A Room with a View – Revisited

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    I’m delighted to be able to announce, for the second time, a short story writing challenge: A Room with a View.

    Some of you will know how this challenge will work but I am conscious of the fact that this site is not the Word Cloud. We are lucky to have new members here and they will not have taken part in one before, so forgive me if I go over things in some detail.

    There has been an Autumn-to-Spring Challenge on the Word Cloud for a number of years. It was started by one of our members, AlanP, and I continued it in 2016/2017, starting another one only a couple of weeks before the Word Cloud pointed its toes to Heaven. I’ve been incredibly fortunate that so many previous entrants found their way here and after a bit of a ponder I decided it would be worth starting over.

    In many ways it’s a perfectly normal writing competition. Here are the main differences:

    1) We offer no prizes.
    2) We pick a winner along with second and third places, but that’s not the point.
    3) Once we begin, the challenge proceeds behind closed doors – in a private group. Texts are not shared or discussed outside of the group without the express permission of the authors. As well as giving entrants privacy to write what they want and to share their writing with an audience in the same position as themselves, it should satisfy the non-publication requirements of most other competitions and publishers; if you write something you’re really proud of then it should be possible to take it further. This is important. Following past challenges we have seen entries that have won or been placed in national competitions, that have been published in anthologies and some that have grown into longer works, which have in turn been published.
    4) In order to take part, you understand that you will also be a judge. Group members pick their favourite three entries, other than their own, and that is how the top three places are determined.
    5) You may write whatever you wish, but your story must follow some (very) general theme-guidelines which are provided.
    6) There’s a bit of fun at the outset. To take part, you are asked to make some choices. These are made before the full details of the theme are known. The choices may, or may not, interact with the theme in unexpected ways.
    7) The point of the challenge is to enjoy it; to give your writing a boost, perhaps, and to challenge yourself. And it is fun; I’ve loved every one I’ve taken part in.

    A Room with a View will take about 5 or 6 months from start to finish. We’ll have a short period to sign up, a little bit of fun to whet the appetite and get you guessing, then the full details of the challenge theme will be revealed and we’re off. There’s plenty of writing time and then when the writing phase is closed, we all have a further period to chew over our choices and decide on a top three. After the initial sign up, the challenge group will be closed. If you’d like to find out more, I urge you to head over to the new group A Room with a View where you can read, speculate and sign up!


    A word for those who entered when the challenge was posted to the Word Cloud: this is being run as a new challenge, although the available choices, rules and the theme are the same you will need to join again and choose again to take part. You are free to stick with what you chose before, or not, as you wish. For information, I have posted a list of previous entrants and their choices, but this will not be automatically carried forward to the new challenge.

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