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WritingForums Newsletter: January-March 2020

It is hard to believe that Writing Forums is now entering its 18th year. As we say goodbye to 2019 and begin our journey into 2020, I can’t help but think what a milestone that is. Most of us didn’t live through the “Roaring 20’s” the first time around, but we now have the chance to create our own version of that turbulent and iconic time in history.

Here on WF, we’ve also gone through some turbulence, some changes to forum rules and usage agreements, not to mention boldly wading into a few new forums that are ‘ticket only’.

We’ve said goodbye to some old friends and welcomed a few familiar faces back again. We’ve also met some wonderful new people and gifted writers, some of whom have joined us on staff and grace our boards with their talent..

Personally, I am excited to see where WF goes. As we all know, this time in history is also very turbulent and I look forward to seeing how we at Writing Forums stamp our own iconic mark on the new roaring 20’s.

Gumby, Writingforums.com co-owner



What’s happening on WF?
It’s certainly been a busy few months

New Mentors


Chief Mentors (Poetry)
WF has been fortunate to recruit two excellent Chief Mentors in Clark Cook and TL Murphy.

Senior Mentor (Poetry)
Pulse (Katrina Plumb) kindly agreed to accept the role of Senior Mentor.

All three experienced poets they can be seen in action on either the open Poetry forum or WFs private poetry and lyrics workshop, not visible to search engines, guest and new members so a great place to fine-tune your poem, especially if you are working towards publication.

Nuts and Bolts forum

Photo by Antmoreton – Pixabay

The Nuts and Bolts forum, where members discuss poetic techniques, forms and styles, hints and tips, was a welcome addition for our band of inquisitive poets. Join the discussions or post your questions Here






WF blogs were revamped and members asked to only post content which falls within the following categories.

Writing Articles/Essays
Journal – Creative Memoirs, Writing Journal
Book Reviews, Movies & TV
Media: Members’ podcasts, audiobooks and ebooks
Hobbies and Interests

Please don’t forget to select the appropriate category before publishing.

Content which does not fall into the above categories will be removed and the poster asked to move their post to Dante’s Inferno, which is a private forum only visible to ticket holders.

Dante’s Inferno

Picture by Kalhh – Pixabay

February brought the surprise unveiling of Dante’s Inferno, a ticket-only, private forum where members can discuss or express their views on topics which are considered too controversial for WF’s public boards and WF Blogs. Access will only be granted to members who have made in excess of 100 posts. If you can’t stand the heat you might think twice before asking for access. Full details > here





Flashes News

Flashes Literary Website

Created in 2014, Flashes is our literary showcase for poetry, flash fiction, articles and interviews. Submissions are open to non-members and members which are reviewed by our submissions team. We are pleased to say we received some great submissions this quarter from WF members.


Poetry: Portrait and the Past by Aldo de Martelaere
Poetry: The Ardent Rush by R.H. Peat
Poetry: Dad Dozing by Katrina Plumb
Poetry: So Close… by Lisa Korba Alvarez
Poetry: An Out-Of-Bounds SKIER Views The City At Night by Clark Cook


Flash Fiction: The Smells of Fall
Flash Fiction: The Unexpected Visitor by Neetu Malik
Fiction – Courage by Henry Hatchet

Flashes is open for submissions from both members and non-members. Please read the submissions guidelines > HERE


Artwork by Sherise McKinney, @sherisemart
Artwork by Sherise McKinney, @sherisemart

Flashes Ekphrastic (Picture Prompt) Challenge

The challenge kicked off with a call for submissions for paintings and photographs from our members and beyond on the Visual Arts forum followed by an open poll to decide the winner. The overwhelming winner was an outside submission by Sherise McKinney, @sherisemart


The winning submissions and best interpretation of the painting are for Fiction: Henry Hatchet with “Pied Woman”, and for Poetry: Laura Cherry with “Red”.

Our next Ekphrastic Challenge is now underway and we are calling for picture submissions. Check out the >> Visual Arts forum << for details.

Challenge Overview

Literary Maneuvers – a monthly flash fiction competition that generally begins on the first day of a given month. In the two weeks prior, prompts are suggested and voted on by members, resulting in the top pick for the upcoming month. The word count is restricted to 650, not including the title. Stories must in some way relate to the prompt. During the first two weeks, while entries are being submitted, four peer judges are also recruited from the membership, and when the competition closes around the fifteenth of the month, the judges have two weeks to critique and score the stories. At the end of the month, all judges comments are posted and the winner is revealed. The winner receives recognition from their peers, and on their profile, and this provides writers with the opportunity to be eligible for the annual Literary Maneuvers competition, occurring every February by invitation only.

Stories can be submitted anonymously and/or privately, so only members can view.

For the latest updates, prompts and discussions check out the Literary Maneuvers Flash Fiction forum.

Photo by Counselling – Pixabay

Poetry Challenge 

this is an anonymous monthly challenge. Submissions are sent to the challenge host by PM and judging is done by peers. After the announcement of the challenge, poets have two weeks to submit their poems, followed by ten days to vote. The winner of each challenge will receive the Laureate award and will pick the theme for the next challenge.

Check out the Poetry Challenge forum for further details regarding the latest prompt, polls and winners.
February’s prompt is “Bonds”.


Lean & Mean: Weekly Flash Fiction Challenge

a weekly opportunity to test skills and challenge abilities. The prompts are pre-set for the year and left to the imagination. Submissions are posted anonymously by challenge host (Ma’am). Week One is when the stories are gathered and posted. Week Two gives peers the opportunity to select and vote on the story they like best, and the winner is announced at the end of the second week. The prize is a $5 Amazon gift voucher, sent through email and the word limit is 1,000.
Further information can be found > HERE

For the latest updates, prompts and winners check out the Lean and Mean flash fiction forum.



Interview with Matthew Tysz
Interview with Matthew Tysz

Finally, our latest WF interview is with Matthew Tysz (Folcro) who has now published nine novels! Congratulations, Folcro.




WF Members’ Publishing News

Photo by Mahesh Patel on Pixabay.com

Pamelyn Casto has had a number of publications which can be viewed in her Publishing News update
and her poem, “First Night in a Balinese Paradise”, won first prize in the Anthony Dickson Memorial Award (Poetry Society); the prose poem, A Rank Invasion, is now published at Better Than Starbucks; and the Fibonacci poem, Descartes’ Wheels, is now published at The Fib Review

Ma’am’s story (Flash Fiction) was accepted in The Forge Literary Magazine and she even got paid!

BD Charles published in Flash Fiction Magazine

LuckyScars published a short story in “Scary Snippets: Christmas Edition” – December 2019
He is co-author of “Blood and Blasphemy”, “Fear & Fables” and “Dying Earths: Lost Lives and Last Days”. – December 2019

R.H.Peat has two poems published in Nature 20/20

Grand Fiction Prize Challenge (February)

Afbeelding van Arek Socha on pixabay.com
Picture by Arek Socha on pixabay.com

This year, as in previous years, WF hosted a prize challenge. Please note that this is an invitation challenge, based on involvement with the 2019 challenges.

Halfway House.

rcallaci, Folcro, Sam, Ralph Rotten

The challenge was well supported with SEVENTEEN entries!

1st place
The Ladder by undead_av

2nd place
The Halfway House by Non Serviam

3rd place
Highway of Tears by Tim
The House at the Edge of the Sea by ArrowInTheBowOfTheLord
$10 each

People’s Choice poll winner
JOI and Despair by epimetheus

Many congratulations to the winners and a vote of thanks to the judges.


NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month)

NaPoWriMo 2020
NaPoWriMo 2020

April is NaPo! Can you write thirty poems in thirty days? Join us on WritingForums. Ask for more details or register your interest > Here


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Created in 2014, Flashes is a privately owned literary website. We publish short stories, non-fiction, flash fiction and poetry. Our goal is to give talented writers a platform to showcase their creativity, with an emphasis on original voice, innovative style and challenging plots.

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