I created The Iron Writer in February 2013 and the website has been growing ever since. The idea evolved from a blog tour I participated in where I was asked to write a five hundred word flash fiction piece, utilizing four elements, with a six week deadline. Once committed, I fretted the next day if I was capable of keeping my commitment. In my angst, I did not know what one of the elements was, so I Googled it. When I discovered what the element was, my muse dropped in and gave me everything I needed. Five hours later, I submitted my story, polished as well as my poor writing skills allowed. About a week later, still on a high over the experience, I thought about what I learned by accepting the challenge. It occurred to me what this concept could become. And so The Iron Writer emerged from the womb.
In the year since, not only is there a weekly challenge where a single winner is crowned, The Iron Writer now offers a series of tournaments where an annual champion is crowned. In recents months, from suggestions from the wonderful and supportive writers who have joined the group, The Iron Writer has expanded to include an non-competitive Weekend Quickie, the soon to be announced Relay and one day I want to introduce an Apprentice program, helping high school and college age writers. In February 2014, I will introduce a Feedback section, where stories can be critiqued if an author asks. Feedback is something every writer craves.
But what is most important is how The Iron Writer has changed everyone who has embraced the concept. Taking a challenge is like exercising. You find that each word is important and extraneous words constrain the story. This skill is one that every writer needs. Think of writing a single scene in a novel. Every word carries weight. Every word needs to be in the best place in the scene. Taking a challenge, whether submitted or not, tightens, sharpens your skill.
With the great assistance from those below, I am able to manage if not tame this beast. My specific responsibilities include issuing the elements for each challenge and post the submissions. I may be reached here.
Please consider joining us.
Below are those who have contributed to The Iron Writer.
M.D. Pitman is the co-creator and administrator of the quarterly Iron Writer Open tournaments, and the annual Tournament of Champions. This started when B.Y. Rogers connected with M.D. Pitman about how to put together some type of tournament that would pit Iron Writers against each other to where there is an ultimate Iron Writer.
The winner of each Open, which are conducted on the changes of the seasons, then fight for the Tournament of Champions champion and title of Ultimate Iron Writer.
Tannis Laidlaw has taken on the job of editing the collection of stories produced by the winners of The Iron Writer during its first year of operation. The anthology will contain all the weekly winning stories plus those produced by the winners of the quarterly finals (Summer and Winter Solstices plus the Autumn and Spring Equinox challenges). The Grand Final will result in one overall winner for the year, which will be the featured story in the collection.
Tannis will be ably assisted by fellow author and winner of several challenges, Dani J. Caile.
This anthology will be produced for two reasons. The first is to promote the Iron Writer site and show off the calibre of winning entries. The e-book version of the anthology will be cost-free for readers whenever that is possible, for this reason. The second reason for publication is to give our authors a book (thus ‘bragging rights’) they can cite on their CVs.
All going well, the anthology will be published in the first half of 2014.