Category Archives: short stories

Morgen’s free 100-word competition is now open for August!

*** PLEASE check your word count (100 words exactly – no more, no less – EXcluding title) and do submit more than one story to give yourself a better chance of being placed. ***

Hello everyone. Yes, July’s competition is closed, with the results due to be announced on (or before) Wedneday 15th August. The theme for August is ‘leftovers’ which you can submit any time until Friday 31st August (midnight UK time).

Read the rest of this entry »


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

July’s 100-word FREE competition is open… ‘a horror story’

*** PLEASE check your word count (100 words EXcluding title) and submit more than one story to give yourself a better chance of being placed. ***

Hello everyone. Yes, June’s theme of ‘the wheel’ has closed but July’s is now open with the theme of ‘a horror story’, used in any way you like, i.e. a story fitting that genre or not. Even something trivial happening to your characters could mean it’s a horror story to them.

And remember, you can send up to three stories per month (individually or at the same time). It’s worth doing because some people have missed out because of errors (usually not 100 words exactly) in the only entry they send so they are immediately disqualified. This happens almost every month. <sigh>

There are lots of rules so please read the 100-word competition page carefully but the two most important are:

  1. Your story must stick to the theme (which varies each month).
  2. Your story must be no longer or no shorter than 100 words. This excludes the title which can be as long or as short as you like. Any stories of less than or greater than 100 words will be disqualified so please check before submitting. Hyphenated words (e.g. well-known) count as one word so 99-word stories because of a hyphenated word will be disqualified. This may sound harsh but it’s then fair on everyone. Also bullet points do not count as words so do not include them in your word count. Neither do ellipses (e.g. ‘and… we’ counts as two words), ages, e.g. ‘a two-year-old child’ also counts as one word (according to Word, which is what I use).

And the prizes?

Good luck and I look forward to reading your stories.


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

SADM 2018 – Day 31: The Story of You, Superstar

Julie says: I hope that you have found this illuminating, frustrating, exhilarating…

I know there were days when you weren’t thrilled with what you write and that there were days when you surprised yourself or made yourself really happy.

More than that, YOU know that you have 31 days under your belt, of writing whether you felt like it or not.

(Even if you didn’t write every day, I’m willing to be there were days this month when you wrote when you didn’t want to and you finished a story even when you thought it wasn’t worth it and that act of finishing showed you that you can do this.)

You’ve pushed yourself and I want you to take some time today to make some notes about what you’ve learned, about your rhythms of writing; about how things work for you.

I can give you advice, and Stephen King can give you advice, and none of it really matters. It’s great to put yourself in a community of people talking about things that matter to you, and you can learn from other people’s examples, for sure, but the only way to discover how you write, is to write.

At the end of this 31 days, you’ll have learned something about your rhythm, your practice of writing.

The Prompt: Write a story about a creative person who has just completed, or is in the throes of completing a massive creative effort.

(And yes, this can be autobiographical).

You could take us through the manic process of trying to finish up the work. You can show us their post-event hysteria/collapse. You can have them reflecting on the effort.

Pay attention to the physicality of it.

Go anywhere you want with this.

It doesn’t have to be serious. It can be self-indulgent (you’ve earned it!)

Looking Backwards And Looking Forwards

I hope this has been a great experience for you.

Write your story today and then take a moment to blog or journal or tweet or whatever you do to celebrate and share.

Take some time to really revel in the fact that you have devoted these 31 days, regardless of how much you were able to turn up, or how often you were able to write, or how good your stories were, you devoted this month to paying attention to your inner writer.

You have these materials now, you can come back at any time and dive back into these prompts, the meditations, the forum. You’ve met these people who have gone through this experience with you and you’ve made some connections. I hope you will stay in touch with each other. Having a cohort of people to help each other out is an amazing thing. These people who know and like you will be your biggest boosters, so stay in touch. Take advantage of the fact that you have this group of people how have shared this experience with you.

(And if you weren’t part of the Superstars group this time around, keep watching your inbox for the next opportunity. I’ll be running this again in September and next May, at the very least.)

Make your plans for the rest of the year. As you’re writing your celebratory blog/journal entry and going through the worksheet about what you’ve learned this month, think about your plans are for the rest of the year, the rest of the next five years…

Think about how you can put into practice. everything you’ve learned in this month to honor your urge to write to be creative, to write. If you need to be part of a group of people who commit to writing regularly, then you’re going to need to find a group. It might be the SWAGr group–come along on the first of the month, and make sure you’re on the SWAGr notifications list by signing up at the bottom of this page. Maybe you need a real-life group fo people who meet in a cafe on Saturday mornings and does a write-in. Find one. Look on Start one!

Whatever you need, figure it out, commit to doing it.

Set yourself some goal. Make most of them attainable, but think about having one big, scary, outrageous goal. Think about the steps you can take to get yourself closer to realizing that goal, or at least working towards it.

Thank you for coming along on this journey. I learn a lot from you, and from producing these materials, so I really appreciate you being here. I love getting to know you and building this tribe of people who are on each other’s side as we strive to be writers everyday, not ‘someday’.

Write your story today. Journal about your experiences this month. Watch your inbox for more information from me in the months ahead, and most of all…


And me? Sadly, I’m not doing the challenge this year (too busy) but do leave a comment below to let me know how you do.

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 31, 2018 in ideas, short stories, writing


SADM 2018 – Day 30: Change your Point of View

Julie says: After setting you free yesterday, I’m putting a few more limits on you again today.

The prompt: Take a story that you wrote earlier this month, and tell it from a different point of view

The point of this prompt is to show you that sometimes a story benefits from being told in a different way. Noir stories work in first person because that’s what we’re used to. Something set in a Victorian era works well in Third Person Omniscient because that’s how Dickens wrote–it’s what we’re used to.

Use this prompt as an excuse to play with a story and make it richer, through voice.


And me? Sadly, I’m not doing the challenge this year (too busy) but do leave a comment below to let me know how you do.

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 30, 2018 in ideas, short stories, writing


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

SADM 2018 – Day 29: The Story You’ve Been Waiting To Write

Not a lot of today left… sorry about that!

Julie says: I know you have stories you want to tell, that the world needs to hear.

Your experiences, your outlook, your way of expressing yourself, are unique in the history of the world and I’m so glad you’ve come this far, and you’re still writing.

And I know you’re going to continue to write, because you’ve come this far.

Today I’m giving you a prompt that might seem a little lazy from me, but there’s a reason.

The Prompt: Write the story that you’ve been hungering to write.

I’ve been very proscriptive this month, telling you what you write, and you’ve been writing for four weeks. You’ve got stories in your head that are nipping at your brain, whispering “tell me!”, so today I’m setting you free.

Tell one of those stories.


And me? Sadly, I’m not doing the challenge this year (too busy) but do leave a comment below to let me know how you do.

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 29, 2018 in ideas, short stories, writing


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,