In February 2021, our monthly short story competition Furious Fiction celebrated three years in existence. And while the hope of taking home the top prize or being featured in the short and longlists each month is a big part of the fun, we also regularly hear from people who are just so grateful to have the opportunity to flex their creativity on a regular basis. (Shout out to the five platinum ‘superfans’ who have entered every month since it started!)
And so, as our third birthday approached, we put the call out for anyone who’d ever entered (or thought about entering) to share their own experience, insight or perspective.
More than 20,000 people have taken part in Furious Fiction since it began in 2018. As a result, we received a large number of replies to this request – and it was incredibly heartwarming reading through them all. Sadly, we can only share a fraction of them here (and even these have been edited for space), but please enjoy this selection of “stories behind the stories”. They’re thoughtful, honest, funny, relatable and ultimately an inspiring reminder that it’s not always about winning – simply taking part can be an enriching experience…
“A good friend of mine introduced me to Furious Fiction. It felt like a gift from the muses. My attempts to write since leaving university had felt like drawing blood from a recalcitrant stone; and it had once felt as natural as daydreaming. Sitting down to write my first Furious Fiction story felt like coming home. The story could in no way be considered ‘good’. But I started feeling like me again.” – Rebecca Graham
“Each piece I finish gives me a sense of joy and reminds me why I love to write so much. During this COVID period, entering Furious Fiction has been part of my self-care plan because it is something I enjoy and find rewarding. Additionally, I love reading other people’s work to see how they used the prompts to create stories of their own. It is inspiring.” – Ella Bailey
“Relentlessly, first Fridays descend on us at the beginning of every month (funny that), bullying us mercilessly, ‘get to it, get furiously writing that fiction.’ Criteria read; compulsory words copied into my notebook.
Magically an opening line appears on the screen. Now where to? A few more words arrive. What next? Too late on Friday evening, my eyes itch, I give up for the night. Waking in fright on Saturday morning, re-hydration is needed; peppermint tea is supposed to aid the creative mind.
Tea drunk, I stare at the screen, what does the opening line actually mean? A jumble of words that cannot bring themselves to form a coherent sentence? Abandoning the laptop I venture out to Aldi. More words mysteriously arrive, where did they spring from? Does anything make sense?
The printer clatters and bangs into life producing the actual printed words. Sunday sees a rewrite or three, the continuing editing process. My eyes itch, I am tired, I fall off the chair. I have forgotten to eat. Never mind, plenty of time for dining, no deadline there. I press SEND; my masterpiece floats into the universe, never to be seen again…” – Elizabeth Saxon
“Furious Fiction is pure escapism. It gives me an opportunity to delve into my creative imagination and let my thoughts roll. I have suffered from anxiety and depression for many years and I find that writing little stories is like watching a good movie. You escape reality for a little while and let your mind run free. It’s wonderful. At 61, I’m living my dreams, writing the book I never thought would happen. Furious Fiction adds to my wonderful life’s adventure.” – Rayza
“Each month I submit my effort and get that satisfaction I have written a true gem, met the challenge and pulled off the impossible. Each Sunday I get that smugness that this one is the one, the best I could do and (hopefully) the story that will be deemed the best. But then I discover on the Wednesday so many weeks later that there is a punchier story, a cleverer writer, somebody who deserved it more. I search the short list and then the long list for my name and vow that next time will be better. The fire burns anew and I long for the next first Friday to arrive.” – Tim Law
“Each month when the shortlist is out, I read – though not as a writer looking for inspiration or trying to figure out what makes the cut – but mostly as a reader, and for the love of reading. The implicit promise of flash fiction is that it hits you in a fraction of a second, but stays with you long after. With each story you read, you undertake a journey – and no matter how far and away and different, these journeys all culminate for me always at this one juncture.” – Vishaal P
“My Muse … is the classic introvert. Itching to write but afraid to come out, as it were. Ideas bubbling, stories stirring. ‘But,' she would be likely to protest, in a quiet, respectful tone, ‘I'm not good enough to compete with all those entertaining, riveting authors of wondrous tales. At least not yet.'
Then along came Furious Fiction. A safe space to write, where tentative, baby writing steps were okay to take. A few literary stumbles were allowed as long as you tried to straighten up again. Have another go or another and another. Try out your baby steps without fear of failure. Dip your writing toes in the water and see what happens.
And what happened? Trying out ideas, stringing sentences together, imagining scenes of times past and now. Daring to go deeper and swim faster. All the while gaining writer's wings. Having fun.
Now my Muse and I are doing literary backflips and deeper dives.” – Pauline Cunningham
“Even if I don’t finish it that weekend, I will eventually have another story to add to my body of work for a future competition or a publication. I’ve had stories that originated from the FF criteria, take a place or a highly commended in other competitions. I’ve encouraged my writing group to sign up to FF. When we meet on a Monday after the email arrives in our inboxes, we always discuss the criteria and read what we have written. By then, it’s a bit late to critique the work but it gives the author time to improve for a possible entry into another competition. It’s compulsive and addictive.” – Meg Dunn
“I entered Furious Fiction for the first time in early 2018 and have not missed one since. When I was shortlisted, I floated through the following month… The adrenaline buzz of sitting down to a deadline and shaping a tale around the prompts provided is such a great discipline. I consider it high intensity interval training for my imagination. Entering Furious Fiction every month has given me the courage to pursue my writing dream. I have since co-edited and published an anthology of stories and poems about COVID, have completed my first novel and am working on my second. The first Friday of every month. Bring it on.” – Johanna Skinner
“Many of my Furious Fiction Failures have been the germ of something larger. Some have been published as short stories. Others remain in the cauldron of my imagination, bubbling. Some may grow up and become novellas, or novels. Furious Fiction provides a sense of community and has helped me develop my craft and to see that stories exist everywhere in almost everything.” – Ruth Morgan
“furious /’fjuriəs/ adj.
- full of fury, violent passion, or rage.
My story is being held up as an example of excellence. Sure, it is only a Year 8 English class, but recognition feels good. The teacher pauses at the end of the story, smiles at me, and says, ‘Exemplary work. Well done.’ Her next sentence destroys my day, my school year, and my academic relationship with writing. She says, still smiling, ‘But I would expect nothing less from Robyn’s sister!’ I am furious.
- of unrestrained energy, speed, etc.
Fast forward 41 years. I discover a monthly flash fiction writing competition.
My story is being held up as an example of excellence. Sure, it is only the long list, but recognition feels good. I am long listed for a second time. The best bit is that these people don’t even care that I have a sister!” – Pam Makin
“For each Furious Fiction entry I put on my website, I design a story cover, tagline and social media post/story. Building a community around my writing has been exciting and has turned my solitary writing passion into a rewarding social exchange with readers and fellow writers. Over the years, readers have left me wonderful comments about how much they’ve enjoyed my stories, and this encouraging feedback has kept me staying positive in those moments when I’ve been filled with writers’ doubt.” – Michelle Upton
“I've been in the doldrums – lost my husband of 64 years, sold our house, moved to an apartment in a new community. Then I spotted your competition. After three cups of coffee, I forced myself to sit down and start writing. Son-of-a-gun! I made it to 500 words. So tomorrow, I'm going to get back to that long neglected book. If I can do 500 words of Furious Fiction, I should be able to do 500 words on my story. So thank you.” – Florida Town
“I challenge my team to write to enhance their creativity. As a marketing manager where much of my job is project management and managing people, I find that Furious Fiction gets the creative thought processes going. In marketing we have to think creatively and think differently if we want to make an impact, and to this end Furious Fiction has been a complete and utter blessing. I find inspiration from others who contribute and I look forward each month to reading the entries. I am a complete amateur when it comes to writing, but I am truly inspired by others. Furious Fiction makes life that little bit easier and that little bit more fun.” – Evelyn Sweetwater
“In 2020, my creative writing mojo put on its winter coat and went into hibernation. I hoped it had not left forever and fed it titbits (blog posts and so on) but couldn't settle to a large project.
Thank goodness for Furious Fiction. The competition ensured that I wrote a story, each and every month. Despite everything, it was the glimmer of hope that a creative spring could still happen someday. I learned to trust the process: that no matter how baffling the prompts might be or how stumped I was by certain criteria some months, a brainstorming session would allow an idea to spark and I would have a story by Sunday. It’s my regular dose of creativity.” – Denise Newton
“I hit rock bottom after the birth of my second child with postnatal depression and anxiety. I felt like the world was against me and I would never breathe my own air again. I had forgotten how to relax or enjoy myself. I began to write for therapy, then I began to write for fun. I wrote stories for my older son to enjoy at bedtime, and I even illustrated them. Then each month this year I have looked forward to the Furious Fiction weekend. A weekend when I could just let my imagination go wild with a small, but manageable challenge. I've never won or had a mention in the finalists, but I love the task anyway and it's been a wonderful part of my recovery this year. Thank you Furious Fiction!” – Louise Jones
“I never thought I could write fiction, but Furious Fiction takes my imagination to all different places and now I'm addicted! One month, I had surgery on the first Friday, and the doctors insisted I spend the night in ICU. My mum took my phone home and I couldn't look up the criteria! I was so annoyed, and she didn't bring it back until Saturday afternoon. I surprised myself that I could write what I thought was a pretty good story in a short time. Another month, an idea came to me late on the Sunday night. It was only 33 words, but included all the criteria! I hope it made the judges smile.” – Melanie Hawkes
“I could say it was something fun to do during a pandemic. But to be honest, each month I get that email stating another story challenge, it gives me motivation. These challenges every month have given me faith that I can endure future challenges such as a deadline for a future job or the pressure that comes along with publishing a novel. Even though I haven’t won, I’m not discouraged. As a writer, your work only gets better with experience. Writing short stories is the start of something. Thumbs up!” – Kayla
“Back in the mid-2000s, my university friend Dave and I would spend a lot of time writing silly poems and stories whilst we should’ve been studying. Thankfully, over the years our love of writing has not faded. Dave discovered Furious Fiction through a friend. He then mentioned it to me. We both live in the UK and every month we discuss the prompts and critique each other’s efforts – a great reason to stay in touch in our mutually busy lives.
My favourite FF month was when I was struggling with the prompts and Dave told me, “don’t write like you’re writing for the judges. Write like you’re writing a silly story at Uni for me.” So I did. I wrote a ridiculous story. My story got shortlisted and I was very pleased. I then realised where FF got its name. Dave was furious.” – Dominic Harris
“I used to give my Mum all the criteria for Furious Fiction, it kept her occupied for all of the weekend and kept her mind ticking over. She is now 96 and it is all beyond her, the dementia and brain tumours have too much of a grip. I don't always submit simply because I am Mum's carer and time can get away from me, but Furious Fiction is fun and a welcome relief – I always try and make the story funny to give myself a laugh.” – Christine Meehan
“Furious Fiction will always have a place in my heart. It’s the first official acknowledgement – from someone I couldn’t emotionally blackmail – that my writing had merits. Being longlisted motivated me to turn my 500 words into a novel outline – I felt I owed it to my characters who worked so hard to get me that recognition. Once I’ve written that novel, there’ll be a story in the world that won’t have existed without Furious Fiction. Thank you!” – Andrew R Krey
“It was AWC’s MOJO Month that gave me the push I needed and now I’ve submitted stories two months in a row. Yay! I’m going to enter every month that I possibly can as I love challenging myself to weave all of the criteria together to hopefully create something credible and enjoyable for the reader. I don’t need to win; I simply need to keep writing. Always.” – Karen Young
“I have been using the monthly Furious Fiction competitions to write a longer story about the same character, Frankie. Each month I have been zigzagging through the arc of a larger story. So far I have written about 8 “chapters” using the prompts. I am not sure if it's made it easier or harder and I know there are quite a few continuity errors! But it's been fun to see if I can get the prompts to bend the way I want them.” – Robyn Lang
“Initially it was a way to develop my writing through a regular habit. I have tried out different styles, stretching the creative pen so to speak, and having some fun along the way. When I first began writing, a long time ago, it was a form of escapism, at times living the part of the clumsy characters I created to better write about them and experience their trials and tribulations. Then I began writing about daily life, reality, and experiencing that through the prism of an author’s eye. Somewhere along the way these separate paths merged, and the words of Robert Frost have begun to echo in my mind. And the difference is in the step.” – Wes
“Oh, Furious Fiction, how do I praise thee! It was a dark and stormy night…just kidding. It was actually a gorgeous sunny day when I saw someone share your contest. That's how you and I were first introduced.
I had been in a writing slump. I wasn't expecting to fall for something so soon, but there you were—encouraging me and calling me in. So I took the challenge, writing about death, grief, and new beginnings.
You gifted me the opportunity to release the emotions wrapped around the family death. You lit up my life, promising better times ahead. You got me writing again.
So, my dear, sweet Furious Fiction, I thank you! I thank you for being the light at the end of a dark tunnel and reminding me that our stories matter.” – Monica La Vella
“During a Zoom catchup with my writing friends in April, Sultry Suzanne mentioned Furious Fiction as a way of getting over a writing slump. The conversation went something like this:
“Are you going to do it?” asked Eloquent Erin.
“I will if you will,” said Action Anne.
“I think I will,” said me.
Unbelievable as it sounds, my entry was long listed. When the results came out, my husband thought I’d won lotto, my whoops of excitement were so … let’s just say they weren’t dignified. I was hooked.
So, put on your dishiest dress or your most dazzling bow tie and let’s raise our glasses to Furious Fiction – may it continue to inspire, challenge, and encourage writers everywhere. Hip Hip, Hooray!!” – Leigh Garrahy
“The reminder pinged on my phone again. ‘Furious Fiction’. Aargh, I must find some time. It had been such a busy weekend but this was my new thing, entering writing competitions, and I didn’t want to miss out on this one. By the time I’d finished cooking dinner, I’d forgotten again and I settled in to do the ironing in front of the telly. It was 11pm and I was just climbing into bed when my phone pinged again. Hubby was reading beside me, and I grabbed my phone. I could do this! I rattled off a story that began with a three-word sentence, contained the requisite words and was about a gift.
Hubby had turned the light off some time ago but no sound of his signature snoring yet. I finished the final sentence, pleased. I quickly found the online form, filled out my details and submitted the story.
The next morning I asked if he’d like to read it and passed him my phone.
“I’m confused,” he said after a minute. “Why is Astrid laughing nervously? Shouldn’t it be Rose?”
Bugger, he was right.
Yep, it was a debut debacle, but onwards and upwards! Maybe next time!” – Sarah Voysey
“Christmas was coming. Interstate borders open. Visits to relatives expected. Visits completed. Ten hours left to write and edit my Furious Fiction story, and I only had a mobile phone. The story prompts had piqued my imagination. A story seed was growing. In the hotel bed, Steve slept. First draft finished. Time short. Frantic. Needing encouragement, I rang a writing buddy.
‘Sue, can you give me your honest opinion on my story?’
‘No worries Di. Email it to me. I’ll check it out.’
‘Can you shoosh! I’m trying to sleep,’ snarled sleepy Steve.
‘Sorry. I’ll be quiet’
Sue read my story, put it into a Word document, and emailed it back to my phone.
‘Word count 530. Lose some adjectives,’ Sue suggested.
Finally, the word count was 500, but time was slipping away. At ten minutes to midnight, I tried to submit my story. Sue was still on the phone. She could hear my desperation. I was on the Furious Fiction website – no, I’m not a robot… I just want to submit my story. Steve was shushing me, my phone battery was running low and I couldn’t get through. I tried for the fourth time, only to read that I’d missed the cut-off. I was devastated.
‘Don’t worry,’ Sue replied calmly. ‘I could hear what was happening and I knew your email address, so I submitted it for you!’
What a night. What a friend.” – Diana Bunsten
“I love the challenge this particular contest brings each month. It also inspired me to branch out to submit to other contests and calls for anthologies. But the real silver lining is it gave my Mom and I something in common again and got us talking when I sent her my writing to read. This helped us mend a rift we had in our relationship. Which is priceless to me. So thank you.” – N.E. Rule
“I live in the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, Flanders. That’s quite a handicap if you want to write stories in English, let alone publish a book. In March 2019, I submitted my first Furious Fiction story, and I continued doing so for sixteen months in a row. Much to my surprise, I made the long list three times. This success gave me the confidence to start writing the book I always wanted to write – in English.” – Bruno Lowagie
“Engrossed in breathing life into my mental images, I barely heard the knock on the door. I craned my neck, and the person entered. I noted puffy eyes, pallid complexion, and pained expression. At last, my sister found a voice, ‘Gramps is gone.’
Silence never felt that disturbing before. I was incapable of shedding a tear. I saw him just that morning. His presence was always uplifting, just like being surrounded with holiday decorations everywhere you turn. I longed for escapism, but I couldn’t immerse myself back in the story no matter the effort.
I couldn’t quite decipher what it was about Furious Fiction that made me remember my love for writing. There was a distinct lightheartedness about it. Others pouring out their hearts encouraged me, and there was comfort in knowing that despite everything happening, the characters live on in people’s minds and hearts. And gramps was quite a character.” – Masha Petrovic
“I was lucky enough to be longlisted three times, and I’m always discovering something a little more about the elasticity of ideas. It’s funny how the threads of an unlikely story all seem to stitch together nicely once you get going with an idea. I also participated in MOJO Month run by AWC which was packed with tips on how to break free from pedestrian descriptions and imagine things in a more unusual way, so I definitely think that helped!” – Olivia Farag
“Initially, I was only going to enter Furious Fiction for a year. It was nice to have a goal in mind, and to get the creativity going. But when the twelve months were up I didn’t want to end my streak – and now I’ve submitted a story every single month since the beginning!
I feel like I’ve honed my short story skills a lot over the years, and that became evident to me in 2020 when I made the long list for the first time. Then three more times after that! I was pretty stoked. And speaking of 2020, having a monthly writing competition to look forward to and take my mind off of multiple Melbourne lockdowns was a welcome distraction.
I also really enjoy the camaraderie on Twitter over the course of the Furious Fiction weekends. There are posts about how fun/random/tricky the prompts are, posts about the progress people are making (or lack thereof – I’ve become accustomed to what I like to call the Sunday Panic™ where I frantically think of something to write a few hours before deadline!). And of course all of the lovely well wishes and good luck posts once we’re done.
Happy 3rd Birthday to you, Furious Fiction! And thank you for giving us this wonderful creative outlet.” – Carly Mitchell
“‘It’s Furious Fiction weekend!’
‘Is it that time already?’
Since October 2019, this has become the customary ‘first Friday of the month’ conversation with my partner. The weekend then proceeds as follows:
Friday night: Read criteria. Have a near-drowning episode in endless possibilities. Acknowledge that I have a handle on exactly zero of these possibilities. Stall until Saturday.
Saturday: Ponder, grumble and moan.
Saturday night: Ping! Lightbulb moment. Frantic typing paired with adrenaline rush until way past bedtime.
Sunday: Force Mum to read it. Smile when she loves it. Submit. Relax.
That brief moment between the results email arriving and discovering that my name has yet again evaded the list – it’s like the buzz of listening to lotto results while clutching the ‘winning’ ticket with sweaty palms. So, thanks to Furious Fiction, I need not gamble!
But, gambling solutions aside, Furious Fiction is still much more to me than a writing competition. It was the thing that reignited my love of writing. Before Furious Fiction, writing was just something loved as a kid. That I used to want to do, but would probably never do. Now, writing is my ‘me-time’ thing. It’s a passion. It's a goal. It’s something I can see in my future.” – Jessica Horn
“500 words. 55 hours. I can do that.
Furious Fiction gave me a goal and a deadline. A reason to get back to my creative self. Inspiration to do something other than the daily routine of cook, clean, wipe bottoms (my daughters' that is) and channel surf each night searching for a comedy.
It was such a modest, achievable goal that I did it. A few times. And it led to more creative adventures. I have since picked up my guitar again, started an online painting course, and enrolled in singing lessons.
I still love making toilet roll reindeer with my girls, and all that being a mum entails. But Furious Fiction has helped me feel a spark of confidence and motivation to write without the pressure of it having to be good. Now I feel ready to add the bigger goal of writing a novel to the list for 2021.
50 000 words. 8760 hours. I can do that.” – Iona Krefel
“Friends found in penmanship
Unusual prompts kickstart creativity
Rigorous darling-culling inevitable
Imaginations at work
Our inner critics ignored
Until the editing begins…
Single shot of coffee. Are you kidding?
Ideas, too many ideas!
Clock is ticking!
Team Chocolate or Banoffee? Pick a side!
It’s a race to the 11:59 finish line: you snooze, you lose!
Oh no, it’s Daylight Savings… Submit! Submit!
Now you can rest (phew!) …until next month.” – Bianca Millroy
“A year ago, I didn’t have a writing room, a writing habit, or a creative mojo. I was six when I last wrote a rhyming poem, thought it was brilliant, and waited eagerly for my Grade 1 teacher to recite it aloud. When the key words didn’t cast my peers into giggles of delight, I was devastated, embarrassed, and vowed with my primary school heart to never write again.
Fast forward 45 years. I’d lost my job. I was unemployed for the first time, ever. I was lost. I moped, pouted, complained. Furious with the world I sought an outlet and found Furious Fiction. It wasn’t angry but it was fun. December 2019 was my first attempt. I made the long list and have been writing ever since, in my writing room. The monthly contests have come like clockwork, a constant reminder that creativity is always there. You just have to unleash it.” – Connie Boland
“I was fortunate to have two of my stories shortlisted in 2018 and 2019, however it’d been some time since I’d hit the mark again in Furious Fiction. And I knew why.
My submissions were rubbish. Good ideas were burnt as I turned 55 hours into less than five, beating myself up when my name didn’t appear come end of month.
‘That’s fine,’ I told myself. ‘There are many great writers out there. Try again next month.’
And I did. And I ignored my tools. And I missed out again.
After another poorly executed attempt, I went back and re-read my shortlisted entries. It’d been some time but the distance was effective.
They were good. I liked them. I could write.
When May 2020 arrived, I promised to commit to something I would personally be proud of. The story came fast, as if the writing part of my brain knew it wasn’t being cheated. I cut, polished and stood back. The story made me smile. This was good.
Doubts rained upon me during the wait for the results but when they arrived, I had been longlisted.
The rush I got! Validation that taking time and using the tools I learnt in Short Story Essentials will help get a result was wonderful.
I’m still trying to get back on the lists, but there *are* a lot of good writers out there.
And I’m one of them.” – Russell Fox
“First Friday of every month = check criteria at exactly 5pm.
First Sunday of most months = furiously polish story at approximately 11pm.
I also write best to a deadline. Therein lies the allure of this competition. The actual writing is saved for Sunday night.
After 32 stories, I’ve discovered my procrastination knows no bounds. Apart from four entries between 7-10pm, my typical submission is after 11.30pm. If that isn’t cutting it fine, ten of those entries are post 11.55pm, including a couple of nail-biting 11.59s…
I casually check my word count and realise I only have a minute or so to fill in the submission form. Click click click, I’ve done this so many times I know the drill. Copy-paste. Submit. Yes! Done.
Wait, what’s this??? Prove I’m not a robot? In twenty seconds? WHICH ONES ARE THE BLOODY TRAFFIC LIGHTS? My heart is in my throat. Click click click.
Submit. Thank you – your story has been accepted.
Living on the edge, literary-ly.” – Seetha Nambiar Dodd
“April 2020. My finger hovers over the Submit button. Inspired by my colleague who won the March round, I’m participating in my first Furious Fiction. I’ve spent the last two days writing my short short story, shaping it like a sculptor with a clay statue. Adding a bit on here, smoothing a bit off there. Writing, rewriting, tweaking, proofing. It’s ready. I think it’s ready. Is it ready? Wait, I have a better synonym for ‘help’ … ‘succour’ – yes, much better. And do I really need that part about the cars whizzing by? Does it add anything? It’s fine, I’ll keep it in. Just hit the damn Submit button! Do it! You’ve got nothing to lose!
*gasp* I’ve done it. No turning back now.
And so it goes, every Furious Fiction, every month onwards in 2020. The anticipation for the first Friday, seeing what the criteria is. The formulation of a story, half plotting, half pantsing. The agonising over every sentence, every word, every punctuation mark. The hesitation as my finger hovers over the Submit button. The final re-read. The final re-proof. The relief (and slight anxiety) when my finger finally hits the button. The waiting, oh the waiting. The rejection. The dejection. The anticipation for the first Friday …
Despite not winning (yet …), I know that each month, I’m developing my writing skills, building my portfolio, nourishing my soul.” – Cathryn Lewin
“I use Furious Fiction to imagine myself in so many other places. He does not have internet or computer access so can not participate and lose himself like this. But, we do have the chance to share my FF contributions. I read them out to him during the allowed 3 minute phone calls. My ability to use different accents helps give depth to often shallow stories and superficial characters. My hope is that he will be inspired to produce artworks from their contents – who knows – the future holds endless possibilities.
My goal is to have a small book of these Future Fiction stories ready for him, my son, when parole is granted.” – Ninon
“I'm a voyeur! I've never submitted anything to Furious Fiction. I read all the winning stories, silently congratulating those brave enough, motivated enough to develop their craft.
I have it. I think I do. I hope I do, I'm just not sure if I'm any good.
Every month when Furious Fiction comes around, I promise myself this month I'll enter. I never do. I'm a busy person after all far too busy to immerse myself in the magical, wonderful dream-state that writing wraps you in. While gardening I find my stories. A watch a cheeky mouse pilfering food left in the chook coop while the chooks chase noisy sparrows bathing in the water bowl. I see my stories.
I'd love to share them.
I make this public statement to join in the journey, if not a tad behind most. Nevertheless I'm quietly, full of hope joining the throngs of creative, inspirational, interesting dream-makers that are involved in Furious Fiction. I think it's a brilliant platform for ‘doubting Doras' like me to just pick up that pen and allow the flow from your brain, through your heart to trickle down your pen.
That is my experience.
And so I make my pledge.” – Irene Darkins
“The storm had battered the little island off Lombok for two days. We had been cut off, no phone service, no internet and no way off the island. I'd completed January’s Furious Fiction in Adelaide three weeks prior at my parents house. I had sat at the breakfast table with my 95-year-old father. Every morning he does the crossword from the paper. Watching him inspired me to write that month’s entry…
Three weeks later, when the storm had finally passed on our little tropical island, I was able to access my emails. It took a moment to register when I saw ‘Congratulations' $500 and my name. Excited is an understatement. In my flustered state I had even asked a local (English as a very distant second language) if they would like to read my winning story. Days earlier, when the winning story had been announced to the FF world, I was oblivious, sheltering on a small island in a tropical monsoon. I've entered every Furious Fiction. Thank you AWC for inspiring me to challenge myself.” – Robyn Noble
- 5.00pm Read through the prompts sent through via email.
- 5.05pm Panic.
- 5.10pm Brainstorm.
- 5.30pm Decide I will never become a writer.
- 6.30pm Order Uber-eats.
- 8.00pm Consume high-fat, high-salt, calorific food. Drink a glass or two of wine.
- 8.30pm Decide I’m too bloated to think, and watch 4 hours of Netflix instead.
- 9.00am Sleep in. Drink tea. Stare at prompts.
- 12.00pm Decide not to do Furious Fiction this weekend. Convince myself this is ‘self-care’.
- 6.30pm Eat leftovers. Drink a glass of wine.
- 8.30pm (Refer to Friday night .)
- 9:00am Revisit prompts. Ask daughters for ideas. Respectfully reject ideas. Look at prompts again. Repeat.
- 7.00pm Regret not writing. Look at prompts. Decide I’ll write something. Anything. Stare at blank computer screen.
- 7.30pm Write the first sentence. And I’m away!!
- 11.54pm Submit! Log onto Twitter for warm fuzzies from the #furiousfiction community. (Feel inadequate realising some submitted on Friday night.)
Despite my love/hate relationship with Furious Fiction, it has taught me a few things about my writing style:
- I'm a planner in my real life but a complete pantser in my writing life.
- Self-doubt does not write stories, and Uber-eats empties my wallet and shrinks my clothes.
- Writing a few words is enough of a spark to start the story engine.
- Stories CAN come from thin air, and it's loads of fun seeing them materialise.
I'm looking forward to twelve #furiousfiction weekends in 2021 (without the Uber-eats…).” – S.D. Scott