[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 before and rework it, today


  • Listen to this audio lesson (or read the transcript) that helps you shed any negativity you might feel about revision.
  • Do not correct your grammar and typos first! Instead, look at the structure of the story. Does it make sense? Is anything missing? Is there any conflict in your story?
  • Then look at your main character. Are they consistent? Do they develop over the story?
  • Read through this guest post from DIYMFA.com’s Gabriela Pereira, about how to approach this layered method of revision. Pick one layer to work on first. Don’t get overwhelmed.
  • If this very structural method of revision doesn’t work for you, still bear in mind the general principle that the big story questions come first, spelling corrections come last!
  • Now is the time to think about your audience. Who will want to read your story? (Hint: don’t say ‘everybody’.) If you’re writing romance, you’re probably writing for women ages 25-39. Are your settings, situations, characters and language appropriate to that audience? If you’re writing an adventure story for 13 year old boys, is your protagonist slightly older than them and does he have strongly defined personality traits and friends with complimentary traits? Is the situation he faces exciting and just slightly outside his capabilities (but not too much? If you’re writing for flash fiction fans, is your story a little Rubik’s cube of a thing, but much, much prettier?
  • What length should a story like this be? Check out Duotrope.com for listings of publications seeking stories (they list story lengths and sub-genres). It’s all very well to write something unique, but it’s much harder to get published if nobody can fit you into a sub-genre. And since we’re talking about revision, this month, I’m encouraging you to think about audience and market more than I do when we’re just working on creativity!

STORYFEST IS COMING, June 23-24, 2018

If you took part in StoryADay May this year, our annual story showcase is scheduled for the weekend of June 23-24. (See previous versions of StoryFest here)

To take part, make sure you’re on the mailing list (sign up below) and watch your inbox for information about how to submit your favorite story and recommend one by another StoryADay writer. (No, there’s no ‘judging’ or selection process, you simply nominate one of the stories you wrote during StoryADay May this year.)

StoryFest 2012 is coming: June 8-10

This is for everyone – whether you wrote or you didn’t. If you wrote in a previous year; if you wanted to write but couldn’t make it; if you wrote one story; if you simply read and enjoyed someone else’s.

This is our chance to celebrate, and boost both the short story and our friends in StoryADay.

StoryFest 2012

June 8-10



StoryFest Logo

How To Celebrate StoryFest


  • Come to the site June 8-10, follow a link to a story, read it and comment on it.
  • If you wrote even one story in this (or any previous) StoryADay, submit one to be featured on the site’s front page June 8-10.
  • Nominate someone else’s story to be featured.
  • Spread the word: from Jun 1-10, tell everyone you know on every social network (especially the ones with readers in them) about StoryFest. Tell them to come to the site June 8-10 to read new and exciting work by up-and-coming future stars of the literary world!
  • Post the graphic on your blog, your Facebook timeline, tattoo it on your leg, whatever! (Get your graphics here)


What is StoryFest?

StoryFest is a weekend when the stories take over StoryADay.org.

On Jun 8, the front page of StoryADay.org will change to one dedicated to you and your stories. It will be full of links to your stories, online, until June 10.

It’s our end-of-year party, our recital, our chance to share our work with readers.


How To Submit/Nominate A Story


Fill Out This Form.

Be ready to supply your storyaday username, your real name or psuedonym, a link to the story you’re nominating, its title and a summary, a link to a story by someone else (optional but karmically recommended).

Deadline: Tuesday, June 5.

This gives you a few days to pick your story and possibly polish it a bit. If you can get it to me before the deadline I’ll love you forever, though, as it’s going to take me a while to organize all the submissions.


StoryFest FAQ

Does my story have to be online?

Yes. We want to create a reader fanbase for you. Stories must be posted somewhere online, in full.

Is it OK if my story is on my personal blog (or other site).

Absolutely. Just supply the link.

Will it be considered published?

Your story is not being published by StoryADay, but you should be aware that some editors still consider a story that has been posted online, as having been previously published. If you think this is your last good story ever, by all means guard it with your life. Otherwise, I wouldn’t spend too much time worrying about this.

Does It Have To Be A Story I Wrote During StoryADay?

Yes. I’ll have to trust you on this. But it can be a story you wrote in a previous year.

Why Do I Have To Select A Genre Label?

Try not to agonize over this. I know most fiction is really cross-genre. It’s just short-hand for readers. I know I’m more likely to plump for a Speculative/Sci-Fi story or a mystery before I will read a fantasy story. As a reader, you don’t want to scroll through a long list of stories with no clues as to which you might prefer. Genre labels simply help readers make a quick decision, rather than being paralysed or overwhelmed and not clicking on anything. Just think like a reader, grit your teeth and pick a genre.

Can I Submit Erotica/Horror/TheWierdStuff?

Um, okay. But I’d appreciate it if you’d label it as such, so as not to scare the grownups.

Can I Revise My Story?

Absolutely. Polish it up, shine its little shoes, put a bow in its hair and send it into the world looking its best. But don’t take too long! And remember, you’re unlikely to ever be 100% satisfied. Polish it a bit, then let it go.

Deadline is Tuesday, June 5.

Story A Day Festival

We have all worked so hard, don’t you think it’s fair that we get to show off a little; celebrate?


The Story A Day Story Fest, June 11-14, 2010: An Online Celebration of the First Annual Story A Day Challenge

What Is It?

From June 11-13 the front page of this site will change to the StoryFest Page.

The StoryFest page will contain blurbs about and links to each author’s favorite story (or collection of stories if you’re writing super-short stories)

Readers can come by on their coffee breaks, browse the best of our work, leave comments, tell their friends.

What Do You Do?

  • First, sign up for the mailing list so that I can contact you.
  • Next, pick your favorite of your Story A Day stories  that you wrote. If you need to, spend a few days polishing them up. Pick one, if it’s a long or multi-part story. Pick a couple if they are short. Pick ten if you’re Simon 😉
  • Write a short blurb about you/your stories/the challenge (about 50-75 words).
  • Optional extra: pick your favorite one or two stories by other people to recommend to readers.
  • Send me the blurb (@admin) and the links to your stories and your ‘recommended reading’ stories by June 9. I will put them on the StoryFest page for readers to find.
  • On June 10, start tweeting and blogging and Facebooking (sorry) and telling all your friends and family to stop by. (I will provide some sample messages, in case you’re uncomfortable with self-promotion, but you should feel free to write whatever you like.
  • During StoryFest be sure to share your recommendations for stories you’ve enjoyed by other StADa writers.
  • On June 14, send another reminder to people that time is running out, to access the StoryFest page, and discover all the wonderful new writers that you’ve been reading and enjoying throughout May.
  • Sit back and bask in the feedback.

I’m planning on creating a StoryADay StoryFest graphic that you can hang on your StoryFest stories, no matter where you posted them (here or your personal blog)

What Can Readers Do?

Readers can stop by any time between June 11 and June 14.

They will find the front page all decked out for StoryFest and featuring links to your favorite stories.

They can read, comment and, I hope, recommend stories to their reading friends.

What’s The Point?

It’s a celebration! Writing a story a day was hard, wasn’t it?

This is our chance to show off. This is our recital. (Tutus strictly optional).

It’s also a chance for readers and writers to connect. Readers are always looking to find great new writers and interesting stories. Writers want to be found.

I’ve been thrilled by the quality and diversity of the stories I’ve read here, and I want to share that with other readers.

Why So Short?

Making the StoryFest an event with a limited timeline gives readers a good reason to come NOW, not just think ‘that’s cool, I’ll stop by later maybe’ and then forget about us. Instead, we’re creating scarcity and a deadline. It’s basic sales psychology, and it works!

None of the Story A Day blogs will disappear (unless you delete them), so readers can still find your stuff for as long as you want them to.

The StoryFest is just a big promotional/celebratory party, and we all know that at some point, every party has to wrap up and someone has to turn out the lights.

Luckily there won’t be any dishes to wash after this one.


So remember, please SIGN UP FOR THE MAILING LIST so that I can contact you with more details about StoryFest and, after that, the plans for the Second Annual Story A Day May!