Tag Archives: Fifty Word Stories

Pirate Week Contest at 50-Word Stories

I bet you love pirates. Everyone loves pirates!

If you aren’t a regular reader of FiftyWordStories.com, you may not have heard about the upcoming Pirate Week that will be happening there between February 20 and 24. It’s going to be awesome. I’m going to be posting tons of pirate-themed stories sent in to me from all over the place, along with a few that I’m going to write myself.

Plus there’s a contest! The authors of my three favourite stories are going to win some really cool prizes. Here’s the list:

Read up on the full contest rules and enter now! The deadline is February 17.

Answers #2 – 50-Word Stories

Jeremy Quinn asked me the following question:

Why did you originally start doing 50-word stories?

I feel like I’ve probably related the history of my relationship with 50-word stories before, but maybe not on my blog, so here goes.

I wrote my first 50-word stories in high school. I think it was in Grade 12, but it may have been earlier. I honestly can’t remember how I first became aware of the concept. It may have been an assignment or class exercise.

All I remember for sure is that I posted a few to my blog, back when I was using a completely different URL, built every page from scratch in Microsoft Frontpage, and had zero audience whatsoever.

Most of the content on that old website didn’t get translated over through the next few iterations of my blog, but in mid-2008 a handful of 50-word stories remained, buried in the archives.

Around the beginning of 2009, a bunch of people on the Loading Ready Run forums decided that they were going to take part in a year-long photography challenge, where they had to take and post a new photo every day of the year. Not being a photographer myself, I realized 50-word stories would be an interesting writing equivalent of that project, so I bought the FiftyWordStories.com domain name, set up a WordPress install, and seeded it with those old 50s I still had kicking around.

On February 22, 2009, I started off on that journey, and now I’m four-and-a-half months through the third year of running the site. (Of course, I only write four stories per week myself, now, instead of seven, but the overall quality has definitely kept improving!)

FiftyWordStories.com has been a really fun project over the last few years. It’s especially cool to hear from people who have been inspired to try out microfiction for themselves, including a couple of creative writing classes and high school English classes. Plus I’ve been able to release two books so far, which has been a ton of fun, as well.

If you haven’t checked the site out before, go explore! There are almost 800 stories on the site (over 550 of which I’ve written myself), so there’s a pretty massive backlog to go through. Enjoy!


Have a question of your own that you’d like to see me answer? Leave a comment or get in touch with me on Twitter.

50WS Site Maintenance

FiftyWordStories.com is down today, while I try to sort out some hosting issues. Apparently the site is using too many server resources, so I have to figure out what I can do to make it run more efficiently. Hopefully I won’t have to upgrade to a semi-dedicated server or anything; I can’t really afford to do that.

I’m away from home today, since it’s Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend, so I may not be able to fix things until tonight or tomorrow. I’ll sort it all out the best I can as soon as possible.

10,000 in 2011

On Monday, June 6, the 10,000th person of 2011 visited FiftyWordStories.com.

I think this is awesome.

A lot of cool stuff has happened at 50WS so far this year, including the release of my first book of 50-word stories in January, tons of great guest story submissions, and some really fun contests (including the one that’s going on right now).

I’ve had so much fun with 50WS, and with the end of Year Two less than a month away, I’m already thinking of ways to make Year Three even better.

Thanks for the support everyone! Spread the word, and maybe we’ll be able to hit 25,000 visitors by the end of the year.

50-Word Stories Contest at GeekingOutAbout

I love working with other people and other websites, so I was really excited to take the opportunity to help www.GeekingOutAbout.com, an entertainment blog, celebrate their one-year anniversary by contributing a guest article about microfiction and cosponsoring a 50-word story contest.

I’m really looking forward to reading through the contest entries, and I hope there will be a lot of them. A $25 prize (for first place) is worth competing for! If you want to enter, email your entries to geekingoutabout@gmail.com before May 31, by the way. The authors of the top three stories are also going to get a free Fifty-Word Stories: Volume One ebook bundle.

One of the things I’ve really hoped to achieve through FiftyWordStories.com has been getting the word out about microfiction and doing my part to popularize it. Flash fiction (stories under 1,000 words) is fairly popular, but microfiction (stories under 100 words) doesn’t get a lot of attention, and I like to think that my site has gotten at least a few more people interested in the format. So that’s why I wanted to share a guest article on GeekingOutAbout, and Trisha Lynn and the other editorial staff were very helpful and open to the idea.

So check out their website, leave some feedback on my guest article, and enter the contest!

Book Order Arrival

A couple of weeks ago I put in an order for 20 copies of my book, so that I could sell them to friends, family, and locals. Guess what showed up at my door yesterday!

Twenty copies of Fifty-Word Stories: Volume One, all laid out and lookin' pretty!

Don’t they look nice? I was so happy when I found that art to use on the cover. I was able to buy the rights to it fairly cheaply, along with a couple of similar pieces of different times of day, for volumes two and three, once they’re ready. (Volume Two will probably come out before Christmas 2011, but I’m not sure exactly when.)

I was a little concerned that 20 would be too many, and that I wouldn’t be able to sell them all, but 15 of them are already accounted for. I’m trying to get them into people’s hands ASAP. If you know me personally or live near Victoria, BC, and want to put in a claim on one of the remaining 5, send me an email or a Facebook message and I’ll put one aside for you.

The cost of the book in-person is $15, which includes a $3 shipping charge. That saves you up to $5 on shipping if you order it online, depending on where you live.

50WS Valentine’s Day Contest Overview

Shortly before the release of Fifty-Word Stories: Volume One, I announced that FiftyWordStories.com would be holding a Valentine’s Day contest, where the winner would receive a free copy of my ebook. Today is Valentine’s Day, which means that the contest results have been posted.

Rammy’s winning entry, Sisters, earned the prize by being cute, sweet, and clever. I really like the twist on the “always and forever” phrase, and I’m a sucker for stories that create expectations for the reader and then undermine them, which is something Sisters does very well.

Daniel’s Robot Romance is just really funny, and that’s why I picked it as the first runner up. It’s especially good, I find, when you read the story out loud with a robot voice and a “sassy” voice. The story has earned some legitimate laugh-out-loud moments from people I’ve read it to!

I like the poeticism and originality of Derek Mullanari’s story, Binary Love, which earned the second runner up. I know how tough it is to evoke real emotion in 50 words, and I think Derek did a really good job of it, while using a unique setting and characters.

Beyond these three stories, there were a lot of great entires. In total, 22 different people sent in 29 different stories, which, to me, means the contest was a big success. Thank you so much to everyone who entered! I hope to see more stories from all of you in the future.