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May Challenge [Unofficial]

By Randy BakerPublished about a month ago โ€ข Updated 8 days ago โ€ข 3 min read
Top Story - May 2024


There are now three Prompted Writer's Challenges in the books. Overall, I would consider the series to be a success, but the participation has slowed down. Hopefully, this one will generate some enthusiasm. I am excited to see what the entries will hold!

For Prompted: #4, we will be returning to the art of the short story. But...there's a catch. There will still be some poetry involved! Keep reading to find out what I've concocted for this month's challenge.

I welcome your feedback and encourage you to join in the fun. Also, please help spread the word. The more the merrier! I enjoy hosting these challenges, but participation is key to their success.

Now, let the games begin!



The May Challenge will be to write a short story between 1,000 and 3,000 words in length. To be clear, this is not a flash fiction, or microfiction, challenge. Your entry must be newly posted to Vocal, not something from your archive.

For this challenge, you must choose a poem and then retell it in the form of a short story. The poem can be one that you have written, a poem by another Vocal creator, or a poem by any other poet (famous, or not). The only stipulation on the poem is that it must be publicly accessible online. You will need to include a link to the poem as an Editor's Note in your submitted short story.

I am including an example from my own writing to better explain the challenge. I wrote a poem called "Song of the Jelly Man" several years ago, which you can read here:

"Song of the Jelly Man" by Randy Baker

A few years later, I wrote a short story called "The Jelly Man", a retelling of the story contained in the original poem.

"The Jelly Man" by Randy Baker

When you submit your completed short story, please include an "Editor's Note" at the end of your submission. This note should name the poem you used as inspiration for your short story, as well as a link to an online copy of the poem.



The rules are simple.

Follow the instructions above for using the prompt. Your story must be posted in the Fiction community. You must provide the link to your story in the comments below. Only those entries that follow these instructions correctly will be considered for a prize.

Entries will be accepted from the time the challenge is publicly posted until 11:59 PM (US Central Time) on May 20, 2024. Winners of the challenge will be announced on, or before, May 25, 2024. Only one entry per person will be accepted for this challenge.

It is not required that you link back to this post for your entry to be valid, but it would be appreciated if you help spread the word by doing so. To reiterate, you must post a link to your entry in the comments below.



Winners will be chosen by me, at my sole discretion. Prizes will be distributed on Vocal as Tips. Winners are determined by content and quality, but you MUST have tipping enabled to receive payment. The awards will be as follows:

1st Place: $50.00

2nd Place: $30.00

3rd Place: $20.00


Keep track of this and future prompts by hitting the "subscribe" button on my profile.

Questions or feedback? Let me know in the comments. Good luck!

- Randy



"Until We Meet Again" by Christy Munson

"Nemesis" by Anna

"Volley and Thunder" by Matthew Fromm

"Voices" by Rick Henry Christopher

"The Beamish Boy" by Hannah Moore

"When the End Comes Too Soon" by Kelli Sheckler-Amsden

"Fake it Til You Make It (the Story)" by Shirley Belk

"Where the Sidewalk Ends" by Heather Zieffle

"It Must Have Ended Somewhere" by Natasha Collazo

"The Road Not Taken" by Rubesh

"Edgar's Vigil" by Alice Elizabeth

"Untimely Eyes" by D.J. Reddall

"Leonie's Heart of Darkness" by KA Stefana

"Quoth" by Alexander McEvoy

"Dead Bird Society" by Kendall Defoe

"Rage, rage against the dying of the night" by Paul Stewart

"Symphony of Madness" by Lamar Wiggins

"The Price I Pay" by Alexandria Stanwyck

"Fear River" by Mackenzie Davis

"The Town Tirant Flies" by Kalina Bethany

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About the Creator

Randy Baker

Poet, author, essayist.

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Comments (53)

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  • Kalina Bethany9 days ago

    Better late than never! Glad I set a reminder https://vocal.media/fiction/The-Town-Tirant-Flies

  • Mackenzie Davis9 days ago

    Ooh I hope this is in time! 4 mins to spare I think!! https://vocal.media/fiction/fear-river

  • I am getting this in with a couple of hours to spare. https://vocal.media/fiction/the-price-i-pay-88g90gc8 I really enjoyed writing for this challenge, so thank you Randy! Now I can't wait to start reading everyone else's submissions.

  • Lamar Wiggins9 days ago

    Hurray! I made it before the deadline. https://vocal.media/fiction/symphony-of-madness

  • Novel Allen9 days ago

    Great prompt. Sorry I missed it. Good luck to all.

  • Paul Stewart9 days ago

    Just made it just in time. It was just below 3,000. The rest of the word count is obviously the author's notes! Hope I've done all that was required! https://vocal.media/fiction/rage-rage-against-the-dying-of-the-night

  • Howdy, Randy I hope you enjoy :) https://vocal.media/fiction/quoth

  • KA Stefana 11 days ago

    I have wanted to write Leonie's story for some time. Here is my entry to this great prompt https://vocal.media/fiction/leonie-s-heart-of-darkness-35tk0v92

  • D. J. Reddall12 days ago

    Here is my response to your splendid prompt: https://vocal.media/fiction/untimely-eyes

  • Alice Elizabeth13 days ago

    I'm so glad I saw this just in time to join! Here's my entry https://vocal.media/fiction/edgar-s-vigil

  • Rubesh14 days ago

    โค๏ธHere's my entry, thanks for the inspiration https://vocal.media/fiction/the-road-not-taken-30hx06r3

  • Anna 15 days ago

    Back to say congrats on your Top Story! I hope this will help you get more audience and entries!๐Ÿ˜Š

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿ’–๐ŸŽŠ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿ’–๐ŸŽŠ

  • M. A. Mehan 16 days ago

    This looks so fun!

  • Brenda Fluharty16 days ago

    Very interesting challenge indeed.

  • Kendall Defoe 16 days ago

    I'm going to do this!

  • Mackenzie Davis16 days ago

    Yay, top story!! More entries on the horizon. ;)

  • Alexander McEvoy16 days ago

    Damn I actually had one that would have been perfect for this minus my commentary at the end, but I published that back in November. But I'll try and rustle up a fresh one in time Looking forward to participating in this contest! Congrats on top story and have fun curating!

  • Matthew Fromm16 days ago

    So happy they finally made this a top story

  • Christy Munson16 days ago

    Back to say Congratulations on Top Story, Randy! ๐Ÿฅณ

  • Heather Zieffle 17 days ago

    Here is my entry, thanks for the prompt, Randy! https://vocal.media/fiction/where-the-sidewalk-ends-the-story

  • Belle19 days ago

    I love this idea! So cool!

  • Paul Stewart20 days ago

    Oh this is cool and sorry I missed the last challenge...April got away from me really in many ways. This sounds fun and I love the idea of taking something from one form and taking into a different form. Great challenge, Randy!

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