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THE 2019 FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE - A 200 word start!

January 14, 2019

Due:   End of March 2019                          Send to: 

Word limit: 200          Spacing: 1.5           Font: 12 Helvetica or Times New Roman


Are you up for it?

We all love to linger over a favourite novel, it’s true. But …. whether it’s 50, 100, 200, 300 or up to 1000 words, a well-crafted story can pack a mighty punch. You can send yours (and join for $20 p/annum if you like) to the World Writers’ Collective at the email address above. 



                                      WORLD  WRITERS'  COLLECTIVE


Writing, like sculpture takes discipline, courage, a sense of fun and adventure.


The beauty the artist perceives close-up is often flawed by self-indulgence. I often fall into this pit, dust myself off and have another run at it. The craft of writing requires intense reflection, robust chipping away, perseverance and humility in the face of readers.


Ian Rankin, the author of the Rebus crime series puts it clearly:

“This is the beauty of the short story:  all you need is a single good idea. No convolutions or sub-plots. [….] I’ve managed to whittle stories down from [ ….] to 200 - a struggle, but useful in that I can to learn how much it is possible to leave out. 

There is no place for fat on a story: it has to be lean and fit.” 


So, why not start with 200 words about a very ordinary event?   It’s all in the showing (and telling) using the ABDCE structure, in the following order:

  • ACTION – make the character do something

  • BACKGROUND – set an inciting incident / set up the background rationale for what happens next

  • DEVELOPMENT - row of rising actions for character/s to deal with

  • CLIMAX – biggest rising action/ how things are different for the character(s) in a significant way

  • ENDING – how the characters are now significantly changed / affected

Here are some ideas for a topic:

  • anticipating ice-cream

  • eating your favourite cereal

  • a visit to the supermarket

  • brushing your teeth

  • a visit to /  sitting in the the doctor or dentist’s waiting room

  • meeting a child from school

  • sitting in rush hour traffic

Here are some examples of super-short stories:


“The best short stories distill all the potency of a novel into a small but heady draught. They are perfect reading material for the bus or train or for a lunchtime break. Everything extraneous has been strained off by the author. The best short stories pack the heft of any novel, yet resonate like poetry.”

– Ian Rankin


Find our stories, short stories, poetry and Flash Fiction on:


and you can find mine there, or on


Cheers for now!  Magz






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