What the writers said about 30 Days Challenges

May 2024 - 30 Days of Flash Fiction

Didi Bono

I just wanted to say that I had so much fun doing the challenge, it did help me focus every day on my writing.
I was looking forward to receiving the prompt every morning, write a story and then read everyone else’s.
It was great to have so much feedback by fellow writers!
During those four weeks we were all part of a community and that made writing a bit less solitary than it usually is.
It was interesting to see how all of us went about the prompts in many different ways.
More importantly, I realised that I CAN do it when I focus and give my undivided attention to my writing.
It was definitely an enriching, encouraging challenge and I’d love to do it all over again.

Anne Greening

I signed up for the May “30 days” challenge mainly to get back my writing mojo, which had been flagging under the weight of mere day-to-day living.  Well, I have to tell you that it did. It was fun writing every day.

I was able to try different genres. I had great feedback from others in the group, which has re-ignited my enthusiasm for words.  I have a portfolio of characters and situations which have the potential to be fleshed out into longer stories – perhaps even a novella or two.

Carol Andrews

Loved every minute!

June Hunter

Thank you for another wonderful month of writing flash fiction every single day. I’ve enjoyed this challenge so much and each time I’ve taken part in the 30 days challenges I surprise myself when it’s over and I discover that I’ve actually completed it! Not only that, but there are also thirty more tiny tales that have seen the light of day. I love reading what others have written and am always in awe of the writing talent in this group – a group I’m so glad to be part of. 

Peggy Rockey

They call it a challenge for a reason. Writing flash fiction every day for 30 days wasn’t easy, I had to carve time out of my busy schedule every day to sit and think and write. Were all my stories great? No. Did I take great satisfaction in completing the story each day? Heck yeah! And reading fellow writer’s stories was fun and I learned as much from their stories as from my own experience in writing. I learned that I can do it, and so can you!  Thanks to Mia and the crew at deadlinesforwriters for offering these challenges.

Pam Muller

Thank you for my brag badge for Flash Fiction May ’24. I loved this challenge, happy to get up and write at dawn every day, it didn’t feel like a terrible chore. I was  excited to read other people’s stories. It’s awesome how people have unique ideas, points of view and writing styles. Thank you for the free 30 prompts. I might let it rest for a week as there is a lot planned for me. 

April 2023 - 30 Days of Flash Fiction

Pam Muller

I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as I did. I also didn’t think I’d be able to sustain writing flash fiction every day, but I did it. I loved reading other people’s stories and getting responses and suggestions for my own. Your daily tips were invaluable. I learned so much from the experience. And now you’ve left a parting gift of 30 prompts to carry on writing. I will recommend this challenge to people in my writer’s group. Thank you, thank you! 


I’ve gained so much from doing it, least of all truly understanding what you meant when you said don’t wait for inspiration to strike; just write. While I nodded along, I don’t believe I understood what that meant until I did this challenge. Faced with a fresh deadline every morning, I did just that and surprised myself. It’s restored my self-belief and I couldn’t be more pleased! 

Joyce Corey

I loved 30 Days of Flash Fiction! I was surprised at the stories I created and thoroughly enjoyed the routine. It was wonderful to interact with the other writers, offering comments on their work and reading what they said about mine. This was the perfect way to be creative in a safe and nurturing environment.


I couldn’t wait to receive my prompt each morning.  I enjoyed thinking of all the ways I might use it before typing away on my laptop.  It was fun to read everyone’s stories and read the feedback on my own.  The range of word counts was challenging in a good way and I can’t wait till the next flash course.

November 2022 - 30 Days of Flash Fiction

Annette Deyro

This challenge increased my confidence as a writer so much! I’ve always had a hard time finishing my stories. Having daily prompts and  bitesized word counts (not too intimidating but still challenging) deadlines helped me push myself to actually finish what I started. The comments from fellow writers were also encouraging and validating. I am learning that writing and appreciating good writing need not be solitary experiences. I highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to build a habit of daily writing AND finishing what you begin. 

Anne Mcgonnell

It’s been lots of fun writing and reading other people’s stories.  It really made me sit and write and I couldn’t wait each night for the new prompt. 

June Hunter

I just want to say how much I’ve enjoyed the November 2022 30 Days of Flash Fiction Challenge. Before I signed up for it I was unsure whether I would see it through to the end. Once I got going though I realised I was loving every minute of it. That’s not to say I didn’t have hard days, I did; but I was enjoying being part of this supportive group and reading all the wonderful work others were creating, and I didn’t want to let anyone down – including myself. So now we’re at the end. I’ve written thirty tiny tales in thirty day

Deborah Trowbridge

What a gratifying experience. I’ve never done anything like it. 30 stories in 30 days. Varied length, always a surprise, from 6 words to 300. Single word prompts where I’d imagined a phrase would propel our imaginations. Every day one word, and we were off and writing.

I established a writing system that began by 9 or 9:30 and kept to it. I began with a legal pad and pen in hand. I recorded the prompt and word count and began. I had a draft and revised. I wrote another draft, this time on my computer. I revised again. Chucked excess and kept the rest, the story always benefited. By noon, Montana time, I submitted. After lunch I read stories of 4 other writers and made comments. I waited with bated breath for my work to be read and posted. I learned patience.

Mia, you offered us a framework to write that was clear and energetic. You always responded in a timely fashion when I had questions. You were supportive and accessible and generous.

I am so grateful to my writer friend, Sherry, in Ireland, who suggested I take the challenge. I now have a cache of stories I didn’t know I had in me. Thank you, Mia for supplying an affordable platform for writers to write. And thank you to the many writers who read my work and provided encouragement along the way. May we all keep writing,


Jane Bradshaw

I enjoyed the challenge and the daily prompts. Having to think about every word you write, cut, cut, and cut again to make that exact word limit, really helps you to refine your writing.

I chose to do this challenge with a purpose in mind. I decided I didn’t want to end up with a continuing story – I wanted to generate ideas.

I did allow myself to do a couple of stories that went for 2 or 3 parts, but no more than that.

I wanted lots of short and sharp ideas. This way creating a bank of short stories that I could build on in the future for my 12 stories in 12 months challenges. I think I have a few good ones in there that I can expand on at a later date, so in my eyes, it is mission accomplished.

It was hard at times to keep up with the writing, and the reading and commenting on other writers work. But in the end I feel it was all worth it and I got to read some amazing ‘flash fiction’ along the way.

I would definitely recommend this challenge to others. You get out of it, what you put in.

Thanks again Mia for the opportunity to participate and all the work you do to keep challenges like this ticking over for us.

Marilyn Weisman

The first time I tried Flash Fiction was back in 2020, when we were made to stay home and this was my therapy. I so looked forward to every morning’s new challenge.
How to wrap an entire story in so few words…really made me work hard. But I loved every minute.
This year, when I had the ability and time to do the Flash Fiction Challenge in November, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it.
Once again, I had to ‘sharpen the pencil point’ and ‘sharpen my thinking’. I had to encompass an entire story in a few words.
By the end of the month, I was whizzing along and couldn’t believe the month went so quickly. The people in the group were great to work with.

Deb S

I am SO excited to have completed the flash challenge!! I’ve grown and learned so much this month, in particular what I am capable of creatively if I just commit to it. My greatest hangup as a writer has always been confidence in my own imaginative abilities. Now I have no excuses!  

September 2022 - 30 Days of Plotting

Becky Crookham

I now have almost 18,000 words toward a new novel. This was a fun, low-stress way for me to explore scenes and ideas. I’m thrilled with the results and want to keep writing.

Cecile Callan

Thank you so much for providing us with such a strong program as scaffolding for the novel we want to build.
It was challenging and relentless. I’m proud I stayed with it.
And then, another gift! More prompts for October. I’ve already set up my space and will be using one each day.
It will feel lonely without you. 🙂

Monica Mapa

It was really helpful to have the plotting questions asked: about story, goals, main- and sub-characters, what’s at stake, and structure.

I highly recommend it whether or not your novel is complete. Be prepared to think and write! Another exceptional challenge and I highly recommend it. 

Susanne Bennett

The ‘30 Days of Plotting Challenge’ is one of the hardest I ever did and also one of the best. I recommend this to anyone planning to start a novel. This challenge gives you the basic structure of a novel, and some crucial scenes to fill it out. It creates the backbone that sustains you during the 52 scenes Challenge.

As in all the challenges, Mia’s teaching and her advice are really helpful, the group itself is supportive, and the general atmosphere is great. But here’s what makes this challenge so special: For each crucial step in the architecture of a story, you can choose between doing an exercise or writing a scene. Or both. Sometimes, you can even write the scene and incorporate the exercise. Why did I find this so good? Because it caters to writers being individual people. Some people can only think in plot. Everything  is a scene with description and dialogue. Other people need to think about technicalities first, and the plot comes to them when they have the problem figured out. It’s just two different ways of doing the same thing, really. I’m glad I had this choice because I figured out which type I am. And why I hate writing lists. And why I love scenes.

Tammy Tsonis

I thoroughly enjoyed Mia’s 30 days of Plotting Challenge. I loved having a structure and prompts that would take my writing from safe to impactful. Her tips and examples helped tremendously. I also enjoyed the reminder emails when I fell behind. I would definitely recommend this challenge! It was a great learning experience, as I’m currently drafting my first novel. It is very reasonably priced. I’m looking forward to taking other courses in the future.

June 2022 - 30 Days of Show, don't Tell

Patty Panni

You know, life has a way of giving you just what you need at the very time you need it. The Show, Don’t Tell 30-day challenge was exactly what I’ve been needing to build more discipline in my writing. I developed a daily habit of fixing my coffee and sitting down at the laptop to write first thing each morning. There were days when I didn’t feel like it, didn’t feel like I had anything to say – or at least nothing of value – but Mia is right. When you show up to the page, your story meets you there. This challenge has been such a confidence booster, proving that I can do hard things and finish what I start.

Congratulations to all my fellow “30-Dayers” and I look forward to reading more from each of you. And for anyone who’s struggling with their self-worth and discipline as a writer, I encourage you to participate in a 30-day challenge. You can do it

Jane Bradshaw

I entered into this challenge knowing it would be hard, as I participated in a flash fiction 30-day-challenge in October 2021. The reason I pushed myself to do this challenge, even though I knew finding the time would be difficult, was because I was hoping it would help me improve my ‘showing’ skills.

The emails that Mia provided daily, attached to the daily prompt, provided me with insights and examples of different ways to ‘show’ in my writing. The last few emails also gave me information about when it is okay to ‘tell’ in your writing, and how to do it effectively and engagingly for your readers.

I liked the flexibility in this challenge to choose the number of words I wrote each day, with one stipulation being that I didn’t exceed 500 words. Some days when I struggled, knowing that I could write a shorter story, really helped me. Surprisingly, I found that most days I wrote over 250 words, and even had to cut words out on quite a few occasions as I’d gone over the daily threshold.

Initially I entered this challenge expecting to write many short stories, with the possibility of the odd two- or three-day continuation of a story. However, I ended up writing a continuing story for twenty-six of the thirty prompts.

This now means that I have a story that is over ten thousand words!

Not what I’d planned at all. And yet I love this story, it came from nowhere and grew into something pretty special. I hope to publish it one day along with a few other short stories I have. I believe I have come out of this challenge with improved writing skills, and hope that I will be able to incorporate more ‘showing’ in my monthly stories from now on.

Riccardo Schiaffino

I took part in Mia Botha’s “Show, don’t tell” challenge: thirty days of writing a 500-word flash-fiction piece every day. The small fee required was money well spent for such a valuable experience.

Each day we received a different prompt (and useful advice about how to show, instead of telling), and had to write our piece by the next day. 
Five hundred words may seem little, but writing them day after day is challenging–and useful: Thirty days are enough to kick-start a positive habit. The encouraging critiques from fellow participants help as they show you are not writing in a vacuum. I recommend this challenge to other writers, especially those who find it difficult to understand what “show, don’t tell” really entails.

March 2022 - 30 Days of Flash Fiction

Ana M. Rios Farjat

This challenge was intense! I have never written so much in a month. I used to worry with the +200 words prompts, but not anymore 🙂

I also learned more about the craft. Mainly, how to do flash fiction and to use dialogue in it.    

The challenge was a pleasure! 

Thanks for giving us that opportunity to improve. 

Kyle Sterup

I think the Flash Fiction challenge was just what my writing needed. I am someone who has had aspirations to write fiction, but I have always struggled to produce work that I’m proud of. At times I’ve thought I’m just not creative enough.


Writing flash fiction every day for thirty days did several things for me. It showed me that I am not short on ideas. There were definitely days I struggled with what to write, but I always came up with something. It also showed me that I can begin a story with no idea where it’s going and trust that it will work. The pieces that I’m most proud of are the ones that surprised even me when I got to the end.


Finally, and most importantly, the feedback I got from other writers has finally convinced me that I am good at writing fiction.


Thank you for the opportunity to gain the confidence I needed.

Bev Hart

I really enjoyed the Flash Fiction challenge. It was interesting to experience the process. I would look at the prompt in the early morning and leave it in my subconscious for most of the day. Sometimes I would sit down to write the story with an idea, other times I thought there was no idea, but after I started typing the story would present itself.

It was also interesting to see how easy it is to cut unnecessary words to get the word count right. 

The other writers were very kind and encouraging. Thank you for urging us all to be kind in our comments. It makes this an unthreatening environment that encourages creativity.


The March 30 days flash fiction challenge was wonderful. While I didn’t offer traditional flash fiction each day, I used it as an opportunity to develop some of my characters and sub plots for my series I have going in the 12SS challenge. After 30 days, I had written 4,540 words, explored my characters and their backstory, came up with several plot lines, and areas of conflict to pursue. But the best thing that came from the challenge, is that I have established a daily writing habit that I’m carrying over into April, and hope to continue for a long time to come.

Nina Heiser

I love flash fiction. There’s a freedom that comes with having to tell a story quick as you can, to get to the heart of things without fuss. I wrote my first flash fiction for the Keep Writing Challenge at the start of the pandemic and I was hooked. I’d heard of flash fiction, but hadn’t thought to write it, but it was covid, everything was shut down and, having joined Deadlines for Writers poetry and then short story challenge,  I knew it was a safe place to take a risk.

A prompt, a word count and a deadline. All the ingredients needed. In a flash, the writer becomes alchemist. 

Nissan Abadi

I am so happy I took this challenge.


Before doing it,I did not believe I could write by myself.


At first it was difficult to think of something to write about every single day. There were days when I was very uneasy, squeezing my brains for something to write. But gradually it became easier. I am so grateful to you for putting me in a committing framework. The daily prompt was a great help and your tips also helped me a lot. The word count was sometimes cruel, since I wrote more, sometimes much more, and had to chop off some of it, which sometimes made it dull or unclear. 


For the time being I am keeping pace with your suggested ‘extra’ prompts and word counts. I shall try to complete 30 more flash fictions.


Given the opportunity, I would take this challenge again.

October 2021


Thanks for the 30 Days Flash Fiction Challenge! I learned that I can write every day. I also learned I can write a continuing story. That made me feel successful and primed for future efforts. The comments and encouragement from other writers helped keep me going. It was well worth my efforts!

Sandra Menarek

When I began this challenge, I wasn’t sure I could make it through the thirty days.  A few days were difficult, but most of the time it was so much fun. My inner critic stayed silent and just let me write.  After my last story, I was sad that it was over.  

Several of the prompts brought back wonderful memories of my childhood.  I found that I need prompts and deadlines to push me forward.  The word count ‘exactly’ was invaluable.


Taking part in this Challenge was the best thing I have done for my creativity. It was terrific fun and I now have 30 stories that didn’t exist before. Thirty!

The prompts and ever-changing word counts kept me on my toes and feedback from the other participants really spurred me on. 

I recommend this Challenge to anyone wanting to develop a writing habit and have a lot of fun along the way. 

One thing I know for sure, as a result of this Challenge, is that the act of writing gets the words flowing. 

Nina Heiser

The 30-day flash fiction challenge was a blast. I woke up energized – often having seen the prompt the night before and scurrying to my desk in darkness to make notes for the morning.’s story.  It was a small group of fun writers churning out great work. 

Best of all, it birthed a character whose name had been wandering a while in search of a story, and now headed perhaps to live in a novella.

Jane Bradshaw

Being accountable for writing every single day – to an exact word count – and a prompt – is a fabulous and daunting challenge. At times, I did get tired and exhausted, trying to fit it in around my ten hour a day job – but I managed it. And I feel so proud of myself for achieving this goal.

I also have come out the end of this challenge with a story of over 4500 words that I am very proud of. I didn’t set out to write a continuing story but apart from prompt number 2 (35 words) all of the other 29 prompts ended up being part of Janna’s story.

My story ducked, dived and twisted, according to the prompts and some of the comments I received from other writers in the challenge. This helped my creative writing process and also helped with some editing according to suggestions I received. I think I would do this challenge again another time:) It was definitely worthwhile for me and something I enjoyed being a part of.

Susanne Bennett

30 Days of Flash Fiction was quite a challenge. At first, it was hard to keep up that commitment – to write every day, to read every day, to comment every day. But after the first few days, the whole thing gained momentum.

It wasn’t hard at all! It was fun to see how I was doing, how I was appreciated by the others. It was fun to see all the different ways you could play a prompt.

At the end of this challenge I have to say I definitely became more professional in my writing. After 30 days, I have learned that I can write every day, write about any prompt, within any word count given to me. And that’s awesome!