Happy October, one and all! The leaves are changing, pumpkin spice is a thing again, and - most exciting of all, of course - it's time for the annual 1031 Story Challenge!
What is it?
The clue's in the name. Every October, in time for Halloween, I challenge anyone who wants to take part to write a short story before the end of the month. There's no limit on genre, style, form, or even if it's actually a story. Artwork is welcome. Interpretative dance is strongly encouraged.
1031 comes from the U.S.-style date for Halloween - 10.31.2015, this year. In the past stories have generally fallen into two camps: those that try to get in under 1,031 words (my preferred challenge) and those that incorporate the number 1,031 in any way they like. You're welcome to write whatever you want (keeping in mind that children may be reading the stories).
What happens to the stories?
Your stories are you own, and this is nothing but a fun way to get a group of writers together. There's no prize and no copyright claim. Usually I offer to publish the stories here on my blog, though you are also welcome to publish on your own site and send me a link to add to the others.
For fun. For art. Because October's a great time to feel inspired and write a new story.
I'm in. What now?
Get crackin'. If you'd like me to put your story on this site, e-mail it to me at simonphilipclark[at]gmail.com. The challenge ends on October 31, though only in spirit. You can find me on twitter as @sipclark - and if you know someone who you think could take part, give them a poke.
I'm hoping this year's 1031 Story Challenge will be the best yet, but last year's is going to be hard to beat - Martin Stewart, who took part for the first time, ended up getting a book deal from Penguin based on his 1031 Story Challenge entry. He's set the bar pretty high...
Happy writing, all.
(If you're still confused, here's my story from a couple of years ago, The Choice of Stone, to give you a taster.)