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Take Me Somewhere: A Writer's Challenge

Updated on September 12, 2016

Inspiration From Annart

It's been a great week in the life of this writer. I participated in a producer's challenge hosted by a local film making group, Movie Making Throughout the Bay. MMTB's goal is to bring film production jobs back to the San Francisco Bay Area and is used as a vehicle to unite Bay Area filmmakers.

I wrote the film, Unfamiliar Grounds (2014) and it premiered this week in Berkeley. Right now it is being pitched to other festivals in hopes of a wider release. The challenge was interesting in that we were given 4 prompts that had to be included: A shoe, a garden, crazy eyes, and the line, "How many of them are there?"

When I first heard of the challenge, I almost turned it down. I was in the middle of healing from a Traumatic Brain Injury and wasn't sure if I had the ability or the stamina to take on such a unique project. It grew and stretched me as a writer, and I'm so glad that I accepted the challenge. Even though it was difficult, the pride of finishing and watching the completed film, was well worth the effort.

Ann Carr's (Annart) Challenge

Last week, in my HubPages feed, the same image kept popping up from different writers. Intrigued, I clinked on Jodah'sTear's Across the Waves and was met with a beautiful story prompted by a challenge from Ann to create a short story from a painting of hers. I tracked down the original challenge and decided that I wanted to do it too. I looked at the image, and in two hours on a Saturday morning, I wrote I Will Return.

Now, almost a dozen writers have taken the challenge and have produced wonderfully unique stories off of a single image. It really is spectacular and showcases the talent on this site.

As writers we are looking for a sense of camaraderie and purpose--for our tribe.  Join this short story challenge.
As writers we are looking for a sense of camaraderie and purpose--for our tribe. Join this short story challenge. | Source

Why Do a Challenge?

There are several benefits to participating in a challenge. It may sound difficult, but you will always have a quiet pride that you stepped up to the plate.


On a large site like this, you might feel lost and unknown. Sometimes you wonder if people are even reading your work. You want it to feel less like a sterile content mill and more like a circle of writers on the corner coffee shop. Joining a challenge will give your work more exposure, you will meet new people, and receive feedback on your work. It will make you feel like you are a part of something bigger than just writing a story.

A Way to Market Yourself

When you step up to the plate and accept the challenge, you are showing the writing community that you are confident in your abilities as a writer. Your work isn't just drifting off into page 17 of Google purgatory— no it is being featured on every participant's hub and on the main challenge Hub. Participating in a challenge is a great opportunity to build your writer's platform.

It Will Stretch You as a Writer

The best part of a challenge can actually be the hardest part: the prompt. The prompt may help you break a serious case of writer's block, giving you a focus and an inspired direction. However, a prompt can be confining, and it will make you have to think of a story within certain bounds and restraints.

It Will Get You Writing

Writing challenges are fun and will inspire you to write, even if you don't feel like it. Writing for a challenge is good practice for if you plan to be a professional writer. Whether you plan to write screenplays, ghostwrite novels, become a copywriter for a corporation, or have to submit to your editor and agent's wishes, learning how to write within bounds is a useful skill. You may not always have the choice on what you write, and by doing a challenge, you are practicing how to write within a client's request.

It Will Boost Your Confidence as a Writer

I was intimidated to accept Ann's challenge, because deep down, I wondered if I had what it takes to put my work out there and be a part of something so wonderful. Me—miss I have a Creative Writing degree from CSU Long Beach—miss I've worked with some of Hollywood's finest—miss I have several short stories up on kindle—miss I've been writing for HubPages for over two years with tons of friends and views.

I think that, as writers, we are often bipolar about our abilities. We put so much of ourselves into our work that it is hard to separate the writer from her words. We rip ourselves open and let everyone see inside. At the end of the day, with our trophies in their cabinet, we never feel like we have "made it." I have come to find that most, if not all, artists feel this way.

I have also come to find that those who judge their work the hardest, are often the experts of their craft. At the end of the day, when all of the critics have returned home, they desire to push their own limits and produce immortal work that will entertain themselves.

Really that is what it comes down to, at the end of the day, I want to be entertained by the stories I tell. I want my readers to walk away from a story, thinking about the world differently and confronting the emotions that have risen within them. At their core, the purpose of stories are to retell and identify with the human experience. We are all on this train together and it's good for us to rub shoulders with one another every once in a while— even if it's uncomfortable.


Write a short story from the picture prompt above and the line, "You can never return."


Write a short story from the picture prompt and the line, "You can never return."

The Rules:

  • Use the picture above as the cover image, so that we can all identify which short stories are part of the challenge.
  • Submit your story by Nov. 15th.
  • Have fun!

How it Works:

  • Write a short story by Nov. 15th, 2014 and write the title of your story in the comments section (HubPages doesn't like links in the comments and I don't want to get any of you in trouble).
  • I will put up a link on this hub to all participants.
  • Feel free to share this Hub with your followers and social media. The more participants the better!

UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who voted. However, the poll feature doesn't allow it to be updated without losing the previous data, so I have decided to forego the polling aspect of this challenge.

The writers who participated would love some comments on their hubs, so if you like their story, show them some love by sharing their work and showing them some love. You may never know how much impact a word of encouragement has on a new writer.


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