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!

Open Page 1

The Brief: Open Page 1st edition, Season XVIII 

The reason why it’s called ‘Open Page’ is that there is no brief. In our regular challenges we have to adhere strictly to the given brief; it may ask us to leave our comfort zone, and for that very reason it’s a useful exercise – even when it feels like constraint. The Open Page on the other hand, gives us free rein. It’s open to any piece of writing that we’d like to share with the group and get some feedback on. 

The only requirement is that it should aim to hold the readers’ attention and impress them favourably (the ‘wow’ factor). There are no genre restrictions. Novel extracts, short stories, flash/micro/macro/nano fiction, fragments, recipes, drama, poetry, non-fiction, biography, memoirs, reviews, experimental pieces, rants; articles about writing, words, grammar, politics, ethics, other arts etc. Think of something I haven’t mentioned and submit it to the Open Page! 

The 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. 

Write a new piece, polish up one that should have won that comp or flesh out the idea you jotted down somewhere etc. 

Challenge 2

Dear Alphas,
Here is your brief for challenge 2: write a story backwards.

Use up to 300 words to tell a story using reverse chronology. How strict we are with time shifts is up to us, but the piece should start at the end and finish with the beginning of the action. 

To help you get the idea, I’ve included three examples of reverse chronology flash fiction below:
Currents by Hannah Bottomy
Goodbye Piano by Megan GiddinsKeys by Anne Elizabeth Weisgerber

Challenge 1:

I’m sure we have all experienced being in queues, especially in these socially distanced times. So this challenge is: –

Write an internal monologue of a person stuck in a queue.

As usual, the word limit is 300 words.

1st place Cat 18points, 2nd place Catherine 11 ponts, 3rd place Morgen 9 points

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