Can I get a drum roll?

After the last few days and all of the amazing input for the wider community, I am pleased to announce that we WILL be proceeding with the new short story competition!

Thank you all for your input and enthusiasm, I now have a panel of judges and a growing support team around me, ready to make this happen and run it going forward.

So, without further ado, I am pleased to announce that this grand undertaking will be called…

The Blank Page Challenge

Initially, The Blank Page Challenge will consist of our Short Story Competition but there are already plans, if this is successful, to expand into other areas such as poetry. If that’s something which interests you, then let me know in the comments below and support us to make this a huge success.


There are a number of questions which I have already been asked, and I want to address the core of those in this blog. If you don’t see your question answered below, feel free to contact me here, on Twitter or via Facebook, which ever suits you best. Without further ado, here’s some details on The Blank Page Challenge Short Story Competition:

Who can take part?

We don’t care if you’ve never written a post-it note or if you’ve produced a fifty-book series which is now a major motion picture. We’re looking to inspire, challenge and to have fun! What we really want to hear at the end of each round is how much you enjoyed writing the pieces you send in and see the community sharing the experience.

If you feel out of your depth or concerned about taking part, then contact me or another member of the panel and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.

What support will be involved?
During the weeks of the challenge, we will be running a weekly event on Twitter to help with any questions, more inspiration and to act as a place to get together to chat through how you are doing. Keep an eye out for more details coming soon. 

When will the first competition run and for how long?
The first competition will start on the 1st of February when we release the first piece of inspiration and run until 11:59pm, GMT on the 28th of February. There will then be a week where the panel (more on us below) will read and review each piece, voting on our top 3, which will be announced on the 7th of March. At this point, there will be a week-long vote, open to the public, where a winner will be selected. The final, formal announcement of the winner will be made on the 14th of March and their winning entry available to read on this blog until the end of March. 

Will there be another after the first?
As long as there is support, yes. We’ll start the second competition with a brand-new piece of inspiration on the 15th of March!

What form will the “inspiration” take and how close do we have to stick to it?
That will vary between competitions, but it will usually be either an image, piece of text (such as a title), song or idea. How you incorporate that into your work is up to you. As long as the panel can see that you HAVE used it and it has flavored your work to a good extent, that will do the job!

To be a little clear though, if we give you a picture of a sword, for example, having one hanging on a wall at one point won’t cut it. Nor would having “Kevin McStabby” as your main character. If you’re not sure, feel free to ask us!

How will voting within the judges take place?
Well, first it will be anonymous. Our submission guidelines will include that your piece should not include your name on the actual document. One of our team, who isn’t on the judging panel, will then take each piece, ensure it has no identifiable details on and send it through to the panel for judging. 

The panel will not be able to submit pieces to the competition at all. However, the support team will be able to, as the voting process will be anonymous. 

How many pieces can I submit?
Only one per round of the competition, so only send us your very best piece! 

Who are the panel?
I feel very lucky to have an incredibly diverse, enthusiastic and gifted group of people on the panel with me. You’ll be hearing more details about them in the coming weeks, but as a brief introduction, the panel consist of (in alphabetical order):

Avrin Kelly, Queen of the macabre and Mistress of Horror; Avrin runs her own short story blog and has many exciting projects in the offing! You can find her on Twitter just here.

Hollie Hausenfluck, when it comes to seamlessly blending suspense, crime and romance, you won’t find better. Hollie is a prolific member of the writing community, running many different events on Twitter as well as her blog whilst working on her debut novel, Deja vu.

R.Q. Woodward, musician, proof reader, blogger, avid reader, book reviewer, oh yes and she crafts fantasy novels in her spare time! Go over to her blog to check out this multi-talented artist or keep up to date on Twitter.

Rebecca Yelland, having published two novels, Rebecca knows exactly how to weave a memorable and effecting story. Specialist in women’s fiction and romance, she’ll be bringing her formidable and award-winning skills to the panel. Check out Rebecca’s website or Twitter for more!

Simon Thurtle (me), my genre of choice is sci-fi and all things around that. I am the chair of the panel so if you have any questions, feel free to contact me here, on Twitter or Facebook. Aside from that, check out the rest of my blog to find out more about me.

So that’s the panel, I’ll be bringing you more information and details about them in the coming weeks. 

It can’t just be you five, who else is involved?
Well, no, we’re lucky to also have the boundless energy and enthusiasm of the delightful Aliyah Brody helping run events and taking in submissions for the panel. She’ll be there to ensure that each piece is anonymous and dealt with fairly.

If you don’t know Aliyah, I highly recommend checking out her Twitter or Instagram, she’s also the founder of the Fierce Bloggers Twitter team.


There you have it, more to come as we get things setup and working, but I hope that answers your initial questions and gets you excited for the first event! Are there any questions you have which we haven’t answered? Do you plan to join us? Let me know in the comments below!

(And don’t forget to please follow this blog to keep up to date as we get closer to the first competition!)



3 Replies to “Can I get a drum roll?”

  1. […] As we have decided it IS a good idea, you can read more about The Blank Page Challenge and the team behind it right here! Thanks to everyone who […]

  2. […] EDIT: We’ve been working hard on this so, you can find out more about The Blank Page Challenge right here! […]

  3. […] the excitement of yesterday’s announcement, I was thinking about the feedback we’ve received and some of the thoughts of the more […]

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