Santa’s Secret Pen 2021

Lately I’ve witnessed a lot of my writer friends on twitter feeling trapped in an “end of year” blues, finding no joy in writing as they’re either stuck in the query trenches or on submission.

I’d love to change that—and I hope you’ll help me!

Let me present to you…


A story prompt event!

The concept is shamelessly stolen from the fanfic community, but is applied to original fiction. Your fiction. Fiction from writers in the #writingcommunity. A secret santa event for writers.

Call it whatever you will, but here’s how it’s gonna work.

I’ll be your organizer for the event. You GIVE a story prompt and you GET a story prompt, meaning my holiest function during this event will be to administer the prompts. If you want to join, you fill in the form below at the bottom of this page. Please keep your story prompt fairly flexible, along the lines of: “a reunion uncovers a hidden wound from the past”, “it’s a rainy night when she knocks on my door, but I refuse to open it”, “when the tree in their backyard comes alive, they know it’s time”, or “the color blue, but written as if the color was a girl/boy/child/etc.”.

The prompt doesn’t have to be xmas-sy. It can be truly, really anything—as long as it’s fairly flexible, since this allows your secret santa enough creative freedom to have fun. Once you send me the email with your prompt, I will match you up with your secret santa, and send you a prompt in return. The deadline for sending me a prompt is November 30th, after which I send you another person’s prompt in return, and the deadline for the finished piece of fiction based on that prompt is January 3rd (if you want the piece showcased on the masterlist, which I’ll post on my blog). You can write as long/short a piece of fiction as you want (the finished product, not the prompt itself), but I ask that you try to hit around 1000 words at minimum.

You/I will send your written piece of fiction (aka the answered prompt) directly to its prompter, of course, but regarding the masterlist itself, you have different options…

… you can upload your finished piece on your own blog/website (and then send me a link for the masterlist, if you wish)
… I can upload the piece on my blog where the masterlist itself will also exist
… or you can choose to opt out of the masterlist entirely, as long as the prompter receives the piece directly from you.


If you join, you agree with the following:

  • Deadline for the prompt is November 30th
  • 1000 words at minimum for the written piece (aka the answered prompt), if possible
  • You must send the piece back to its prompter, at minimum
  • For inclusion in the January 3rd masterlist, post the piece on your own blog and send the link to me, or permit me to post the piece on my blog where the masterlist also exists (you can also chose not to join the masterlist)
  • This is a safe and inclusive space, so if I see any behavior that negates this, such as racism/sexism/transphobia/etc. I reserve the right to disqualify and exclude you from the event
  • I reserve the right to cancel the event should unforeseen circumstances occur


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