Introducing the This Is Horror Patreon Writing Challenge

Hey friend! 

A few years back we hosted the One Story Per Week Writing Challenge in which we challenged you to write One Story Per Week for an entire year. It was an overwhelming success and if you want to learn a little more about how it went then you can check out this article on the One Story Per Week Writing Challenge on LitReactor.

We’re launching the This Is Horror Patreon Writing Challenge tomorrow on July 1. But this time it’s a little different. See, we want you to make the This Is Horror Writing Challenge your own. It’s a choose your own adventure in which for an entire year, you’ll be declaring yourself ‘in’ for various writing challenges. Here are three recommended challenges: 

Write one story per week: the classic and original challenge as inspired by Ray Bradbury and Jessica McHugh. 

Write a novella in a month: imagine doing this for a year and having twelve novellas to shop around by the end of the year. The novella is one of the best vehicles for telling a horror story and one might argue we are living in the golden age of the horror novella right now. 

Write a novel in 90 days: the ultimate aspiration for many is to conquer the novel. With this challenge there’s the potential to write four of them in a year. Or you could go full Josh Malerman and lock yourself in a room and write one in a month aka the first draft of Bird Box, though we perhaps don’t recommend this method albeit we do recommend reading Malerman’s fiction.

Make The TIHP Writing Challenge Your Own 

This is at the heart of this year’s challenge. We recognise we are all at different stages in our writing journey and we want as many of you to join us as possible. That’s why rather than prescriptively saying this is one story per week, we’re suggesting three challenges to opt in and out of as per your own needs. Perhaps you’ll start the challenge off with a novel in 90 days, spend the next three months writing novellas, and round the year off with six months of short story writing. You declare your next challenge after completing each previous challenge. For me, I’ll kick off with a novel in 90 days. 

But perhaps you’re saying this is too intense, you can’t do a writing challenge. 

You CAN do a writing challenge, my awesome friend. You can declare your own bespoke challenge. Perhaps it’s simply to write for 20 minutes a day for a month. Maybe it’s to write a novel in a year. Whatever the challenge, you set it and declare it. Original This Is Horror Podcast co-host Dan Howarth will be completing a novel he’s 50,000 words through in a month. That’s his challenge. What’s yours? 

So how does it work? 

The main place we’ll be communicating is the This Is Horror Podcast Discord so to sign up for that become a Podcast Patron here. 

Each month you’ll declare the challenge you’re undertaking and then post daily (or as often as you can manage) updates to keep yourself accountable and to motivate others. The Discord is a place you can ask for advice, beta-readers, and troubleshoot story problems. Of course, as a patron, you’ll also get access to all our regular content such as early bird access to episodes (listen to the full conversation with Catriona Ward here), submit questions for guests, and our patron-exclusive podcasts the Q&A sessions and Story Unboxed: The Horror Podcast on the Craft of Writing.

Why do it? 

Accountability: in actively participating you’re making yourself accountable. When you announce a challenge the stakes become real and your chances of success multiply. 

Camaraderie: interact with other writers doing the challenge. Share the highs and the lows. We’re all in the trenches together.  

Encouragement: Speaking of those lows, you’ll get encouragement from some of the most wonderful people in horror over on our Discord. When you’re struggling they’ll lift you up, and when others are struggling perhaps you’ll lift them up. 

Community: Which brings us to community. Let’s face it, writing can be a lonely and solitary pursuit but it doesn’t have to be. This is a chance to be part of a family and watch the success of your peers during and beyond the challenge. When I think back on the original challenge, it’s incredible what some of the participants have done and continue to do: Sarah Read released novel of the year, The Bone Weaver’s Orchard, Brian Asman is having enormous success with Man, Fuck This House, Dan Howarth has his debut novel forthcoming with Grey Matter Press, and Kev Harrison just signed a multi-book deal. 

Challenge and push yourself: When you set an ambitious challenge, even if you don’t quite make it, you often go way further than if you hadn’t set the goal at all. 

So that’s what we’re doing. If you’re in I’d love for you to join us. You can opt in at any time but it would be great to get as many early challengers as possible. 

Let’s make the summer of 2022, the crazy summer of writing. 

Make the TIHP Writing Challenge Your Own! 

Have a great day, friend. 

Michael David Wilson 

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