The final Writing Challenge of 2019 is here!

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Photo by Osman Rana on Unsplash

Thanks to Literally Literary for hosting our final Writing Challenge of 2019! Much as I expected, the prompt they’ve come up with is not your typical holiday prompt. This one manages to be both specific and broad at the same time, with plenty of room for creativity.

The prompt

Like last month’s challenge, this one is a single word prompt. Ready for it?

“Exulansis”

“Can you use it in a definition?” you might ask.

Sure!

exulansis
n. the tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it — whether through envy or pity or simple foreignness — which allows it to drift away from the rest of your life story, until the memory itself feels out of place, almost mythical, wandering restlessly in the fog, no longer even looking for a place to land. …


Your October winner & a sneak peak of what’s ahead

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Photo by Vladislav Klapin on Unsplash

Hi there, Stella here. Just a quick note with some Writing Challenge updates…

October winner

Many thanks to Terijo of Intimately Intricate for running October’s Writing Challenge, Thunder. You can find all the published entries over at Intimately Intricate under the tag “Thunder Prompt”. There are so many great pieces resulting from this prompt, but one stood out as the favorite, A Love Letter — 15 Years Later.

Congrats to, Sarah Alaska, author of the winning entry. Sarah, simply put — we loved your story! This format, where you invite the reader into a personal letter, sucked me right in. From the start, I wondered, “Will this love work out? Will they live happily ever after? Or will it always be an almost-but-not-quite love story?” …


Your October Writing Challenge is here!

This month, we’re passing the challenge baton over to Intimately Intricate, a Medium publication that “speaks to the demands of that intricate dance called life”. We love this simple but complex premise. The little things, the big things, the navigation between things, the delicate things, the durable things, starts and ends, new loves and old loves, friendships, a kind stranger, tears and joy and all the emotions in between.

Entries for this one will be accepted as poetry or prose (fiction or non) through October 31 (so get busy!) Winning entries will be highlighted in both Intimately Intricate and The Writing Cooperative. …


2019 Writing Challenge

Your September Writing Challenge is here!

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Feeling funny? Quick-witted? Likely to describe yourself as having “a good sense of humor”? Maybe you want to work on honing your comedy skills? Well, this Writing Challenge is for you!

We’re excited to announce that for our September Writing Challenge, we’re featuring Slackjaw, Medium’s most-followed humor site, which just launched The Slackjaw Humor Writing Challenge!

This challenge includes $2,000 in cash prizes, plus the opportunity to get your work in front of a judge’s panel of writers for The New Yorker, The Onion, Comedy Central, McSweeney’s, and more. What an awesome opportunity, right?

When you join this challenge, you’ll get the support of the friendly Slackjaw writing community while you craft a hilarious piece by following a specific pitching, writing, and re-writing formula used by many humor writing pros. The Challenge runs August 21 — September 21, and you can opt-in NOW (or at any time during the Challenge). The earlier you join, the better! Learn more, and opt-in to the challenge…


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Image by Jose Antonio Alba from Pixabay

Four years ago, I sent “The First and Possibly Last Letter” and then some time later I sent another letter just to remind you that I was still alive but not really navigating singledom anymore. Well, readers, the time has come to close up shop officially.

“Officially” because as you may or may not have noticed, things have been pretty quiet (or silent) around here for quite some time. I don’t have any funny first date stories anymore because I don’t have any first dates anymore. I also don’t have a hell of a lot of free time and, sadly, I find myself writing less and less in that time. …


2019 Writing Challenge

Your August Writing Challenge Prompt

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Image by Jonny Lindner from Pixabay
Note: This post contains affiliate links to products from one or more of our sponsors. The Writing Cooperative may receive compensation when you click on links to those products.

We’re breaking some rules over here (just a few). It all started last month, when we did away with the July Writing Challenge entirely. Now, here we are in August taking over the Challenge ourselves. That’s right — this month, the Challenge returns home, being hosted right here at The Writing Cooperative, in partnership with our good friends at ProWritingAid.

In more rule-breaking fashion, I want to start by sharing the prizes at stake this month before I get to the prompt…because they’re awesome prizes! …


2019 Writing Challenge

July’s Writing Challenge News

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Photo by Anna Hamilton on Unsplash

Last month, we turned over The Writing Challenge to our friends at The Bigger Picture. They asked to see your stories about the most memorable piece of mail you ever received. This one was tough for sure, but it resulted in some great stories for you to add to your summer reading list.

Top honor goes to Bonnie Barton for her story selected as editors’ favorite. She tells us about the letters she received from her crush of a Greek god and the sometimes-struggle of distinguishing love from friendship, or something in between.

Congratulations, Bonnie! Add these other entries to your reading list as well and look out for more as they are published over at The Bigger…


2019 Writing Challenge

Join Us For June’s Writing Challenge with The Bigger Picture!

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photo credit: Josh McGinn, on flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

In college, our mailboxes were located in the basement level of the dining hall, which was a couple buildings over from our dorm. My dorm mates and I would occasionally stop to check our mail on our walk back from dinner to see if we’d been sent anything interesting. Sometimes, we’d have a letter or package from home. Sometimes, we’d have a bill. But more often than not, we had no mail. We started referring to the mail as just that — “no mail”. As in:

“Should we check the no mail?”

“Let’s go to the no mail today.”

Or the occasional, surprised, “I got mail in my no…


Addiction is a constant fear your loved one might die

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

“How are you handling it? Do you think about it a lot?”

“I wouldn’t say a lot, no. I guess I try not to think about it. It’s more like…like this constant thought lingering in the back of my mind. This constant fear that my brother might die…And, I mean, I know everyone might die at any time, but, like, with him, he’s at some elevated risk level and I’m very aware of it.”

“Damn.”

“Yeah.”

I’m not sure what the worst part is about learning your brother is an addict. …


2019 Writing Challenge

Writing Challenge News for the Month of May

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photo by Sarah Reid on flickr (CC BY 2.0)

If you’ve not yet heard, the May Writing Challenge is up and running over at The Chalkboard. This month’s challenge really exemplifies the whole idea of collaboration: you’ll have to create a magnet poem.

Magnet poetry is a type of found poetry where you take phrases from existing poems, cut them up, and rearrange them to create a fresh, new poem of your own. Sounds fun, right?

You can find all the details about the requirements and how to enter in the announcement from The Chalkboard:

You have until May 30th to enter. If you’re not already a writer for The Chalkboard and would like to enter the challenge, see their Participate page to learn how to be added to the publication. …

About

Stella J. McKenna

Mystery woman by day. Writer by night. Hopeless yet unrelenting 24–7. I like to contemplate: love, sex, feelings, quantum physics, and pop music lyrics.

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