Writing Challenge: Close Quarters

by Evan Yeong

It’s been a little while since I’ve created a Writing Challenge that was a bit more general, and not specifically tailored to a season or holiday or brand new limited series. All that said, I’m excited to get back to basics and have you play with the concept of the forced proximity romance.

As you all know, more often than not the first step in helping a couple to grow closer is to literally, physically push them together-

-after all, they can’t just ignore one another. . . Right?

As is tradition I want to bar a few narrative directions as off-limits to force you all to really stretch those creative muscles. The first, keeping in line with past challenges, is that your couple should not be trapped due to certain unspoken current events. In addition to that I’m also taking workplace romances off the table.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to pen a 400 word romantic scene where two people are placed in a situation where they must spend time together. This could involve a sudden cave-in, enemies sharing a hot yoga class, or even a pair of gag handcuffs; your options are (almost) limitless! Remember that they don’t necessarily need to be physically trapped, but that they are meant to be around one another for some duration for reasons outside of their control.

To very quickly address a concern I’m sure some of you have, there were a number of submissions that exceeded the word limit in the last challenge. I explained in-depth in a past blog post that we try to treat your submissions the same way we would full manuscripts. In other words, with a certain level of strictness where we expect potential authors to carefully read given prompts or guidelines.

The deadline is Sunday (May 3rd) at 11:59 PM EST. The SYTYCW editors are back and will be reading every submission and providing feedback by the end of the day Wednesday (May 6th). We’re all excited to read what you come up with, so have fun imagining how exactly your puppets’ strings are going to get tangled together!

UPDATE: While it isn’t an all-time high (I think that goes to the Writing Challenge asking for Historicals), you completely blew us away with a grand total of 48 eligible submissions!

As promised, each of these will be receiving editorial feedback within the next few days. Thank you so much, as always, for participating, and we hope you had a blast writing them. We know we will reading them!