Does this sound like a good idea to you?

EDIT: 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 voted. 

The last few days on Twitter have been, for me, about community. I’ve had a particularly caustic interaction with a stranger, some great private chats with good friends and some awesome chat sessions too, it’s really brought home to me how lucky I am to have you all about me.

We live in a time where distance is bridged in the blink of an eye to give us friends across the globe. Friends who can advise, share, support and alleviate the isolation which, sometimes, can seem the lot of an author.

So, what’s my point?

All this has been buzzing about in my head for a few days now, buzzing and growing. Turning slowly into an idea, or the spark of one. A spark which grew as I slept and now, with more thought today has become something I want to share to see if anyone else thinks its a good idea. Basically, I want to give something back.

My plan is to run a regular short-story competition. There will be six over the year, each with a single piece of inspiration to act as a guide. Whether that’s an image, song, piece of text… just something. You’ll then have four weeks to produce and submit the story of up to 5,000 words to the competition. Before you ask, yes, in any genre you like.


At the end of the four weeks, the pieces will be voted on by me and four other judges over a week, with the top three going out to public vote on twitter and Facebook for another week. Finally, the winning piece from the public vote will be posted to my blog for two weeks as well as receiving a $10 gift card.

Then, towards the end of the year, the six winning pieces will be produced into a single anthology for release on Amazon, pre-Christmas, as an e-book. I plan to include small profiles of each winning writer in there as well as a piece from each judge, myself included. The idea is for each writer who has a story in the book to get a share from the book sale.

So, that’s the idea in brief, what do we think? Would you be interested in taking part in this type of competition? Do you think it’s a good idea? Or awful? Let me know in the comments below, on Twitter or Facebook

17 Replies to “Does this sound like a good idea to you?”

  1. Egads, Simon! What a BRILLIANT idea! How thoughtful, clever, generous & inspiring of you. I am so glad to be one of the fortunate Tweeps that has the pleasure of knowing you. I absolutely love having friends that inspire me to emulate them with kind words & acts. Yay, you, Simon!

    1. Thanks so much Aliyah! Really appreciate your support. Think you’ll be taking part?

      1. Ooh, I am SO chicken to share my work but I think I definitely will participate. With you as the head judge, I know at least ONE person will be gentle, critiquing my writing, LOL!

        1. Glad you’ll be participating! That’s superb, Thank you so much, as I have said before, you’re tireless enthusiasm helps a lot!

    1. Thanks, so, will you be submitting a piece then? I think that’s a good idea to me!

  2. This sounds like a lovely idea. I hope to participate.

    1. Superb, thanks so much for the support. I really appreciate it. 🙂

  3. I like it! We’re writing anyway so this could inspire and motivate! ?

    1. Exactly! Thanks for the support. 😀

  4. Heh heh, Simon. Your tweet brought me here. Intriguing way to entice visitors to your site. 😉

    Good idea? Yes. I might not have time, but I’m sure you’ll find many writers who want to participate.

    1. Hahaha, thank you, I hope it was worth the trip?

      Well, we’re planning six throughout the year, so hopefully you have time for one. 🙂

  5. What a fantastic idea! This’ll be so exciting to see go ahead!

    1. Thank you! Do you think you’ll get involved?

      1. I’d like to! I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to contests, but this sounds like fun 🙂

        1. Well, we’re aiming to keep it lighthearted and fun, most of all fun! That might make it the perfect one for you?

          1. It does sound perfect!

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