Saturday 1 February 2020

#WEP/IWSG Inaugural Challenge for 2020 - FEBRUARY - CAFE TERRACE. Put-your-thinking-cap-on post, plus exciting news!

Hello writers!

Denise here! 

My motto for the year is: LIGHTEN UP! And I'll start with WEP.

From now on, all news etc will be here in the first-of-the-month post, while the sign up post will be just that, a sign up. We no longer want the sign up post to be cluttered with a lot of information. It will be problematic to start with, as our-first-of-the-month posts are largely ignored, but we'll work on it. 

(A timely reminder: check your Spam folder as I send out a notification email before each post.) 

This month, we certainly have more news than usual!

Did I catch you by surprise! 

The year 2020. 

WEP's 10th birthday.

Beginning life as RFW (Romantic Friday Writers) in 2010, with myself and Francine Howarth (Regency Romance author) at the helm, it transformed into WEP basically because some writers were put off by the idea of writing romance. 

Little ole me has continued as founder/host after Francine's writing career took off, with the generous help of Donna Hole, then Yolanda Renee as co-hosts. Now we have a full team - Olga Godim, Nilanjana Bose and L.G. Keltner who have different strengths but most importantly are all enthusiastic about this unique online writing community. 

Olga created a wonderful anniversary badge with the team's input. Grab it and post it into your sidebar with a link to our website. Thank you!

WEP has been a way to hone our writing craft, a way to gain confidence to publish, and a way to gather countless writing friends to motivate and encourage through beta reading and/or critiquing. 

We celebrate this milestone, first by acknowledging the loyalty of several writers who've been with us since the early days as RFW and its fortnightly 400-word posts, and who continue to post regularly or irregularly -- Nilanjana Bose, Sally Stackhouse, Roland Yeomans, Yolanda Renee, Nancy Williams and Donna Hole. Other 'originals' return from time to time (but not often enough - we miss them!) hey there Michael di Gesu and Adura Ojo.

Each of the above 6 have been asked to share a few words about their WEP/writing experience and to collect their badge. Their replies will be shared in the next few posts.

Yolanda Renee here! 

The WEP has truly meant everything to my writing career. This amazing artistic community, through each writing prompt, gave me an opportunity to learn the craft and hone my skills. I was able to experiment with new genres and word lengths and to share without fear. Because of the WEP, I've made many lasting friendships. I give full credit to the WEP for the five books I've published. Participating gave me the courage to submit to the IWSG anthologies and other writing challenges. So you see, it means the world to me!

Thank you, Denise, and the WEP Community!

Thanks Yolanda! Please accept this badge made especially for you by our master badge-maker, Olga Godim.

Nilanjana here!

I started blogging in 2011 and soon after found RFW which became WEP, first as a participant and then as one of the team. I don’t think I have missed a prompt since I joined my first challenge! The impact of this has been manifold. The first is the tangible outcome – publication. One of my poetry entries got published because Donna Hole, the then co-host, emailed and encouraged me to submit it. My short story won a blog contest, was selected from over 2000 entries and also got published.  Neither of these would have happened but for WEP. There are other outcomes, where the role of WEP isn’t as direct, but is there nevertheless, through the learning of writing craft and support. Writing is mostly editing - writing to prompts builds imagination and the specific word count improves editing skills. WEP therefore makes me a sharper writer.

Not just a better writer, WEP makes me a better, more aware reader too. It builds my critiquing skills. It feeds off and into the writing courses I take. It gives me the confidence to take up offers to judge local writing competitions. To participate in other, local writing events/collaborations.  To experiment with genres and other ‘what-if’ scenarios. And it allows me to be a part of a community of like-minded people, which I relish. I value the friendships and connections made through WEP, above all. Don’t want to be sounding  extra dramatic or anything, but in some rather hard-to-define, fun and fundamental ways WEP ups the quality of my writing life.

Thanks Nila! Please accept this badge made especially for you by our master badge-maker, Olga Godim.

But, hey, it's February 1st already! 

Yep. Happy Holidays are over. For those who took a break from writing, time's flying by!  Let's put that thinking cap on. It's time to visit your favorite cafe and create ... a coffee-infused flash. Or a murder mystery. Or a family reunion ... as long as Cafe Terrace fits in somewhere!

There are NO genre restrictions here at WEP (except erotica). So...if coffee isn't your thing (OMG, really! Psst. Let me tell you about the cappuccino with real melted chocolate drizzle I discovered in Townsville, north Queensland, on my latest trip). Better still, let me share it with you ... and it had melted chocolate at the bottom ...

Just like there're myriad types of coffee, feel free to tweak the prompt to whatever you want. We're cool like that!

So without further's the challenge for February -

Cafe Terrace at Night is one of the many names of this painting by Vincent van Gogh of a cafe in Arles, Provence, the south of France. Painted in September 1888, the cafe is still in the  Place du Forum amongst many eateries welcoming coffee and wine drinkers from around the world. What a sumptuous setting for your flash  -- fiction or non. Check out the CHALLENGES 2020 page above for more ideas, or go with your original gut feeling when you first saw this painting.


No sign up now

- This post is to get you thinking ... considering ... ruminating ... about the way you want to spin the prompt.

- Add your URL to your blog entry on the InLinkz on the February 19 - 21 post with DL (Direct Link) after your name. 

- It'd be awesome if you gave your entry a title (remember those school essays - no marks for the title, but you had to have one.) Don't just use the name of the prompt. 

-Include the Challenge badge and 'WEP' in your URL title.

- Indicate the level of feedback you desire by adding the critique codes below. Be careful not to go overboard with your words of wisdom if the writer hasn't asked for full critique. 


The linky closes after 21st February 23:59 EST. 

- Read and comment on the participating blogs. This is one of the most important aspects to us. So sad if few read our work :-( Messes with our heads.

Simple, isn't it?

Comment counting will cease at midnight on Friday 28th February EST time, which gives you over a week to read/comment. (If this is a problem to you, let us know and we'll give some leeway). When you've finished reading, it would be helpful if you left a comment on the main post to tell us you're done. PLEASE everyone, make sure comments are allowed on your blog. 

***If you'd like to help in this or a later challenge, please email me at: or leave a comment below. Always looking for comment counters and blurb writers.***


The WEP/IWSG has always been a writing contest, but the prizes change over time.

First, we have the CRITIQUE prize for the WINNER. This month  Lynda Dietz at Easy Reader and Editing who offers the winner a 10,000 word (about a 3-chapter) critique. (Wouldn't I love to win this prize!)

Lynda has been fascinated with the written word since her earliest years of reading the back of the cereal box at the breakfast table. She’s now a copyeditor who works with authors in a variety of genres, both in fiction and nonfiction. She’s had a blog since 2013, where she encourages writers with advice and a healthy dose of silliness.

Easy Reader Editing Blog






As fabulous as it is, the above Critique Prize isn't all. Read on...

We also offer the winner a chance to write a Guest Post here at WEP and at times a short post in the IWSG Newsletter.

If you have any other suggestions for prizes, please email Denise:

So...let's get thinking...let's get writing!


Here's what's happening in YEAR 2020 at WEP, one of our best yet judging by the prompts:

We'd love if you'd Tweet Tweet Tweet some/all of these:

WEP 2020 February writing prompt Café Terrace @DeniseCCovey @TheIWSG Sign up February 19! #amwriting #flashfiction #WEPFF #poetry #nonfiction

Get-your-thinking-caps-on for Café Terrace @DeniseCCovey @TheIWSG
Html Sign up February 19! #WEPFF #amwriting #flashfiction #poetry #nonfiction

Join WEP @DeniseCCovey @TheIWSG for the first challenge of the year Café Terrace Sign up February 19!       
#WEPFF #amwriting #flashfiction #poetry #nonfiction

Begin 2020 by joining @DeniseCCovey @TheIWSG for the latest challenge Café Terrace Sign up February 19!
#WEPFF #amwriting #flashfiction #poetry #nonfiction



  1. Thank you! What an honor to be part of such an amazing group of talented artists! Congratulations to everyone, but especially you Denise, for your consistent efforts to keep the RFW and the WEP going. It exists because you saw it's value!

    1. I’d be pretty lost without WEP Renee! I tried to leave that once but it was short lived. You were an amazing co-host.

  2. Congratulations and Happy Birthday. I am so grateful to have found WEP. You fuel my reading bug and enrich my life.

    1. We are so grateful you found us Sue! Your writing and your reading are so appreciated.

  3. Congratulations on the 10-year anniversary :) I always look forward to the WEP every alternate month.

    1. Bernadette thanks! You are amongst the next gen of faithful WEPers.

  4. Happy Birthday, WEP!!!
    Thank you, Denise, for staying the course.
    Congratulations, Yolanda and Nila, for your faithfulness and for sharing small tidbits of what writing for the WEP means to you.
    I am looking forward to the Challenges this year.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G

    1. Thanks Pat. You haven’t been with us quite as long but you mean the world to us. Staying the course has enriched my life.

  5. It's such a privilege to be part of this amazing community! Thank you, everyone and especially you, Denise!

    1. It’s friends like you who have made it possible. I could always rely on you to post no matter where your travels took you, dodgy wifi notwithstanding. Thanks Nila!

    2. OMG yeah! Some of those Wifis up in the hills were super dodgy! And that's how I learnt to schedule...see, WEP made me a savvier blogger too. I'd forgotten about that. :)

  6. Happy Birthday WEP! 10 years is quite the milestone!

    1. It is Laura. I was quite shocked when I did the math.

  7. Wow, ten years!! Happy Birthday!! That's amazing. I am so excited to join the WEP again this year. I loved participating a few years ago and then got off track with all of my writing. I think this year's prompts are all fantastic and I look forward to reading what I'm sure will be tons of amazing entries. :)

    1. Julie, it will be amazing to have you writing for us again! I've tried to round up those who for whatever reason, no longer post. I know it can feel like a time suck, but I find writing for WEP is a great creative writing exercise. And yes, the team has come up with wonderful challenges for 2020!

  8. 10 years??? That's amazing! Congrats to all of you for creating and maintaining something wonderful!
    Here's to many more fantastic years!

    1. Thanks so much Jemi! Over the years so many wonderful writers have come and gone, but a few stalwarts remain!

  9. 10 years! It's hard enough maintaining your own blog for 10 years, but in a group blog such as this with contests and such, that's awesome! Congrats ladies!

    1. It is quite a thing Tanya! It crept up on us. Loving it though!

  10. 10 years!?! Wow, that is truly amazing.

    I've been out of touch, Partner. Slow getting back into the swing of things. After reading this I went back and checked my emails. I'll send you an email this weekend.

    Congrats on all the WEP has accomplished. And Kudos to the Co-hosts - they have all been awesome.

    Yolanda: I have enjoyed watching your career blossom over these last several years. Glad to see you back here again.

    Nila: you are awesome!! I am glad my encouragement got you submitting your work. I still remember that piece I loved so much. Good luck with your continuing successes.

    Now I really have to start writing again for WEP. I have missed it lately :)

    1. And we’ve really missed you Donna. I hope you are able to write with us again. Looking forward to seeing your piece in the email.

  11. Belated Birthday Wishes! Hope you had a good one!

  12. Happy birthday to the WEP. It's amazing you've been inspiring and helping writers for so long. Thank you to all involved for their hard work.

    I'm really excited for this prompt. I've written an experimental piece and I'm interested to see how it goes down.

  13. Hi WEP writers. After reading EC’s post on the February Challenge, I was thinking about an animated film that I recently watched on the last weeks of Vincent’s life at Anvers sur Oise. Unique take, as the story revolves around the postman’s son trying to deliver Vincent’s last letter to his brother. Unique animation as the frames consist of oil paintings by Van Gogh and oil painted movement by contemporary artists reproducing his style.
    Here is a link to how the film was made

    And the trailer of Loving Vincent



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