LitReactor's First Official Writing Challenge: "Scare Us"
UPDATE: We are now live! Go submit your story today!
One of our goals when we began developing LitReactor was to create a network for up-and-coming writers. And by network, we didn't just want a forum and a workshop--we wanted a platform where we could celebrate the immense talent of the writers in our community.
Too many sites take a stripped-down, sloppy approach to hosting writing workshops. With LitReactor, we feel we've created a home for some of the best writing classes online, and we feel our writers workshop is unmatched. But we want to take it deeper. We want to grow our community, to bridge the gap between our loyal fanbase and the people who see us as just another place to read a blog post. We want people to get inspired. We want to celebrate the act of writing.
So today, we're kicking off our first big writing challenge.
Goals, you have two of them:
- Produce and complete a finished short story.
- Have fun.
It's a little like NaNoWriMo, except we want you to come out of it with a tight, finished story, not a rough first draft. And we're doing this with an eye toward making this a regular occurrence.
Now, don't think we're going to give you an uninspired mandate. We want to box you in a little, because we don't want you heading to your comfort zone. We want you to break out and try something new. We want to force you to get creative. Part of the point of this is to challenge you to try something different. Each challenge will come with a specific genre or theme. And for the first, we've decided on horror.
Here are your prompts:
- Must be a horror story
- Must feature an original creature, of your own creation (no werewolves, vampires or zombies)
- Must feature three deaths
- Must take place in the town where you grew up
- Must be more than 1,500 words but less than 4,000 words
There won't be any winners or losers, but we are developing and offering a set of rewards for highly rated stories. We don't want to announce all of these just yet, but what we can tell you that we've enlisted the help of some of our past instructors. As of now, the following authors have agreed to read, review, and provide feedback on some of the stories:
- Ed Sikov
- Holiday Reinhorn
- Suzy Vitello
- Lidia Yuknavitch
- Christa Faust
- Joe Nassise
This number will grow as we reach out to more authors, and could even include some special guests who haven't yet taught for LitReactor.
Today is June 4th. You have from now until the end of this month to finish your story. On July 1st we will open the submission process. Stories will be submitted to a special new section of our writers workshop, specifically built for this challenge.
The submission process will be open. This means that, as long as you register for the site, you can enter this. You don't need to be a paying workshop member.
On midnight, July 31st, the submission process will close, and from August 1st on, we will begin rewarding the top stories. All along the way, we will report on the progress of this event on our front page.
Our own Joshua Moyes (workshop member Utah), who was recently named our Defender of the People, will represent this event to our community and will be on hand to help us answer any questions you might have along the way. He'll be covering top stories and exciting developments as they occur. (And as this is the first time we're doing this, there will no doubt be some kinks along the way. We're still learning. Bear with us, and if you have a suggestion, don't be afraid to share it.)
You have almost a full month to prepare. Some of you will prefer to have your stories written, so that you can submit them as soon as the calendar hits July 1st. Others may want to develop them first, and then wait for July to happen so you can start reading other entries, to get inspired before you submit yours.
Regardless, the next big step of LitReactor happens today. If this all goes well, we plan to enhance these challenges for the future.
Godspeed, and get writing!
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