WOW 555 Writing Challenge Guidelines

WOW555 Writing Challenge on Write on WendyWelcome to the home page of the #WOW555 Writing Challenge, a weekly competition that puts your story up against others to see which one can achieve the most votes based on story alone.

500 words, 5 days to write them, must be submitted by 5 on Friday – 555, get it?

Here are the rules:

  • The prompt will go live every Monday morning – the time is a little flexible, but generally between 7 and 9 am CST.
  • You have until Friday to write your response – roughly 500 words to keep things manageable
  • Calls for entries will go live on Thursday evenings at 5 pm CST (share the link around if you’re brave enough to invite more competition!)
  • Enter the contest by posting your story or a link to your story in the comments section of the call for entries post. But you have to have your response in before 5 pm CST on Friday or you lose your chance.
  • Entering the contest means you give permission for me to publish your story throughout the weekend without any more attribution than the title you’ve assigned.
  • Readers have a chance to vote on their favorite stories starting Saturday morning. Stories will be identified by their titles only to try to keep the focus on the writing rather than the writer so share the link around to get votes in, but try not to point out which story is yours.
  • The following Monday, all writers are given credit for the stories they submitted (with links if provided so be sure to include your blog address and/or Twitter handle if you want folks to find you) and the winning story will be featured along with the new prompt for the week
  • I do what I can to promote the winner through Monday and Tuesday on social media channels, too, so there’s a bit of bonus in there for you, but mostly the contest is for fun and to stretch those creative muscles!

This is an evolving contest, so we may change things up a bit as we go, but this is where we are right now.

64 thoughts on “WOW 555 Writing Challenge Guidelines

  1. Rumble in the park

    I stared at him, his thin hair stood on end. His face turned red and his blue eyes watered. I was not giving up, I would not let go. I was tired of giving in, of being the one to concede and move on. No sir, not this time.

    I held steady and pulled, trying to use my weight as he struggled. The wind picked up, a Styrofoam cup, it tumbled by, but I would not let it deter me from my goal. People walked by us, some stared but most didn’t notice the fight going on. Typical, most of them had their phones in their faces, of course they wouldn’t notice what was going on right in front of them.

    He changed tactics, sitting down on the bench he was a dead weight, both his hands held on firmly. I struggled to keep my hold, but my hands began to sweat, my grip was slipping. I had no choice but to sit too. Dang! He won that part, but I was not going to give up, I would win the big prize!

    He was such a bully, always taking what he wanted, crying if he did not in order to get his way. Silent tears began to spill over, streaking his dirty face. I laughed at him because he looked funny with the clean streaks running down his face.

    The laughter only spurred him on more, he twisted his arms, pulling this way and that way. I felt it slipping, panic set in. I could not let him win this time. I used my feet to push against his arms. But the thought of him having it made me more determined that he would not have it!

    That is how I found myself in the park, struggling with him for it. The smell of the grass and dirt filled my senses, almost relaxing me. No! I need to concentrate. I would not let him have it this time. No sir! I looked up to see a man standing over me, a hotdog in his hand.

    He stopped mid bite to look down at us, then shook his head and walked on. I squashed the urge to shout, “Thanks for the help”. But it would not do any good. This was my fight and by golly I was determined to win it on my own.

    I was a sad, pathetic person, always letting others tell me what to do, where to go, what to eat, when to sleep. But I vowed that would all change. No more, from now on I would decide what I was going to do, starting with this.

    No more confinement, freedom and fresh air is what I wanted and I that is exactly what I was going to get. At least it’s what I thought I wanted, until a gust of wind hit my naked bottom, goose bumps covered me from head to toe.

    I give up, he could put the diaper on me!

  2. As I write this, another in a long line of form rejections gracefully falls into my printer’s tray with a soul-shattering thud. Once again an agent, that showed so much promise in the beginning, has proven that she does not share my dream. This agent seduced me with her web site as she beckoned me with her, “this agent is actively building her clients.” How many times have I fallen for that come-hither mesmerizing “this agent represents middle-grade” hypnotizing stare.
    It would seem that lessons would have been learned by now. How do we as writers accept getting knocked on our butts, and keep coming back for more? Is it easy for us to see our dreams be dismissed subjectively? How many of us would stop associating with friends that told us that we just didn’t fit in, or were just not right?
    Every one of us goes to our email countless times each day, searching for that solitary positive response to our query, coming back empty handed more times than not. We click our inbox closed with our “no news is good news” attitude. We read with interest what other writers say about their queries, and how agent X rejected, or requested a partial, Nano-seconds after they hit send. We wonder why a particular agent has responded to a particular writer, when the same agent has had your query for months without a response.
    Well guess what. Rejection is the cold hard fact of the ruthless publishing business. The sooner we accept that 9 out of 10, and sometimes 99 out of 100 queries will get rejected or ignored is all a part of the game and never personal, the sooner we can move on. It’s hard to accept rejection after rejection, after rejection, but we must accept that literary agents do not sit in their offices and choose whose dream to crumble today. Accept that before a flower can grow there needs to be rain, or in my case monsoons.
    Each and every one of us is a dreamer. We all chase our own individual rainbow. We all love what we do; writing is a passion for most of us. There is a price we all must pay for our dreams, rainbows are never free. Hope is the price we pay; it’s what gets us through to the next query. There is no doubt we hope our next query is our last query. Without hope there would be no literature.
    I have always been a dreamer; I have never given up hope that my dreams will someday be the dreams of the perfect agent.
    Give me the patience to accept that which I cannot change, and the courage to hope for my place in the stars.
    Never give up. Accept failure with the determination to get it better the next time. Dream the impossible dream, and wish on the evening star.
    One day soon, you’ll walk past a reader with their nose in a book and smile and say “that’s me they’re reading.”

  3. Graduate
    Crisp air shot through the vents in the hallway but still, Tasia sweated.
    There were fifteen minutes until Carmen High’s graduating class of ’97 walked out onto the stage. Until then, the snickering, yelling, the “shush”ing and the whispering were as grating for Tasia as nails on a chalkboard.
    She just hated public things. Public bathrooms, public speaking, even walking across a stage and taking a piece of paper from a woman she’d passed in the halls for four years without trouble. It didn’t help that Tasia was off to college, where she would have to pick a major by her second year, declaring her future plans at the tender age of nineteen.
    These thoughts played pinball in her mind, serenaded by, perhaps, the worst noise of it all. The humming, buzzing drone of fussing parents.
    “Fix your tie, Jamal.”
    “Stand up straight, Alicia.”
    “I told you those heels were too high, Wanda.”
    And amidst the fussing were the compliments, “I’m so proud of you, baby.”
    “I’m going to cry.”
    “I’ve waited so long for this day!”
    Tasia stood alone, her dress wrinkled and her patent leather shoes scuffed. Her godparents were in their 80’s, already seated, too old to take Tasia out to dinner. She would go home and lay in bed and, in two days, start the summer job that would hopefully help her pay for housing when she started college in the Fall.
    Maybe this weekend, her aunts and uncles would bring her up to Harlem for smothered turkey legs at Amy Ruth’s. Maybe. But for right now, she was alone”–
    Her throat closed. Her knees locked and her back snapped straight. She didn’t need to turn to picture the woman who had called her name. She could already see the bright red lipstick on the dark skin, the loose stockings on the skinny legs, the oversized skirt-suit that was thoughtlessly dingy. The thick, tight curls of hair–not unlike Tasia’s–poorly styled.
    “Gabby.” Tasia said flatly.
    “You didn’t tell me it was today!” Her mother planted a wet kiss on her cheek. Tasia could feel the caked on lipstain. “I had to pull myself together and rush on over!”
    Tasia looked Gabby up and down. “You didn’t pull yourself together quite enough.”
    Gabby’s smile widened and she laughed and it echoed through the hall, unhindered by any of the other noises that had taunted Tasia’s thoughts. “Don’t be like that, baby. I came all the way from Jersey.”
    Tasia was sure she would smell the liquor on Gabby’s breath all the way from the stage. Gabby coerced her into a hug. “Aren’t you glad I’m here?”
    Tasia leaned into the harsh fabric of the navy blazer and cried because she couldn’t say no.

  4. I think THE LAST STATION is probably worth viewing if for no other reason than to see James McEvoy as “particularly winning” — something I have yet to actually dial in to. Fine Smack, though, and clearly Tolstoy seems the character to spend some time with.

  5. Olá mais uma vez.O meu comentário sobre as relações dos professores com os manuais visava o amplo auditório que visita o vosso excelente blogue, não os seus autores, naturalmente.Também considero que a existência de exames nacionais e intermédios é bom e que a decisão de os abolir foi má, independentemente das explicações que vierem a ser dadas para esse facto.Sobre os tiros nos pés, infelizmente é o que vai acontecendo. Mais ou menos alegremente, assobiando para o lado… Até quando?Saudações filosóficas

  6. Gosh, maybe if we knew by what process “global Jewry” considers a “question”, and how a consensus is reached, dessimanted, and inculcated into the world’s Jews, we’d be much better off. ‘pabelmont’, would you like to tell us.”Whoops, not “pabelmonts” job to tell me, he was quoting Ellis, and I wasn’t keeping track of the quote marks. Or of the material in the post, either, apparently. I’m sorry and wrong. Yeow, what is it about that phrase “global Jewry” which pushes all my buttons?

  7. Socorro Costa, na verdade aqui não é um papel e sim uma base para corte de tecido com cortador curcular. Ela é de borracha e se “auto cicatriza” depois que vc passa a lâmina. Voce é de são paulo ? Procure nos armarinhos grandes que vc acha, como Armarinhos Metrópole, Paulínia, etc. Bjs

  8. Hi Sharon, no the pastries in the picture are from a Vancouver bakery. But I ate several of Il Fornaio’s goodies while I was there! Even found tie to sit by the pool in the gorgeous Corte Madera sun (with computer, working of course….). Glad that the conference was a success for you too.

  9. De mon côté j’ai trouvé ce film ennuyeux au possible. Je n’avais pas lu le livre donc je ne peut pas comparer (enfin j’ai pu comparer vite fait avec une BD adaptée du livre que j’ai chez moi), mais d’un point de vue cinématographique l’intérêt frise le néant. En 2012 on peut encore être impressionné par ces décors num…

  10. Ha hecho usted lo correcto, cuando alguien observe alguna posible anomalía deberá indicarlo mediante el formulario de contacto ya que los comentarios del blog no se atienden tan rápido como los mensajes de contacto.En cuanto a diferenciar los referidos conseguidos propiamente de los comprados o por registros, lamento que no haya caído en ese detalle, a ver si a partir de ahora podemos anotarlos de alguna forma para indicar los que son de una forma o de otra, en fin, siempre faltan detalles…Gracias por tu propuesta,SAludosA Favor o En contra: 0  0

  11. orders fell 17 percent, but manufacturing profits are still 34 percent above 2007 levels and business inventories “look good.” Port cargo in Los Angeles was flat in May, but experts predict a busier summer.

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