Writing as contact sport

Writing as contact sport

Back in December, I recommended a web site known as the Ranting Room to writers and would-be writers as a useful resource. Like many deceased sites, the Ranting Room has closed its doors, unlike most of them, it has risen, Phoenix-like, from the embers of its demise and been resurrected in a form that is even more useful and entertaining than before.

What is now known as The Friday Challenge is a group blog which consists of professional writers, non-professional writers, and interested readers. Each Friday, a writing challenge is posed by one of the luminaries, which include fantasy eminence grise Joel Rosenberg as well as the guy who coined the term “Cyberpunk”, and anyone who happens to be interested in meeting the challenge has a week to write a story in response. I was charged with providing last week’s challenge, which was to rewrite a fairy tale in the spirit, if not the vein, of Tanith Lee and Neil Gaiman; you can read the various entries here if you are so inclined. Winners are announced the following Sunday, and while the quality of the entrants is often mixed, it often makes for interesting reading, in part due to the chance to see how 10 or 12 different writers go about approaching the same subject.

Other features include the Monday Monologue, the Wednesday Review, and the Story Morgue, where literary post-mortems are performed by sadistic critics upon stories deemed to have been failures. It’s a site that should be of interest to any writer, and may even be of passing interest to readers eagerly awaiting the much-anticipated arrival of Black Gate #13.

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