Challenges from Chris Fielden
It’s a lighthearted and responsive website. Chris is generous with advice, offering listings of current competitions and advice about entering them, among other things. Since I first discovered it, the site has expanded to include services such as editing, formatting and critiques at reasonable prices.
There are also writing challenges.
These are free to enter and offer aspiring writers, like me, a chance to see our contribution published online and, eventually, in print; albeit as a tiny proportion of a volume. Chris publishes anthologies of each writing challenge once the requisite number of contributions have been posted, and their sales benefit different charities (details on each challenge’s web page – links below).
Although not previously tempted by these challenges I was, for some reason, recently drawn to read about the 81 word challenge – probably as excuse for further ignoring my outstanding editing. (That’s ‘outstanding’ as in ‘overdue’ rather than ‘very good’.)
I butchered a quick flash that wasn’t doing much anyway, down from 275 to 81 words, and sent it in (story no 404, Chance Encounter).
Once my 81 words appeared on the website, I was hooked.
Two volumes to which I contributed have since been published.
My current contributions on the web sites are…
- the 150 word cliché challenge (no. 134, A Fair Cop),
- the 100 word adverb challenge (no. 411, over the Top),
- the 175 word sensory challenge (no. 242, Unfair),
- the 200 word nonsense challenge (no. 238, The Mirling’s Child)
- the 100 word preposition challenge (no. 168, Who Made It Up?).
Each challenge involves wallowing to your heart’s content in constructions frequently deplored by writing gurus, incorporating as many turps as you can think of and all the deliciously sinful splurgles you can fit in.
(Do I get brownie points, Chris, for demonstrating all six challenges in one sentence?)
There is also a fun Facebook group for Authors of the Flash Fiction Challenges which poses regular challenges and is the only Facebook group I visit daily.