I’m a bit late with writing this post, but, in case you have no idea about it, I want to let you know that the Smut Marathon is well underway!

For those who have not heard of the Smut Marathon, it is an online competition for writers of sex and erotica (current or aspiring), organised and run by the wonderful Marie Rebelle of Rebels Notes. How she does it, I don’t know – I am in awe! A number of weeks ago, I joined well over 100 writers in beginning this long journey which, round upon round, takes us through pretty much the entire year of assignments. They increase in length, diversity and difficulty, as the knock-out rounds come and go until the remaining two go head-to-head. Our most important instruction is not to tell anyone which entry is ours until after the voting round for each assignment (so, if you’re no good at keeping secrets, you’re a bit buggered, really!).

For Assignment 1, we were asked to write a very short story (100 words or less) in which two characters first see one another. These were then voted on by readers, then the same process was repeated with a different task for Assignment 2, for which we had to continue an Assignment 1 story belonging to one of the other competitors, but with a very limited word count. After this round, some writers, unfortunately, were knocked out of the Marathon (as happens with knock-out competitions with multiple rounds).

Somehow, I’m still hanging in there. I’m not quite sure how, because I have found all rounds so far really difficult. It’s not that the tasks were hard in themselves; but the moment I’ve been asked to write about something specific, even if it’s something I would usually have no problem writing, my mind has become a complete blank! Not only that, but I also find writing flash fiction extremely difficult, and anything under 200 words is tortuous. So, I’m very grateful to still be around for Assignment 3!

Currently, those who still remain in the competition have just completed Assignment 3 and the voting is underway. It closes very soon, so if you’d like to read the entries and cast your votes for the three you like the most, you can do that here. If you feel able, you are also welcome to give some feedback to the three entries you liked best and the three you were not so keen on. Please remember, though, to keep your feedback constructive and about the work itself. Feel free to catch up on the entries from the first two rounds while you’re at it, too.

The results of the voting for Assignment 3 will be in at the weekend, so I’ll see how well I’ve done then (and whether I’m closer to being likely to drop off the edge like a lemming after the result of the impending round 4!). I’ll keep attempting the tasks for as long as I’m still in the competition, and cheering on my favourite writers, and supporting everyone in the Smut Marathon.

And if anyone has any thoughts or advice for me or any of the writers involved about how to tackle tiny pieces of writing, do let me know in the comments and I’ll share this post and its comments on my Facebook and Twitter pages. The one I think I’m going to try is writing the entry on my phone and imagining it’s a naughty text message (it’s all about mindset…!).

Have fun reading (and voting)!

Ina x

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