Who Are The Writers?
The writers come from all walks of life and all over the world:
- The youngest participant (so far) was a seven-year old home-schooled girl from Texas.
- One of our writers from nearer the other end of life’s journey lives in New Zealand. Every day she had written and posted her story long before the US participants woke up.
- We have participants from the US, Canada, India, Germany, Spain, Singapore, the UK, New Zealand and Australia.
Anyone can be a StoryADay writer. It’s perfect for launching yourself (back) into creative writing, because, as many excellent writers have said, the only way to improve your writing is to write. Yes, read lots of good writing, but to be a writer you must, er, write. Lots.
What Did They Achieve?
While many writers ‘win’ by writing 31 stories in as many days, there is much more to a StoryADay victory than just the ability to write everyday.
- Julia H. West sold one of her 2011 stories on the first anniversary of its first draft.
- Alexis A. Hunter has sold multiple stories from her StoryADay collection.
- Morgen Bailey put together an short story collection ebook from her 2011 StoryADay efforts
- Matt Zandstra’s turned one of his 2010 Story A Day ideas into a radio play that was chosen as a runner-up in a contest at the BBC’s Writer’s Room — judged by a working BBC drama writer.
- Marta Pelrine-Bacon had her first story accepted for publication (in a paying market) for the first time ever.
- Simon Kewin was inspired to set up his own extreme writing challenge: Write1Sub1 to help writers push their writing careers to the professional level.
- I signed up for NaNoWriMo and wrote my first and second novels and ended up meeting the founder of NaNoWriMo.
- Other writers found a way to start writing again after years of being stalled.
- Active novelists found that writing stories every day jump started their creativity and allowed them to try new voices and approaches, freshening up their prose.
- A regular support group developed here around the Serious Writers’ Accountability Group (SWAGr) that has been ‘meeting’ on the first of every month since June 2014
But most of all, everyone involved got a crash course in finding our writing groove, discovering our voice, playing to our strengths and working on our weaknesses. We got a huge creative boost from writing, reading and sharing stories with a bunch of other writers who understand the urge to write in a way that ‘normals’ in our lives, no matter how loving, really can. We found friends. We found encouragement. We found our tribe.
What The Writers Say:
Tried StoryADay last year and loved the experience; haven’t stopped writing short stories ever since.
Dan Belmont, teacher & writer
“StoryADay is even better than NaNoWriMo at making me turn off that pesky editor. I have to grab an idea and run with it. Knowing that I can do that keeps me from getting too bogged down in polishing when I ought to be knocking together a rough framework. Besides, it’s invigorating to just haul off and write a little story. Telling stories is fun!”
Marian Allen, author and publisher. Read more about Marian’s experiences with StoryADay here.
I was perpetually full of dread about writer’s block. I had suffered extreme bouts of it before. Every time I finished a story, I questioned and worried and fretted over whether or not I’d be able to finish another one.
StoryADay taught me that I could do so and that I could do so consistently if I only tried hard enough. It showed me that if I thought long enough on any given prompt, my mind would rise to the challenge. It was so…liberating!
I’ve since then used the challenge to fuel my writing by providing a large stock of stories to edit and submit throughout the year.
Alexis A. Hunter, more than 50 published short stories, including stories in Shimmer, Flash Fiction Online, and Apex. Read more about Alexis’s StADa experiences here.
” I needed fuel for story ideas and some form of prod to keep me focussed. StoryADay provided me with a lot of good ideas for generating flash fiction. StoryADay has a great deal to offer in terms of prompts and advice and I found this to be terrific for churning up the creative juices, especially when I have been stuck.”
-Cecilia Clark has published more than 30 in anthologies and with small presses. Working on her debut novel. Read more about Cecilia’s StADa experiences here.
“[I was] in a real creative slump…. So when the StoryADay challenge came up I thought I could manage to write short pieces for a month, and it would be a change. Give me a chance to get some creative energy flowing, which it did. I had great fun with it, and now write quite a lot of flash fiction.”
-Sara Cain, The Eighth Circle (Jan 2016, Crooked Lane Books). Read more about Sarah’s StADa experiences here.
What I learned from the challenge was that I could write everyday. It was hard certainly. But it really helped me make the transition from student writer to “real” writer.
-Heather Muir, StADa 2010 participant
But the great thing I realized in StoryADay is that I didn’t need school deadlines to make me write–I could motivate myself. And that lesson was probably the most valuable thing StoryADay could have taught me. This is why, even though I didn’t come close to winning the challenge, I still see this past May as a success.
-Gabriela Pereira, Chief Instigator at DIYMFA.com and StoryADay 2010 participant
What strikes me is how often the words “fun”, “happy”, “yes!”, “accomplished” and “glad” come up in the following comments from StoryADay 2014 participants.
It’s not to late to join in. Just pick up a pen, and off you go! You won’t regret it!
“I have a slew of new things to write that I wouldn’t have thought of if I hadn’t tried StoryADay, so this is pretty great.”
“I’m very much looking forward to spending May with you again! Should be great!”
“I’m so glad I found out about this. Thank you xxx”
“Great post, exactly what I needed…Thank you!”
“I have surprised myself wit the creativity I have produced.”
“I have been looking forward to May for months, now I know why! I love having a new writing experience every day,”
“Haven’t written fiction IN A LONG WHILE, and I’m glad I came up with something!”
“Today’s prompt really helped me get over a block for a scene I needed for a larger work I am writing.”
“I like being forced to get something down…good daily discipline.”
“I loved this – brought a delighted grin to an old lady’s face…thanks for a good start to a sunny morning.”
“the guest prompt was excellent.”
“…only 706 words, bt I like where that prompt took me.”
“Hooray! I’m having such fun with Drabbles.”
“It’s late in the day, but I got a story done so I’m happy. I feel a sense of accomplishment…”
“yes yes yes. I did it. Woo-hoo!”
“…a good warm up for the other writing on the agenda today.”
“glad I tried it…”
“…not bad for a first draft, I think!”
“I’m not really happy with [this] story…but it was fun to write.”
“Thank you for another good story idea,”
“Very rough, but…I feel good about writing it.”
“So much fun.”
“Missed a few days, but I’m back on track!”
“Happy dance !!!!!!”