Why & how to participate in fiction writing challenges


AN INVITATION TO VOCAL’S Summer Fiction Series COMPETITION

If you are a fiction writer, there are several compelling reasons to join in these challenges

The first one is earning prizes. Just from a single 600-word story, you have a chance of making $5,000, $1,000, or $500 if your story is selected. There is even a chance you may earn more than one competition.

The second reason is motivation. Monetary value and the spirit of community participation encourages writers to be more creative and prolific.

The third reason is that even if your story does not earn a prize, you can still get it published and earn regular income from the reading times at Medium and Vocal Media. You can also repurpose your material in your blogs, other platforms and even create a book. As you may know, any reader on the Internet qualifies as reading time on Vocal. Readers are not required to be members. On Medium, your stories earn income from reading times of members.

The fourth reason is reaching out to a new audience and increasing the number of your readers.

And the fifth reason is personal satisfaction. You complete a task and your brain rewards you with dopamine. As a result, your motivation and self-confidence can increase. Writing is a therapeutic activity. Communities can motivate and empower writers.

I hope these compelling reasons resonate with you.

In this post, I introduce you to the SFS (Summer Fiction Series) initiative offered by Vocal Media. These challenges include substantial prizes.


How to Join Eight Great Challenges

Vocal Media offers eight writing competitions for fiction writers.

Let me introduce each competition by providing where the inspiration of the challenge come from, duration, deadlines, and prizes.


How to Join Eight Great Challenges

Vocal Media offers eight writing competitions for fiction writers.

Let me introduce each competition by providing where the inspiration of the challenge come from, duration, deadlines, and prizes.

If you are interested, you can add them to your calendar and writing plan.


Challenge 1: Old Barn

Source

The first challenge is inspired by Charlotte’s Web.

You can create a fiction story set in a run-down barn.

Duration is one week.

You have limited time for this around 40 hours, if you hurry by submitting a fiction story that you may have now you can be qualified for this challenge. If you miss this one don’t worry. There are seven more challenges with longer deadlines.

Dates: Between July 7 and 13, 2021

Grand prize: $5,000

Second prize: $1,000

Third prize: $500

SFS 1: Old Barn challenge. Grand prize: $5,000
This series is comprised of eight short fiction Challenges ranging in length from one week to eight weeks long. Each…vocal.media


Challenge 2: Death By Chocolate

Source

This challenge is inspired by Matilda.

You can create a fiction story that includes a piece of chocolate cake.

Duration three weeks. You have 8 days left.

Dates: Between July 2 and 27, 2021.

Grand prize: $5,000

Second prize: $1,000

Third prize: $500

SFS 2: Death By Chocolate challenge. Grand prize: $5,000
This series is comprised of eight short fiction Challenges ranging in length from one week to eight weeks long. Each…vocal.media


Challenge 3: Brown Paper Box

Source

This challenge is inspired by Phantom Tollbooth.

You can create a fiction story that includes a suspicious package wrapped in brown paper.

Duration three weeks. You have 15 days left.

Dates: Between July 2 and August 10, 2021.

Grand prize: $5,000

Second prize: $1,000

Third prize: $500

SFS 3: Brown Paper Box challenge. Grand prize: $5,000
This series is comprised of eight short fiction Challenges ranging in length from one week to eight weeks long. Each…vocal.media


Challenge 4: Golden Summer

Source

This challenge is inspired by Bluest Eye.

You can create a fiction story that includes a marigold flower.

Duration four weeks. You have 22 days left.

Dates: Between July 7 and August 03, 2021.

Grand prize: $5,000

Second prize: $1,000

Third prize: $500

SFS 4: Golden Summer challenge. Grand prize: $5,000
This series is comprised of eight short fiction Challenges ranging in length from one week to eight weeks long. Each…vocal.media


Challenge 5: Raging Bull

Source

This challenge is inspired by The Sun Also Rises.

You can create a fiction story that includes a bull.

Duration five weeks. You have 29 days left.

Dates: Between July 7 and August 10, 2021.

Grand prize: $5,000

Second prize: $1,000

Third prize: $500

SFS 5: Raging Bull challenge. Grand prize: $5,000
This series is comprised of eight short fiction Challenges ranging in length from one week to eight weeks long. Each…vocal.media


Challenge 6: The Green Light

Source

This challenge is inspired by The Great Gatsby.

You can create a fiction story that includes a green light.

Duration six weeks. You have 36 days left.

Dates: Between July 7 and August 17, 2021.

Grand prize: $5,000

Second prize: $1,000

Third prize: $500

SFS 6: Green Light challenge. Grand prize: $5,000
This series is comprised of eight short fiction Challenges ranging in length from one week to eight weeks long. Each…vocal.media


Challenge 7: Long Thaw

Source

This challenge is inspired by The Catcher in the Rye.

You can create a fiction story that includes a frozen pond.

Duration seven weeks. You have 43 days left.

Dates: Between July 7 and August 24, 2021.

Grand prize: $5,000

Second prize: $1,000

Third prize: $500

SFS 7: Long Thaw challenge. Grand prize: $5,000
This series is comprised of eight short fiction Challenges ranging in length from one week to eight weeks long. Each…vocal.media


Challenge 8: Pear Tree

Source

This challenge is inspired by Their Eyes Were Watching God.

You can create a fiction story that includes a pear tree.

Duration eight weeks. You have 50 days left.

Dates: Between July 7 and August 31, 2021.

Grand prize: $5,000

Second prize: $1,000

Third prize: $500

SFS 8: Pear Tree challenge. Grand prize: $5,000
This series is comprised of eight short fiction Challenges ranging in length from one week to eight weeks long. Each…vocal.media


All Vocal Media challenges can be accessed at this link.


Competition Terms and Conditions

There are four conditions to participate and benefit from these competitions.

These four rules, apart from Vocal+ membership, also apply to publishing your stories on Vocal Media. You don’t need to be Vocal+ member to write for Vocal but you need it to participate in challenges.

Prerequisite 1 — You need to be a Vocal+ member.

You can join Vocal as a creator using this link.

Prerequisite 2 — For your stories to be eligible, they must be between 600 and 2,000 words and comply with Community Guidelines.

Vocal publishing guidelines are very similar to Medium.

In a nutshell, no hate speech, no plagiarism, no copyright images, no porn, no explicit nudity, no graphic violence, no terrorism, no self-harm or glorification of suicide, no sexual solicitation, and no child exploitation.

Prerequisite 3 — There is an age requirement. The minimum age required is 13 to write for Vocal and participate in challenges.

Prerequisite 4 — You also need be residing in a country where Stripe is available. You can connect your Vocal+ account to stripe as you do on Medium.

Stripe currently covers 44 countries.

Image screen capture from Stripe website

Conclusions

I highly recommend all our fiction writers participate in these challenges.

There are many tangible and intangible benefits to be gained from participating in these challenges. Apart from apparent monetary value, you can also enhance your writing portfolio, repurpose your content, increase your readers and improve your self-confidence.

About The Author

I am a technologist, postdoctoral researcher, published author, editor, and digital marketing strategist with four decades of industry experience.

I write articles for Medium, News Break, and Vocal Media. On Medium, I established ILLUMINATION, ILLUMINATION-Curated, ILLUMINATION’ S MIRROR, ILLUMINATION Book Chapter, Technology Hits, and SYNERGY publications supporting 10,500+ writers on Medium.

You can Join my publications requesting access here.

You can join Vocal Media using this link.

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