On to 2020—a leap year, an Olympics year, the beginning of a new decade, a Presidential election year in the US . . . and one that will again see Spec Faith host our traditional Winter Writing Challenge!
Certainly 2020 gives us much creative writing fodder, and some that might carry over to a piece of speculative fiction. But that’s for writers who wish to enter the challenge to decide.
As we have done in the past, Spec Faith will offer a prize for the winner of the 2020 Winter
Writing Challenge. Of course there’s also feedback from other Spec Faith visitors, which all entrants may enjoy, but there’s a $25 gift card from either Amazon or B&N for the winner. (For last year’s results, see this post). For readers, there are stories or story beginnings to enjoy. It’s all very win-win for all our visitors!
As a refresher, here’s how the 2020 Winter 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 (please do!) to the various entries, identifying what elements particularly grabbed their attention or in what ways they can strengthen their writing.
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 in a poll for the one which they believe to be the best 2020 entry (one vote only).
The entry which receives the most votes will earn a $25 gift card (from either Amazon or Barnes and Noble). 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 fact was, Kelly simply didn’t have time or opportunity to find out if the offense required the death penalty.
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 8:00 AM (Pacific time) this coming Monday, January 13, 2020, 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 Monday, January 27, at 8:00 AM (Pacific time).
- Voting begins Monday, January 27, after the poll is posted.
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.
Photo by Simon Matzinger from Pexels