Writing Contest – FINAL DAYS! AND a sneak peek at a REALLY COOL new idea you are gonna be SUPER excited about…

You have about a week left to enter your amazing piece of literature in my Word Weaver Writing Contest, so GET TO IT!

Word Weaver logi FINAL trimmed 2

Prizes! (possibly for YOU if you win)

Fame! (totally possible)

A critique by ME! (for the first 25 entries and maybe a few more)

For details and to enter, click HERE

Last time a had a TON of people enter the contest at the last minute. And that’s okay, but why does everybody have to procrastinate?

Anyway, tick tock. I wanna read your stuff. Get it in!


I had this reeeeeally cool idea.

(Actually, I think I had it a while ago and now I’m having it again.)

But you’re gonna LOVE this.

I think we should write an anthology together.

A bunch of short stories from a bunch of terrific authors, all centered around a common theme. Like scary stuff or Halloween, or Christmassy stuff for… you know – Christmas.

I know, I talked about something like this before.

This is different.

The writing contest opened my eyes.

Each of us write a few thousand words, maybe 3,000 – 10,000. It’s an anthology of short stories. (Heck, write more if you want. If you have a scary item ready to go, use that.)



I guess we’d need a deadline and a theme and we work back from there. So if it was Halloween (just an example), we’d need to release the book on, say, October 1 – and promote it all through October. People don’t wanna read a Halloween anthology at Thanksgiving. (Although scary probably sells year round…)

IF it was released October 1, it’d have to be edited in September. Which means it’d have to be written in August. Which is about a week away.

Well, you weren’t doing anything anyway…

And maybe that’s too short of a timeline. But like I said, scary sells year ’round.

So, a Christmas anthology might need to start in September.


We could do a few of these every year!

And along with authors I already know, we could incorporate the writing contest into the anthology. Like, selected stories from the contest get into/are invited to join the anthology (probably the winners), plus others of you who write and follow the blog…


I can see it going a lot of different ways

Which is why I’m asking you guys for input.

Here’s the benefit to YOU:

  • 20 or so authors all contributing to and helping market a short story anthology. That’s 20x the marketing you’d have to do yourself.

  • 20 authors posting about it on their blogs.

  • 20 authors asking for blog tours and interviews to promote a book YOU are in means

  • 20 times the number of people discovering your work!

  • 20 is also just an example. Could be more, could be less.
  • And oh by the way, for some of you that’ll be your first published work, so there’s that. Ammy fame awaits.

Each selected author will be listed on Amazon as contributing, and probably have their name on the cover, too, if they all fit. I’m not sure if they will, but that’s the plan.

Okay, so – what do you think???

Can we write stories for an October 1 release, or do you need more time?

A decent theme doesn’t need a holiday release date, BTW.


How exciting of an idea is this!

Update number one: yes, you can use something from your blog. My preference would be once we decide to use it that you take it off the blog or at least archive it for a few months until after the book comes out.
Update number two: yes, you could use a chapter from a book as long as it feels pretty standalone.

Update number three: yes, you could contribute several times to the anthology. If you get three good ideas and you want to contribute them all, if they are all good, all three will go in. Pretty much it’s going to be me deciding what’s good, though.

Update number four: you guys can ask these questions in the comments section and stop emailing me if you want. But emails are fine, too.


Published by Dan Alatorre AUTHOR

International bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 17 titles published in over a dozen languages. From Romance in Poggibonsi to action and adventure in the sci-fi thriller The Navigators, to comedies like Night Of The Colonoscopy: A Horror Story (Sort Of) and the heartwarming and humorous anecdotes about parenting in the popular Savvy Stories series, his knack for surprising audiences and making you laugh or cry - or hang onto the edge of your seat - has been enjoyed by audiences around the world. And you are guaranteed to get a page turner every time. “That’s my style,” Dan says. “Grab you on page one and then send you on a roller coaster ride, regardless of the story or genre.” Readers agree, making his string of #1 bestsellers popular across the globe. He will make you chuckle or shed tears, sometimes on the same page. His novels always contain twists and turns, and his nonfiction will stay in your heart forever. Dan resides in the Tampa area with his wife and daughter. You can find him blogging away almost every day on www.DanAlatorre or watch his hilarious YouTube show every week Writers Off Task With Friends. Dan’s marketing book 25 eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew has been a valuable tool for new authors (it’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter) and his dedication to helping other authors is evident in his helpful blog.

95 thoughts on “Writing Contest – FINAL DAYS! AND a sneak peek at a REALLY COOL new idea you are gonna be SUPER excited about…

  1. What a good idea. I think a more general theme is better instead of holidays. I think it will get more readers that way for a lot of reasons. Scary sounds good or mystery.

    1. Well, scary was just because it occurred to me to have a Halloween target. (I get excited and rush ahead.)

      If we don’t do that, then any theme works, including scary, for a different date.

      I’m going to listen to you guys as to what date feels feasible.

    1. Well, if it were coming out at a certain time of year, I’m sure you have stories that take place at different times of year. So if 19 of the 20 were around Hanukkah and Christmas and New Year’s and the holidays, and yours wasn’t directly about that but just happened to take place in early December when it was getting cold or something, that would be fine with me.

  2. Great idea and I’d be happy to contribute. BTW, have you heard of Indies for Charity? (https://www.facebook.com/yourenotalone2015) Their second anthology, themed around “Freedom” is due out soon. I think your timeline is impossibly tight, given the need for proper editing, even if we edit each other’s work ss happens over there. You still need an overall editor to co-ordinate it all (you?). They use Dropbox to enable everyone to contribute.

    1. Yeah, I was thinking each person could look at another person’s story and I would look at them all. Maybe me and one other person.

      As far as dropbox, we will probably email but it’s an option.

  3. Like, we could market Syfy anthology on to Syfy website and people would say heck I like sci-fi I’ll give it a shot maybe there is one out of those 20 stories that I like and I find a new author who I like a bunch of their stuff

  4. I think this is a wonderfully awesome, and amazingly exciting idea!

    I have two ideas.

    Rather than rushing with a Halloween one, and rather than making one just, about Christmas, how about a holiday combo anthology.

    You know? There are so many holidays between October, and the first of the year, and so many different belief systems, we could each contribute a story about the holiday of our choice.

    We could call it, Jumbo Holiday Combo, and have it ready to release, right about Thanksgiving. You know? In time for Black Friday, and Cyber Monday!


    We could do a theme of awareness, and each contribute a story about something we’re passionate about.

    Everyone has something that they’re trying to raise awareness about. I’m raising awareness about multiple disAbilities. An author friend of mine is raising awareness about Juvenile Diabetes and another is raising awareness about bullying.

    We could call it, Worlds of Awareness, or something like that, since there are so many people from all over, that would be contributing.

    Anyhow, I’m in it with you all the way, and even if my stuff doesn’t get in, I’m absolutely there, for promoting!

    I, however, have several short stories in draft, that are about 5 or 6 thousand words long, just waiting on my amazingly talented editor to edit, and ready to enter.

    So, what do yall think about any of that?

    1. I’m in! *drops the mike. Great ideas so far, everyone. Holiday anthologies are popular, but there are many of them, as well. My theme thoughts are: Hope (for the New Year). Angels. Stories from the Past. And all the genres! Dropbox is a good idea, too (not for a theme, for us to use, although it could be an interesting title/theme- “The Short Story in My DropBox”)

      1. I love that! Especially the theme of stories from the past, how do you mean past, our Pastore history past LOL or, is that the same thing? LOL I also absolutely love that dropbox title idea stories in my dropbox I like that! How awesome!

      1. Yes, for many it’s an issue. Me, not so much! I have bipolar, and have learned to channel it into my writing. Mania strikes! I write!
        Depressed! I write.
        Bored! I write.
        So! Pretty much always writing.

        Also, I don’t work outside the home, and live alone, so I don’t have near the demands others do, but it wasn’t just the deadline I was speaking of, but anyhow, just thought I’d give my opinion, since you asked.

        I also have learned to go with the flow, which means, what everyone wants, I go along with.

          1. LOL! Well, as I say, I am just one of many in a huge ocean of riders. And, I am already doing a story for a Christmas anthology. So, I am just going with the flow here. Majority, of course, always rules, and, of course, it is your anthology. So of course, your word is final. You have a nice rest of your day.

  5. So in my limited experience, anthologies don’t sell well.
    Anthologies for charity around a theme sell like hot cakes.
    Just something to think about, although that could be region specific.

    1. It doesn’t surprise me that some other anthologies aren’t successful. Most authors don’t know how to market, so getting a bunch of them together probably just multiplies the ineffectiveness.

      Here, we will have multiple people who know how to market books.

      I think if the premise is that each of us market to our existing readership with the idea of connecting our readers with potentially another author they might enjoy, that will be the difference. I think if everyone expects everybody else to market, we can expect it to fail. However, it will be a success either way because people who have never been published before will now be published. I’m not above doing some promotions to help get things out there but we may also need to think about having it be free just so that all of our existing readerships will get exposed to other people.

      In other words, it’s no big deal if I put a story out to my existing readers. They know me and they’re probably going to read it anyway.

      But having 19 other people expose my story to their audiences, that night give me a bunch of new readers. So I think that’s really what we would be shooting for.

      1. Love the anthology ideas, Dan! I would love to contribute, however the idea and/or theme shapes up. Also, I like the marketing idea, here, expressed. Everyone contributing to the overall promotion through their own blogs, etc., possibly mentioning a fav author, too, as well as the anthology in general. I have 20 blogs, so I could spread that around a bit, and it’s a way for me, and others who are more home-bound, to help with the marketing process.
        Way back when, I did a modest anthology effort every few months, with stories written by children from all over the country, etc. So, I can see this, your idea, easily happening with the help of WordPress writers and the Internet. Onward… !

  6. yeah, no pressure to meet that timeline at all … 🙂 On the contest front, I hope for your sake you don’t have that many procrastinators this time around too.

    1. If you enjoy reading anthologies, maybe you can help us with some marketing strategies.

      As for your contribution, do you have something already in mind or will you be writing something new?

      1. I do have something for the holiday themes, but if the theme were different I would give a go at writing something new, as long as I can meet the deadline. Not sure I would be of value with marketing, so not my forte, but I’ll help wherever I can 🙂

  7. Wow! Sounds awesome! I would love to participate. My personal choice would be a scary Halloween anthology — but I also write all kinds of sci-fi, fantasy and weirdness 🙂

  8. Hi Dan, what about including ‘flash fiction too of say 500 to 1000 or so words. As it happens I have a 750 word ‘scary’ piece ‘Destination Reached’ ready to go and it’s been edited by an independent professional too. I don’t blog nowadays but can be found on Twitter (@EDC_Writing), you have my email too from yonks ago when I beta read ‘Poggibonsi’. Cheers. Eric.

  9. The deadline’s pretty tight, but as you say, it always is. Once the theme is decided on, I’d be happy to give it a bash, whatever it is. Nice idea!

  10. This sounds like a great idea. I like the idea of a holiday theme but any theme works. I just like the idea of having many different authors contributing. It will make for a diverse anthology. I’d definitely like to try it out.

  11. Great idea, Dan!
    I´ve already joined two anthologies and the experience was great, as you describe here.
    I wish I could write well in English to participate, but I´ll be following the progress of this idea.

      1. Well, I can say it´s hard to check everything and sometimes it takes longer than we think at the beginning. It depends on the author´s commitment and the quality of the texts, of course. But once you are on the way, it´s gratifying to see the results. As you say, it´s an excellent opportunity for those who have not published yet. The hardest part is for the person in charge of reading everything, editing and so on (YOU?), so I´d advise you to be strict on the dates you assign for each task.
        I was part of one anthology where I only sent my text and I was checked and said: “ok, congrats, you are in!”, and months later I saw my poems and my name everywhere. That´s cool and great. But then, with the other one, I was part of the team in charge of checking 30 emails (at least), then the feedback with each author, the editor asking for changes, writers not delivering their texts on time and so on. It was great and the result was perfect. But we had to modify deadlines and ways of working on the way to edit and publish. Of course, I learnt a lot, and I never regret having been part of such anthology.
        (I hope you can understand my English, Dan).
        It´s a great idea! I´ll be in touch to read this anthology 🙂

  12. This sounds so interesting! A scary story would be interesting all year round and since it’s a short story, the work doesn’t need a lot of time to complete. I’d love to participate!

  13. I am interested in the anthology, but I can’t find submission instructions. The story I’d like to submit isn’t exactly scary. I call it macabre. Please advise.

    1. Macabre sounds great.

      Use the “contact me” button to send it. If you can’t fit it in, then send me a note that says so and I will reply. You will be able to attach your document to the reply.

      Can’t wait to see it!

    2. That’s what confuses me. Your contest has a 3000 word limit. My story is about 6500. If it’s not eligible for the contest, do I still need to pay the entry fee?

      1. That’s not quite how it works. You can enter any size story in the contest but I’m only going to critique the first 3000 words – if it’s one of the first 25 entries or if it appeals to me to do so. If a story strikes me, and I think the person wants the input, then I want to give it to them, you know?

        So don’t feel limited. Send it in!

      2. You will want to send your entry by way of the “contact me” button. If it’s too big, I will reply and you can attach it to the email.

        We don’t want people to see the entries before we are ready to reveal the winners!

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