Greetings to those of you who are taking part in NYC Midnight’s Short Story Challenge, 2017 edition! (Not a long hashtag at all, is it?)

This is my first time competing, and I can already tell, I wish I’d started participating sooner. I saw adverts for the contests on my Facebook feed; the first one I noticed was for a screenplay competition, and I was currently enrolled in a screenwriting course for my masters. (Coincidence? Probably an example of Facebook’s targeted marketing.) Anyhow, regardless of how this one pans out, I will definitely be marking my calendar for this year’s screenplay competition.

Yesterday, the prompts were released for the first round of heats. There are a lot of us – I know I saw the number “100” in the “Heat” column, and I’ve no idea how many writers are in each group. One glance at the alphabetized list, and I nearly went cross-eyed. 

I’ve begun penning the fragment of an idea for my prompt, (romantic comedy…) but nothing has really gelled yet, so I’ve no idea if I’ve got a winner on my hands. Luckily, I’ve got another week. *whew*

I am incredibly grateful to NYC Midnight for hosting an event such as this. When you’re penning a novel, and the going gets tough, but you don’t want to all out quit writing, (though some days you swear you absolutely will) having a prompt and a deadline is a welcome, inspiring diversion. Bring it!

Here’s to all of my fellow competitors; best of luck! Hit me up on Twitter or leave a comment here if you feel like commiserating over a roasted plot bunny. (I like mine with a dash of rosemary and thyme.) 

– &i

3 thoughts on “#ShortStoryChallenge2017

  1. 3031 are participating this year–I’m heat 98 and scored one with the bonus 31 instead of 30. Good luck to you. If you have other writer friends, offer to share beta reads. I wished I’d done that year one, but it took 7 days to write d1… If you have time, participate in the forums once we’re allowed to release our pieces. Give good crits, and you’ll get more reads of your piece (use the signature to include a link to your post for your story, so folks can find it with a click). BUT, don’t kill yourself with crits. If you reach a point where you know you can’t crit more, adjust your post with your piece to say that. Good luck in your heat!


  2. Hello Shari, thanks for visiting my page!

    Wow, 3031? *cracks knuckles* That’s quite a lot. Good luck to you as well! I’m still in the ideation stage, have only written about a page, and I’m not sure any of it will be in what I submit.

    I’m actually quite looking forward to the crit stage, as I’ve served as Editorial Assistant on the last three issues of my university’s lit journal…it’ll be refreshing to analyze writing that’s not my own once more.

    How far did you make it your first go around?
    – &i


    1. Andi, good luck with your ideas! I hope you’ll find the gem hiding there. This is my 3rd year in the competition. My first go-round, I got knocked out in the first round. Based on my crits, I made a great set of online friends. The main critique: I crammed a novel into the short story… Folks were right, I realized (I’d taken 6.5 days building the character’s backstory, probably b/c I’d been working on a fantasy novel. I am currently 65K words into writing that novel! (so, I score 2 major “wins” for myself in the first year. Flash forward a year (2016): I entered the NYCM SSC again, and took second in my heat round 1 (rom-com, only ever written one before, and had maybe 2 rom-coms in my DVD collection.) I took first in my heat round 2 (romance–never written one before). After a year playing with it, I’m shopping it around to magazines. Round 3, the finals, 40 of us were in it. I didn’t make the top 20–but 2100 or 2400 folks (I keep forgetting that year’s number) had registered, so I’m happy with top 40. One of my online friends won! I’m still friends with all those folks from crits in the forum, and we help beta each other based on who has time. This year, 5 folks beta’d this year’s concept sentences; 2 have beta’d my first draft. I’ll hope to have my 4th draft tonight, and if I like it, see if 2 or 3 have time to beta. In our group, we say ditch your first 3 ideas. Likely, someone else will have it. Sure enough if I’d gone with cyclops last year for round two, yep, more than one story had a cyclops for our romance. Good luck, and enjoy the experience.


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