Writing Challenges

Every so often we run a story writing challenge. They are announced via our email list, so do join that anyway. You can join in the left hand margin.

When a challenge is open for entries they may be submitted in the usual manner. See the left hand margin "Submitting a Story". Make sure it is labelled as an entry for the challenge.

The challenges so far

  1. "Face at the Window, Chapter 2" challenge, Sole Entry – Closed
    See the original story on which the second chapter is based
  2. Summer Vacation – Closed
  3. Of Which Nightmares are Made – Closed
  4. Chocolate Spread – Closed
  5. Cold, Wet, and Muddy – Closed
  6. Rainbow Boy – Closed
  7. "May I Help You?" – Closed
  8. Close the Lid – Closed
  9. Black and White Boys – Closed
  10. Write a Sequel – Closed
  11. Crimson – Closed
  12. In His Room – Closed
  13. Just Hangin' – Closed
  14. Locker – Closed
  15. Fine Young Animals – Closed
  16. Waiting – Closed
  17. Empty Shoes – Closed
  18. What? – Closed
  19. Recovery – Closed
  20. Non Consent – Closed
  21. Light and Shade – Closed
  22. The First Cuckold of Summer? – Closed
  23. Scouting for Boys – Closed
  24. By Any Other Name – Closed
  25. Be My Boyfriend – Closed
  26. Socks – Closed
  27. Sofa Skater – Closed
  28. Pick Me! – Submissions open on 25 July and close on 2 September 2020
  29. Home Alone – Submissions open on 26 September and close on 5 November 2020

Results in detail

Starting with the "Of Which Nightmares are Made" event in early 2016 we have also asked readers to rate stories against each other. Scroll down to see the summary of the results. These appear here soon after the challenge voting period opens. Each heading links to the full results for the challenge. Each results page links to each story submitted.

The overall results are shown, latest challenge first.

Pick Me!

Pick Me!
I picked them all! Tick all you picked! [25 votes total]

Lockdown Blue (15)  60%
The Komsomol (13)  52%
Temptation (17)  68%
The Strangest But Best Year of my Life (18)  72%
Summer Camp (20)  80%

Sofa Skater

Sofa Skater
Skated away, or sat on the sofa? Tick all you enjoyed [27 votes total]

Video Learning (14)  51%
Jan en de Winkelwagen (14)  51%
Goofyfoot (18)  66%
Flamer Skater (17)  62%
Love on the Half Pipe (17)  62%

Socks

Socks
Enjoy one, some, all? Tick all you enjoyed [33 votes total]

Peter (8)  24%
Rupie and Barabbas (14)  42%
Socks, Friends, and Lovers (13)  39%
The Stolen Dream (23)  69%
Simon's Socks (13)  39%

Be My Boyfriend

A single entry, so the results of the in-story survey are presented here

I Want to Hold Your Hand
You may tick as many statements as you wish. Stories my also be discussed in detail on the Literary Merit forum [40 votes total]

It grabbed my attention early on (37)  92%
I had to know what happened (30)  75%
I identified with at least one of the cast (13)  32%
Gritty - it had an edge to it (15)  37%
Realistic - it could have happened that way (30)  75%
I found it hard to follow (0)  0%
Good characterisation (33)  82%
I feel better for having read it (18)  45%
It was romantic (33)  82%
It was erotic (23)  57%
Too much explicit sex (0)  0%
It had the right amount of sex, if there was any (27)  67%
Not enough explicit sex (4)  10%
I have read and enjoyed other work by this author (13)  32%
I will seek this author's work out (26)  65%

By Any Other Name

By Any Other Name
Enjoy one, some, all? Tick all you enjoyed [18 votes total]

Sunnybanks Revisited (14)  77%
We Are In Love! (11)  61%
In The Picture (12)  66%
Spot the 'Phobe (12)  66%

Scouting for Boys

Scouting for Boys
Please tick all tales which left you wanting more [25 votes total]

The Challenge That Is Tony - More Trouble with Shorts (8)  32%
My Vacation in Slovakia (14)  56%
Swallows and Swifts, Wrens and Sparrows (15)  60%
And the Band Played On (8)  32%
The Wayfarer Boy (7)  28%

The First Cuckold of Summer?

The First Cuckold of Summer?
Please tick all tales which left you wanting more [22 votes total]

The Challenge That Is Tony - Sam (14)  63%
The Party of the Third Part (20)  90%
The Jock (10)  45%

Light and Shade

Light and Shade Challenge
Please tick all tales which left you wanting more [22 votes total]

The Pick of the Bunch (13)  59%
Handpicked (12)  54%
Chiaroscuro (6)  27%
By Any Other Name (15)  68%

Non Consent

Non Consent Challenge
Which stories made you think hard about building a relationship where sexual consent is withheld? [13 votes total]

Betting Against the Odds (2)  15%
Desire and Violence (3)  23%
Blowing Me, Blowing You - Aha! (3)  23%
No Way José (2)  15%
He Was (1)  7%
Calla (8)  61%
The Viking (6)  46%

Recovery

Recovery
Click each tale which made you think, or made you pause, or created a picture of someone's desolation in your head [17 votes total]

The Lottery of Ears and Necks (4)  23%
Making Love (6)  35%
Ships Sink (7)  41%
Crossing Jordan (6)  35%
Round Here (3)  17%
The Best Christmas (4)  23%
Killing Me Slowly (2)  11%
The Steven Roberts Stories - It Takes a Village (7)  41%
The Messenger of All Things (6)  35%
A Storm Named Zach (11)  64%

What?

What?
Click all the stories that you enjoyed [18 votes total]

The Eye of the Storm (13)  72%
At the Edge of Forever (5)  27%
The Challenge that is Tony - Not Carrot Cake (8)  44%
The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street (13)  72%

Empty Shoes

Empty Shoes
Click all the stories that you would love there to be another part to, even if you just know it can't happen [29 votes total]

Sneaking Off (10)  34%
Ryan and the Gringott (22)  75%
Unseen Solutions (10)  34%
Untouchable (17)  58%
Empty Shoes (15)  51%
The Challenge that is Tony - Missing You Already (10)  34%

Waiting

Waiting
Click all the stories that made you want to be either or both boys. Obviously read them all first! You get one multiple choice vote!! [30 votes total]

Bubble and Squeak (12)  40%
New Balls, Please! (11)  36%
What a Difference a Day Makes (10)  33%
Waiting for My Boyfriend (5)  16%
Tennis, Anyone? (9)  30%
My Only Friend (3)  10%
Eye of the Heart (16)  53%
The Challenge That Is Tony – Green (7)  23%
Love in Paris (7)  23%
A Boys Cameo (6)  20%

Fine Young Animals

Fine Young Animals
Which tales made you want to be there? Choose as many as you wish, it's feedback, not a contest. [21 votes total]

Musketqueers - The Invitation (11)  52%
The Challenge That Is Tony - This Little Piggy… (7)  33%
The Charm of Being A Pig (16)  76%

Locker

Locker
Which tales made you think? Choose as many as you wish, it's feedback, not a contest. [29 votes total]

The Kid Who Wasn't There (15)  51%
The Challenge That Is Tony – Live long and Prosper! (6)  20%
Fearless (13)  44%
A World Between (11)  37%
Mousetrap (14)  48%
Musketqueers (9)  31%
The Best and Worst Day of my Life (16)  55%

Just Hangin'

Just Hangin'
Which tales made you feel close to one of the participants? Choose as many as you wish. [36 votes total]

Second Skin (21)  58%
The Challenge That Is Tony – Hanging Out (11)  30%
A Game of Fox and Hare (22)  61%

In His Room

Which story interpreted the picture best?
You may tick a maximum of three stories for those you believe gave the best interpretation of the picture [32 votes total]

Nathan and Me (5)  15%
It's Only a Game (10)  31%
My Ball! Thank You! (8)  25%
A Touching Look (11)  34%
The Best Game Ever (6)  18%
Star Light, Star Bright (15)  46%
What Once Was Ours (8)  25%
Simon Says (3)  9%
Who We Are (3)  9%

Which are your favourite three stories?
You may tick a maximum of three stories which you enjoyed the most [33 votes total]

It's Only a Game (12)  36%
Nathan and Me (12)  36%
My Ball! Thank You! (2)  6%
What Once Was Ours (8)  24%
Star Light, Star Bright (19)  57%
Who We Are (1)  3%
Simon Says (1)  3%
A Touching Look (17)  51%
The Best Game Ever (6)  18%

Crimson

Which story interpreted the picture best
You may tick a maximum of three stories for those you believe gave the best interpretation of the picture. The stories are listed in the order they arrived with us [23 votes total]

My Crimson Year (18)  78%
Trapped (6)  26%
Harry and Me (8)  34%
Cousins (the Beginning) (2)  8%
Trevor and Lucas: Summer Vacation (7)  30%
Silver Lining (3)  13%

Which are your favourite three stories?
You may tick a maximum of three stories which you enjoyed the most The stories are listed in the order they arrived with us [22 votes total]

Harry and Me (11)  50%
Cousins (the Beginning) (3)  13%
Trapped (5)  22%
Silver Lining (3)  13%
Trevor and Lucas: Summer Vacation (11)  50%
My Crimson Year (19)  86%

Write a Sequel

Mood of the Original
Which sequel caught the mood of the original story best [17 votes total]

Fête or Fate (0)  0%
What Happens in Vegas (1)  5%
The Second Time Around (15)  88%
All the Colours of the Rainbow (1)  5%

Favourite
Which sequel did you enjoy the most [15 votes total]

Fête or Fate (2)  13%
What Happens in Vegas (1)  6%
The Second Time Around (11)  73%
All the Colours of the Rainbow (1)  6%

Black and White Boys

Which two stories interpreted the picture best
You may tick a maximum of two stories for those you believe gave the best interpretation of the picture. The stories are listed in the order they arrived with us [20 votes total]

Dura et Pulsans (12)  60%
Homosexual (2)  10%
Nick Park (14)  70%

Which are your favourite two stories?
You may tick a maximum of two stories which you enjoyed the most The stories are listed in the order they arrived with us [20 votes total]

Dura et Pulsans (10)  50%
Homosexual (9)  45%
Nick Park (12)  60%

Close the Lid

Which three stories deployed the phrase best?
You may tick a maximum of three stories which you think met this criterion best [32 votes total]

Tomoko and the Goren (5)  15%
Blood Call (20)  62%
All Washed Up (12)  37%
The Music Box (20)  62%
Snow Day (11)  34%

Which are your favourite three stories?
You may tick a maximum of three stories which you enjoyed the most [34 votes total]

Tomoko and the Goren (8)  23%
Blood Call (21)  61%
All Washed Up (13)  38%
The Music Box (18)  52%
Snow Day (9)  26%

"May I Help You?"

Which three stories interpreted the picture best
You may tick a maximum of three stories for those you believe gave the best interpretation of the picture. The stories are listed in the order they arrived with us [62 votes total]

Black Eyed David (32)  51%
The Elephant in the Room (38)  61%
I Do Like to Be Beside The Seaside - Getting There (28)  45%
Fifty Yard Line (4)  6%
Thrift Shop Nation (41)  66%
The Boy at the Park (8)  12%

Which are your favourite three stories?
You may tick a maximum of three stories which you enjoyed the most The stories are listed in the order they arrived with us [65 votes total]

Black Eyed David (31)  47%
The Elephant in the Room (37)  56%
I Do Like to Be Beside The Seaside - Getting There (30)  46%
Fifty Yard Line (4)  6%
Thrift Shop Nation (54)  83%
The Boy at the Park (11)  16%

Rainbow Boy

Which story interpreted the picture best
You may tick a maximum of three stories for those you believe gave the best interpretation of the picture. The stories are listed in the order they arrived with us [28 votes total]

ROYGBV (23)  82%
Independence Day (8)  28%
Glenn (2)  7%
The Eagle Dares (18)  64%

Which are your favourite three stories?
You may tick a maximum of three stories which you enjoyed the most The stories are listed in the order they arrived with us [29 votes total]

ROYGBV (23)  79%
Independence Day (14)  48%
Glenn (6)  20%
The Eagle Dares (17)  58%

Cold, Wet, and Muddy

Which story interpreted the picture best
You may tick a maximum of three stories for those you believe gave the best interpretation of the picture. The stories are listed in the order they arrived with us [47 votes total]

Aufgestellter Mausdrek (27)  57%
Bath Oliver (15)  31%
The Go-Between (6)  12%
Soggy Soccer (11)  23%
Josh (3)  6%
Grant and Marty (5)  10%
The Game of All Games (27)  57%

Which are your favourite three stories?
You may tick a maximum of three stories which you enjoyed the most The stories are listed in the order they arrived with us [44 votes total]

Aufgestellter Mausdrek (24)  54%
Bath Oliver (19)  43%
The Go-Between (14)  31%
Soggy Soccer (14)  31%
Josh (8)  18%
Grant and Marty (9)  20%
The Game of All Games (27)  61%

Chocolate Spread

Which story interpreted the picture best
You may tick a maximum of three stories for those you believe gave the best interpretation of the picture. The stories are listed in the order they arrived with us [50 votes total]

The Great and Special Test (36)  72%
I'm Not Your Baby Ruth (12)  24%
Leaving Home (8)  16%
The Chocolate Fantasy (8)  16%
Any Hole Will Do (8)  16%

Which are your favourite three stories?
You may tick a maximum of three stories which you enjoyed the most The stories are listed in the order they arrived with us [50 votes total]

The Great and Special Test (38)  76%
I'm Not Your Baby Ruth (20)  40%
Leaving Home (17)  34%
The Chocolate Fantasy (10)  20%
Any Hole Will Do (19)  38%

Of Which Nightmares are Made

Which story interpreted the picture best
You may tick a maximum of three stories for those you believe gave the best interpretation of the picture. The stories are listed in the order they arrived with us [43 votes total]

Jonah (8)  18%
The Dare (24)  55%
From the Stream to the Sea (10)  23%
Revenge (11)  25%
Of Which Nightmares Are Made (13)  30%
Avery and Me (14)  32%

Which are your favourite three stories?
You may tick a maximum of three stories which you enjoyed the most The stories are listed in the order they arrived with us [41 votes total]

Jonah (17)  41%
The Dare (26)  63%
From the Stream to the Sea (14)  34%
Revenge (12)  29%
Of Which Nightmares Are Made (8)  19%
Avery and Me (17)  41%