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  • Katrina Carruth

#Horrorween Writing Challenge 2020!

Ok… picture this:

Crisp fall air.

Leaves falling from every tree.

A glorious, frothy hot cup of coffee (or cocoa/tea/whatever.. if you INSIST it's not coffee).

The comforting aroma of something spectacularly sweet baking in the oven – the smell of apples, cinnamon, pumpkin, maple, or even toasted pecan.

A fireplace crackling across the room, sending warmth your direction as you settle into your oversized armchair.

The feeling of how perfectly your new pens glide across the pages of your fresh notebook.

Feeling ready to write yet?

I am.

After slowly getting my motivation to write back over the last couple of months, I decided to create an October writing challenge. My inspiration for the challenge was born after considering a few things:

1) I love all things horror and Halloween.

2) I want to get more comfortable writing flash and short fiction.

3) I've been hoping to tap more into my writing voice and feel the best way to do that would be to create a scenario where I can't take myself (and writing) too seriously.

4) I have quite an obsession with the movie/board game Clue. (Well, murder mysteries in general, honestly. I'd take this time to formally apologize to my poor parents for having to put up with my need to host several murder mystery dinners for my friends growing up but, alas, that is not what this post is about.)





I put so much work into creating this challenge for myself that I decided to share it here (and on Instgram @katrinacarruthauthor) for anyone who may want to participate with me.

*Drumroll*

May I present:


After mashing those four components together, I created three lists – who, where, & what – one for each day of the month.




My plan is to randomly select one item from each list every day and use it to write a piece of flash fiction or scene.

If you want to make it easy for yourself and just go in numbered order, that's totally fine. You can also select only one or two items from each list and use those as inspiration. The possibilities are endless!

I've personally already printed and cut out each item to draw from each day and will be posting on Instagram what options I pulled - in case you'd like to wait and see what random items I've drawn each day and use those.


Writers' HQ recently posted this article that I've found to be most helpful for breaking into flash fiction:



AND... last but not least, I HIGHLY recommend you watch this lecture on short fiction by Mary Robinette Kowal. Prepare to have your mind blown. Literally. I'm not kidding. Chunks of brain will start flying out of your ears.


IF you decide to participate in this challenge with me, be sure to use the #horrorween hashtag so I can find you! You can also tag me on Twitter @katrinacarruth.


I can't wait to get started! Happy Halloween!

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