Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing


Finally Got a Dean-Level Insane Question…

On the novel and short story challenge starting in September. You know the one, write thirty short stories in sixty days or write three novels in three months. The challenge that is almost full.

Someone asked me today if they could do both at the same time. I LOVE THAT! My level of nuts challenge.

And, of course, I said sure.

And I offered the person a discount if they wanted to try it. Second challenge at half price (still get two workshops).  Both challenges for $900 and get four workshops.

Why did I love that question? That is exactly the question I would ask about this challenge, so it made my day.

How I would do it would be write ten short stories in ten days, then do a novel in 20 days, and repeat for three months. Or write thirty short stories in the first month and three novels in two months. All within my limits that I have already tested.

Now I understand that most of you will find just one of these challenges pushing and that is a good thing. I would have too early on and that is why I offer them. But there is one crazy human out there who thinks about these things like I do, and that made me laugh. I am not alone!!

But don’t try the two without first completing one, so here are the details of the challenges if interested in one of them. Only a few spots open.

Here are the details again to get me to be your first reader. And remember you get two online workshops just for trying this.

There are two challenges starting September 1st. A short story challenge and a novel challenge. The short story writers do 30 stories in 60 days, turn them in to me. The novel writers do three novels in three months and turn them in to me as they finish each one.

I read all the way along and take notes because I don’t want to get behind, but I tend to wait toward the end before mailing out my responses because the last thing anyone needs is my voice in their heads while they are trying to do their own work.

After you are done, you get your two regular online workshops ($600 value) to take when you want.

As a first reader, I comment as a reader and as an editor some. I say what I like, what doesn’t work for me, and general stuff like that. I D0 NOT COPYEDIT or REWRITE your story or help plot a story. However, I did tell the short story people if a short story would work as a novel. (grin)

And more importantly, if I thought a story worked, I said so. Simply and clearly.

Also a fun side detail on this. I have bought five stories for Pulphouse so far from the three challenges. I tell the people to send them off to other markets first, but if they don’t sell, send them back. Five have come back that fit my new magazine. A wonderful bonus for me I had not expected.

So I am going to do this again if anyone is interested to write starting September 1st and have me be your first reader. Both short story and novel challenges.

I WILL ONLY TAKE FIVE FOR EACH CHALLENGE.  So jump in real quick if you want to do this.

SHORT STORY Challenge:

Write thirty short stories in 60 days. You can take the full time or you can write them in a month. Up to you.

— I will charge $600 to be your first reader. You get two online workshops of your choice, a $600 value when you are finished, just for giving it a try, even if you don’t hit all thirty. (In essence I read for free.)

— If you feel the challenge is not working for you, you can take an off ramp and get the two online workshops at any point. So you can try this risk free.

NOVEL Challenge:

Write three novels in September, October, and November You can take the full time or you can write them quicker. Up to you.

— I will charge $600 to be your first reader. You get two online workshops of your choice, a $600 value when you finish or the time runs out. (In essence, I will read for free if you do the challenge.)

— Novels can be any length over 30,000 words and at least half of the first one must be written during the time of the challenge.

— If you feel the challenge is not working for you, you can take an off ramp and get the two online workshops at any point.

My duties as first reader will be this:

I will read your story or novel as a reader, comment as a reader and as an editor some. I will tell you what I liked, what didn’t work for me, and general stuff like that. I WILL NOT COPYEDIT or REWRITE your story or help you plot your story.

— A warning… I have a thick skin and Kris can say if she liked a story or not or if it worked or not and I just shrug and write the next story. To finish a challenge like this, you would need to keep my comments out of your head. I might even suggest you don’t look at my comments that do I do send until the challenge is over. I more than likely will be reading, but not sending back comments so you won’t be tempted until done with the challenge.

— Cost is $600. No restrictions. First five signed up and paid for each challenge are in.

So in summary, pay $600 to get me as a first reader for thirty stories or three novels. Start on September 1st.  Short story challenge goes until the end of October, the novel challenge until the end of November. You get two $300 online workshops when over and my reading for free.

This was great fun for me this last three times. I am actually surprised at that.

So looking forward to being a first reader for some of your work. And if you have done the challenge before and want to do it again, fine by me.

Of course, you could always just do it on your own and play along, test to see if you can do it without me reading your stories.

Any questions, feel free to write me or ask in the comments section.

Yes, I am this crazy to do this a fourth time. But you all knew that.


SF Plot Twist Bundle… Ends Thursday Evening….

That’s today!!!!

Don’t miss this one, folks!!

My sf novel, Laying the Music to Rest, is in a nifty bundle with some amazing writers. Some amazing stuff in this bundle and I am honored to be a part of it.

But now it is almost over. Just a few hours left…

Trust me, folks, if you are not familiar with Annie Reed, Robert Jeschonek, Blaze Ward, Ron Collins, Stefon Mears, and Eric Kent Edstrom, this is your chance. I don’t often recommend other writers, as most of you know, but I recommend all six of these incredible talents and buy their stories regularly for Pulphouse as well.

And you get Kris’s nifty novel The Falls from her acclaimed Diving Universe.  And issues of Fiction River Presents and Boundary Shock Quarterly.




  • Sean McLachlan

    Between my own work and my ghostwriting, I’ve written three novels in three months a few times. I’ve never been able to write 30 short stories in 30 days. I’m much more into writing (and reading) novels. Every now and then I give myself a short story challenge–one a week for a year, one a month for a year, but I always lose interest about halfway through. Perhaps I should just accept that I am a novelist and not a short story writer?

  • Christopher Robinson


    One a week for a year is something like 25 short stories in a year. Are you sure you’re not a short story writer, TOO?

      • Céline Malgen

        Yes, but since he said that he always loses interest halfway through, that would still make about 25 (or 26) short stories for half a year (and then zero for the other half). Which, I agree, is still a lot of stories a year for someone to think he’s not a short story writer!

  • Mike

    The novels, I could do. I can crank out 8000 words in a day when I get up a head of steam. (I’ve done it) and could probably average 4-5 just fine. It’s the short stories that are hard. Because they turn into novellas!