Writing a Collaborative Short Story—100 Words at a Time

The Magnificent Seven. The Dirty Dozen. And now, the Fantastic Fifteen.

A few weeks ago, I received an invitation to participate in a wonderful little distraction called, “Write a Short Story With Me,” sponsored by Josh Magill and the other fine folks over at The Magill Review.


The Premise: Gather a group of fifteen talented individuals and write a 1500-word short story together.
The Catch: Each author’s contribution is limited to 100 words—no more, no less—therefore, word choice and self-editing skills are of utmost importance.

At the end of fifteen weeks, a story unlike the world has ever known will elbow its way into the annals of literary excellence, standing on the shelves alongside such greats as Fitzgerald and Hemingway. Or perhaps Bulwer-Lytton.

Sounds like fun, yeah? I’ll admit, I needed something to light a fire under my arse—haven’t felt too creative lately—and this seemed to be just what the muse ordered.

The first 100 words, written by The Magill Review contributor, Richard Eaker, posted yesterday and provided a grand kick-off to The Legend of Tim Higgelmottham. He’s a third-grader, dubbed “LOSER” by The Powers That Be, two terrors in his class who are otherwise known as Lucy Windham and Tommy Ribbins. Judging from the first installment, this tale is sure to be a hoot. For more on the continuing saga of Tim Higgelmottham, follow the story as it unfolds at TMR.

The Fantastic Fifteen is a diverse collection of MG, YA, Sci-Fi and Fantasy writers, as well as a travel writer, poet, and military documentarian. This should prove to be quite interesting! Join us each week for a new addition.

The Fantastic Fifteen

July 29 — Richard Eaker, contributing writer to The Magill Review.

August 5 — Josh Magill, editor of  The Magill Review.

August 12 — Joe Owens, the pen behind Joe’s Musings and TMR contributing writer.

August 19 — Erica Hines, the inspiration for A Short A Day.

August 26 — Rob Akers, writer of his own blog, Rob Akers.

September 2 — Thaddeus Howze, a writer at Hub City Blues.

September 9 — Elvis Alves, author of the poetry collection, Bitter Melon. Check him out at Poems by Elvis.

September 16 — Justin Cascio, a former managing editor at GMP. His work can be found at his main blog here and here for cooking.

September 23 — M.L. Swift, the “Master of the House” at M.L. Swift, Writer.

September 30 — Abby Jones, spinner of urban fantasy at Worlds Before the Door.

October 7 — Alexander Ikawah, author of Creative Samples Kenya.

October 14 — Franklin Durden, a beginning writer looking to share more. His writing can be seen here.

October 21 — Ambrozya, a muse for many on her own blog.

October 28 — Angela Magill, contributing writer to The Magill Review.

November 4 — Karlene Petitt, author of the aviation thriller, Flight for Control. You can read about her here.

Hope to see you over the next few months as this story develops!


ML Swift


12 thoughts on “Writing a Collaborative Short Story—100 Words at a Time

    1. I’ve missed everyone, too, especially you! It was simply too difficult to be social for a while, but I think I’ve finally snapped out of the major depression of it all. Now, to start living again. Thanks for coming by, and for all your love and support.

  1. Swifty,

    I would like to echo what Melissa said. The world needs a happy Swifty because a happy Swifty is a productive Swifty.

    I am looking forward to the challenge of young Timmy. I am sure that collectively we will turn his frown upside down. Hopefully that will not be the only frown turned around.

    1. I saw something about Tree of Life and considered it, I think. Maybe not, but if it’s similar, then I probably did. I definitely needed to pick myself up and get active again. This should do it.

    1. Alex mentioned Tree of Life, too, so I’ll have to check that out. Joining this effort has brought a little life back into my otherwise bane existence. 🙂

  2. So awesome to have you back online! And I’m super keen to learn I’ll be able to read your story! Plus, you earned a bravery badge for participating in the group project. I’ll follow the story, but will be most excited to read what happens on September 23 🙂

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