Constrained Writing Contest #25 + Winners of Constrained writing contest #24

constrained writing contest.jpg

Most writing contests give you a writing prompt or at least a couple of words to work your idea around, which is why I decided to host a slightly different contest.

A constrained writing contest

Instead of being given an idea or a writing prompt, you are allowed to choose the topic completely by yourself. But, varying from week to week, you will face different challenges that limit your writing.

You will be required to omit certain words, use a specific word in every second sentence, use a given sentence unchanged, write a story with a certain amount of words... or a combination of all.

Winners of constrained writing contest #24

In case you're wondering, the answer is yes, this is, indeed, a copy-paste of what @metzli sent me:

Hi Writers,

For those of you who don’t know me, I'm @metzli, a former creative writing teacher who loves reading stories.

I “judge” a little bit differently than @Svashta as minor grammatical errors don’t bother me (that’s what editors are for! lol) as long as the story is “juicy.”

I had lots of fun reading this week, and these were three stories that stuck out to me:

As much as the story was about the kids, I couldn’t help connecting with the mom. Was she really making a cake that was a reminder of her children’s “soul separation”?
The story was twisty, and easy reading. Short enough to give it a few good reads too.

I laughed so much at this story. It perfectly reminds me of my kids and their anticipation issues. 5 minutes is SO LONG for a little child, and this story captured the agonizing wait that birthday parties can be perfectly. I enjoyed the kid mentality in this story.

This story was able to portray childlike happiness without using the word “happy.” A little love and a lot f planning can take you far.

Thank you for writing this week. I’ll be back next week as a writer.

Honorable mentions in alphabetical order:

@svashta's note: This week's entries were very fresh and I must say many of them stuck with me. I left some more of my thoughts in the comments below your stories. ;)

Proof of payment:

With that out of the way, onto constrained writing contest #25!


This week it I'm the judge again!

Here is what I came up for this week (with the help of last week's judge @metzliThanks!):

  • Write a story that involves time-travel, but never mention time or their location. (Like what year they travelled from/to. Tell us about the time and location by describing the surroundings.)
  • The story must be at least 250 words long and in English

And as for the usual mumbo jumbo, here's the rest of the rules just about every contest has:

  • Upvote this post
  • Post a link to your entry in the comments below
  • Include tag #constrainedwriting among your other tags
  • Should you wish to help raise awareness of the contest, please consider resteeming this post (it is by no means compulsory)


I will pay out this post's payout in full, both SBD and STEEM!

  • 1st place: 45% of post's payout
  • 2nd place: 27% of post's payout
  • 3rd place 18 % of post's payout
  • Judge takes 5 % for his/her efforts
  • I will take 5 % for hosting, writing and editing the contest

*Note: In case I receive any donations for the contest, the payout percentages apply to the donation itself as well.


This week I am the judge of the Constrained Writing Contest I am responsible for picking the winners on my own discretion, but I promise to try my best and be as objective as possible.

What's that I hear? You wish to be a judge too? Well look no further!
To apply for a judge and make up your own rules, simply send @svashta a hearty hello on Discord (Svashta#5207).

*Disclaimer: I will only allow fellow writers as judges to keep the competition high quality.


  • Entries are accepted until this post's payout
  • Your entry post must be newer than this post

Good luck!



My first time entering this contest. The stories from last week were great so this week i am entering. Hope you enjoy reading.

Hi @cheekah I've just go around to reading the entries having spent my week writing, ditching and eventually re-writing my entry. I was taken aback a fraction as both of our stories have paragraphs inferring lack of pollution, traffic, noise etc... so it seems we have a likeness in thought. I liked your idea of tribesmen and pictured the naked people with curious faces. Thank you for joining.

Thank you for reading. I am definitely reading your entry now.

Great contest idea - my first piece from my writing-only account :)

Awesome - 3rd. On the podium again. Thank you @metzli and @Svashta

Fantastic writing from @kaelci and @figuringoutsrn . Two very different writing styles. I love it. That's what this contest is all about.
Well done too to all the other entrants. Stick with #constrainedwriting #contest and I'm sure we'll all have a lot of fun.

As for this week... oh wow, my head is bursting with ideas already.

Exactly! Different writing styles, but because of the same constraints, all inside the same "frames" :D Pretty awesome stuff indeed! :D

It is!? :D I can't wait to read it! Though I think I'll wait again until near post-payout and read all at once.... Or I might not... Don't know :P

You’re very welcome, it was lots of fun for me.

Thanks for the shoutout! :) Here's another strange, rambling entry

Great! I will start working up my time travel ideas ass soon as possible! Congratulations for the last week winners, Looking forward to start reading all works and opinions. Good luck everybody.

@svashta here's this week's. It took a while as I had too many ideas. Sorry it's long but I didn't want to shorten it. Besides I wrote it this afternoon and now I have proper housewifey stuff to do LOL


No problem! :D I don't mind a long entry! Especially on such a topic! :D Going to read it now! :D

I'll give it a read around the payout time of this post, but I'll give it an upvote now! :D

Thank you very much for your entry! ^^

My entry. Great prompt. I really enjoyed writing this story, maybe too much, got almost close to 2k words. I hope you will make it to the end :)

What a great story. Mind was 2500 and a bit long so you needn't have worried. I think the subject matter lent itself to the extensions. I like the way you left it - to see if in our mind we killed her or she escape. ;) Good writing... I feel beaten already ;)

Thank you for the compliments, although I try my best with my stories I enjoy reading all entries so we are all winners in the end. Reading other people's work I improve myself

I agree with that... after all no one can write a book unless at first they have read a book ;) I love all the different styles we have and all the different ideas from a one liner prompt. We should all get together and print them in one collaborative ebook ... we'd be rich (HAHAHAHA)

Now that you mention it, I remember reading a book som 15 years ago (can't remember the name) which was actually a collection of short sci fi stories, interesting concept. An idea for @svashta maybe

Something I've always wanted to do. I can write short but not novella or longer. I lose energy for that. My brain is far full of stuff. Its like a babbling stream ... @Svashta should def do something with the idea though :)

I'm exactly the same as you are, or at least I was! But I've now realized what the problem was.
I was used to sitting down and writing 1-2k words in one sitting. I was writing the full story in one sitting, even if it was 4000 words long. It was exhausting, but yet, still rewarding.
But then when I set out to write soemthing longer, like a book, the problem was I still wanted to produce that same 1000-2000 words when I sat down... And that's not an easy thing to do. It takes a long time, it takes a lot of concentration, it eats up your nerves and you're surely not ready to take on another such challenge the next day (unless you're a professional writer, of course)..
So what I've learned through the "Wild West" story that I have ongoing, that is now rather long already, and is only just well getting started, is that it's not so much about the volume you manage to put out daily, but the consistency.
I cannot consistently, on a daily basis, write 1-2k words continuing yesterday's story, because I also need time to edit, think of something new, ... ... ... you know how it works... And because it's such a hassle to produce 1-2k words a day, I often found myself with excuses or too little time in general not to write anymore, and just abandon the project (looks at several abandoned stories with great potential, all stopped at around the 4000 word mark)...
But with Wild West, I do "as little" as 200-300 words a day, it takes me ~5 minutes to write the text/general idea of what I want to convey, maybe another 5-15 to edit, for a grand total of max 20 minutes a day. There is NO EXCUSE in the world good enough for me to not take that time and write.
And I know, I know, 200-300 words doesnt seem like much... But that way I've managed to produced a couple ten thousand words in ~100 days, and they've passed reeeeal quick! Just like everything else, consistency is key.
If you cannot write 1k words a day consistently, just try less. Go for 100 words a day. Or go for "write 5-10 minutes a day"... Something that you can consistently stick to, without dreading it.
And before you know it, you'll have a long story written already :D
Looking long term, 2-3 years from now I'm looking to finish Wild West, in the same pace I'm writing it today... And sure, 2-3 years sounds like an awful long time, but I know for a fact that if I tried to do it faster, I'd give up after the first week. For sure.

Take my advice with a grain of salt, because I've never written a book myself, but still, I believe consistency>all applies pretty much everywhere in life, and I've only now truly come to understand its importance. Writing, fitness, work, ... Consistency.
A plan that you can consistently stick to is far superior to the one that is most optimal, but you cannnot stick to consistently.

And in case you and/or @spalatino write a book... I want to buy a hard printed copy, thank you very much. Signed, if possible. :P

I'm consistently slack and consistently distracted LOL. I paint - as you know, I write - as you know, I run a house, pets, husband, job, am currently fixing up the house and garden (landscaping next week :O ) and somewhere in there I breathe ;) But I get you. I can see the benefits. I guess when the time is right, when my life quietens downs a little I can apply myself consistently and then I'll write the stories I've always wanted to. Good advice from you -definitely

An idea for all of us, I'd say. Even if I were the one to compile the stories together, I'd still have to have your full consent for doing so.
Copyrights and rightful credits, youkno. :P
But it's a cool idea, nevertheless! :D

Heeeey, YES We should do that! :D
We should absolutely do that!
"Short stories by your favorite writers"

Happy day, My entry

creativity make us enjoy our life and you do it. This contest will make every autrhor will be creative to develope the story. As a describing text about place and time without mention time and place. It is interseting cause we need "cook the word" into beautiful sentences and make good post.
congrat to the winner

Thanks for these kind words! :D And yeah, It's a challenge to force authors to be creative and describe the character's surroundings. The visuals, the smells, the sounds, ... All of which can, and should, help the reader get an idea of where and when the character exists. :D

Congrats to the winners! Can't wait to jump in this week!

Thank you! :D @Metzli and @svashta!! And a big congratulations to @suzanrs and @figuringoutsrn !! :D

My story was a bit different ;) I tried to leave it as open to interpretation as I could. Were the twins ghosts? Were they stuck in a strange purgatory? Did the mother exist at all? Was she really making a carousel cake to remember a death caused by carousel or was it all just a creation of the black eyed man to taunt the one cognizant girl?


But! Synchronicity!! I had a dream about time travelling just the other night :o maybe I can pick bits and pieces from it for this week. Twiddles fingers! :D (actually, it might end up some weird conspiracy theorist fantasy, but, we'll see!)

I like stories that are open to interpretation, and many of my own are too! ;D
But yeah, definitely a creepy, creepy story you wrote. :3

Well then! I bet it was something very creative! :D I want vivid imagery, as if I'm dreaming myself! ;P
I'll take weird conspiracy theories, no problemo! :D

I look forward to reading your time travel story. Your other story definitely stuck with me...

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Thanks, I hope to do better

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