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Eavesdropping Sleepy Mission (Unofficial) Challenge Update

An Unofficial Vocal Challenge - Updates

By sleepy draftsPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 4 min read
Top Story - February 2024

Alright, y'all - I dropped the ball a little. I posted this challenge, forgot about it, extended the deadline, forgot again, annnnnd welllllllll.... you might be able to see where this is going. There may be another deadline-extension at play, here. Turns out, I'm not a very good promoter!

I guess that's something new to work on in 2024!

So, I decided to feed two birds with one scone here and give a little update on the Sleepy Mission: Terraria Night Eavesdropping Challenge.

(As a side note, I will be giving these "mission" prompts a shorter name in the future, lol.)

To get right into it, here are the contest details:

Due: February 29

Prizes: $25 for 1st, $15 for 2nd, and $10 for 3rd.

Prompt: To write a poem inspired by eavesdropping.

To get a little further into it, I wanted to quickly touch on the concept for the Sleepy Missions.

I love a good prompt, especially something quick and straightforward to get the juices flowing right there from your desk. There's something to be said about a mission, though - something where you have to go back to your roots and write about what inspires you out there from the real world. I know for me, sometimes it's easy to get in my little writing bubble which consists of a lot of my own narrative voice, and can get pretty insular. Breaking outside of that bubble is usually just the thing I need to free my hands and make the first chip away at my writer's block. Hence, a Sleepy Mission!

This challenge is all about eavesdropping, paying closer attention to the world around you, getting outside of your head, and experimenting with different voices.

For me, I ended up being inspired by playing with the random, semi-poetic things my boyfriend and his friends said while playing video games. In the past, I've written about snippets I hear while waiting in line, or reading at the local coffee shop. Sometimes just shuffling through song titles and thinking of storylines to go along with them is enough to get me out of my little brain-bunker.

We all have different parts of our lives that inspire us sometimes completely at random. The universe nudges us awake with the gift of a delicious plot overheard in the produce aisle or a compelling character who introduces themself as a customer at work. It's up to us to recognize those gifts, yes, but it's also up to us to bring those moments to life in our unique ways.

I would love to read what you overheard out there in the world and how it inspires you and your writing. So make sure to leave your entries in the comments of this piece, or the original article!

What kind of Sleepy Missions would you like to see in the future?

Here are the submissions so far!

Mike Singleton - Mikeydred, "What They Said"

Inspired by: songs, coasters, books, authors, and artists!

Kalina Bethany, "Bench of Eden"

Inspired by: a conversation at the gym!

Judey Kalchik, "Overheard"

Inspired by: the world around her! (The breakroom, the checkout line, the dressing room... all delicious places to eavesdrop.)

Karun, "Hear them out"

Inspired by: A coffee shop and a walk downtown!

Kelli Sheckler-Amsden, "MTWTFSS"

Inspired by: Hearing her name while grabbing lunch and leaning in to find out more!

Liam Storm, "How the hell did I lose that fight?"

Inspired by: The party chat in a game of Call Of Duty!

Hayley Matto, "Don't Touch Me There"

Inspired by: A horrible night at the bar with a horrible man (thank you so much for opening up and sharing this one, Hayley. Sending you huge, huge love.)

Penny Fuller, "When Winning"

Inspired by: Overhearing how some people just can't seem to celebrate another writer's win, while others can make a person's day by raising them up.

Rick Henry Christopher, "Complaints About a Squatter"

Note: Since Rick has kindly contributed to the prize pool and will be one of the judges, this piece is not a contender! However, it is a great example of taking an overheard moment and elevating it into poetry/story-telling. Wonderfully done, Rick!

Inspired by: Overhearing an awkward conversation in the waiting room to get bloodwork done!

Babs Iverson, "ONE MORE TIME"

Inspired by: The Super Bowl game!

Alyssa Nicole, "Confiscated"

Inspired by: An overheard phone call while waiting in line at Airport Security!

Ace Melee, "Pretend Everyone is Awake"

Inspired By: Overhearing a conversation between her parents while falling asleep! (Thank you for opening up and sharing this, Ace. Big hugs.)

Angie the Archivist, "Spectacular Sunflowers"

Inspired by: Listening in, and going on an adventure filled with sunflowers and new friends!

Paul Stewart, "the call that reminds you"

Inspired by: An incredibly difficult and heartbreaking moment while working in a call center. Thank you for opening up and sharing this, Paul.

Hannah Moore, "Among These Dark Satanic Mills"

Inspired by: An overheard conversation on her way home from work!

Babs Iverson, "UNFAIR"

Inspired by: Crime!

Lamar Wiggins, "Grocery Memes"

Inspired by: A trip to the grocery store!

Anna, "How I lost my job..."

Inspired by: A terrifying moment with her boss!

Mackenzie Davis, "Tears of God"

Inspired By: Three overheard sentences, one tragic meaning.


About the Creator

sleepy drafts

a sleepy writer named em :)

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Comments (45)

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  • Mackenzie Davis2 months ago

    Eeek this didn’t publish til after i went to sleep yesterday! Hope it’s in time! https://vocal.media/poets/tears-of-god

  • Anna 2 months ago

    Here's my attempt if the deadline is not closed yet: https://vocal.media/poets/how-i-lost-my-job

  • Lamar Wiggins2 months ago

    Hurray! I made it before the deadline! https://vocal.media/poets/grocery-memes

  • Babs Iverson2 months ago
  • Susan Fourtané2 months ago

    "feed two birds with one scone" <-- How much I love this!

  • Paul Stewart2 months ago

    So...I did one...might have another but one for now...don't know if it really counts...but hope it does! https://vocal.media/poets/the-call-that-reminds-you

  • olymoolla2 months ago

    You write very well please visit my vocal id and leave a comment about how I write stories and how I write stories

  • Alyssa Nicole2 months ago

    Here is my submission! Fun fact: I learned that the word "snafu" is actually an acronym...all this time I had no idea! 😂 https://vocal.media/poets/confiscated

  • Hannah Moore2 months ago

    A valid reminder, I took forgot, and last night I overheard a ridiculous conversation I may play with.

  • Penny Fuller2 months ago

    https://vocal.media/poets/when-winning Thank you for creating this contest! It was a fun prompt to try.

  • Raduxx Radu2 months ago

    Congratulations on your Top Story 💓😘💖❤👍

  • Dorota2 months ago

    Congratulations on your Top Story

  • Kalina Bethany2 months ago

    I never realized how much inspiration I gained through other mediums while in writer's block - usually in the form of music, podcasts and short films for research. Cool to hear you write about the same and make this connection :) Here's to crushing procrastination the rest of 2024! Looking forward to the results and other entries.

  • Liam Storm2 months ago

    Hi, I love this prompt! I wasn't sure which story to comment on so, I've done both! Please check out my submission for it; https://vocal.media/poets/how-the-hell-did-i-lose-that-fight

  • Joe O’Connor2 months ago

    Love this idea, and it’s a very unique challenge taking on other people’s words for once, instead of our own! Interested to see what people come up with🙌

  • Dariusz 2 months ago

    Congratulations on top story :)

  • Hayley Matto2 months ago

    Here's my go... took me down an emotional rabbit hole I did not expect, but can't begin to express how grateful I am Em!! This was healing beyond words, and I would never have gotten it out there if not for your challenge. 🤍 https://vocal.media/confessions/don-t-touch-me-there

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • I seem to remember reading about this a while back, thought I was subscribed to you, then discovered I wasn't just recently. Thank you for the reminder. May have to give it a try. Though, as my wife will gladly tell you, my hearing's not that great & I'm autistic so it's highly selective. What I overhear may have nothing to do with what is actually said.

  • Paul Stewart2 months ago

    Yay...so glad this got Top Story, Em! I am sure you will get some amazing entries! I am still thinking over what mine will be! :)

  • Brin J.2 months ago

    Oh, perfect! I didn't even know this was happening, and this sounds entertaining. :)

  • Kendall Defoe 2 months ago

    Challenge accepted!

  • Raymond G. Taylor2 months ago

    Already thinking of something overheard - not sure if it’s a poem waiting to be made 😀

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