Kirk's picture
Admin
Kirk from Pingree Grove, IL is reading The Book Of The New Sun July 1, 2012 - 9:00am

Hello everyone!

Today we are launching our long awaited month-long writing challenge, SCARE US. If you simply want to dive in, you can start right here. Otherwise, I wanted to take a few minutes to  make sure we're all on the same page.

First and foremost, this challenge should be about having fun. In fact, we have tried to make this as clear as possible. This is why most of our prizes won't actually be tied to any "ratings". With this challenge, you aren't a "winner" because you got all of your friends to vote for you. Instead, you're a winner if you had fun writing and polishing up a story. Maybe, you'll end up with something that is good enough for you to send around? That should be the goal.

Second, there is a set of criteria your story should meet. We think they are pretty clear, but if you have a question, let us know. The point here is to try to give you a few prompts that can be explored in a variety of ways. Find out about the prompts here.

Third, this event is open to everyone who has a LitReactor account, even the free account people (we like them too). That said, if you are concerned about a larger audience than normal having access to your writing, this probably isn't the best event for you.

Fourth, Workshop Members may notice this operates differently than the workshop. There are no stars, instead, you have a binary "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" decision to make once you've read a submission. Though you're not required to, we do strongly suggest that you also provide written feedback on any stories that you rate. 

Fifth, be nice and have fun. You see how I keep mentioning "have fun". Well, I mean it but also, be friendly and hopefully we'll see a bunch of new faces around here.

"But Kirk, you just mentioned prizes. I want to know more!"

We have a lot of things planned and truthfully, we're also making things up as we go (hey, we're new at this). But here's what I can tell you so far. For the most part, prizes won't be awarded only to the "best". If you participate, you will have a good chance of winning something cool. 

"What kind of cool stuff?" you ask.

  • We have enlisted a bunch of our friends and instructors to provide feedback on select stories. People like: Ed Sikov, Holiday Reinhorn, Suzy Vitello, Lidia Yuknavitch, Christa Faust and others who we haven't announced yet.
  • We have swag that needs a new home.
  • We have books that need reading.
  • Other secret things that you're going to have to wait for!

I think that is more than enough for now. If you have any questions or comments, please share them below.

Kirk's picture
Admin
Kirk from Pingree Grove, IL is reading The Book Of The New Sun July 1, 2012 - 11:10am

On more note, as I mentioned yesterday... Sunday is the "soft launch" for this. Meaning, we aren't going to begin actively promoting until Monday. So I hope some of the regulars can start putting some submissions in today. I'll be monitoring what's going on.

Flaminia Ferina's picture
Flaminia Ferina from Umbria is reading stuff July 1, 2012 - 1:13pm

Congratulations, it looks neat!

I can't believe @Howie, also my story takes inspiration from the second plague.

Still at first draft though, I'll polish and submit as soon as I can. Rock and Roll!

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. July 1, 2012 - 1:21pm

I submitted my first draft - I tried to go back through it and fix it and was just annoyed by the whole thing.  I need fresh eyes before I'll be able to fix it up.  Which is why I love the workshop.  

Flaminia Ferina's picture
Flaminia Ferina from Umbria is reading stuff July 1, 2012 - 1:37pm

I'm tempted with the same..

I'll read my story tomorrow and probably end up submitting first draft as well. I've done some work oulining, maybe it ain't that bad already.

Kirk's picture
Admin
Kirk from Pingree Grove, IL is reading The Book Of The New Sun July 1, 2012 - 1:52pm

Well, I read this while eating lunch so even though I see that you're not entirely happy with the draft that is up, I did provide you with some notes, howie. So congrats on being the first to post a story. It is also the first time I've done an actual review!

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. July 1, 2012 - 1:54pm

I've finished more stories because of the workshop here.  I just can't stand re-reading my own writing for very long and I have blindspots - I can't see my own mistakes or awkward sentences for shit.  The moment I see a LbL that points it out, it's obvious and I feel like an idiot for missing it.  

Without the workshop, I had to let a piece go for months without looking at it before the blinders came off.  With the workshop, I can write twice as fast (which means less time between stories, for me).

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. July 1, 2012 - 1:55pm

Awesome, I got a kirk review.

Utah's picture
Moderator
Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry July 1, 2012 - 4:42pm

I am green with jealous rage.

Americantypo's picture
Americantypo from Philadelphia is reading The Bone Clocks July 1, 2012 - 5:15pm

Will def submit something for this. Looking forward to reading some good horror stories.

.'s picture
. July 1, 2012 - 7:32pm

Gah, I'll never live down this lesbian thing! 

Utah's picture
Moderator
Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry July 2, 2012 - 5:26am

You don't have to live it down, jacks.  It's been liberating.  I never knew who I really was until you inspired me to wriggle from under the thumb of filthy male oppression.  I love you for that.  But, as I am an angry lesbian, I also really hate you.  I hope you catch Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Chris Johnson's picture
Chris Johnson from Burlington NC is reading The Proud Highway July 2, 2012 - 6:54am

How clear do we need to be on the whole 'town-we-grew-up-in' criteria? The setting is the bar that's always been where kids go to drink cheap in my hometown, but I don't know how blatant you need this to be. Thanks for your reply.

M.E.Prince's picture
M.E.Prince from Georgia is reading En man som heter Ove July 2, 2012 - 6:57am

As far as the kill count criterion goes: is it three deaths period, or at least three deaths? Also, are off-screen deaths counted?

Kirk's picture
Admin
Kirk from Pingree Grove, IL is reading The Book Of The New Sun July 2, 2012 - 7:21am

How clear do we need to be on the whole 'town-we-grew-up-in' criteria? The setting is the bar that's always been where kids go to drink cheap in my hometown, but I don't know how blatant you need this to be. Thanks for your reply.

I see no reason why your local hangout wouldn't be your town. It's more about having something that reads like a real place as opposed to fighting Zombie-Godzilla on Mars (Not that I don't want to read that story, too).

As far as the kill count criterion goes: is it three deaths period, or at least three deaths? Also, are off-screen deaths counted?

At least three, go on a massacre if you want. I don't see a reason off-screen wouldn't count so long as that is actually included in the story.

Alexander Jones's picture
Alexander Jones July 2, 2012 - 8:12am

The upload system keeps crashing whenever I try upload my file...

Chris Johnson's picture
Chris Johnson from Burlington NC is reading The Proud Highway July 2, 2012 - 8:48am

Uploaded my story, small problem, see something I need to edit. How should I go about this? Can't find a link to delete my story an reupload or anything. Thanks.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. July 2, 2012 - 8:54am

If you click on your own story and open it up like you were going to read it, at the very top (above the scare us banner, but beneath the site options like 'dashboard and online classes) there are three options "view edit voting results"

Click edit.  Under file, click "remove file".  Then you'll have to upload the new file before you can save it at the bottom of the page.

Kirk's picture
Admin
Kirk from Pingree Grove, IL is reading The Book Of The New Sun July 2, 2012 - 9:19am

@Alexander,

Can you explain what happened? It looks to me like you were able to upload a story.

Kirk's picture
Admin
Kirk from Pingree Grove, IL is reading The Book Of The New Sun July 2, 2012 - 10:36am

Want a free LitReactor coffee mug? 4 of them will be awarded randomly to anyone who participates in Scare us by midnight tonight (CST). Either submit your story or write a review for someone else and you have a chance to win!

Everyone like coffee, right?

Utah's picture
Moderator
Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry July 2, 2012 - 11:05am

^^Here's your chance, Dakota.  Write faster!

lspieller's picture
lspieller from Los Angeles July 2, 2012 - 11:38am

Can we add Chuck to that list of readers...

.'s picture
. July 2, 2012 - 12:06pm

^^Here's your chance, Dakota.  Write faster!

 

I could use a second a mug. 

Utah's picture
Moderator
Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry July 2, 2012 - 12:39pm

I knew there must be a reason you'd stopped bitching about that...

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters July 2, 2012 - 12:40pm

You're thinking of Laurance.

Utah's picture
Moderator
Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry July 2, 2012 - 12:41pm

^^Here's your chance, Dakota Laurance.  Write faster!

Nav Persona's picture
Nav Persona from Purgatory is reading The Babayaga July 2, 2012 - 2:23pm

...but I haven't grown up yet...

(and I move a lot)

.'s picture
. July 2, 2012 - 4:07pm

Get those reviews and submissions in guys and you can be sipping out of one of these...

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. July 2, 2012 - 4:12pm

I guess I'm the only one who colors that flame in.

.'s picture
. July 2, 2012 - 4:34pm

I'll have to use sharpie on the little chips I've taken out of the black because I've been using it so much. 

Maybe I'll get around to putting some red in there.

Covewriter's picture
Covewriter from Nashville, Tennessee is reading & Sons July 2, 2012 - 7:06pm

I wish it were more general. I can't do horror and it makes it seem like what the site is mostly about. Can't wait to read andvoice thumbs up or down though.

Blair's picture
Blair from Southern California is reading Needful Things July 2, 2012 - 7:19pm

Updated Anchorstone, for anyone interested.

Michael J. Riser's picture
Michael J. Riser from El Cerrito, CA (originally), now Fort Worth, TX is reading The San Veneficio Canon - Michael Cisco, The Croning - Laird Barron, By the Time We Leave Here, We'll Be Friends - J. David Osborne July 2, 2012 - 7:52pm

I did a review, and I promise I didn't do it just to maybe win a coffee mug!

Okay, maybe I did. But I wanted to read something from Jacks too.

.'s picture
. July 2, 2012 - 8:16pm

Aww well shucks! *blushes*

Well I made some revisions and went for it. I entered it in the contest! 

 

.'s picture
. July 2, 2012 - 8:20pm

@Mr. Riser

I hope you wrote a review here http://litreactor.com/events/scare-us

And not in the regular part of the workshop. Because if you posted in the workshop, my submission was your red herring. But no matter, I shall win that coffee mug for you, don't fret. 

Marc Ferris's picture
Marc Ferris from Carmel, California is reading Animal Attraction by Anna David July 2, 2012 - 8:43pm

I'm submitting a story this week. I'm looking forward to reading the others too.

Utah's picture
Moderator
Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry July 3, 2012 - 4:10am

I'm really excited to see this much interest generated in the event.  Good job, guys.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz July 3, 2012 - 4:48am

Will there be cocaine? Because if there isn't cocaine, then Zeus told me he'd buy me two cases of Tanqueray in order to compensate me for my coke sorrow.

And Tanqueray and coke is my favorite drink.

OtisTheBulldog's picture
OtisTheBulldog from Somerville, MA is reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz July 3, 2012 - 5:00am

I'm just really getting started on my story so I'm a little ways down the line before I submit it - probably that last push (give me a deadline, and I'll milk it for all it's worth). In the meantime, I'm trying to read stories here and there during work breaks, evenings, time off, etc. I'll try to get through a bunch - though I don't think I'll be able to get through all of them. The good thing is that it looks like there's already a bunch of submissions just a few days into it - that's great - and there's a bunch of names I'm not as familiar with - so welcome to LitReactor!

Michael J. Riser's picture
Michael J. Riser from El Cerrito, CA (originally), now Fort Worth, TX is reading The San Veneficio Canon - Michael Cisco, The Croning - Laird Barron, By the Time We Leave Here, We'll Be Friends - J. David Osborne July 3, 2012 - 7:23am

@jacks - Servers me right for not being in the loop, I guess. Somehow I thought it went into a category for the event whether it was part of the workshop or not. So oh well! Maybe next time. I'll maybe read your updated tale if I can find time today.

I'm hoping to write something at some point too, but it's gonna' be strained. This is a busy, busy month, and things haven't been going as planned so far...

HB Rad Lee's picture
HB Rad Lee from California. I usually live in the mountains or a car or out of a backpack... right now I have a flat in Germany is reading READY PLAYER ONE July 3, 2012 - 3:38pm

Hey, I'm excited, this sounds like a fun evening around a campfire! Just one quick question about the prompt:

How stricktly should I interpret the term "monster"? As in, can this be extended to "normal humans" who do extraordinarily bad things? entities? or should I stick to the non-human, rawr!, teeth and fur and scales kind of monster? :) Thanks!

 Cheers and beers from Deutschland!
 

Utah's picture
Moderator
Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry July 3, 2012 - 3:47pm

I'd recommend sticking to the more literal monster.  However, bear in mind that your story is going to get a thumbs-up/thumbs-down vote from a wide reading public.  There's not much in the way of "rule enforcer".  Yeah, word count or missing the deadline can bust your story, but really, if you can sell your story to each individual reader as something awesome, then feel free to play in the margins of the rules.

Michael J. Riser's picture
Michael J. Riser from El Cerrito, CA (originally), now Fort Worth, TX is reading The San Veneficio Canon - Michael Cisco, The Croning - Laird Barron, By the Time We Leave Here, We'll Be Friends - J. David Osborne July 3, 2012 - 4:41pm

Well, I wasn't sure I was gonna do it, but I spent a good hour or so writing and did some thinking while getting dinner for the girlfriend, who's hard at work doing studies for her master's and making me feel like a slacker.

So yeah, I guess I'm in!

Chris Johnson's picture
Chris Johnson from Burlington NC is reading The Proud Highway July 3, 2012 - 8:02pm

I turned in draft 1.5, wondering how much of a rewrite we can do on a posted story. Thanks.

Kirk's picture
Admin
Kirk from Pingree Grove, IL is reading The Book Of The New Sun July 3, 2012 - 8:40pm

I'm glad everyone is having fun so far. I'll post the first Mug winners when I'm back home on Saturday as I'm currently in New York for the first official LitReactor meetup, which I assume everyone is attending!

But what the hell, if you still want a mug I'll give on away randomly each day until then. So, basically, each day will have a give away. Wed, Thurs, Fri. 

In other words, I'll actually be announcing 7 winners on Saturday.

We'll get to some other fun stuff next week!

 

Michael J. Riser's picture
Michael J. Riser from El Cerrito, CA (originally), now Fort Worth, TX is reading The San Veneficio Canon - Michael Cisco, The Croning - Laird Barron, By the Time We Leave Here, We'll Be Friends - J. David Osborne July 3, 2012 - 8:47pm

I'll gladly do a meetup when we organize one in Texas! NY is a tad far when you're as poor as I am.

In fact, maybe that poorness is why I want a free mug so bad. How badass would it be to panhandle with a LitReactor mug?

Americantypo's picture
Americantypo from Philadelphia is reading The Bone Clocks July 4, 2012 - 5:21am

Welll... I'm submitting something just for fun, just finished it this morning. A disclaimer: it takes place where I currently live, though I've lived here in Philadelphia for like 7-8 years. I'm guessing the rules aren't super strict. Anyway, it's a first draft and I plan on submitting something more aline with the prompt before the end of July.

Americantypo's picture
Americantypo from Philadelphia is reading The Bone Clocks July 4, 2012 - 5:25am

Scratch that- my word length is too high. Confounded by 700 words! Doh!

Utah's picture
Moderator
Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry July 4, 2012 - 5:44am

^is one wordy punkin-head!

Daniel Brophy's picture
Daniel Brophy from Taunton, MA is reading The Power of One July 4, 2012 - 6:05am

Anyone know how to take your story down and resubmit it? Recieved some feedback and want to fix the story.

GaryP's picture
GaryP from Denver is reading a bit of this and that July 4, 2012 - 6:29am

From Howie upstream:

If you click on your own story and open it up like you were going to read it, at the very top (above the scare us banner, but beneath the site options like 'dashboard and online classes) there are three options "view edit voting results"

Click edit.  Under file, click "remove file".  Then you'll have to upload the new file before you can save it at the bottom of the page.