153 – Skillz

Here at the end of January, I take a mini look back at the first month of the decade and talk about writing habits, reading habits, Alexa skills, Medium and more.

[1:20] My Short Story Reading Challenge, The Bradbury Method, my method.

[9:30] Good luck to the NYC Midnight contestants

[10:00] New ways to access StoryADay content – Medium & Alexa

[10:55] 10th Anniversary 

[11:46] The StoryADay Podcast

[14:00] February’s theme at StoryADay and what’s special about Leap Day


If you want to know more about Alexa skills, contact Raphael Schaad on LinkedIn

Here’s a list of my favorite stories from January 2020


Ready to write today, not “some day”?

Short Stories I’ve Enjoyed in January 2020

I’m planning to read a story for every day of this year. In this new series, I share my favorite short stories from the month. I hope it’ll help you find some new inspiration, some new authors to follow, and some new places to share your work.

Woman, reading
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

January 2020’s Faves

Remedies –  Kali Fajardo-Anstine 

Accident – Agatha Christie

Meat and Salt and Sparks – Rich Larsen – The Hugo Longlist Anthology 2019

Leak – Sam Ruddick

When Robot and Crow Saved East St. Louis – Annalee Newitz

More Tomorrow – Premee Mohamed

Always Let Your Dragon Fly First Class – Wendy Nikel

If you’d like more analysis of short stories, check out the Reading Room series.

What have you read this month? Why not share a story in the comments?

Write On Wednesday – Poetic Inspiration

This week is the anniversary of the birth of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns.  While I’m cooking up some haggis and pouring a whisky in his immortal memory, I have a writing prompt for you that celebrates not just Robert Burns, but all poets.

poetry book and quill

The Prompt

Write a story inspired by a poem


Continue reading “Write On Wednesday – Poetic Inspiration”

152 – Reboot Your Writing Resolutions

It’s not a character flaw. If your resolutions have slipped and you haven’t kept up all those big plans you made for this year (already!), it’s not that you’re a loser. It might just be that you haven’t built the behaviors into your day in the best way. 

This week I apply the Fogg Behavioral Method to real writers’ problems and help them troubleshoot (and fix!) the most common sticking points. 

Free downloads:





Ready to write today, not “some day”?

Write on Wednesday – Divided Languages

This week on the podcast, I interviewed Seumas MacDonald about the importance of culture in the development of language, and about ConLangs (or constructed languages) in fiction.

man and woman not communicating

The Prompt

Write a story where two or more characters come from different cultures and have difficulties understanding each other


Continue reading “Write on Wednesday – Divided Languages”

151 – Language and Culture with Seumas MacDonald

Languages evolve from the cultures that produce them, which offers a fertile world for writers to explore, whether you are writing contemporary, realistic fiction or futuristic and fantasy worlds.

This week I talk with Seumas MacDonald a linguist and ConLang (constructed languages) expert, about language, culture and how you might think about using linguistics in your fictional worlds.


Do you already think about spoken language in your writing? What was your ‘aha moment’ from this podcast? Join the discussion:


Ready to write today, not “some day”?

150 – Habits, Writing, and the Fogg Behavioral Method

Tiny Wins (a combination of Tiny Habits and Epic Wins) and how you can use them to reinforce your good habits, along with an explanation of Stanford University researcher BJ Fogg’s Behavioral Method — a framework that explains why we do what we do (and sometimes don’t!)

The Fogg Behavioral Method

Fogg Behavioral Model Graph illustration
Find out more: https://amzn.to/36rmTDx

SWAGr for January 2020

This is it! This is the first post of the tenth anniversary year for StoryADay! Expect big things for the anniversary this May!!

In the meantime, post your goals for this month and let us know how you got on with last month’s goals.

SWAGr logo

Leave a comment below telling us how you got on last month, and what you plan to do next month, then check back in on the first of each month, to see how everyone’s doing.

(It doesn’t have to be fiction. Feel free to use this group to push you in whatever creative direction you need.)

Did you live up to your commitment from last month? Don’t remember what you promised to do? Check out the comments from last month.

And don’t forget to celebrate with/encourage your fellow SWAGr-ers on their progress!

Download your SWAGr Tracking Sheet now, to keep track of your commitments this month


Examples of Goals Set By SWAGr-ers in previous months

  • Write a story a day in May – everyone!
  • Revise at least 10 short stories – Iraide
  • Write two short stories. – Jami
  • Attend one writers’ conference – Julie
  • Write fable for WordFactory competition – Sonya
  • Re-read the backstory pieces I wrote in May and see if I can use them within my novel – Monique
  • Research the market – Jami
  • Focus on my serial – Maureen

 So, what will you accomplish this month? Leave your comment below (use the drop-down option to subscribe to the comments and receive lovely, encouraging notifications from fellow StADa SWAGr-ers!)

(Next check-in, 1st of the month. Tell your friends!)