Monthly Writing Challenge
  The Challenges & Entry Rules


This writing challenge is designed to encourage PSWG Members to write. It is also an exercise to practice working under a deadline, keeping story momentum using only 500 words, writing within submission guidelines, accepting winning accomplishments in a public setting, as well as improving on the willingness and persistence to submit additional work should a story not be selected as a winner.

Interested in becoming a member? Click here for online application

The Writing Challenge:

This upcoming season, the Monthly Writing Challenge invites members to explore “objects” as a keyhole to a broader subject. While all entries will be written in prose, a wonderful example for writers to reference is the poem "The Landyard" by former Poet Laurete of the United States, Billy Collins. Mr. Collins uses a lanyard (the object) to explore his relationship with his mother (the broader subject).             

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EjB7rB3sWc

Reference via PBS: In “The Lanyard,” Billy Collins has chosen an everyday object he made as a child—a boxy, red-and-white lanyard—to explore a timeless question: Can you ever repay the debt you owe to your parents? His juxtaposition of the mundane and the profound is moving yet funny, as he casts an adult eye on the complexities inherent in the relationship between mother and son.

Membership Benefit!: During the program season, PSWG Member Kathryn Jordan, also known as the Manuscript Mechanic will review and edit Monthly Writing Challenge entries at no charge! Simply enclose a stamped and addressed envelope with your story. This is a fantastic opportunity for members to get professional recommendations on their stories.


2015-2016 List of Monthly Writing Challenges

*Scroll down for entry rules

October 2015 Object Writing Challenge: Music Box - The judges will be looking for an entry implementing good story telling techniques using a music box as a keyhole (relevance or connection) to a broader subject. The writing should enable the reader to see the connection in the author's mind. *Submit October entry and $5.00 at October 3rd Monthly Meeting.

November 2015 Object Writing Challenge: Jewelry - The judges will be looking for an entry implementing good story telling techniques using jewelry as a keyhole (relevance or connection) to a broader subject. The writing should enable the reader to see the connection in the author's mind. *Submit November entry and $5.00 at November 7th Monthly Meeting.

December 2015 Object Writing Challenge: A Postage Stamp - The judges will be looking for an entry implementing good story telling techniques using a postage stamp as a keyhole (relevance or connection) to a broader subject. The writing should enable the reader to see the connection in the author's mind. *Submit December entry and $5.00 at December 5th Monthly Meeting.
January 2016 Object Writing Challenge: A Walking Cane -The judges will be looking for an entry implementing good story telling techniques using a walking cane  as a keyhole (relevance or connection) to a broader subject. The writing should enable the reader to see the connection in the author's mind. *Submit January entry and $5.00 at January 2nd Monthly Meeting.
February 2016 Object Writing Challenge: A single key -The judges will be looking for an entry implementing good story telling techniques using a key as a keyhole (relevance or connection) to a broader subject. The writing should enable the reader to see the connection in the author's mind.*Submit February entry and $5.00 at February 6th Monthly Meeting.
March 2016 Object Writing Challenge:  Lottery Ticket -The judges will be looking for an entry implementing good story telling techniques using a lottery ticket as a keyhole (relevance or connection) to a broader subject. The writing should enable the reader to see the connection in the author's mind.  *Submit March entry and $5.00 at March 5th Monthly Meeting.
April 2016 Object Writing Challenge: A Medallion -The judges will be looking for an entry implementing good story telling techniques using a medallion  as a keyhole (relevance or connection) to a broader subject. The writing should enable the reader to see the connection in the author's mind. *Submit April entry and $5.00at April 9th Monthly Meeting.

Entry Submission Rules

Be sure to comply to all requirements. As with most professional writing submissions, there is no leeway on the above rules.

Your entry will not be returned to you unless you have requested an editorial review.
Questions? Please contact: MonthlyWritingChallenge.PSWG@gmail.com

~ Must be a member of Palm Springs Writers Guild with current status.

~ Monthly entries must be submitted by hand at the specific monthly meeting. [Example: Submit October’s entry at the beginning of the October meeting] 

~ Entry Fee: $5.00 CASH ONLY (sorry! no checks)

~ Story entry of 500 words or less

~Double space

~12-point Times Roman or Times New Roman

~Indented paragraphs

~Story title must be typed on your entry

~Write or type your name on outside of the envelope. Do not write  or type your name on the story.

~Place entry in envelope with $5.00 cash fee,

*Blind submission entries  are judged by selected Guild Members who are professional, published authors. 

*Winners receive cash prize based on number of entries. 

*Winner will be announced and entry may be read aloud at following scheduled meeting. (October winner will be announced at November Monthly Meeting). 

Questions about this contest? Please contact: MonthlyWritingChallenge.PSWG@gmail.com

Interested in becoming a PSWG Member? Click here for online application.


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