Author Archives: Brian A. Klems

Shark Attack

You're sailing in the ocean with friends when a shark attacks your boat, knocking off your friend who is driving the boat. There are two others on the vessel with you and you have to work with them to quickly save the driver from the water (and being eaten by the shark). Write this...

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

You've been going to the same bar every night for the past five years. In fact, you're such a regular that when you enter the, the other patrons yell your name and the bartender already has your drink waiting for you. But then one Friday you arrive and no one seems to recognize you,...

Father of Mine

Start your story with: "My dad gave me three life rules to live by: 1. (fill in the blank), 2. (fill in the blank) and 3. (fill in the blank). The first two were easy, but the third one proved difficult all because of a cheeseburger. Let me explain."

The Trick to Winning Big Literary Prizes

This month, many of the best contemporary books are going to receive prizes and plaudits in some of Britain and Europe’s top literary awards and ceremonies. The first of these took place on 8 May, with the announcement of winning entrants in the 2017 British Book of the Year Awards, where the Fiction Book...

Harry Potter Comes To Your House

What if Harry Potter came to your house for dinner? Write this scene as if you were a teenager, he's new to your school and you're introducing him to your parents. Also, after dinner, he makes a request of you. What is it?

Superhero Twist

You receive a mysterious call from a friend who asks you to meet him or her at a secret location. When you arrive, that friend reveals that he or she is, by night, a superhero. What's more, the friend needs your help in solving the latest case. Only problem is you can't help. When...

Bowling a Perfect Game

You're on the verge of bowling a perfect game (getting a strike in every frame). It all comes down to your final throw, which needs to be a strike to pull off the feat. There is a bit of an issue though--you are very superstitious and believe that you need to replicate everything you...

New Literary Agent Alert: Connor Eck of Lucinda Literary LLC

Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Connor Eck of Lucinda Literary) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list. About Connor: Prior to finding a home at Lucinda Literary in 2016, Connor began his career at The Weinstein...

Job Swap

Take a character from one of your stories and place them into your current job. How does the office respond? Do they do a good job filling your place, or are they all play and no work?

17th Annual Short Short Story Competition Winner: The Removal

“The Removal,” by Lauren Schenkman, is the winning story for the 17th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. For complete coverage of this year’s awards, including an interview with Schenkman, check out the July/August 2017 issue of Writer’s Digest. You can also view a complete list of winners and an extended interview with Schenkman. To read all 25...

Mother’s Day Fiasco

To celebrate Mother's Day, you've invited the entire family over to celebrate. But instead of bringing your mom to the celebration, your father brings someone else—and tells you that this woman is actually your mother. How do you react? Is it someone you know? Write this scene.