot and offer a $25 gift card (from either Amazon or Barnes and Noble) to the writer of the entry that receives the most votes (as opposed to the most pluses). In the event of a tie, a drawing will be held between the top vote getters to determine the winner.
And now, the first line:
If only Bran could stop the king, but he was too powerful, too sure he was right.
Finally, those silly little details we all need to know:
- You must include the given first line without changing it.
- Your word count does not include this first line.
- You will have between now and midnight (Pacific time) this coming Sunday, July 29, to post your challenge entries in the comments section.
- You may reply to entries and give pluses, this week and next. To have your pluses counted to determine the top three entries, mark your favorite entries before Sunday, August 5.
- Voting begins Monday, August 6.
Feel free to invite your friends to participate, either as writers or readers. The more entries and the more feedback, the better the challenge.
However, please note, the challenge is not a popularity contest. We want to give writers a chance to find out what readers actually think of their writing. Consequently, please do not ask your social media followers to give your selection a vote unless they read the other entries as well. Thanks for making this little exercise a valuable help to all who enter.