A few nights ago I mentioned that if anyone wanted to take up a story-a-day for thirty days, I could be their first reader for a price. Yup, said that.

Now I understand how really difficult on so many levels this challenge is. This is the second time I have done it and over the years hope to do one in every month of the year. Over different years, of course. Like the first one was in July and got the book Stories from July. This one will be a book called Stories from April.

The stories will also be in Smith’s Monthly, in collections, and published stand-alone.

So after I opened my mouth a few days ago, I got three brave people asking seriously what I would charge. I flat had no idea. I had never given it a thought before I typed those words and clearly didn’t give it a thought then either. (grin)

So over the last few days I’ve tried to puzzle how this might work in a way that would be fun for me, a benefit to whoever was nuts enough to try it, and so on. So tonight, when I woke up from a nap, I had it.

Here it is…


Write either a story a day for 30 days or a story every two days for 60 days. Either way you get 30 short stories finished if you get it done.

I will charge $600 to be your first reader. If you finish 30 stories in 60 days, you get an online workshop of your choice.

If you can actually finish 30 stories in 30 days, you get two online workshops of your choice. ($600 value and you get my reading for free.)

If you don’t finish 30 stories in 60 days at the outside, but signed up, paid the money, and gave it a try, you get a lecture of your choice.

— My duties as first reader will be this: I will read your story every day as a reader, comment as a reader and as an editor some. I will tell you what I liked, what didn’t work for me, and general stuff like that. I WILL NOT COPYEDIT or REWRITE your story or help you plot your story. However, I will tell you if it would work as a novel. (grin)

— A warning… I have a thick skin and Kris can say if she liked a story or not or if it worked or not and I just shrug and write the next story. To finish a challenge like this, you would need to keep my comments out of your head. I might even suggest you don’t look at my comments until the challenge is over. But up to you.

— Time limited. I do not want to be doing this into the summer.  So this will be open only until a May 2nd start. That will give you thirty days in May and thirty days in June.

— Cost is $600 and I will take anyone who is interested, even the wonderful woman I initially turned down if she wants to give it a try. (This new format makes it better.)

So in summary, pay $600 to get me as a first reader for thirty stories. Start on May 2nd. If you get them done in 30 days, you get two $300 online workshops. If it takes you 60 days to get thirty stories done, you get one online workshop. If you give it a good try and still don’t make thirty stories, you get a lecture. Something like the productivity lecture, maybe. (grin)

This sounds like great fun to me. Totally silly.

It’s April 19th. You got just a little over a week to decide, get ready, and get the money into me.

Of course, you could always just do it on your own and play along, test to see if you can do it without me reading your stories.

Any questions, feel free to write me or ask in the comments section.

Yes, I am this crazy. But you all knew that.