Category Archives: Pitches

Coffee & Cigarettes

Coffee & Cigarettes

Inspired by the movie of the same name, and by how much fun The Train project was.

Stories from tables in a smoky cafe.
Brief snatches of conversation overheard by the waiters and waitresses as they bring more coffee.

Two tables each.
250 words per table.
Mainly dialogue.
2 weeks for each table, making four weeks total.

Posted in 2012-01-09 to 2012-02-05, Pitches | 2 Comments

Keep Calm And Carry On

Keep Calm and Carry On

Quickly now, write a story. Two hundred and fifty in the Queen’s English.
Jolly good show.

Time: 2 weeks.
Words: 250.

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Give me an R



You can take to the High Seas, torrent off down the Information Superhighway, or something else entirely.

The only constraint is that there must be a Jolly Roger in your story somewhere.

Time: 2 weeks.
Words: 300.

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Superhero Origin Stories

Every superhero needs a good origin story.
Fictioneers can either write themselves a brand new superhero or rewrite the origin story of an existing superhero.
The world is your (mutant) oyster!

p.s. the Gamma Rays coming from your computer screen attract radioactive spiders: check yourself for bites!

Time: 2 weeks
Words: 300

Posted in 2011-10-10 to 2011-10-23 - Wassup, Pitches?, 2011-12-05 to 2011-12-18, Pitches | 2 Comments

Time, Travelling

Darkening Clockwork by matthileo on Flickr

[Image Darkening Clockwork by matthileo on Flickr]

A man walks into a shop in Greenwich and buys the finest clock that he can afford on his modest salary.
It is a gift for his as yet unborn daughter.
Our stories follow the clock as it passes down the generations, being fixed, reboxed, remade.

Posted in 2011-10-10 to 2011-10-23 - Wassup, Pitches?, Pitches | Comments Off

“And then he wished for Peace On Earth!”

Three Wishes

[Original image: Free At Last by ritwikdey on Flickr]

You find an old lantern in a junk shop one day. You buy it, take it home, polish it up.
Out pops a Genie and offers you three wishes. Your word your requests carefully, so as not to get caught out.
But you do. People always do.

Every few thousand years, the Genie’s Guild brings together its best and brightest to share stories of Wishers and their Wishes. The best stories, the tales of the most creative and cruel interpretations of a Wish, win the Genie freedom from their lanternic prison. The rest go back to the bottle.

Our job, Fictious folk, is to transcribe the scrolls containing these tales.

Time: 3 weeks.
Words: about 500.

Posted in 2011-10-10 to 2011-10-23 - Wassup, Pitches?, 2011-11-14 to 2011-12-04, Completed, Pitches | 7 Comments

Cautionary Tales from the Security Theatre

[Original image: security screening at denver airport by Inha Leex Hale on Flickr]

Recent years have seen a massive increase in our safety when taking international flights.

Pornoscanners have stopped The Terrorists taking chainsaws onto planes.
Moving our bottles of liquids into zip lock bags has meant that planes have been keep dry enough.
Taking our laptops out of their bags before having them scanned has stopped… um… some bad things.
Collectively, this family of measures is called Security Theatre.

I would like to hear Cautionary Tales from the Security Theatre.
Please to writings them.

Posted in 2011-10-10 to 2011-10-23 - Wassup, Pitches?, Pitches | Comments Off

Wassup, Pitches?

Man with light bulb for head

Since Jo is away (possibly with the faeries) for two weeks, we’ll be taking a short break from Project action, and having a Pitch Generation Phase (or PGP, as the kids on the street are calling it).

Have at it!

View all Pitches

Posted in 2011-10-10 to 2011-10-23 | Comments Off

From Arris to Wall Dormer


Those architects have a lot of (very) funny-sounding names for (quite) funny-looking bits of buildings.
In the spirit of The Meaning of Liff (and it’s many spin-offs and brethren), I think we should take back those words, make them our own again, dagnabbit!

The Architectural Element Stubs category of Wikipedia is a goldmine of the WhosAWhatNow of architectural terms. And I’ll take my Dais to the Newel of anyone who disagrees. That’ll wipe the Squinch off their face.

If that doesn’t float your boat, there’s always the mainstream Glossary of Architecture for your Doric Flushwork or Arris Spandrels.

Excuse me, I must go and shower now.

p.s. short and sharp Project.
Time: two weeks.
Words: 100 per item.
Items: at least one per week.

Posted in 2011-12-19 to 2012-01-08, Pitches | 1 Comment

Get a Clue(do)


In my country, we call it Cluedo. In the uncivilised world, it is called Clue. The game of murder that’s fun for all the family! :D

You pick a person, a piece, and a place, and write a story in about 250 words in two weeks. The only constraint is that it should not involve murder.
Each one of the characters should have one story each.

The people

  • Miss Scarlett
  • Colonel Mustard
  • Mrs. White
  • Reverend Green
  • Mrs. Peacock
  • Professor Plum
The pieces

  • Candlestick
  • Dagger
  • Lead Pipe
  • Revolver
  • Rope
  • Spanner
The places

  • Kitchen
  • Ballroom
  • Conservatory
  • Cellar
  • Library
  • Study
Posted in 2012-02-13 to 2012-03-11, Pitches | Comments Off



I really like the look of Flash Fiction Challenge: An Uncharted Apocalypse.

 I want to see flash fiction set in a very unconventional, never-before-seen apocalypse. A Create Your Own End Times kinda story. Get as creative as you want. I want the world to end — or be in the middle of ending — in a way we’ve never seen before.

Alas, 1,000 words this week (well, by tomorrow) is more than I can handle, so I’d like to remix it for a run here.

Same concept, but 500 words over two weeks, with <= 6 people.

Comment commitment!

Posted in 2011-08-01 to 2011-08-14, Pitches | 2 Comments

Do it your Way

I had this idea because I wanted to build a continuity with micfic.

Take a specific micfic that you admired written by someone else in the group, and rewrite it in the same length so that it is clearly recognisable and also obviously your own.

Commitment details: Time period 2 weeks, 250 words, 3+ people


This pitch is in progress, participants: Parf, Stv, Andrew

Deadline: 31st July 2011

Posted in 2011-07-18 to 2011-07-31, Completed, Pitches | 1 Comment

Cape Town 2300

The encyclopedia idea – grounded in a future Cape Town. Participants submit entries from A – Z, with rules as to referencing both prior and future terms in each entry. The more, the better here in terms of participants, but we can keep word limits quite short – say up to 200 words or so, or no limits at all. This is a good one for later on in the game when we can count on getting say 8 – 10 people together for 24 weeks (6 months, wow).

Comments – not necessary with the back and forth referencing.

Credit to the CLAW project on this a while ago.


Posted in Pitches | 2 Comments

In The Details

I suggest we take this descriptive passage (from Agatha Christie) and give it more meaning and narrative by adding a series of footnotes on each of the nouns in brackets:

The small [drawing-room] was exquisitely neat and smelled of burnt lavender.  There were some [Dresden shepherds and shepherdesses], on the [mantelpiece], simpering sweetly. There were [framed water-colours], [two samplers], and [three needlework pictures] on the wall. There were some [photographs] of what were obviously nephews and nieces and some good furniture – a [Chippendale desk], some little [satin-wood tables] – and a hideous and rather uncomfortable [Victorian sofa].


The idea is to provide 10 to 100 words for each marked noun: These chunks might be description, back story or random musing so to create an idea or narrative out of this otherwise descriptive paragraph.

I’ll find some clever hover over way to display peoples definitions on the web.

Commitment details: 3 weeks , 3+ people?

Posted in 2011-10-24 to 2011-11-13, 2011-10-24 to 2011-11-13 - In The Details, Completed, Pitches | 3 Comments

The Diary of an Adventure

Members of the team write diary entries for archetypes in a story: “The Hero”; “The Villain”; “The Princess”. We take turns submitting entries – again, I’d say this is a small group type of thing, 3 would be enough – and the entries have to follow each other in time (though they could contain flashbacks?). We’d need to riff on the story so far and respond to it, and drive it forward, hopefully in unexpected directions.

Word-count could be quite flexible. We could also short-cut some conventions by making the posting time “up to 1 week” with the next person’s week kicking in as soon as the post has appeared (this allows for shorter posts which may be fun for comical effect).

Comments would be optional, since the stories themselves respond to prior segments so you get engagement from that.

Posted in Pitches | 1 Comment

Living on a Prayer

Each post is a short prayer. The prayers, asking for help with the most intimate issues, would be a way of giving a glimpse into people’s stories. I like the idea of each round of submissions having a theme – “Run for your life”, “Justice”, “The good old days” etc. Alternatively we could move from reality to invention – prayers in the here and now, then prayers in different places and times, then prayers in other universes, that kind of thing. The trick is to find out what people could be praying for, what that says about them. I think the number of participants is very flexible – this doesn’t quite fit with the categories below, but I’m not fixed on a specific number, 5 – 10 I guess?

I’m not too fixed on the categories below, they are just suggestions too – open for debate.

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The Train

Each post is written from the point of view of a person travelling in a train carriage. As more perspectives are added, a picture of the moment on the train emerges.
Participants: Steve, Jo, Andrew.
Terms: 100 – 200 words per author each week by Sunday for 8 weeks.
See below the fold and in comments for the evolution of this pitch.

Continue reading

Posted in 2011-08-15 to 2011-10-09, Pitches | 4 Comments

Insert Stick A into Hole B

Instruction manuals! Who doesn’t love them, used to stay up until 3 a.m. reading them under the bedcovers with a torch, cuddle them on those cold winter nights?

The manual should be a one-pager, about 10 steps long.

The object should be real, but can be unexpected.


Commentage on the other manuals. Perhaps questions, if you get stuck on step 4.

Word Count: 300

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Winners of the Young Inventor Award 2015

The name of the inventor and their invention, plus a brief description (about 100 words) of the invention.

Set slightly in the future to allow for flying cars, jet packs, sentient televisions, etc.



Comment on all other participants entries.

Word Count: 100

Posted in Pitches | 2 Comments