Each month a regular challenge is set to give Alpha Writers a chance to flex their writing muscles and engage in some friendly competition. Read on for details of present and previous challenges, entries and results!

Ready and waiting for Season XVII to begin…

Open Page 1

Our next ‘challenge’ is one I really enjoy. It’s time for your entries to our Open Page, edition 1, Season XVII.

It’s called Open Page because there is no brief, no restrictions on genre, theme or word count (within reason). The only requirement is that it should aim to hold the readers’ attention and impress them favourably (the ‘wow’ factor – ha ha there it is Christine!). 

Novel extracts, short stories, flash/micro/macro/nano fiction, fragments, recipes, drama, poetry, song writing, non-fiction, biography, memoirs, reviews, experimental pieces, rants, blogs etc. Think of something I haven’t mentioned and submit it to the Open Page!

Your Open Page entry should be preceded by a brief introduction stating the nature of the piece and the word count. Add any other useful information: why and when you wrote it; any problems you’d like comments on etc.

Send your entry to me before the deadline, ie midnight GMT on 03/11/2019. Write a new piece, polish up one that should have won that comp or flesh out the idea you jotted down somewhere etc.

As for the word count just bear in mind that the average attention span of Alphas has its limits. We prefer to avoid full-length novels and are happy with a simple haiku. On the whole it’s better not to exceed 2,000 words.

Looking forward to your entries!

Challenge two: In the Beginning…

Write the first 300 words (opening paragraph(s)) of your new novel…there are some rules however.

  1. The setting is either in a Cathedral or in an underground tube station
  2. Genre: Either thriller or speculative fiction.
  3. Point of view: First person perspective (main protagonist) or third person omniscient…

Don’t forget, as its the opening paragraph, remember to hook your reader in…so something that captures the attention of the reader right away – such as a quote, description, question or intriguing statement.

Challenge 1 – Waking Up

As this is the task to begin the season, ‘waking up’ seems like a good place to start. Your challenge is to write a 300 word scene where a character wakes up in a new place. As well as description, try to include clues as to the wider story of your character. Be mindful of clichés and ‘it was all a dream’ endings. Good luck!

1st place Christine and Morgen – 13 points each, 2nd Jackie and Suzanne – 9 points each, 3rd place Francesca and Martin – 7 points each.

The Alpha Leaderboard after Challenge 1:
Morgen:                     4 points
Christine                     4
Jackie                          3
Suzanne                      3
Francesca                   2
Martin                        2

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