challenge · short story · The Writer's Games · The Writer's Workout · writers · writing

Revisiting The Writer’s Games

Do you like to write short stories?

You do … but can you follow a prompt and write a story in 72 hours?

No, it’s not a trick question.

Because for the next six weekends, that’s what I (and a fair few other writers) will be doing.

All courtesy of the wonderful people over at The Writer’s Workout

It is definitely not your average writing competition.

Not only is it free to enter (you do have to register well in advance, though), but all submitted entries get feedback from multiple judges.

That’s pretty AWESOME.

And, you know what is even 

The top five entries in each Event are published in an anthology. 

So, you get writing practice, guidance on submitting professional entries, and the chance to be published. (I’m playing down the side-effects of binge-eating chocolate and drinking your body weight in coffee, because that’s just a typical weekend. Isn’t it?)

This is my third time as a participant, and I’ve had three stories published in the anthologies. I’ve since gone on to develop a couple of stories that were spawned during previous Events too.

You can see why I love it.

There’s so much more to The Writer’s Workout than this competition. You’d be hard-pressed to find such a range of writing-related activities, ideas and support anywhere.

Be sure to check them out if you’re up for the challenge.

You won’t regret it. I certainly don’t.

To my fellow writers:

 “May the words flow to your victory.”

To the organisers: a huge “Thank You”

See you in a few hours!


badges · brownies · challenge · words · write daily · writing group

I got the ‘stone carver’ badge!

At the start of the year, I joined the 365 Writing Club with the intention of developing a new habit: to write every day.

And …

You know what?

I did it!

Throughout January I wrote something – either on one of my WIPs or on my blog – every single day, bringing in a total word count of 19,919. It averaged out as 642 words a day, from lows of 180 to highs of over 1500, all recorded on a very cool spreadsheet. Got to love a spreadsheet 😉  That consistency  earned me the STONE CARVER’S badge.I know – little things please little minds!

But, it’s a start. Progress towards building that daily habit that, hopefully, will see me finish some of the stories I’ve started.

However, it wasn’t just about writing.

The group is super supportive, with weekly check-ins, goal-setting, online chats and everything necessary to keep us members on the right track.

Aside from writing almost 20,000 words, I also recorded over 25 hours of editing and more than 10 hours of critiquing. All of which means …

two more badges! Yay!


So, now it’s onwards and upwards into February. I’m determined to stick this out, so prepare for more badges in 28 days!


You can tell I was in the Brownies, can’t you?

An elf, no less, with badges all up my sleeves, too.

Except, I had a beret, not a bobble hat 😉

Ah! Memories …

Anyway, must go now … words to write and all that.


Thank you for reading 🙂

challenge · short story · The Writer's Games · The Writer's Workout

72 Hours of Insanity – Summer Writing Madness

Last summer, I took part in the Writer’s Games: a set of writing challenges run by The Writer’s Workout.

Each week, members had 72 hours to write a short story fitting the theme for that event.

Insanity was an understatement!

Topics ranged from mythology to folklore, historical events to ‘it was kind of a funny story’, creative kills and the unvillain! Definitely not your average short story competition.

Still, the gauntlet had been thrown down and it was time to write … frantically.

You can read the winning entries in the group’s anthology: 72 Hours of Insanity – Vol 2. 

Here’s an excerpt of my winning story for Event 3, the objective being to tell a story where a mythical creatures is MISPLACED to its assigned mythical place where it does not belong. I chose the Oni (Japan) to be misplaced in Hyperborea (Greek), and knowing nothing about either topic, the research element ate into that same 72 hours. Told you it was crazy 🙂

friendly-ogreThe Friendly Ogre

     Panos shivered. The hem of his linen tunic fluttered as an extraordinary chill blew through the golden temple. He flattened down the fabric and glanced around for an explanation. Nothing. Nobody. He was alone in the temple, as was usual on such days when the government was in session. His job, to place cushioned pads along the stone pews for the representatives to sit on, demanded an early start. Consequently, he rarely encountered another soul at this hour.

     Darkness took that moment to invade the temple, and together with the cold air still weaving its way through the open structure, Panos noticed the diminishing shine of the golden colonnades and statues. He blinked successively. Never had he seen the capital’s temple lose its sparkle. Before the shadows stole his vision completely he stared at his arm. His olive skin now resembled a plucked goose, and he ran his fingers over the raised lumps, sending another shiver down his spine. “What is happening?” he shouted, his words muffled in icy breath. He raced towards the stone steps on the periphery of the temple and skidded to a halt. The reason for the darkness was a gigantic body, part of which had collapsed over the temple. Moving aside into the sunlight, Panos saw the mass more clearly and the sight stole his breath.

Being of sound mind (honestly), I shall be signing up for more mayhem this year. If you are at all curious, and quite possibly tempted, you can learn more by checking out their website and / or Facebook page.

challenge · mystery · revenge · short story

Challenge: Short story – part four

The Proof of the Pudding is in the Eating (cont’d)

Igor’s gaze darted around the room food-poisoningas the eyes of the supporters sought him out. ‘Boo, boo, you’re a fraud Igor!’ they chanted.

Realising that he had no place to hide, he sauntered across to Laurel, with a malicious sneer, ‘I demand to taste your food. It is inconceivable that your little pudding is chosen above my own recipe.’ Unblinking, Laurel said, ‘I thought you might say that. I have another plate for you back in the kitchen. Come with me.’ Muttering ‘this contest is not yet over,’ he turned and followed her with a snort of dismissive laughter.

The critic looked on, his brow furrowed, knowing that the once great chef couldn’t possibly hope to gain from such a confrontation.

Laurel handed Igor a plate with the remaining pastry, which he grabbed, sniffed, rotated in his fingers and finally bit into.

With narrowing eyes and a wave of the hand, he retorted, ‘you call this…this offering …better than the dish of the famous, Silver- Apple-awarded, Igor Romanski? You are fools.’

No sooner were the words uttered than he clutched at his stomach and ran off towards the toilets. Laurel started to giggle, before erupting into full-on belly laughs, as the judges watched her, horrified and bemused.

Seeing their puzzled expressions, she bent down to her box of ingredients and pulled out some extra-strong laxative powder. ‘Don’t worry, I only used this on his serving. I had a feeling he’d object to losing.’

As peals of laughter filled the kitchen, she added, ‘after all, revenge is a dish best served cold!’