Prizes, Publication, and Member-Only ABC Stories

This week I’m glad to announce a new feature on ABCtales – which is the option to make pieces accessible only to other logged-in members of ABCtales.

We’ve had a lot of discussions about what counts as digital publishing in the past, and how that works with ABC. Many users have asked me how they could avoid getting notes saying there work was already published on ABC when submission time rolls around. Having a piece available to ABC members only is a way of ensuring that kind of thing can’t happen – an ABC only piece is something that’s up to be edited or workshopped – which should mean fair game for publication elsewhere.

All you have to do is tick the box at the bottom of all story edit forms:

By choosing to show your work only to other ABCtales members, your work won’t show up in search engines. Don’t get too overeager, though, as we won’t be able to make read-only pieces picks of the day or week – I’ll assume that these pieces are intended for publication elsewhere or unfinished and won’t feature them on the home page or our social media accounts. That said, they’re still open for cherries...

I’ve also had some good writing news this week, as a story of mine that I’ve been chipping away at for months and months has been short-listed for the White Review Short Story Prize – for writers in the UK and Ireland without a publishing contract. I’d like to thank those on ABC who’ve helped by looking at my drafts and giving me a bit of guidance. Writing’s always been a slow process for me, so it’s very motivating to have been picked out - there are a lot of very talented writers on the list and I’m honoured to be among them.

But on to the best of ABC. It’s been a great week for writing, so much so that we have two stories of the week for you– although one of them isn’t quite a conventional story. I thought I’d put it here, either way: Denzella’s ‘Parkinson’s Awareness Week – Mastermind!’ There have been a series of pieces on the site relating to Parkinson’s Awareness Week and I thought Denzella’s conveyed the most amount of information about it, and does so in a very light-hearted, readable format. The beauty of this piece of writing is that it turns medical data into something appealing, comic and fun.

Our other story of the week is Stan’s ‘Day’- the opener of a NaNo novel he started writing last year. It blew me away and it will you, too – give it a read through and you’ll be as eager for the next page as I am. Stan’s a mastermind with prose and he doesn’t shy away from the hard topics – including death and the afterlife. It’s an extremely ambitious project but as you’ll be able to tell from the exquisite writing, Stan is up to the job.

And our poem of the week is ‘Coldplay wordplay wedding day,’ a touching matrimonial lyric written by a father for her daughter on the day of a wedding. It’s simple and beautiful - pellucid writing that flows and radiates sincere emotion.

And, as always,  have a look at our weekly inspiration point if you’re stumped for writing ideas.


I have read your short-listed story, Luke. The bit that stands out the best for me is the narrator's italicised lists. Genre within genre in a good way. Wish you well with it  smiley                   Elsie