Fifty-word short story challenge - story round-up and new prompt

in #challenge2 years ago (edited)

Welcome to the 50-word short story challenge, where each week micro-fiction authors rise to the challenge to write a short story in just 50 words. This post provides some tips for writing micro-fiction, a review of last week's 50-word stories, some highlights of the week, and a new prompt for the coming week.

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(Image credit: Original image by rawpixel, Pixabay)

Micro-fiction writing workshop

Writing micro-fiction is a fun and challenging way to practice tightening your writing and making every word count.

How do you write a 50-word story?

There is no one right way. But it might help you to follow some basic steps:

  1. Study the prompt and think about its meanings. Last week, for example, the prompt word was "money." Money has so many implications, and the Fifty Worders explored many themes -- from cryptocurrency topics to people not having enough money to money used as a vehicle for a deadly toxin.
  2. Draft your story. Just write the story that comes to mind. Once you have words written down, you have something to work with.
  3. Edit the story to get it just right. Make sure the story has a story line and at least one character. Make sure it has an impact for the reader. Swap out words that don't work well, or that don't feel meaningful, and swap in better, stronger words.
  4. Make sure that it came to 50 words exactly.
  5. Find an image that represents what you want to convey. (Note: An alternative method is to start with an image that represents the prompt word. That also works well.)
  6. If you like, add a "backstory." For example, this could be information clarifying the impetus behind the story, such as a real event in your life, an historical event, or thoughts about the theme of the story. For example, in my story this past week, "One for the money," I shared some thoughts about the complex issues that families can experience because of money.
Tip of the week: Before you post your story, have someone else read it. Ask your reader to explain the story to you. If you are not getting your meaning across, you may want to do some more editing.

Last week's story collection

I’d like to welcome our newest contributors, @aleli, @anutu, @aresbon, @emergehealthier, @erh.germany, @four20, @marciabon, and @yeceniacarolina. Thanks for joining the Fifty Worders!

Here is the complete list of stories inspired by last week's “money” prompt:

If I missed yours, please let me know and I will add it! I always try my best to list them all, but I do occasionally miss one.

Highlights of the week

Each week I highlight a few intriguing stories from the previous week's collection that I hope will inspire current and new Fifty Worders. There were so many great stories this week, I really struggled to choose just a few highlights. To do so, I went with a theme — poignant, touching, heart-wrenching and uplifting stories about money. But there were so many more!

A Toy for Heaven, by @therosepatch

This one is not for the faint of heart.
“Not enough, kid.” The clerk pushed the money to the edge of the counter.

Bobby clutched the stuffed rabbit. His baby sister was born too small. She needed a toy to play with in Heaven.

He dropped the rabbit and left. He would give her one of his soldiers instead.

The Blue Balcony, by @anutu

In this sweet story, the author describes a child's spunky determination.
Boy Jeremy stood on the blue balcony, when grandfather visited. „What will you do with the money I gave you for your piggybank?“

„Buy time!“


„Mom works hard and barely has time for me. With money I can buy one day with her. With money I can buy everything!“

Your Money's No Good Here, by @creatr

For those who need their faith in humanity restored....
Trembling, eight year old Sally extended her fist. The box at her feet held a kitten with a broken foot, mewling pitiably.

Sally opened her hand slowly, revealing a quarter and two dimes.

"Can you fix Mindy's paw?"

Vet Parker picked up the box.

"Sweetheart, your money's no good here."

Query, by @aleli

Sometimes we couch the truth inside some gentle fiction.
"What is life about?" The girl asked.

The young man didn’t know how to answer the question. His life was full of work, no luxury, no rest. His employers were only seeking one thing: money; but she was too small to know the truth. Therefore, he said “fun” smiling kindly.

Free Entry, by @kaelci

In this touching story, the author shares the anguish a child feels when something wonderful is off limits.
Lights, colours, laughter! It looked so much fun! Tugging at her mother's skirt, Alexandria pointed.

"Sorry, hon... not enough money; next time."

This was the seventh 'next time', she had counted. Her tears welled as she was dragged away. One day, she would build her own funpark! With free entry.

The Art of the Deal, by @preparedwombat

In this historical fiction piece, the author creates a fictionalized account of a real (and devastating) event from the 1500's.
The table collapses under the accumulation of ransom.

And still the flow of gold into the room continues. More than a horse could carry. Maybe more than an elephant could carry, if we’d brought one on the galleons.

What a naïve fool this man is, thinking we’ll let him live.

Excellent work, everyone!

This week's 50-word story prompt

The prompt for this week is “water.” I look forward to reading your stories, Fifty Worders!


Please review carefully. Images must follow the Proper use of images guidelines below.

  1. Write a story in 50 words. (It's especially cool if you can hit 50 words exactly!)
  2. Use the #fiftywords tag, and post the link in the comments of this post.
  3. Be sure to read and upvote the work of the other participants. It's all about community!
  4. Use only artwork that you have the right to use, and attribute it properly. See the following guidelines.

Proper use of images

Proper use of images means one of the following:
  1. The image is public domain, or under creative commons licensing rules.
  2. It is your own image.
  3. If it is not one of the above, you must have actual permission.
Be sure to properly attribute the image’s source or mention that the image is yours. And if it's not public domain, under creative commons license, or your own image, be sure to state that you have permission.

I have two resources for you, from my friends at @thewritersblock:

And speaking of @thewritersblock, it's a great place to hang out and rub elbows with other writers. Check them out on Discord.

Deadline for this week: Saturday, September 8th. (With a grace period until the new prompt is published.)

The 50-word story clan

I'm mentioning you here if have participated in the #fiftywords short story challenge in the past. Please let me know if you would like your tag removed in this or future posts. (Note that I do trim the list. Those who have not participated for a long time or are not active on Steemit will eventually drop from the mentions.)

@ablaze, @adigitalife, @aggroed, @agmoore, @ahmadmanga, @akdx, @aksounder, @aleli, @alexandered, @alheath, @anikekirsten, @anixio, @anonymummy, @anutu, @aresbon

@bagpuss, @beginningtoend, @bex-dk, @blueteddy, @botefarm, @brectar, @bryarose23

@caleblailmusik, @carn, @celsius100, @cheekah, @cizzo, @clacrax, @creatr

@damianjayclay, @dbzfan4awhile, @deirdyweirdy, @desmoniac, @diebitch, @dirge, @donnest, @drahries

@eaglespirit, @elbrujo, @elementm, @emergehealthier, @emwalker, @enjar, @erh.germany, @eroticabian, @esttyb, @evgsk

@fairyhedgehogg, @feebie, @felixgarciap,, @ficciones, @four20, @foxfiction, @foxyspirit, @fromage

@gaming-stuff, @girlbeforemirror, @gmatthe2

@haisa, @happyhairdays, @henry-gant, @hlezama

@iamthegray, @isa93

@jadams2k18, @janine-ariane, @jasminearch, @jayna, @jluvs2fly, @jonknight,

@kaelci, @kally, @khadija14, @kimberlylane, @kingspiration, @ktfabler

@lightoj, @liverussian, @lucylin, @luiskrupaz

@Mammasitta, @marciabon, @marie-jay, @mark-dahl, @mgaft1, @mineopoly, @miniature-tiger, @mizdais, @momzillanc, @mydivathings

@negativer, @niallon11

@olakunle10, @opiman

@paintingangels, @papacrusher, @phillyc, @pixiehunter, @pizzachain, @poeticnest, @preparedwombat, @prydefoltz, @purpledaisy57, @pyrowngs

@ravencorinn, @riottales, @rodrigocabrera, @roxy-cat, @rvag5

@sidequest, @spalatino, @stbrians, @steemgiant, @steemitdiversify, @sue-stevenson

@tanglebranch, @thatlovechild, @theironfelix, @therosepatch, @thinknzombie, @tiatu, @tinkerrose, @tuwore, @tygertyger

@vaitelavicius, @vdux

@wa2qr, @yeceniacarolina, @yimiipsa, @yoganarchista, @zen-art

Thanks so much for reading! I hope you try the 50-word challenge. It's so fun to see what can unfold in a mere 50 words!

Animated signature


Posted from my blog with SteemPress :


This will be my first time joining the fifty-word challenge (thanks to the inkubator community). Here is my story: Rebirth. I hope you enjoy and will look forward for future participation.

Hi @poetrybyjeremy. Glad you could join us!

This week's piece is a little more personal than usual for me. Hope you like it.


Thank you so much @jayna for featuring my little story and your kind words, what a lovely surprise in the morning.

While reading through the other stories, I enjoyed the time so much. So many gems, what a great time I had.

This is such an awesome initiative, thank you so much for it!

It amazes me, the art that comes out of these teensy 50-word stories. I love it.

Indeed! Working on a new 50 words story already, hope I can finish it in time. Wanted to continue the story about my aunt this week and so I did but it took more time than I thought. Had too many emotions coming up while writing it :)

That does happen! It probably means it's good to be writing about it.

Yes, definitely, now, after 20 years I feel it is the perfect time.

@jayna You have received a 100% upvote from @introbot because this post did not use any bidbots and you have not used bidbots in the last 30 days!

Upvoting this comment will help keep this service running.

Congrats to the winners. It was fun to read the entries. I am happily taking in the next round:

Ah, but there are no winners, @erh.germany.

I just want to make sure everyone knows this a challenge (not a contest), and each week I highlight a few stories that I think will inspire other 50-word story writers. But there are no winners in the challenge. :-)

Laughter! Thanks for correction. I am getting confused. :)

Laughter is a wonderful thing!

Great! I'm glad you will be a regular participant. (One note: it is not a contest, as we are not doing prizes. It's a "challenge" -- just an opportunity to try fitting a whole story into 50 words!) :-)

it's fine ... thanks :)

Regards, @jayna and community fiftywords
My entry to the contest:

Hullo! Thank you for the feature! :D
Here is my offering for this week's prompt ~

(water is such a great prompt!)

Not sure if I've made it before the deadline (my days are all blending in together), but I threw together a piece

Yes, just in time. I am about to publish the new post!

Here it my entry for the week:

"The Blessing of God We All Share"



Dear @jayna thank you again for this amazing wonderful contest! Here is my entry ...
Have a beautiful day everybody!

Beautiful stories everyone. Here is the link to my story this week:

Hi @jayna

I missed last round but I'm in this week. And it's great to be back. 🙂
I hope you'll like my short story.

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Here be me submission: smokin’ water for this contest here. (This post has two prompts, the top prompt being this post’s prompt and the bottom a recent haiku contest, Mizu No Oto, that I officially am participating in now. Anyways, I got the links inside of my post if yer interested.)

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