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StoryADay May’s Short Fiction Challenge and Why You Want to Participate

[1]StoryADay May is just around the corner.

2020 marks the StoryADay Challenge’s 10th birthday and Therese was kind enough to offer me some bytes here, so I could invite you to the party.

What StoryADay May Is

StoryADay May is a month of extreme short story writing. It’s also a challenge, with optional writing prompts, and an online community with a sensibility you’ll recognize – friendly, supportive, feel-good.

In its purest form, during StoryADay May you pledge to write (and complete) a short story every day in May.

We write first drafts, with no editing or critique allowed during May.

It’s just you and a commitment to creativity. This concentrated focus allows you to block out the voices that tell you not to write, because you’re ‘too much’ or ‘not enough’.

StoryADay is my modest attempt to save the world, by saving writers.

What StoryaDay May is Not

It is not an attempt to write 31 good stories.

In fact, it’s an attempt to lower your standards enough to get you writing prolifically so that you can find out:

And so much more.

StoryADay is also not strict.

You make up your own rules and use our community to keep you accountable to them.

You can use my prompts when you need them or completely ignore them.  You can pledge to write every day, or three days a week or every day except Thursday, because you never could get the hang of Thursdays. It’s up to you.

In the past people have used StoryADay to write

You also get to make your own rules about how often you write. Just make sure you’re pushing yourself a little.

Why Short Stories?

I know a lot of people here at WU are novelists. Heck, after my first year of writing a StoryADay I became a novelist too, because I realized that writing the same story for months wouldn’t be any harder than writing a new story every day for one month!

But short stories are great as

My favourite StoryADay story from a novelist comes from Sarah Cain (The Eighth Circle, One By One) who was struggling to keep her enthusiasm going for writing, during her search for an agent. She took part in the first ever StoryADay, reminded herself of what FUN writing can be, and got back on the submissions horse.

By the following year she had an agent and a 2-book deal and hasn’t looked back since!

Other people have used StoryADay to

Imagine what you could do if you wrote a story a day for a month this May.

Why You Want To Participate This Year–of All Years

It’s the 10th Anniversary and I’ve lined up writing prompts from all kinds of cool and generous authors including Joanne Harris, Hallie Ephron, Jonathan Maberry, Joe R. Lansdale, Simon Rich, Julia Elliot, Mary Robinette Kowal, Premee Mohamed, Naomi Kritzer, Grant Faulkner among others, including a talented up-and-comer called Therese Walsh.

This is your chance to see how their minds work!

Also, this year is…weird. You might be suffering from anxiety, a sense of dislocation, difficulty concentrating on longer works, a lingering worry that writing is somehow trivial.

StoryADay is a chance to plunge back into writing, no strings, no great stakes. Just an explosion of creativity for one concentrated month, in the company of other extremely creative people. It’s a chance to be silly in your daily writing goals, while being serious about your overall writing journey. It’s a chance to reboot your writing practice and figure out how to make it work for you, now.

I’d be honored to have you as part of the challenge and part of our community. I’d love to help lead you through a four-ish week program of reconnecting with and strengthening your inner writer so that you can get back to creating fictional worlds that heal the hearts of the people who will heal this beautiful world we share.

If you’d like to join us for StoryADay May 2020, you can sign up here [2].

About Julie Duffy [3]

Julie Duffy [4] is the founder and director of the creativity challenge StoryADay.org where she has blogged about the creative life and short stories since 2010. StoryADay is the host of annual short story writing challenges in May and September, year-round writing prompts, articles and community resources for creative inspiration. She regularly talks at writers’ groups and conferences about creativity and writing.