WRITER'S GAMES: Tips & Events

Use the menu below to jump to the selected section. It is recommended that you read the tips and hints to reap the most benefit from the competition. The list of possible Events is a good place to take notes.

The Writer's Games Events List was last updated:

July 2019

 

Writer's Games Tips and Hints

  • There are no bonus points awarded for "first received". Each Event lasts 72 hours, so take your time and make sure your entry says what you want it to, the way you want it to. If you rush your entry, it's probably not your best work. Submit work you are proud of, not something you threw together.

  • Edit your work. All submissions should be publication ready.

  • Pay close attention to your Title Information. Missing, misplaced, or incorrect Title Information will result in entry disqualification. The Submissions guide has all the information you need to create a successfully formatted entry... including a sample Title Information block and How-To guides for all three accepted file types.

  • Ask questions. If you read the FAQ and the Rules but still don't have an answer to your question, ask! The judges are available to help you succeed.

  • Try to participate in all Events. The more Events you enter, the higher your Overall Score. The highest Overall Score wins!

  • Unreasonable demands will be met with the Wrath of Righting.

  • Be respectful of your fellow participants. Remember there are all ages and cultures here.

 

 

Writer's Games Events List

The following Events may or may not appear during the Games. The judges determine which Events will take place in advance; this is a list of potential Events and general definitions. The Event announcement takes precedence; the definitions here are a guide for further explanation. Keep in mind, this list is not complete! One of the actual Events may not be listed here.  

BEING HUMAN

Core Concept: pacing, plot

There are so many morphing creatures out there that sometimes our characters forget about the perils of being human. For this Event, the ability to shapeshift does not exist and all your characters are human.

BIZARRE BAZAAR

Core Concept: description, plot

Festivals are full of new sights, sounds, and experiences that can bring out both the best and worst in human nature. For this Event, your characters explore a festival of some kind.

CHILDREN’S STORY

Core Concept: tropes, voice

A child's imagination is a powerful tool. For this Event, access your inner child and write a story for children that targets the specified age group.

CLICHE STORY

Core Concept: narrative, tropes

In fiction, "cliche" is the last thing you want to hear about your writing. From the manic pixie dream girl to the hunky vampire with a soul to the nerdy forensic tech who specializes in all forms of evidence, cliches are tough to avoid. For this Event, combine as many cliches as possible in one cohesive tale.

DIALOGUE ONLY

Core Concept: dialogue, pacing

Dialogue does more than express conversation: it helps show the characters' personalities without telling the reader who they are. For this Event, tell an entire story using only dialogue.

DON'T LOOK

Core Concepts: pacing, perspective

Sometimes all it takes is a change in perspective to reveal the horrors of ordinary life. For this Event, create a scary story out of something mundane.

DOORS

Core Concept: character development, planning

Writing is all about options. For this Event, your character encounters at least one real door that will change their life.

FAKE TRUTH

Core Concept: backstory, voice

Memoirs tell the true story of someone's life through narrative. For this Event, write a "true" memoir of a fictional character.

FEAR ITSELF

Core Concepts: backstory, character development

Every character is afraid of something, but if they always run away they will never grow. For this Event, write a story in which your character's true personality is revealed as they face what scares them the most.

GAME SHOW OF DEATH

Core Concept: cohesion, dialogue

Game shows reward people for feats of strength, ingenuity, or knowledge with monetary gain and notoriety. For this Event, the reward for stupidity is death.

HAPPINESS

Core Concept: dialogue, voice

Most stories use tragedy to develop or incite the plot but what if the driving force of the story was happiness? For this Event, your story contains only happiness.

HEARTSTRINGS

Core Concept: narrative; show, don't tell

The most classic pieces of literature have become immortalized because they speak to the humanity within our souls, and touch on some powerful human emotion. For this Event, write a story that conveys powerful emotion that tugs at the reader’s heartstrings.

I’D RATHER NOT

Core Concept: character development, plot

Journeys to extraordinary destinations are a common trope in fiction. For this Event, write about what happens when your character doesn't want to but must journey to a mundane destination. 

IN ABSENTIA

Core Concept: planning; show, don’t tell

Some of the best stories revolve around people you’ve never met. For this Event, write a story around an absent character that is referred to but does not appear and still advances the plot significantly.

IT'S ALIENS!

Core Concept: show, don't tell; tropes

"First contact" with alien life is arguably one of the biggest and most widely anticipated events in academic society. For this Event, tell a fictional story of the first contact with aliens of another world.

JUST THIS ONCE

Core Concept: foreshadowing, perspective

Just because everyone survives doesn't mean it's a happy story. For this Event, tell a tragic story where no one dies.

LET'S CALL IT JIM

Core Concept: description, voice

To connect with children on their imaginative level, authors of children’s tales sometimes use personified objects to teach a life lesson about friendship, doing the right thing, or acceptance. For this Event, personify an object and use it as the main character in a story for kids.

ON THIS DATE

Core Concept: foreshadowing, plot

This Event requires additional Title Information.

History is distilled into distinct dates that can hold a great personal or societal meaning. Often when people live through something, they don’t realize its importance until after the fact. For this Event, select a decade and country from the list provided and write a historical fiction story.

SENSELESS

Core Concept: dialogue; show, don’t tell

We navigate the world through our senses. For this Event, a character has lost one or more of their senses and must rely on the descriptions of others to navigate their new world.

SILENCE

Core Concept: description, narrative

Sometimes the most powerful words are the ones not spoken. For this Event, write a complete story with no dialogue.

SPLIT UP, GANG

Core Concept: foreshadowing, planning

Mysteries plague life for everyone: who killed Jim, who ate the last cookie? For this Event, write a mystery that is solved by the end.

STRANDED MACGYVER

Core Concept: cohesion, planning

This Event requires additional Title Information.

MacGyver was known for creating weapons and survivalist utensils from items we use every day. He could see the potential in the simplest items. For this Event, your four characters are stranded; select ONE of our preset lists of tools, location, and expert, and help your characters survive.

SUDDENLY, SHARKS!

Core Concept: foreshadowing, tropes

Just when you think things can't get any worse, suddenly, sharks! In this Event, a tragic story is made comically worse in a sudden and surprising way that, when looking back, is obvious. Don't be afraid to play with the tropes of the extreme tragedy.

THE INCONVENIENCING

Core Concept: foreshadowing, pacing

Some characters are prone to bad luck but what if maintaining those hapless calamities was someone's responsibility? For this Event, your character is paid to ruin someone's life without killing them.

TICK, TOCK

Core Concept: character development, pacing

Making an important decision under pressure often reveals a person’s true character. For this Event, your character(s) must meet a pressing time constraint.

TROUBLE

Core Concept: narrative, perspective

Board games offer a variety of strategy and storytelling possibilities to the players but what about the games themselves? For this Event, write a story from the point of view of a board game.

UNLIKELY SOULMATES

Core Concept: backstory, cohesion

Sometimes fate intervenes and two people are destined to be together… but not always in a romantic way. For this Event, the souls of two characters are a match for everything except romance.

UNTOUCHABLE

Core Concept: cohesion, perspective

Have you ever needed to use something but just can’t reach it? For this Event, something that is vital is completely untouchable.

WORLD BUILDING

Core Concept: description, voice

The worlds are silent characters in the stories you tell. With enough description, the world will explain everything the reader needs to know about the environment—societal structure, cultures, and what the inhabitants value in addition to what the environment looks, sounds, and smells like. For this Event, tell a story in which the setting is the main character.

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Writer's Games PRIZES

 

All Event winners receive a discount code for one custom product at Litographs and are published in the Games Anthology

OVERALL PRIZES​

Check out our affiliates and sponsors here.

Prizes for Writer's Games 2019 are donated by Litographs, Out of Print, and the Co-Founders of The Writer's Workout.

Bookshelf Mug is 12 oz and perfect for your hot or cold drinks! This mug is dishwasher and microwave safe. Generously donated by Out of Print, all three overall winners of both portions will receive this mug.