Winter presents the writer with the perfect opportunity to snuggle inside and concentrate on stories and words and characters. For the last several years, Spec Faith has held a winter writing contest, a type of writing exercise, 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.
Here’s the way this particular winter challenge works:
I’ll give a first line, and those who wish to accept the challenge will write what comes next (not necessarily the complete story, though it could be if you wish)—in 250 words or less, putting your entry into the comments section of this post.
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. Likewise, speculative elements of one kind or another should be incorporated.
Since our new comment “thumbs” are . . . well . . . new, readers should give a thumbs up AND reply to the entries you like most with YES. (It’s not a bad idea to name the person whose entry you’re liking, in order to avoid any confusion). You can give a thumbs up/YES response to an unlimited number of entries. If you wish, you may also add why you liked the entry or what particularly grabbed your attention.
I encourage such comments—that way all entrants will benefit, even if they don’t win, since they’ll receive feedback on their writing.
After the designated time, I’ll re-post the top three (based on the number of thumbs up votes—which should have a corresponding number of YES votes) and visitors will have a chance to vote for the one which they believe is the best (one vote only).
As I mentioned above, there’s a prize for the winner—a $25 gift card (from either Amazon or Barnes and Noble). In the event of a tie, a drawing will be held to determine the finalists and/or winner.
And now, the 2016 Winter Challenge first line:
The approaching cloud wasn’t natural—it was too dark, too dense, and too fast—but Daniel had no place to hide and no chance to out run it.
Finally, those silly little details we all need to know:
- Your word count does not include this first line.
- You will have between now and midnight (Pacific time) this coming Sunday to post your challenge entries in the comments section.
- You may reply to entries, giving your thumbs up/YES vote, this week and next. To have your thumbs up/YES counted to determine the top three entries, it must be posted before midnight, Sunday, February 7.
- Finalists will be announced Monday, February 8, then voting for the winner will begin.
- Past winners, published authors, other SpecFaith columnists, first time visitors—all are eligible to enter.
Please share this post with your friends, both writers and readers. The more entries and the more feedback, the better the challenge.
Editorial Add, Tuesday: If the number of thumbs up and YES votes are not the same, the YES votes will take precedent since they are the votes that can be verified.