Friday 15 November 2019


Nila here again! 

I know I've said this before, but it bears repeating, like all good things - what a crop of superlative writing the October HORRIBLE HARVEST prompt produced! Picking winners out of so many is always extremely hard, but this time Bernadette was a rare unanimous choice by the WEP team.

Judge Nick Wilford said:

"This wasn't the only story with an eco theme, but it treats the subject in such a stark and sobering way that it nudges into first place for me. Amazing to pack something so powerful into so few words."

If you haven't already, please visit the previous post to read all about the winners and other news.

It is our pleasure to share with you a guest post from Bernadette. As well as winning the critique prize from Kyra Lennon, Bernadette writes a guest post for WEP and the IWSG newsletter which will be out soon.

Here's what Bernadette does to tackle writer's block:

5 Ways to Get Rid of Writer's Block
You've probably already heard about the good ol' writer's block. The fact that there are so many articles on the topic acknowledges that it's a widespread phenomenon (Yes, even copywriters who already have a topic and character limit get stumped on where to get started). So then, it's just natural that a writer who's creating something marvellous from scratch gets stuck now and then.
Here are a few of the tips that work for me:
1. Read what others have done
Make a note of what you want to write about and do a quick Google search on it. It’s a great way of finding inspiration
Warning: This method is also quite a time killer so be sure that you have a way of keeping yourself from going down the rabbit hole.
2.  Listen to music (or do whatever helps you think)
Listening to music helps me think. I usually enjoy rock, blues & pop and they inspire me in different ways. Try using a random line from the song you're listening to as a prompt. It may lead nowhere but believe me, it's fun. Alternatively, if music doesn’t work for you, try something else that helps you think. It could be anything from bouncing ideas off a friend to taking your dog for a walk.
3. Dream
Imagine if you were living in your WIP's world. You could probably bump into one of your characters on your way to work or have one of them plotting a sinister plan right behind you. This is a great way to understand how to move on ahead (almost like looking at a 3D model of a human organ to understand it better). Just bear in mind that this method has the same limitations as point one.
4. Wait
Sometimes the answer to a problem is to just let it be. Do something else that you enjoy or need to get done. It's a better way of staying productive instead of staring blankly at a screen/page. You’ll also end-up spending your time in a much better way.
5. Write about it!
Let your writer's block work for you. If your block is not letting you write, just use it as an inspiration and write a tale about how it's affecting you or ways to combat it. I just did.

Thank you, Bernadette, for these creative ways to get over writer's block, my favourite's gotta be 4! Let the writing find me instead of the other way round! 

Join us for the final 2019 prompt in December as we round up another landmark and creative year at Write...Edit...Publish...

Check out ideas from the WEP 2019 Challenges Page for the next prompt ..or not. Go with your own if you like...

More details in Laura's post on December 1st. In which she introduces the prompts and the directions we take in 2020...See you there!

Till then, happy and blockless writing! 

We'd love if you'd Tweet one of these:

The WEP 2019 October Challenge Horrible Harvest Winner's Post - @TheIWSG @DeniseCCovey #amwriting #flashfiction #WEPFF

How unblocked are you? October Challenge Winner's Post @TheIWSG @DeniseCCovey #WEPFF #amwriting #flashfiction

Join @TheIWSG @DeniseCCovey for the Winner's Post Horrible Harvest 
#WEPFF #amwriting #flashfiction

What has the winner harvested? Join @TheIWSG @DeniseCCovey for the winner's post  #WEPFF #amwriting #flashfiction


Monday 4 November 2019


Hello Writers!

This is Nila with you. Welcome to the final update on the OCTOBER 2019 WEP/IWSG combined challenge. Just a quick reminder - for each WEP Challenge, The Insecure Writer's Support Group Facebook page has a post available where you can add the link for your entry. A great way to get more eyeballs and to interact with more people!

Laura takes charge of the December challenge which  usually allows for slightly advanced postings, seeing as how it’s the festival season. If there's any way you feel you can help, put your hand up please!!

In December we continue with our new normal. 



Starting August 2019, the Challenge winner wins a critique from professionals - see details in the sidebar. For October, Kyra Lennon offers a first chapter critique. And in every challenge till at least the end of 2020, different editors/writers will offer varied critique prizes.

In addition to the critique prize, the winner each month will write a Guest Post here at WEP and a short post in the IWSG newsletter.

Judging winners continues to be done by the WEP team who read and re-read entries multiple brain-wracking times, before passing a shortlist onto a professional editor/judge. Nick Wilford has confirmed his commitment as judge for WEP into the foreseeable future.

As you all are aware by now, the sign up process has been majorly streamlined and simplified. No more early sign ups then doubling back to link up your posts later. Now it's all niftily combined in a one-time, no-fuss link-up. A 3-day window for every Challenge where you link up directly with your URL. Remember the 3-day sign up will continue in December and beyond. And the Challenge is now aligned with ET (USA) so please check timings on the blogclock here for posting and commenting.

Okay, let's get to the point. Who had the greatest harvest? Who all won the October Challenge???

HORRIBLE HARVEST inspired some seriously diverse and creative variations on the theme.  

The selection process ties all of us up in knots every Challenge, but it was especially excruciating to draw up a SHORTLIST this time. And even more difficult for our judge, Nick Wilford, to narrow the list down to 3 winners. 

Thank you all for taking the time to post to the challenge. And thank you to those who read most/all entries and encouraged fellow participants! Please remember that commenting widely on the entries is a prerequisite for being shortlisted.

Jemi Fraser very kindly volunteered to write the blurbs for the entries this month.  Thank you Jemi, for pitching in! Here they are -


Bernadette Braganza - The Horrible Harvest
The forces of development march inexorably on in this chilling before and after tale.

Roland Yeomans - How You Die
A spooky tale of what simmers beneath the surface & retribution from the past. You may want to avoid the mushroom soup when visiting Dunwich Estates!

Cie -  Horrible Harvest
The delightful story of how Ghost Town Grover and Cactus Clem met and their spooky adventure on the Lone Prairie.

Pat Garcia - Barren!
A poem that will break your heart as the meanings of barren are explored.

Pat Hatt - Normal Witch
A take on the meaning of normal through the eyes of a young one who keeps having to visit a witch.

Carrie Ann Golden - The Harvest
High highs and low lows - that’s the life of a farmer. Based on recent weather anomalies, this tale looks at the life of one farmer battling Mother Nature. 

Susan Rouchard - Trick or Treat
3 young friends wonder if the Great Pumpkin might visit this Halloween. What they find is something beyond their imagination.

Jamie - Dear Angel
Maria has a horrific past that she explores in a letter to her cousin. A glimpse into a potential future not too far off!

Toi Thomas - Familia Bond
It’s time for the harvest! Danube is proud of his efforts as Field Leader and hopes to be invited to the Harvest Celebration and what awaits him there!

Elephant’s Child - The Path
That voice in your head that tells you not to do some things and to do others - do you listen to it? Should you?

Jemi Fraser - The Crop 
A graduation ceremony aimed at stopping apathy from destroying our world.

Cyndi Pride - Alcoholic Annihilation
An idyllic apple orchard enjoying the last days of summer - until the fermentation begins.

Roland Clarke - Another Horrible Harvest 
The conclusion to the vampire tale staring Detective Sparkle Anwyl. Would you drink the wine at this particular gathering?

NR Williams - Stolen Tears
In the world of the Fae, tears have power and Lillith uses them to plan her revenge.

Sally Stackhouse - Horrible Harvest 
A lonely young woman wants to find a life less restrictive and full of fun and love. What will she find when she follows the voice she hears calling?

Dixie - Horrible Harvest
Blue soil, creatures that live a season before being absorbed, and a man trying to survive - all will pull you in and have you wondering what’s next.

Kalpana - Harvests Can Be Horrible
The red wheelbarrow makes a reappearance as Kelly tries to escape from the fumes of the horrible harvest.

Hilary Melton Butcher - Hilary’s Horrrible Harrrvesting Horrorrr
So many ideas. So little time. So, a farewell of a sorts and an update

Denise Covey - Castello de Castellina, Chianti, Tuscany, 1610
Alliyra wants Duke Vipunin to join her as a creature of the night. And she wants him tonight - whether he wishes to join her or not.

Nilanjana Bose - Grow. Yield. Reel
Memories of a veggie garden and a move and growing up. With an ending you’d never expect!

LG Keltner - Life in the Aftermath
Reya’s garden isn’t bountiful the year. As she harvests what she can, she remembers her Claude and worries about her future in this post-apocalyptic tale.

Olga Godim - Ginger
Dinara runs Rendezvous Pets on the Rendezvous Space Station. A potted plant has a very unexpected harvest in the pet shop!


To be perfectly honest, practically everyone was on my 'longlist' at the first reading, because my selection tends to favour the interpretation of the prompt over other aspects.  And that has been beyond superlative this Challenge.

Mushrooms, apples, pumpkins, oranges, berries, vampires, witches, tears, fairies, students, a Garden of Eden story, infertility and abuse, a planet which absorbs lifeforms, a film title, whoa!...I mean - how varied and how innovative can anyone get? Blown away by this bunch!

We had an agonising time picking out the shortlist, but after much discussion we managed to send this list to Nick. 


Pat Garcia

Roland Clarke


Pat Hatt

Cyndi Pride

The Real Cie

If you didn't make our shortlist, it doesn't mean your entry went unnoticed. It has taken much time and reading entries several times on my part.  I know my fellow co-hosts do the same. Each of us has a different take, each of us comes up with a shortlist somewhat different from the rest. And if an admin says, "hey have a look at XYZ, I think they deserve a vote," then we go back for a review, because we feel we owe it both to the writer and to the judge. 

But in the end, there are entries that make the final cut, often because they have something ingenious, some je-ne-sais-quoi about them that makes a lingering impact.

Sorry to have to sound an off putting note here -  a small but persistent number are getting knocked off our shortlist because they comment on too few entries or do not comment at all. We've had to omit names from the shortlist far too many times. Unless the writer comments on a significant number of entries, their piece will not be considered for shortlisting, no matter how stellar it might be. 


We're delighted to announce the winners for the WEP/IWSG collaboration for the HORRIBLE HARVEST Challenge. 

So (((drum roll)))


Congratulations, Bernadette!

Nick said: 

"It treats the subject in such a stark and sobering way…Amazing to pack something so powerful in so few words."

Bernadette, please link the badge to your story and post it on your blog! An Amazon GC for USD 30 will be winging its way to you!

You've also won a guest post here and a short post in the IWSG Newsletter. Details will be emailed to you shortly.



Congratulations, Cyndi!

Nick said: 

"Takes a sideways look at a difficult subject and does it in a way that it doesn't lose any of the impact. Really well done."

Cyndi, thank you for participating in the WEP contest. Please link the badge to your story and post it on your blog! An Amazon GC for USD 20 will be coming your way soon!



Congratulations, The Real Cie!

Nick said: 

"Such a great counterpoint to the weightier themes present elsewhere…Delightfully whimsical and a hoot!"

The Real Cie, please link the badge to your story and post it on your blog! An Amazon GC for USD 10  will be on its way to you!

Thanks to all of you who took the time to read through all of the entries and comment. Commenting is a crucial part of what makes our little community so strong. The feedback we receive from one another is vital, whether it helps us improve our writing or gives us a much needed boost in confidence. It can be demoralizing when we work hard to polish a piece and only get a small number of comments in return.

Midnight November 1st NY time was the cut off for counting comments. At that time, here are those who qualified for this award. We thank you for your dedicated efforts. It means the world to us to see you supporting your fellow writers!
Here are our top contenders! 


Pat Garcia

Pat Hatt

Toi Thomas

Elephant's Child

Jemi Fraser

Roland Clarke

Sally Stackhouse


Hilary Melton-Butcher

So ten people (not counting the admin) commented on every or virtually every post.

All of these individuals are deserving, but sadly, only one can receive the award!

The random pick winner using the Random Name Generator is  Toi Thomas! Toi, please accept the badge on behalf of all the awesome commenters and display it on your blog! 

Check out ideas from the WEP 2019 Challenges Page for the next prompt - or not. Go with your own! More details in the December 1st post.

I've already got itchy fingers! What about you?

Thank you all for an amazing, awesome, diverse and uber creative October Challenge! 

Join us in December for our final Challenge for 2019, as we round up a sometimes strange, sometimes tumultuous, but always super-fun  and creatively rewarding year here at the WEP.

And here's a sneak peek of what New Year 2020 is going to bring! More about that too in December.

We'd love if you'd Tweet this post or share to Facebook or your favorite social media site.

#WEPFF Horrible Harvest winners announced. @DeniseCCovey @theIWSG #amwriting #flashfiction

Come congratulate our  winners. #WEPFF Horrible Harvest Challenge @DeniseCCovey @theIWSG #flashfiction

The #WEPFF writers had some wonderful entries! @DeniseCCovey @theIWSG #flashfiction

When you give the #WEPFF challenge a go, you just never know! @DeniseCCovey @theIWSG #flashfiction