Monthly Challenge

Do you like to write or know someone who does? On the 1st of every month, a new writing challenge will be posted.


  • The following submissions will be accepted for the contest: short stories, poems, or personal essays. 

  • The pieces should be written for a diverse audience consisting of a variety of genders, age groups, and backgrounds. As a result, pieces that contain excessive profanity, violence, or sexual content will not be eligible for inclusion. 

  • All submissions are due on the last day of each month. 

  • Winning submissions will be posted on this website, and may be eligible for inclusion in a writing compilation that will be published in 2019. 


  • All submissions should be saved as a PDF and sent to


Monthly Topics


March 2019

(*Note: February submissions must be received by March 31st)

Topic: Write a short story inspired by one of the following famous poems:

  • "The Lady of Shalott" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

  • "Annabel Lee" by Edgar Allan Poe

  • "Because I Could Not Stop For Death" by Emily Dickinson 

If you really want a challenge, try to incorporate all three! 

February 2019

(*Note: February submissions must be received by February 28th)

Topic: Petals fall to the ground as someone picks apart a flower and says, "They love me, they love me not." Hone in on your craft, and write a short story in which your main character decides whether or not someone loves them with flower petals. 

January 2019

(*Note: January submissions must be received by January 31st)

Topic: Write about final words and/or new beginnings. Your piece can be in the form of a poem, short story, or personal essay. 

December 2018

(*Note: December submissions must be received by December 31st)

Topic: Take a favorite memory or holiday tradition and retell it. It can be in the form of a poem, short story, or personal essay. 

November 2018

(*Note: November submissions must be received by November 30th)

Topic: Describe your year thus far using a color. Your piece must be in the form of a personal essay.  

October 2018

(*Note: October submissions must be received by October 31st)

Topic: Write a piece about your fantasy relationship with a vampire! Your fantasy piece can feature ANY vampire - existing or made up!

September 2018

(*Note: September submissions must be received by September 30th)

Topic: Write a piece and be sure to include the following words: poverty, marksman, bookshelf, courteous.

August 2018

(*Note: August submissions must be received by September 15th)

Topic: Write 7 poems detailing either the 7 Deadly Sins or the 7 Holy Trinities. (However, the catch is you can’t name them in the poem or in the title.) 

July 2018

(*Note: July submissions must be received by July 31st)

Topic: Write a piece that is inspired by the lyrics of a song/songs or a poem.

June 2018

(*Note: June submissions will be accepted until July 15th.)

Topic: Write a piece in which your character/narrator is searching for what love means. Now remember, love can mean absolutely ANYTHING.


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© 2018-2019  by Val Cates.