Writing Challenge/Prompt

The best stories can come from imagining yourself in another place, another situation. Pictures this: You go to bed in your own house and wake up in a colony ship, millions of miles out in space. You wander levels of this huge space for days, and while there is plenty of food and water, you […]

Writing Challenge/Prompt

A grownup game of fill in the blanks is this month’s challenge. The first sentence of any story sets the tone, establishes the setting, and is meant to pull readers into what’s going on. Choices you make as a writer do all these things, and more. Fill in the blanks of this first sentence, then […]

Writing Challenge/Prompt

Workshop member Joseph sends the following prompt: Write a kind of romantic sci-fi story were a man meets a woman, and falls in love with her for her intelligence. Not long afterward, he discovers the woman of his dreams is actually an alien. What kind of conflict does this cause our hero, and how does he […]

Writing Challenge/Prompt

Luck is a pretty universal concept. Some believe in it, others don’t. But think about what the world–or the universe–would be like if luck was a real, almost physical thing that could be shared, hoarded, or withheld. Now go write a story about that idea. Make it your own. Remember: Challenges are supposed to be […]

Writing Challenge/Prompt

Think about this: You go to bed in your own house, in your own room. When you wake you’re outside. Polished ceramic walls–too smooth and too high to climb–surround you. You almost miss the small opening that lets you escape the circle, but you see the walls continuing on. Where are you? How do you […]

Writing Challenge/Prompt

The “aliens have landed” is an old tired trope. But this month, try a new twist. Imagine these aliens are refugees and can’t go home again. How do the people in your fictional world react to these strangers? Remember: Challenges are supposed to be fun, but don’t forget to stretch yourself and take risks. If […]

Writing Challenge/Prompt

This month I’m going to challenge you to write about something that scares you. You could write about a fear of spiders or snakes, the rush of panic you feel in high places, fear of flying, or the fear of leaving the familiar. Write about fear itself. Remember: Challenges are supposed to be fun, but […]

Writing Challenge/Prompt

We’ve all read stories about the world ending, either by natural disaster or human mistakes. But what happens a month or a year after the world ends? Do the gates into fairy open again? Does a ship from another world arrive? Think of your own twist on that scenario and write a story. Remember: Challenges […]

Writing Challenge/Prompt

We’ve all heard the time honored advice that writers avoid cliches in our books and stories. This month I’d like to challenge you to do the exact opposite. Think of the most timeworn, overused, and eye-rolling SFF cliche you can. Now write an origin story for that cliche. Where did it come from and why […]

Writing Challenge/Prompt

Ever wonder how many completely different stories can be written with the same first line? That’s the challenge this month, to see how many story ideas you can come up with from this first line: The door opened no more than an inch, and stuck fast. Out of all those story ideas, go write the […]