I think it's neat

Writing Contest Idea – Feedback Please!

I’ve been working on design techniques and making more pre-made book covers. Now, keep in mind, I’m more than happy to make changes to my pre-made designs if such differences will better suit an indie author’s needs. I mostly make them for practice and to give an idea of what I’m capable.

But what we’re really here to talk about today is an idea that I had while staring at this fantastic cover I designed last night, one that cannot be sold to anyone as is but is still too cool to let it collect virtual dust in a file on my hard drive.


All the pictures are CC0 public domain photos, but with the faces and not knowing if there are model releases, I cannot use them for retail sale of the design. I am sure I could ask the photographers, but at this point it didn’t seem worth it to bother them.

BUT while staring at this book cover design, I kept thinking it reminds me of a movie cover, and ideas for stories started popping into my head. That got me thinking that it would be fun to use this cover as story inspiration for an adventure and/or contemporary fantasy short story contest!

What I’d like feedback on is fairly simple:

  1. Would you write a short story (2,000-7,000 words) for this contest?
  2. What sort of prize would be worth winning? (within reason as I am on a tight budget, but depending on ideas we could get multiple people to contribute to a grand prize?)
  3. Would you be interested in having a story possibly included in a book of adventure and fantasy fiction short stories compiled and then sold with the intention of all proceeds going to a charity such as Compassion International, Salvation Army, or Gospel for Asia?

Feedback on this can go in the comments below, or contact me through Twitter @RachaelRitchey or on Facebook @WritingRaci if you don’t have a WP account. You can also email me: info@rachaelritchey.com

039story contest

Make sure to share this post so that as many writing people as we know can contribute to the coming together of this contest and stories! There are still lots of details to work out, but now that this is written, I have no doubt we’re going to make this short story contest a reality!

The guy is photographer and director Jakob Owens (@JakobOwenss or Unsplash) and the girl is a photo on Unsplash “curated” by Marta Boixo (Unsplash). The building comes from Mukul Saini (ArtFreak or Unsplash) and the cave is Daniel Burka (@dburka or Unsplash)

31 thoughts on “Writing Contest Idea – Feedback Please!”

  1. This sounds like a brilliant idea! I started my blog, rhythmofthewords.wordpress.com, back in September to give people a taste of my writing style and try and grow through what I discover about other authors. I would gladly enter a writing contest such as this, as I’m sure it’ll be a great chance for both me and other young writers to get a bit of exposure at something new and exciting. I look forward to what comes out of this!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello! You do not know me, but I run my blog, https://fictionfanaddict.wordpress.com/. I am a young student trying to become an author! I love participating in writing contests. Your idea with using a book cover for a short story inspiration is brilliant! I do not know what prize would work. Honestly, I could settle for anything. Also, putting winners in a book of mixed short stories is a great idea and I feel it would be very interesting to read!
    -TTFN, Somebody, Somewhere over the rainbow

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi! Nice to meet you. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your thoughts and introducing yourself! In the new year I’ll hopefully have put together an outline for this writing prompt contest thingy-ma-jig, and then we can give it a go. Really looking forward to it. 🙂


  3. I’d love to try and participate! How many stories will make up the anthology? Will there be multiple winners? I also love the idea of donating the proceeds to charities like Gospel for Asia. As for the prize, I like the ideas mentioned here that you design a cover for the winner, or something book related like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fantastic! 🙂 Depending on the length of each story, I’m thinking about 15 to 20 stories. I think story length should fall between 1 – 5,000. What do you think? Is that too short? Should I reduce the amount in the anthology and lengthen the story word limit? So many things to plan and decide! I want to have it ready to announce by the beginning of January. And I definitely want you to be a part of this. There will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. It will be fun! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry I’m late in replying. I like how you planned things out though. It kind of makes it more fun having a large number of winners, and it also means more people will support and advertise the final book!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Ooh, late as always to see posts in my favourite blogger list…excuse…um…#NaNoWriMo and writing swap versus social media, saving throw failed. C’est la vie. I digress.

    Cracking cover, and a short story anthology…err…I’m in!

    But early November post…and it’s now almost December…tragedy…must do better…including sending this author spotlight email! And test those awesome banners you made too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha November is the worst month to introduce any new writing schemes. 🙂 I haven’t even have time to really delve into this writing idea, and I didn’t even do NaNo this year. I am thinking I’ll prep this for the first three months of the new year. It will have some rules and some prizes. 😀 So glad you’re in!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If you’re thinking anthology I’ll link up if you need beta reading or editing feedback. It sounds a great idea, but not this time of year as you say. Will be contacting you soon too as I must get this branding thing sorted along with your author spotlight 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Rachel. Great idea to use a book cover as inspiration for a story. It certainly is an exotic background. The only problem I have is writing a pov character to correspond to the image of the guy on the cover. I would prefer to have more latitude. As for a prize for your contest, I like Audrey Driscol’s idea of a book cover design by you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi John! Thanks for the input. 🙂 I am going to say, I think the good news is that this cover is really just meant as inspiration. I’d love to hear what sort of POV character you’d be more inclined to pursue, though! 🙂 Designing covers is an enjoyable pastime for me, so I’m all for that suggestion. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sounds like a great idea. You’re right, that image is inspiring. 1. I could contribute a story (hopefully with a comfy deadline). 2. What about a cover image as a prize? 3. It makes sense to produce a book of the best stories, with proceeds to a good cause. Count me in too. Roger’s enthusiasm is infectious.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Be proud of that cover Rachael (I have to say, seeing your efforts inspired me…albeit it on a shoe-string…and a ragged one at that!…good fun though)
    1. I’m in for short story!
    2. Prize? How about everyone who takes part undertakes to devote on blog post to the winners (It’s minimum expense. It builds community and support amongst writers. And brings higher profile).
    3. Inclusion in a book?….Oh heck yes!! (or as we used to say in Britain ‘Cor! Not ‘arf!!)
    Great idea!!
    Getting it reblogged, now!

    Liked by 1 person

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