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


  1. Huge congratulations to all the winners - and a big thank you to the womderful administrators.

    1. Thanks a million for your support and encouragement always, and your participation in this challenge, EC. It has been an amazing month altogether.

    2. Thank you for always being such a wonderful supporter and participant!

    3. Thanks Sue. What a treasure you are!

  2. Good Morning!
    Congratulations to all the winners of the Horrible Harvest. It was indeed an amazing challenge. Having read all the entries, I know it wasn't easy to make the decision that needed to be made. So thanks to our leadership team for judging the entries with impeccable integrity.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G

    1. Good morning Pat, and thank you for your many contributions to this community! It's never easy to make the decisions :) which is because you guys are such great writers!
      Have a great week.

    2. It was indeed a challenging process this time around!

    3. We love having you with us at WEP, Pat. Your writing always touches us. This last entry of yours ripped my heart out with its raw emotion.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks for being here - your support means a lot.

  4. Congrats to the winners. Sorry some don't make it past the short list. I'm also not surprised Toi was the comment champion. After meeting her in person, I know she is super-dedicated to everything she does.

    1. Thanks for stopping by. Toi is a star!

    2. Toi, like most of our WEPpers, is a true treasure. Lovely spirits, all.

    3. And Diane, always good to hear from one of our IWSG partners.

  5. Wishing all the winners every success in their writing life. All who participated did extremely creative...a joy to read. It's never easy deciding on 3 winners out of a large group, but decide we must. We never make it easy on ourselves, so be assured we try hard to get it right then Nick confirms our choices and puts them in order. Thanks Nick!!

    1. Second that. Nick brings such an incisive mind to the selection process! Thank you, Nick!

  6. Big congrats to the winners - so well deserved!
    This month was my favourite so far - so many intriguing twists on the theme. Loved it!

    1. Totally fascinating the range of interpretations of the prompt. Thank you for summing them up so well!

  7. Congratulations to all the winners! There were so many deserving entries this month!

  8. Congratulations to all the winners. I may be engrossed in NaNoWriMo - creating concerns about December's entry - but I remember reading all the amazing Horrible Harvests. Well done all.

    1. Thank you for your contributions. NaNo will be over by the time the Dec Challenge rolls around...hope to see more of Sparkle then!

    2. After a month of writing a Sparkle novel, December might be a Skadi story - although Footprint forensics on TV got me wondering...

  9. Thanks so much for the recognition. I really enjoyed reading all the stories and look forward to the next challenge.

    1. Encouragement and feedback are so much a crucial part of this community - thank you for your wholehearted support! Looking forward to seeing you in December!

  10. Congratulations to all the winners. It's always a pleasure to read everybody's contributions, such a diverse and clever group. Looking forward to December's prompt.

    1. Look forward to having you with us in December!

  11. Hi Nila - well done for hosting this result post ... the entries were amazing - so I agree. I came over too early yesterday - and will need to wait to get to the winners etc ... so congratulations all round - I'll be back - cheers Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary! The entries were pure superlative! Thanks so much for joining us for this Challenge despite all the issues with networks etc.

    2. It wasn't that bad ... just one thing after another - I'll be glad when this phase is over ... but I have a machine again ... catching up another matter - November will help ... cheers Hilary

    3. Very glad to know they're sorted! Hope November will go exactly as you want, all the best!

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  13. Congratulations to Bernadette and Cyndi, and thank you for the Encouragement Award for Yours Truly! Sorry about missing the email, it had gotten trapped in my Spam folder with all the exciting Male Enhancement offers and other totally legit stuff. ;-)

    1. Spam folders do contain a lot of interesting things, don't they?

  14. Congrats to all the winners. This challenge showed an amazing variety and strength of all the entries.

    1. True that. Very strong entries all, made the shortlisting even harder than usual.

  15. Congratulations to the winners! This looks like fun! Maybe I'll join you guys on this when my youngest is older and doesn't depend on me so much?

    It's funny how IWSG on Facebook has a different personality than the one in the Blogosphere. Anyone else noticed that? ;P


    1. We would love to have you join us!

      Don't know about IWSG, but WEP has a pretty consistent 'personality' throughout - online and off :)


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