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April Challenge: CLOSED


We reached out to finalists on May 25

Returning in July

A Tip from S.E.:

My biggest tip for writing short stories is to drop the audience into the scene as soon as possible… or in the case of fantasy, into the new world. World build off the page! Throw me into a tavern with a rowdy fairy on a queen’s misguided mission and I’m hooked!!

Submission links are below the Submissions Guidelines.

One entry per person.


The Basics

Fiction Potluck is free to enter and open to fiction writers of all ages around the world. One entry per person per challenge.

Submissions are accepted through Dropbox, Duosuma, and email (submissions [at]

Submissions are accepted in January, April, July, and October. The challenge and guest judge will change each open period. The guest judge picks the challenge—we never know what we'll get!

The selection team reads all entries that follow the submissions guidelines as explained below. Entries are read blind. The team chooses the finalists and contacts those authors. 

Finalist author names and bios are posted on this page and announced in our monthly mailer. 

The guest judge reads the finalist pieces and chooses three winners. Each of the three winning pieces is published on our blog and linked through this page. Winning entries will be published as received.

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April Guest Judge

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S.E. Reed

S.E. Reed lives in the south and writes strange, haunting, real stories of people and places along old highways. 

Her work has been featured by The Writer's Workout, Parhelion Lit, The Writers’ Co-op, Wild Ink Publishing, Survival Guide for the 21st Century and Tempered Rune's Press.


She has won writing awards and nominations from Uncharted Magazine, L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future contest, The Writer's Workout and Kids' Choice KidLit contest.  

—YA Novels—

My Heart is Hurting July 18, 2023

Old Palmetto Drive August 1, 2024


—Craft Publications—

Navigating the Wild World of Publishing: A Workbook for Indie & Self-Published Authors, TBD 2023


—Upcoming Anthologies—

Ourania's Orrery of Imaginations Middle Grade Anthology June, 2023

Buzgaga Middle Grades Anthology TBD, 2023

The Carnation Anthology TBD, 2023

Follow S.E. on Twitter: 



Preorder S.E.'s book

My Heart is Hurting

General Rules

  • All entries must be in English and original works of fiction. 

  • The competition runs on UTC time, beginning and ending at midnight.

  • You must keep your entry private until after we post the top three winning stories.

  • The judges' decisions are final.

  • The judges will contact the finalists and winners. 

  • The judges cannot provide feedback for every piece submitted.


The following are not accepted:​

  • Simultaneous submissions

  • Previously published works

  • AI-assisted content

  • Fanfiction, erotica, religious, or political content

  • Pieces longer than the word count limit

  • Pieces submitted outside the competition month

  • Pieces submitted in .pdf

  • Pieces without the correct Title Information (below) will be rejected unread. 


Times New Roman or Arial font, size 10 or 12, single spaced

Indented paragraphs

Empty margins on all four sides

Empty line for scene breaks

Entries must include this Title Information in this order at the top of the document body, aligned left: 

Name or Pseudonym, email

Entry Title

Fiction Potluck

Word Count 

Accepted file types: .doc, .docx, .odt

Live, unlocked Google Docs or Microsoft Word links are accepted via email (submissions [at] Set your document permissions to "anyone with the link can [comment or edit]" so we can collect it. We will not request access and we are not responsible for locked docs.


Your submission grants The Writer's Workout (WW) exclusive electronic rights for 90 days. WW reserves non-exclusive rights to digitally publish winning entries indefinitely. Winning pieces will be published as received.

The Writer's Workout is run by volunteers;

we thrive with your support!

WW Team Judges

Seth Cupery

Seth is a freelance writer and editor with a bachelor’s degree in the humanities and a history minor, hoping to help other writers improve and find their audience. Born and raised in rural Wisconsin, Seth still tries to learn as much as he can about the wider world so that he can better understand the people he shares a planet with. He enjoys works of fiction, historical facts, weird information from around the globe, and a well-drawn illustration or map.



Theresa Green

Theresa is a co-founder of The Writer's Workout, a crime fiction writer, and the editor at Premier Literary Services.


Nichole Forsyth

Nichole is a PNW native and is an aspiring author and editor. She loves all things nerdy and spends too much time planning her next comic con trips. She is full-time stay-at-home mom of four and a full-time college student at Washington State University. When she isn’t reading or writing, she enjoys spending her free time outdoors with her kids and dog. 

Sofie Leggett

Sofie is a current college student studying creative writing, Spanish, and music. She enjoys playing instruments, hanging out with her dogs, making art, watching TV, and of course, reading and writing. The historical fiction and mystery genres are her current favorites, but she likes to experiment in every genre of writing. While her current experience is limited to short stories and poetry, in the future, Sofie hopes to expand her horizons by working in different types of media such as television and video games.

Be our guest! 

If you want to be a guest judge for this competition, reach out to Theresa for details.

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