It’s time for our winter writing challenge!
Winter, when you want to sit before a warm fire, with a hot drink nearby, and create.
As we have for the last several years, Spec Faith’s winter 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. For readers, there are stories or story beginnings to enjoy. It’s all very win-win!
As a refresher, here’s how this 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 thumbs up (NO THUMBS DOWN, PLEASE!) to the ones they like the most (unlimited number of thumbs up), and, if they wish, they may give a comment to the various entries, telling what particularly grabbed their attention or in what ways they can strengthen their writing.
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 thumbs up 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 thumbs up). 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:
The guard would never let me enter if he knew what I was planning.
Finally, those silly little details we all need to know:
- You must include the given first line without changing it. Changes to the prompt will disqualify an entry
- Your word count does not include this first line.
- You will have between now and midnight (Pacific time) this coming Sunday, January 27, to post your challenge entries in the comments section.
- You may reply to entries and give thumbs up, this week and next. To have your thumbs up counted to determine the top three entries, mark your favorite entries before Sunday, February 3.
- Voting begins Monday, February 4.
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.