Creativity Lab

Shop for StoryADay workbooks, courses and free downloads here! If you’d like to become StoryADay affiliate, here’s some more information. “When I think about what sort of person I would most like to have on a retainer, I think it would be a boss. A boss who could tell me what to do, because that makes … Continue reading “Creativity Lab”


In your writing practice, what counts as ‘writing’? Do you give yourself credit for reading time? Revisions? Taking classes? Or do you feel guilty about now being productive when you aren’t adding new words to a story? RESOURCES Does Thinking Count As Writing: Learning To Make Choices: Writing Prompts – Scenarios: Writing Prompts – Word … Continue reading “episode126”

2019 Editorial Calendar

During 2019 I’ll be tackling these topics: January – Writing Groups February – Flash Fiction – the shortest fiction for the shortest month March – Goals vs Reality April – Finding Support May – The StoryADay May Challenge Daily Prompts (& cheerleading) June –  Creating Compelling Characters July – Un-Dreadful Dialogue August – Focus on Openings & Endings … Continue reading “2019 Editorial Calendar”

116 – Critique Week Is Back! Oct 21-31

Join our critique ‘week’, Oct 21-31 (because wouldn’t it be nice if every week had a couple of extra days to get stuff done?) and get access to the Revisions & Critique Mini Course as well as having me and 3 of your peers critique your work. Use the code: octearlybird before noon (EST) on … Continue reading “116 – Critique Week Is Back! Oct 21-31”

113 – Should You Edit While You Write?

This could be a really short podcast (just me screaming “NO!”), but I decided to talk in a more constructive way about the reasons why I think it’s important to write fast first drafts and save revisions for later. With thanks to my StoryADay Superstars group for raising this talking point as they go through … Continue reading “113 – Should You Edit While You Write?”

[Write on Wednesday] Revisit An Older Story

One of the only ways to get better as a writer is to learn to revise our stories. This month, at StoryADay we’re focusing on revision. Keep reading for a free lesson on how to achieve the right revision mindset, and for news about this year’s StoryFest! The Prompt Take a story you have written … Continue reading “[Write on Wednesday] Revisit An Older Story”

103 – StoryADay May 2018 is Underway!

The first week of StoryADay May 2018 is drawing to a close. In this episode I tell you about  The webinar I did with NaNoWriMo’s Young Writer’s Program, Marya Brennan: The Superstars program, and how you can still join (today): Here’s where you can find all the prompts for StoryADay May 2018: And … Continue reading “103 – StoryADay May 2018 is Underway!”

2018 Editorial Calendar

During 2018 I’ll be tackling these topics: January – Story Starters – prompts to break through your resistance February – Flash Fiction – the shortest fiction for the shortest month March – Diverse Story Forms – short stories aren’t mini novels! April – Story Sparks and Staying Focused – great prep for May’s challenge May – The … Continue reading “2018 Editorial Calendar”

When The Student Is Ready…

When I started StoryADay May back in 2010, some of 100 or so people who took part really stuck with me. One was Gabriela Pereira, who had just finished up an MFA and was transitioning from student to working writer. We shared an enthusiasm both for writing and for the hair-brained scheme. Back then, I … Continue reading “When The Student Is Ready…”

[Write On Wednesday] Four-Part Story

I’m currently fascinated by a short story experiment being run by Penguin Random House. They’re running a series called “The Season of Stories“. You subscribe, and they send you a story every week. But that’s not the interesting part. The interesting part is that they serialize the story. Every day, Monday-Thursday, you receive part of … Continue reading “[Write On Wednesday] Four-Part Story”

Critique Group Tools

The October 2017 Critique Week is now open. Sign up here. So far this week, we’ve Learned to Love Revisions and learned what it’s really like to be in a critique group. Today’s lesson is loaded with critique group tools including How & where to find a good critique group A critique group code of … Continue reading “Critique Group Tools”

[Write On Wednesday] The One Thing They’d Notice

Today’s prompt was inspired by an exercise in Donald Maass’s latest book The Emotional Craft of Fiction. You can find the whole exercise on p.22 of that book. The Prompt Write a story featuring two characters in the same location. Pick a detail that only your protagonist would notice and weave it into the story.  Tips

Get The Results You Want, For Your Writing

Let’s be honest: fame and fortune would be nice, but it’s not really the reason we write, is it? We write because we need to. It should be enough but sometimes we want more. This post will lead you through three ways to get yourself closer to your image of ‘writing success’.

Write 12 Stories This Year – A Challenge From Alexis A. Hunter

I’ve always been impressed with how much fiction StoryADay friend and participant Alexis A. Hunter pushes out into the world: over 50 short stories in publications like Apex, Shimmer and Cricket. In 2017, she has committed to writing a new short story every month. That sounded like my kind of challenge, so I asked her more about it.

2017 Editorial Calendar

If you would like to guest post at StoryADay, bear in mind that I mostly have open slots for the Tuesday Reading Room posts and the Writing Prompts (either Write On Wednesday, or slots during the StoryADay challenges in May and September). Check out this post for information on how to submit. Apart from that I don’t … Continue reading “2017 Editorial Calendar”

Make It Better – Best of The Web for Short Story Writers, Oct 2016

This month’s theme here at StoryADay is: Make It Better. Here’s some recommended reading from around the web on various aspects of making your writing life better. MAKING YOUR WRITING BETTER Here are three articles on how you can make your writing better to read, easier to sell, and impossible to put down. Confessions of … Continue reading “Make It Better – Best of The Web for Short Story Writers, Oct 2016”

043 – Regretful Writing Prompt plus a review of “Apollo” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Today’s writing prompt is inspired by a story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, featured in The Best American Short Stories 2016 ( You can read more of my thoughts on this story here: [Reading Room] Apollo by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie You can leave comments about your experiences with this prompt here: [Writing Prompt] Regrets, I’ve Had A Few … Continue reading “043 – Regretful Writing Prompt plus a review of “Apollo” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie”

[Writing Prompt] Tell A Friend

This month’s theme, here at StoryADay is “Accountability”. (If you haven’t yet declared your goals for the month, leave a comment in this month’s SWAGr post and tell us what you’re going to do with your writing for the rest of this month) Today’s writing prompt includes a  built-in accountability trigger.  The Prompt Contact a … Continue reading “[Writing Prompt] Tell A Friend”

Finish Your Book In Three Drafts — An Interview With Stuart Horwitz

Finish Your Novel In Three Drafts: How To Write A Book, Revise A Book, and Complete A Book While You Still Love It Every word of that title is important, so go back and read it again. Doesn’t that sound appealing? The first time I came across Stuart Horwitz, I was struck by the way his … Continue reading “Finish Your Book In Three Drafts — An Interview With Stuart Horwitz”

June News: 7DayStory + StoryFest

I hope your writing is going well. If you joined us in May, well done, you! I’m sure you’re a little burned out now, but keep reading for some motivation to keep at your craft this month, In This Issue The rebirth of the 7DayStory Challenge,  StoryFest, The Rest of The Year… If you couldn’t … Continue reading “June News: 7DayStory + StoryFest”

How To Write A StoryADay in May Without Burning Out

Writing a story a day is hard. No doubt about it. In fact, I had long been scared to commit to writing a novel, but after completing my first StoryADay back in 2010, I said, “Surely writing the same story every day for a month has to be easier than that!” and plunged into NaNoWriMo later that year … Continue reading “How To Write A StoryADay in May Without Burning Out”

It’s A Story, Not Just A List of Stuff That Happens

[South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone] revealed that although they brainstorm and develop individual funny scenes, the key to turning those scenes into an actual story is in making sure that each scene causes the next scene to occur. …[they] developed a very simple litmus test for determining whether they had achieved the desired causation … Continue reading “It’s A Story, Not Just A List of Stuff That Happens”

Celebrate StoryADay May 2014!!!

Coming to this site, June 14-15, 2014 (nominate your stories here!) Today is the last day of StoryADay May 2014!! Even if you haven’t written a single story yet this month why not write and finish a story today? Writing and finishing one story in a single day is quite an achievement. You’ll be proud, … Continue reading “Celebrate StoryADay May 2014!!!”

[Writing Prompt] An Ending And A Beginning

It’s the end of the StoryADay May 2014 challenge. But it is just the beginning of the rest of your writing life. I hope the challenge this year has opened your eyes to how very, very creative you can be; to how well you can write; and how important it is to the world that … Continue reading “[Writing Prompt] An Ending And A Beginning”

[Writing Prompt] Third Person, Limited Perspective

Today, it’s back to the tried and true, a format you’re probably much more familiar with than yesterday’s Second Person. Yes, today we write in Third Person, Limited Omniscience, perspective. All of which means, you get inside a character’s head and stay there. The Prompt Write A Story in The Third Person, Limited Perspective Tips … Continue reading “[Writing Prompt] Third Person, Limited Perspective”

[Reading Room] Sticks by George Saunders

I’m on a George Saunders kick. I mean, when someone can write a story with fewer than 500 words that makes you actually say “oof” out loud at the end? You’re going to want to go on a kick, reading their work. “Sticks” is a grown man’s reminiscence about his father. It begins, Every year … Continue reading “[Reading Room] Sticks by George Saunders”