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Vocal, Where Did It Go?

Dearest Dreams Dashed, Darn!

By Stephanie J. BradberryPublished 2 months ago 5 min read
Screen Capture by Stephanie J. Bradberry

Once upon a time, not too many days ago, I fell madly in love with Vocal again. However, it turns out I saw something I wasn’t supposed to see. Then Vocal took it all away from me.

Vocal turned me into a scorned lover. She swept me up in a moment of bliss. Only to dash my hopes into literary dust. I will now tell you my tale of what became a writing miss.

What Made Me Love-Struck?

For a moment, a very brief moment, Vocal put out a Challenge that was for everybody. There was no Vocal+ badge associated with the newest Tautogram Challenge. For the first time in a long, long, long time, you could enter a Vocal Challenge without being a paid member. I was in love. Not because I’m not a Vocal+ member (I definitely pay every month now), but because “free” entry is how I originally got lured in by Vocal’s siren song.

Just over two years ago, Vocal issued the famous Little Black Book Challenge (January 20-March 02, 2021). As I scrolled through my Instagram feed in February 2021, something about possibly winning $20,000 for writing got me thinking. Maybe, just maybe! Even though it was a Vocal+ Challenge, since I was a newbie to the platform, I could get a trial run of Vocal for free. I was all-the-way-in. I didn’t win the Challenge, but Vocal won my heart and eventually a Vocal+ convert.

Back to my initial excitement…So seeing a current Vocal Challenge without needing to be a paid member made my heart leap for joy. There was finally an opportunity for another “me” to get his or her feet wet with Vocal and start or continue his or her writing journey.

So What Happened?

It. Went. Away…Poof. Vanished! Not the Challenge. The absentee Vocal+ badge suddenly appeared. Now you have to put skin in the game to take part in the Tautogram Challenge.

I totally had this amazing article about my enthusiasm primed and ready for some finishing touches. By finishing touches I mean, I still had about 500 more words to write and a little more research. (Cough). Super happy was I to finish all my background “research” and finally get a move on publishing my piece (before my dreams were dashed, that is). What was I researching? Glad you asked.

The Research

Being the ever-intrepid seeker of information, I wanted to see just how often Vocal previously put out non-Vocal+ Challenges compared to now (or rather what was a now until it became a not). Here’s what I discovered:

  • Since January 7, 2021 Vocal issued 99 Challenges.
  • Of the 99 Challenges, 8 were non-Vocal+ Challenges.
  • The 8 non-Vocal+ Challenges occurred between January 7, 2021 and May 2, 2022.
  • There has not been a single non-Vocal+ Challenge in 10 months.
  • If the Tautogram Challenge remained a non-Vocal+ Challenge, then it would have been 25 Challenges since the last non-Vocal+ Challenge.

Now do you understand my short lived excitement a little bit more? The issuance of a non-Vocal+ Challenge is super rare these days. I would calculate the odds versus the probability for you, but humanities are my strong suit, not mathematics. However, feel free to leave the correct calculations in the comments below!

Dearest Dreams Dashed, Darn!

With completed research in hand, I was ready to put forth my awesome discovery and joy. But when I went to double check my graphic, something was amiss. The Vocal+ badge appeared out of nowhere.

Vocal straight up pulled the carpet from up under me. The whole premise of my article was more shattered than the stories submitted for the Broken Mirror Challenge.

As a scorned lover, I’m going to share the bits of my original article. I just can’t let everything fall to the wayside.

List Of The 8 Most Recent Non-Vocal+ Challenges

  1. Mother’s Day Confessions (May 2-May 30, 2022)
  2. The Moment of Freedom Challenge (March 8-April 6, 2022)
  3. EmPAWyee of the Month (September 1-September 30, 2021)
  4. Stray to Stay (March 24-April 20, 2021)
  5. (Un) Common Knowledge (February 25-March 24, 2021)
  6. Black in Business (January 29-March 12, 2021)
  7. The Mystery of Bitcoin (January 20-February 17, 2021)
  8. Fresh Start (January 7-February 2, 2021)

My Original Title And Subtitle:

Did You See What Vocal Did?

One of These Things Is Not Like the Other

My Original Introduction

So who’s ready to play a little game? It might be one you remember from your childhood. It’s called “One of These Things Is Not Like the Other.” Consider it like Duck-Duck-Goose, with no animals and no running. You’re simply picking the one thing that is different.

In Sum

I wonder if Vocal will ever issue a non-Vocal+ Challenge in the near future (?). One thing that is very cool and inspiring about Vocal is how adaptive they are with making changes to the platform. In my little bit of research for this article, I realized even more just how many changes Vocal made to Challenges alone.

Screen Capture by Stephanie J. Bradberry

Interesting Changes to Vocal Challenges

Until mid-April of 2022, prizes were mostly only awarded for first, second and third place. That means not so long ago it was even harder to get a win in a Challenge.

The first recent break from the standard first, second and third place was The Moment of Freedom Challenge (March 8-April 6, 2022). In this instance, Vocal stated, “In lieu of prize money, Vocal will donate $10,000 to United Help Ukraine. Additionally, we will recognize the 50 most powerful and inspiring stories in a special Vocal collection.”

The second recent break from the standard first, second and third place was the Mother’s Day Confessions Challenge (May 2-May 30, 2022). For this Challenge the awards were for first and second place with 15 Runners-up. Since then, there have been all manners of variations for placing in Challenges.

Feeling Inspired?

If you took nothing else away from this article, it is clear that Vocal issues a TON of challenges. So jump on in! The waters feeling mighty nice for Challenges.

My Entry For The Tautogram Challenge


About the Creator

Stephanie J. Bradberry

I have a passion for literature and anime. And I love everything involving academia, health, metaphysics and entrepreneurship. During my free time I enjoy nature, crocheting, reading, my kiddos, and writing.

Visit me @

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Comments (17)

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  • Raymond G. Taylor2 months ago

    Vocal must have heeded your call. Watch out for news of a new free challenge!

  • Oh, to be so inspired, do almost all of the work, & have it disappear in the single click of a mouse! I feel ya. Hand over my heart, I feel ya. And then to salvage this from the ruins. My impression is that this might be even better than what you had originally intended. Bravo! Bravo!

  • Gina C.2 months ago

    Oh my! My heart 🥹 Where did it go? It’s sweet and inspiring you would love for someone to have the same joy from a non Vocal + challenge that you did! I love that 🥹❤️ You’re right, the need to do more of them!

  • Melissa Ingoldsby2 months ago

    Excellent insights!! Hearted

  • You've got an eagle eye. I didn't even notice that until you brought it to my attention. It's so wrong of them to do this!

  • Justin @ Vocal2 months ago

    We will be announcing some updates shortly, including open challenges 👍

  • You really impressed me with your diligent work on this. And Vocal what are you doing? Sometimes you have to throw one out to the masses..

  • Loryne Andawey2 months ago

    Wow! I love your diligence and fieldwork. You are inspiring me to write a crunchy article on Vocal as well. It will take some time, dedication and feedback, but I'll channel your enthusiasm to get it done 👍

  • Harmony Kent2 months ago

    I noticed the lack of a Vocal+ badge and then saw it appear. Love this article, Stephanie. So well expressed 💕🙂

  • Novel Allen2 months ago

    I saw it. Knew it was an oversight. Vocal wants to make money. "Show me the money". Ha ha. Valid and spot on points. They don't give a flying fig about our rants, show them the money. Bravo with this one,

  • Leslie Writes2 months ago

    I’m ashamed to admit, I don’t notice when a challenge is open to all, but I love that some of them are! You are so insightful! Love this article. 💖

  • You did some excellent research for this commentary and brought us some really interesting stats. I really enjoyed this. I am very much into statistics.

  • Shane Dobbie2 months ago

    I haven’t been here that long so I’d assumed all challenges were designed to ‘keep the lights on’ and us writers ‘hopeful’. The occasional free for all would surely boost numbers though. Interesting

  • Judey Kalchik 2 months ago

    I can remember at least two other times an ‘all In’ challenge was edited to be Vocal+ only.

  • Donna Renee2 months ago

    I noticed the that too and was so intrigued!!! Then I saw that it had been “fixed” 🤔🤷🏼‍♀️. I enjoyed your article and the numbers info anyway though!!

  • Madison Newton2 months ago

    Very informative, thank you!

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