Whispers and Glances

Published by: Athelstone on 13th Sep 2017 | View all blogs by Athelstone

I intended to post this on Friday 15 September, but I’m ready to go so why wait?

Many of you know that AlanP started a series of short story challenges that ran from autumn until the first sign of spring was in the air the following year. Alan decided to step down after several tremendously successful years and I am now having a crack at it. I’m very grateful to Alan and I have shamelessly stolen many aspects of his approach to the challenge. However, for it to be a success I am relying on you.

The challenge is to write an original short story following a theme that I provide. There will be plenty of time to complete this and at the end of the allotted period for writing, you are asked to decide on your favourites from those stories written by the other contestants. Your choices, together with those of all the other writers are used to decide on a winning entry and two runners-up.

That’s the formal bit, but in many ways not the important bit. My experience is that it’s one of the most engrossing, satisfying and rewarding ‘contests’ that I’ve ever been in. There’s something very special about working on a story over this length of time, about seeing the other stories posted, getting to know them and the people who wrote them.

The challenge begins with a bit of fun that will also stretch you – just a bit. I don’t reveal the theme. Not at first. In addition you need to make a number of choices, three, that influence how your story will unfold, but you won’t know what the choices mean until the theme is revealed. And that’s a bit of a tester. In short, I’m suggesting you sign up to a short story challenge with no idea of the theme and committed to a set of choices that have implications that you don’t understand either. Who on earth would do that?

There’s a new group called Whispers and Glances. Seek it out and the topics that I’ve posted there will explain everything. If you fancy having a go, join the group and take a leap in the dark by making some choices. The group is open now, but in a few weeks I shall close it and nobody else will be able to enter the challenge. That’s when the theme will be revealed and the choices make sense.


Have a look. What harm can it do?



  • sirtanicmills
    by sirtanicmills 9 months ago
    OOOOH! Exciting Athers :-D On my way there now!
  • Woolleybeans
    by Woolleybeans 9 months ago
    Awesome sauce, Ath.
  • Lizzielion
    by Lizzielion 9 months ago
    Brilliant! Can't wait to get stuck in. Thanks for taking up the baton.
  • John Taylor
    by John Taylor 9 months ago
  • Knicky Laurelle
    by Knicky Laurelle 9 months ago
    I'm there ^.^
  • SecretSpi
    by SecretSpi 9 months ago
    Sch ...... you know who! Thanks for taking this on :)
  • Tony
    by Tony 9 months ago
    Thanks, Athers. I'll check it out.
  • JGA
    by JGA 9 months ago
    I'm 76 too, enjoying my second childhood. Putting myself through art school in patches, learning drumming, thinking about this writers workshop picture book course I'm starting....
    Death? Lets hope it just switches life off so there is nothing more to worry about.
  • JGA
    by JGA 9 months ago
    Sorry, meant to post this on Dolly's where death a signoficant topic....
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