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To Win Just Once

Musings On Vocal Challenges And Top Stories

By Mike Singleton - MikeydredPublished 2 months ago 3 min read


These are just some mind wanderings on winning or placing in Vocal Challenges as well as the almost daily multiple Top Story awards.

I have a feeling that everyone, including me, joined Vocal because they felt they had a chance of winning one of their lucrative challenges. Then I very soon realised that I was unlikely to hit that, but there were bonuses for various targets including Top Stories and Awesome Stories. While the Awesome Stories gave you $5 there was no promotion via the main page like for Top Stories so though I got a lot of Awesome Stories I felt Vocal did see me as good enough to share my work on their page and if that were so I would not be considered for a Challenge.

That Was Then But This Is Now

Awesome Stories seem to have disappeared and Top Stories are now extremely common. One of the groups I administer Vocal+Assist have recently had an amazing number of Top Stories created by members and that makes me feel as though I am part of a successful team. We know how good our creators are and it is great to get recognition from Vocal for that on a daily basis.

In tandem with this are the Vocal Challenges. While I promote Vocal on Social Media, and have promoted some of the Vocal Facebook Groups, Vocal have seldom reciprocated. I have never placed in a Vocal Challenge and while I feel that my work is continually worthy of a place I doubt that I will ever place, so I have changed my perspective to use the Challenges as a prompt. I tend to just enter one piece (though sometimes there are more) and a few of those entries have been chosen as Vocal Top Stories though have not placed in Challenges, so I am happy for the $5 bonus and the reads that I get from featuring on the Vocal Top Story feed.

I do write a lot and submit a lot to Vocal, and have lost count of the number of stories I have published on Vocal that have been chosen as Top Stories (three so far in 2023) so while I would love to win at least one challenge, I know I am recognised well via Vocal’s Top Story feed and the number of reads that I have received (over twenty three thousand at this moment in time), but I have spoken with serial winners who seldom receive Top Stories which I find very odd.

The other thing is, I feel incredibly privileged to receive so many Top Stories given that there are over seven hundred thousand Vocal members (I am not sure how many are Vocal+ ) and that makes me feel that I must be doing at least something right. I also know that a lot of my writing actually helps others and that really makes me feel good.

I feel that everyone has the opportunity to benefit from being on Vocal in many ways, especially with friendship and empathic support , and then with the bonuses there is the opportunity for a little coffee money. Then if you win a challenge you can buy yourself a big present, but while that may happen for me I will not count on it happening. That’s not being negative, it is just a little realism.


I would love to win a Vocal Challenge, I have four or five friends who have won Vocal Challenges and I am very happy for them, and would like to join that wonderful group of friends, and who knows , one day I might do.

This was partially inspired by The Saw Doctors "To Win Just Once" and you can read a bit more about them in the story below.

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About the Creator

Mike Singleton - Mikeydred

Weaver of Tales, Poems, Music & Love

7Days (830k V) ֎ Fb ֎ Pix ֎ Pin ֎ Disco

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Comments (36)

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  • Moneygram16 days ago

    Appreciate it 🙌🔥

  • AGB2 months ago

    I really like that you made an article about this. Im still fairly new to vocal, ill be coming up to a year in June. Anyway, I still haven't gotten a top story or a challenge. Just like most, I think my work is pretty good and would enjoy winning something. BUT, I have notice usually the same names of authors being picked as top stories. Dont get me wrong I think they are well deserved and I love how they write but I sometimes feel like maybe Vocal might prefer some authors over others or not really look for new material? Im a V+ member (at least until my year is up, dont think ill pay another year for V+) and I did it to complete the most challenges that I can and get people to read my stories. My goal is to get as much readers as possible, get feedback and encouragement to continue writing. But I began to notice that writing challenges dosent brings you an audience, top story does. So even if I think I made a killer story and feel really excited about it, I might only get maybe 5 reads. So my question is how exactly does an author acquire a top story recognition? Like if any author that has won a top story goes into my page reads one of my stories could they notice what I'm missing and what improvements I need to be able to be considered at least top story material?

  • Babs Iverson2 months ago

    Well done!!! Top Story too, congratulations Mike!!!

  • Ward Norcutt2 months ago

    Well..until now, I have not garnered any challenge honor(runner up) in the mystery box challenge....never a top story and I have shuddered at many of them..... More to come

  • Always well written 📝 Congratulations as this should be the Top Story❗✌️💯😉❤️I agree your Group on Facebook has been Amazing with all Talented Creators.... Thank you for sharing the platform👍🙏🎉🌟🕺

  • Zohaib Sunesara2 months ago

    Congrats on Top Story, Mike!

  • Lilly Cooper2 months ago

    I think those of us who have not even made a short list so far, all would love to at some point. You never know, you may be publishing an article about the thrill of your first win in the future.

  • Francis Sampson2 months ago

    Congrats on top story

  • J. R. Lowe2 months ago

    I remember not so long ago you were saying you’d never had a Top Story despite publishing a lot of content on Vocal, but since then you’ve had soooo many top stories which is definitely something to celebrate, and I think goes to show how far you’ve come in such a short time. I think with every word you type, you get that little bit closer to winning a Challenge too. Keep it up, Mike - I feel like a win isn’t too far away in your future 🎉

  • Em Starrrrr2 months ago

    Nice work, Mike. I've had a few Top Stories and was a runner up in the Mystery Box challenge but I'm still yet to to take out first or second place. Both my entries into the Improbable Paradise challenge have been Top Stories (one prior to the challenge) and I'm trying to work out if that's a good or a bad sign. Best of luck to you, and congrats on your Top Story.

  • C. H. Richard2 months ago

    Congratulations Mike on Top Story! I do think the top stories have much more poetry and fiction than in the past which is why more of the writers in fb groups may be getting more notice. To me that is fantastic and a more engaged group of writers. I have placed only once in a challenge as a runner up and had top stories, which has been awesome each time. A challenge win eludes me, but I really do love Vocal prompts and the chance to share with other writers so I am thankful. ♥️ Keep writing Mike your stories are thoughtful and engaging!

  • Thavien Yliaster2 months ago

    Great job on keeping it real, Mike.

  • Dana Stewart2 months ago

    Congratulations on Top Story Mike! I've had ONE Top Story and placed in one challenge - Vocal doesn't acknowledge the Fiction Short list stories, but I had one of those, too. :)

  • Daniel Jeyaraman2 months ago

    This is great. Congratulations on your top story, Mike. ❤

  • Alfiya2 months ago

    As I've said before, you mind wanderings are great! And you get some recognition for them which is even better :)

  • Gina C.2 months ago

    Congrats on Top Story, Mike!

  • I don't have enough money to buy a Vocal membership and do something different.😔

  • To win just once, to taste that sweet success, To feel the rush of victory, the thrill of the quest, To conquer the doubts and the fears that we face, To rise above the challenges and find our own pace. To win just once, to know that we're capable, To push through the struggles and come out unbreakable, To prove to ourselves that we're stronger than we know, To make our own way, and let our passions glow. To win just once, to see the world in a new light, To find the courage to chase our dreams with all our might, To embrace the unknown and the risks that we take, To know that we're alive and we're not afraid to make mistakes. To win just once, to look back with no regret, To know that we lived our lives without holding back, To find the strength to keep going, no matter what comes, To be true to ourselves and to always be on the run. So let us strive to win, to taste that sweet success, To find the courage to chase our dreams with all our might, To rise above the challenges and find our own pace, To know that we're alive and we're not afraid to make mistakes. MOHAMMAD SADDAM HUSSAIN

  • Lori Melton2 months ago

    Mike - I came to Vocal in the darkest of times - one year past losing my dad and earned 1 Top Story for a challenge entry. Somehow I got a third place win in the Bedtime Stories Challenge - still can’t figure that out lol - I felt like I hit the lottery that day! Then, my mom’s illness took a terrible turn and my life became full of hoping against hope for more time with her. That 3rd place finish, though, gave HER so much joy in the midst of suffering. That if I never place again- I have that moment of immeasurable happiness with her. She believed in my writing. When she died a year ago, I went numb and felt so empty. As her 1 year gone date passed, something stirred in me to start again, in her honor. She was so courageous throughout her illness. I decided to buck up and get brave, and try again. I know this is a long comment. I just want to emphasize what an inspiration you are to me. I appreciate your kindness and support out here. You deserve all recognition and more!! This article really resonates with me. I hope I can achieve some of your incredible writing milestones. ❤️⌨️✍🏻

  • Melissa Ingoldsby2 months ago

    Congratulations my brother !!!

  • Deasun T. Smyth2 months ago

    I've nether had a top story nor did I win a challenge (my best story had ~ 20 reads). I am still technically a beginner, but remember, all of the vocal challenge winners were also beginners.

  • Heather Hubler2 months ago

    Congratulations on the Top Story! I already loved this one :)

  • JBaz2 months ago

    Congratulations, your thoughts are valid and shared by many. So true. Keep at it my friend one we may see our names on that coveted spot

  • K. Zachary2 months ago

    I seriously fall between the cracks and have the audience of one. My writing will see who it’s supposed reach I suppose. Congrats to you!

  • Congratulations on Top Story!

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