Thursday, 7 June 2012

Taking the Chain Gang Challenge

Comma Press, small publisher supreme and from my home city of Manchester, are playing a big part in organising this year's International Short Story Day on 20 June. One of the real-time highlights of the day will be the Chain Gang Challenge, described thus by Comma:


The Challenge : 6 writers, 6 hours, 1 story.

As part of the International Short Story Day celebrations, The Book Lounge (South Africa) and Comma Press (United Kingdom) will be going head to head across the globe as their teams battle in the chain story competition. At 8.00am GMT* on Wednesday 20th June, the first of the teams of literary legends will sit down around the globe and start writing. An hour later, the keyboard will be wrested from his/her hands and passed on. As each segment of the story unravels, we’ll upload it to the Short Story Day Africa website. Readers will be able to watch the stories unfold online and, at 2pm GMT**, when the last writer adds the final full stop, the polls will open and readers can begin voting for their favourite story. 

* 9.00am UK and 10.00am SA **3.00pm UK and 4.00pm SA

The Prize: Bragging Rights and six copies of The Silence Room by Sean O’Brien, published by Comma Press.

UK team: Stella Duffy, Maria Roberts, Sarah Hilary, Nicholas Blincoe, Calum Kerr, and Tony White.

SA team: TBC
So, yes, at 10am GMT on 20 June I'll be taking up where Stella Duffy left off, before passing the story on to Nicholas Blincoe. Exciting stuff. Who else is celebrating International Short Story Day?

Comma's advice: Take up The Chain Gang Challenge yourself by assembling a team of writers and registering your chain gang with us on

For more info, contact or

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