Form and Genre Challenge #5 Submission

“The Twit-Fic Challenge”

Challenge: To write a twit-fic style story.
Form: Open
Word Count: 140 characters

Judges: Gayle Beveridge and Jodi Cleghorn

Congratulations to the Twit-Fic winners…

Judges’ Choice Award goes to Douglas Rigg’s The Life Pursuit.

Readers’ Choice Award goes to Mitch Johnson’s Saviour (with 31% of the vote)

Honourable mentions to

Carolyn Wagner, Paul Servini and Barbara Gildea in the Judges’ Choice Section.

Kate Sherrod and Jan Brown in the Readers’ Choice Award (both with 15% of the vote)

Twit-Fic Challenge Participants


1. Jodi Cleghorn (@jodicleghorn)
2. Kate Sherrod
3. Annie Evett @AnnieEvett
4. Mitch Johnson
5. Storm Dweller
6. Adam Byatt
7. Sathya
8. Chris Chartrand
9. Jan Brown
10. Paul
11. Carolyn Wagner
12. Paul Anderson (@panderson1979)
13. Laura McNaughton
14. Emma Venables
15. Barbara @ de rebus
16. Douglas Riggs
17. Dalena Frost

33 Responses to “Form and Genre Challenge #5 Submission”

  1. Of all the challenges – I think I enjoyed the conversation around this one the most. A real dissection of the form, what it meant, what buttons it pushed… rather than half-arsed moans about not being able to kill anyone (while they’re fun, it’s not really a probe of why the challenge is provoking such intense reactions?)

    We have Gayle Beveridge as guest judge this week which is awesome. Someone in the know.

    I’d be interested to know how many twit-fics everyone wrote and how they chose between them to pick one to submit. AND, if they critiqued twit-fic for anyone, how hard they found it.

    • I wrote a grand total of 1 twit-fic :P After writing it, it seemed just right for me, so I just went with it.

      It was definitely an interesting experience, I really enjoyed writing something in a totally different style.

      After writing it, I think I’ll definitely continue doing these; they’re a great way to practise writing when you have a bit of spare time.

      • Hey Mitch,
        Excellent to see you here this week. Hopefully you’ll stick around for future challenges.

        I’m envious of you nailing it at the first go.

        I agree with you on the importance of doing something different. Last year when my writing caved in I got a friend to walk me through how to write haiku/senryu and I started writing those as an antidote to the death of my creativity. It was a lovely bandaid until my confidence returned.

        Writing these this week reminded me of writing haiku. Only there’s a few more words!

        • Christopher Chartrand says:

          I too wrote only one, however it’s been rewritten about eight times.

          • That’s what I really should have asked also – how many times did you rewrite.

            It was definitely multiple times, across multiple days! Nailing the final line of mine meant skipping through websites looking for just the right snippet from the book (yes I stole from Austen!)

            Thank the heavens longer pieces don’t need to be re-written eight times, nor have the same sweat inducing considerations of ‘the right word’.

            • Yes, mine did take a few tries to nail it down. I actually had to add words! I wrote it after a flash of inspiration, then realised it didn’t clarify who’s who, so I just edited that a couple of times.

              I think in the end I edited about 6 times, but nothing really major.

              Now that I’ve submitted that though, I’m going to start writing a few more twit-fics, and try out the style.

            • On Tuesday I had 4 stories I was considering. By Friday that was 2. I rewrote the story I ended up cutting about a dozen times on Saturday before settling on the other and rewriting it twice as many times.

              To say that I spent as much time on this challenge as the last one would be hyperbole, but not as much as you’d think!

    • Jan Brown says:

      I’ve tweeted lots of very short stories, and five of them have been published: three at, and two in a Cargo Publishing booklet celebrating Social Media Week. I wrote a new one for this challenge. It’s an amusing, alternative theory regarding the true identity of Jack the Ripper (a time-travelling woman who wanted to prevent her no-good husband from ever being born). Hope everybody has fun with this challenge!

  2. Annie says:

    ok – I have checked a few times that mine DEF is there!! ( I will be paranoid from now on)

    This one was a lot of fun and posed the question for me about all the ‘guff’ and ‘stuff’ and ‘padding’ included in shot stories – which just doesn’t have to be there for there to be a story happening..

    looking forward to everyone elses

    • Annie says:

      hmmm not happy to have mine submitted once – its submitted twice now.. sorry – first one is a muff up….

      I wrote four and chose the one I did because if spoke to me louder than that others.

      I’ll post up at least one of my others later this week on my blog just for fun

  3. This one was actually rather easy for me, and gave one of my characters voice to a very personal topic.

  4. Adam B says:

    I wrote about 12 all up. 7 ended up being for my #fridayflash check here:
    I read a couple for Jodi, and it was something she said that sparked a new idea. It was essential in capturing the narrative and the emotion. Still not sure if I picked the right one to sub.
    It will be what it will be.
    Adam B @revhappiness

    • This is why we only ever work on one story for submission… how would we ever know if we chose ‘the right one’.

      In the end I went with the one you chose Adam (Dave chose the same one) and then tinkered with it to tweak the emotional impact.

      I don’t know if I got it right either… I’m still enamoured with my trees of ideas like petrified fairy floss.

  5. sathya says:

    New here. My first submission. The challenge was a load of fun. Thank you.

    My biggest problem was that, because I had the back story, anything I wrote in the 140 characters made proper sense to me.

  6. Adam B says:

    Storm Dweller, for some reason I am having trouble leaving comments on your blog. The captcha keeps giving me grief. I liked the narrative in such a short word count, but I can’t leave the comment there.
    Adam B @revhappiness

    • Jodi Cleghorn says:

      This has been an ongoing problem with blogger Adam. Barbara said last week she got around it by logging in via Twitter. I don’t know if that will help?

  7. Hi Guys,

    There’s been some interesting entries so far; I’m looking forward to reading many more.

  8. Kate Sherrod says:

    I’ve enjoyed this form for a while, and am a great devotee of the #vss hashtag. What I’ve definitely found to be the case with this kind of writing is that it’s really the literary equivalent of dropping a handkerchief; will the reader pick it up? If so, will he use it as an excuse to approach you? Will he hold onto it as a keepsake? It’s all up to him; we just opened up the possibility.

    I just wrote the one. I knew I could have fun with doing a sequel to one of my other challenge entries, and once I chose which one, the twitfic pretty much wrote itself. I did have to fiddle with it for a while to make sure there was room for punctuation — that was the big challenge!

  9. Paulfr says:

    First time I’ve ever done anything like this. Enjoyed it a lot. I reworked my piece several times.

  10. Challenging yet again. But that was the whole point of taking on the challenge. I unfortunately left it to the last minute again. Stared at the screen for about 10 minutes then smashed out my 140 characters. Hopefully the story makes sense. :D

  11. This was great fun. I’ve been writing a lot of poetry lately – which is actually new for me. So, taking the challenge of writing prose in 140 characters or less was super fun. I wrote once and published once. Though I do a lot of mulling of thinking and rewriting in my head before putting pen to paper. I hope the story actually feels like a story to others. I look forward to reading the other submissions! Thanks for this challenge and opportunity!

  12. Emma says:

    This challenge suited me well as I more often than not seem to jot down little sentences these days.

  13. I wrote this so many different ways! Still not sure I picked the best, but what a wonderful challenge!

    - Barbara @ de rebus

  14. ::Imagines self lifting Form and Genre Challenge Judges’ Choice Award statuette (a Figgie?) into the air. Smiles at audience, gives my mother a shout-out, blows kiss to my wife, walks humbly off stage::

  15. Dalena says:

    I wrote about a dozen of these guys, and settled on this one. Fun challenge. Short and sweet and poetic. I also like that it makes it an easy task to read all the week’s submissions. :)

  16. Excellent, lots of entries this week!

    My entry was the only one I wrote, but it was redrafted multiple times, going from third person to first person perspective, and from the narrator being the murderer to the victim.

    I think the change happened when it was in the third person from the victim’s POV, but I realised it could easily be taken as a bystander wondering about the funeral-goers, which reduced the impact of it. Plus I think got hung up on the idea people would think it was Marc Antony observing Caesar’s funeral!

  17. This week I am having difficulty commenting on Paul Anderson and Laura McNaughton…

    So I am putting my thoughts here!

    Paul, that was great! Your piece featured a building tension, action and a mystery… what more could we ask for in twit-fic!

    Laura, I absolutely heart this. The imagery – “sniffing around here” – of the poor little dog is wonderfully deceiving. You’ve created a narrator with an uplifting personally in but a few words. Well done.

    • Hi Barbara, your comment got caught up in my spam filter unfortunately! I’ve approved it now, so fingers crossed that shouldn’t happen again to you.

      Now I just need to make the rounds myself to read everyone’s entries!

    • Laura says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Barbara. I was having trouble commenting on your site as well. Your piece is just hit home for me – a mom who’s teenager just moved out. So evocative in so few words – masterful.

  18. Jan Brown says:

    This is a great group of writers–very interesting, talented people! It was really enjoyable reading the entries that have been posted so far. They are wonderful expressions of emotion, thoughtful storylines, plot twists and even some humor. I enjoyed visiting the writers’ websites, as well, and added my comments to the plethora of positive feedback. Looking forward to reading more twitfic in the coming week!

  19. Laura says:

    I’ve just finished reading everyone’s stories. I love how they were all so powerful with so few words. Like tiny punches that actually knocked me over. Inspiring to be in such good company.