19 Writing Challenge for Poets, Playwrights, Prose Writers and More

Over the last couple of months, I know how it felt when everyone was talking about NaNoWriMo and doing NaNoWriMo.

I felt like an outcast. Like I wasn’t even a writer. 

While NaNoWriMo is great not everyone has to do it. There are other online and self-paced writing challenges for other genres aside from novel writing and for different times of the year other than November.

No one even talks about them

I did some digging and found these writing challenges.

In this coming year, I would be participating in some of the writing challenges.

Let’s begin.

Poetry challenge

1.Poetry Marathon

The poetry marathon is run by Caitlin Jans(Thompson) and Jacob Jans along with other volunteers.

The first marathon was held in 2011.


The goal of the marathon is for you to write a poem every hour for twenty-four hours (Full Marathon).

You can also participate in the two half marathons where you write a poem every hour for twelve hours.

They do post prompts on the website but you don’t have to use them.

Your poems can be of any length.

This writing challenge is open to all writers as long as you have an internet connection to post the poems.


Held around June 27th and 28th June.

The signup process is around two weeks before the time.

Keep an eye on the website or follow their Facebook page.

Why participate in the poetry marathon

  • The satisfaction of completing a challenge
  • A bunch of poems for a chapbook
  • An official marathon writers certificate
  • Sometimes they publish an anthology, open for submission to only participants of the marathon

2. Octopowrimo

This simply means October Poetry writing month. It started in 2012.

The goal of the challenge is for you to write a poem daily throughout October.

I like the idea of 31 poems in 31 days.

They provide music, image, and written prompts you can use for inspiration for your poem.

You don’t have to use the prompts.

Beginning from 1st – 30th of September.

See also  Daily Poetry Prompts

They share poetry tips and other advice to prepare you.

Check them out.

3.National Poetry Day 

The national poetry day changes but this year was held on the 1st of October 2020.

The day is celebrated with poetry reading as well as writing poetry.

This would be a great day to write some poems and follow up the poetry books recommendations.

Click here to find out more on the website

4. World Poetry Day

The idea was conceived during the 30th General conference in Paris in 1999.

The world poetry day is celebrated on 21 March and was declared by UNESCO.

“With the aim of supporting linguistic diversity through poetic expression and increasing the opportunity for endangered languages to be heard.”

You can celebrate the day by writing a poem or more poems depending on how you want to celebrate the day.

5. National Poetry Month

The National Poetry Months is held every April.

The events are held by the Academy of American Poets with other poetry organizations.

6. National Haiku Month

This is haiku challenge is held in February every year.

The goal of the challenge is for you to write a haiku poem every day for one month in February.

It is held in February because it’s the shortest month and the haiku poem is short.

7. National Limerick Day

The limerick day is celebrated on the 12th of May every year.

It was named to celebrate the birthday of author, poet, English artist, illustrator Edward Lear(12 May 1812 – Jan 29, 1888).

Fiction Writing Challenge

Flash fiction

8. National Flash Fiction Day

The National Flash Fiction Day holds on June 22 every year to celebrate the flash fiction genre.

There are a lot of events, completions, and challenges to mark the day.

National Flash Fiction Day (NFFD) Anthology

They are accepting submissions from 1 December 2020 to 15 February 2021.

Submit here

9. NFFD Microfiction Competition

There would be the 2021 micro-fiction competition.

See also  50 Creative 50-Word Story Prompts: To Inspire You Right Now

They are accepting submissions from 1 December 2020 to 15 February 2021.

Click here to submit

10. Flash Flood

All through the 24 hours starting at 00:01 BT on 26 June.

Flash Flood will begin posting one flash fiction every 5 to 10 minutes over at NFFD.

Submissions will open for one week in the spring of 2021.

Check out the submission guidelines.

11. The Write-up

This is my favorite. You get to write a flash fiction every hour from 00:00-24:00 BT on June 22.

You can submit your responses to the website to get a chance of publication.

12. Chapter Book Challenge

This is also known as chaboocha.

It was created by Rebecca Fyfe.

The first challenge was held in 2012.

It is held every year in March from 1st- 31st of March.

Before I continue with the other details.

What is a Chapter Book?

A chapter book is a storybook written for readers around the age of 6-12 with no illustrations or pictures.

Let’s continue.

The goal of the challenge is to finish the first draft of a chapter book, middle grade, or Young Adults Novel.

You can signup here.

Join Facebook all year discussion on the website.

It is FREE.

13. Storyaday

For short story writers and lovers, this one is for you.

It is a challenge that is held in May and/or in September.

The goal of the challenge is to write a short story every day for the whole month.

You don’t have to post the story online.

They post prompts you can use if you like to use prompts.

14. Short story Day 

Short story day is held on the shortest day of the year. 

You can celebrate it by reading and writing short stories.

Short story length is between 1000-4000 words. There are exceptions.

15. RayBradbury 52 weeks short story challenge for aspiring writers.

This idea came from the famous author Ray Bradbury. 

He was asked what advice he had for young writers.

The idea is this you write a short story every week throughout the year.

See also  The feeling of greatness(being a writer)

There’s the likelihood that all 52 short stories are not going to be bad.

It’s more of a longtime strategy considering you are writing the short story every week.

Since a short story is between 1000-4000 words your output of the week will be 4000 words. Which is less challenging.

Like the Facebook page.

Nonfiction writing challenge

16. National Journal Writing Month

The challenge starts on the 1st day of January, April, June, and October.

It is designed to help you start and build a journal writing habit in thirty days.

They send thematic prompts to help you in journalling.

Subscribe to Najowrimo.

17. Maynowrimo

This is a challenge hosted by Joely Sue Burkhart in May every year.

I don’t know where to put this as it is open to all genres.

What you do is to set the, writing challenge for yourself.

It could be writing a nonfiction book, novel, etc.

You don’t have to write fifty thousand words.

As long as you finish your project in the month.

Playwriting challenge

18. 31 plays 31 days

This challenge is held in August. The goal of the challenge is for you to write a play a day throughout August. They give prompts on the site like pictures and written quotes.

Although this challenge was canceled by the organizers this year 2020, you can hold a challenge within your writing group or independently. 

If you are interested in this playwriting challenge let me know in the comments section 🤔.

19. Naplwrimo

In this playwriting challenge, you try to write a complete play of at least 75 pages in a month.

It takes place every November at


We have talked about a lot of writing challenges in the blogpost.

Is there any challenge you know of that is not on the list? 

Let me know.

Now it’s your turn, which of the writing challenge are you going to participate in let me know in the comments section 🤔.

By Onyemechi Nwakonam

Hi ,I write poetry and short prose. I am excited to help you organise your writing journey.

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