Winter Writing Competition!

Hello everyone! We promised a winter writing competition, and here it is!

The deadline for submissions is the 19th of January- so there’s no excuses, you’ve got loads of time…

The theme is just ‘winter’. Feel free to go in whatever direction you want to go with it- you can go Christmas themed, snow themed, cold themed… We’re leaving it very much up to you, and we want to see what kind of things you can come up with.

We may post some prompts halfway through, in case anyone’s stuck!

The word count limit is 2000 words . It won’t be strictly enforced- a little bit more is okay, but please don’t go too much over- we don’t want thousands and thousands of words.

We have not yet decided on how this will be judged. Potentially some kind of poll, but we’ll let you know. We have also not decided on a prize- possibly some chocolate (we’re students too, after all).

Email your submissions to again, we haven’t decided on the specifics but hey, we have six weeks to decide…

You have six week- GOOD LUCK, and keep your eyes peeled for updates!


Halloween Competition (or lack thereof…)

The more eagle-eyed and aware among you may noticed that while we mentioned a Halloween short story competition in a workshop, we never posted about it on the blog or mentioned it again. That is because we completely forgot about it. Whoops.

However, we will definitely be having a Winter/Christmas short story competition, which will be a generic Winter/Christmas theme with lots of space for interpretation. We haven’t fleshed out the details yet but it’ll probably kick off around the start of December with a deadline in January, to give everyone loads of time. So keep your eyes peeled for that!

Thanks, Maura

Creative Writing (and Reading!)

Hello all!

Just a quick blog post about writing, and the submission of work here- that is what we’re all about!

Firstly, after workshops, please submit what you did during the session! Whether you type it up or scan it in, no matter how bad it is, please submit it! At some point we’ll be gathering things by topic and by week (we’ll have a page with all the fantasy week submissions, a page with the gossip submissions and so on) but that’s a work in progress.

We’ll post things that you’ve written in the workshop itself, or things that the workshop is inspired by.

If you want your submission to be anonymous, that’s fine too!

People will give feedback, and if you want more detailed feedback, the three of us on the committee (Maura, Heather and Tom) are more than happy to read through your work and give feedback on that.

We’re also trying to set some time aside in our sessions to allow people to read out their work, if that would be something that you would be interested in! I always think that it’s very useful to read your work out loud, it can really give you a sense of how the sentences and things fit together.

Again, if you wish your work to be read out but you don’t want to read it out, one of the committee members can read it out for you!

We’re all pretty nice at creative writing, and we’ll give good constructive feedback- don’t be worried!

If you have anything you want to submit, please submit it on this website, at this link, or email it directly to us at And if want to read something out, drop us an email to let us know!

Hope to read your work soon, and best of luck with your writing!

Hello everyone!

This is our slightly delayed first blog post of the year- just an update on who we are, what we do, how to find us and so on.

We’re the Glasgow University Creative Writing Society (as I’m sure you’re aware- you’ve found this blog!) and we’re a casual, fun, welcoming society. We hold weekly writing workshops, ranging in topics from sci-fi to plotting to poetry to script-writing.

IT’S FREE! We DON’T have a membership fee or form or list or anything like that- we’re open to absolutely everyone, regardless of age or university or subject (or skill level!)

As I said, we’re very casual and informal. Our workshops do aim to promote creative writing, otherwise we’d be a poorly named society, but you’re welcome to write as much or as little as you want- we hope to inspire people, not force anyone to write!

Likewise, you’re free to attend only the workshops that interest you- we post weekly updates about the topic in the coming workshop, and we’ve also posted a schedule for the year on this blog (although that may change).

We meet on Wednesdays, 6-8pm, usually in the Drawing Room of the GUU. Occasionally we’re in another venue, so I’d recommend checking the Facebook ( or the twitter ( which will both have more accurate and up-to-date information about our workshops.

This year we’re trying to encourage people to bring their work to workshops, where they can read it out and get feedback and so on, but I will make another blog post about that soon. Don’t worry if you don’t want to- we won’t force you!

Subscribe to this blog for updates and the like, and I hope to see you at the workshops!

Maura (Vice President)

Flash Fiction February Submissions

As you may or may not have noticed, it is no longer February. But never fear! GUCW’s favourite monthly challenge is not all over and done with just yet.

As we get to compiling our anthology we are still in need of flash fiction stories for many of our daily prompts. So if any of you still have some work in the pipeline you have until mid-April to submit your stories for the anthology.

As well of stories we would love submissions of your artwork to accompany any pieces or simply artwork to decorate the anthology. You can use the prompts on the flash fiction page for inspiration but there will be a general “kitsch” feel to the anthology (-think cheesy 90’s pop).

Submit your work to:

Find the prompts here: Flash Fiction February 2k17

Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

**Days/ Prompts that haven’t been written on yet:**


Non-binary, pride,




Inconceivable, Iridescent,

“You keep saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”- Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride



Negligible,  Damask,  

“This world that we’re a-livin’ in, is mighty hard to beat; You git a thorn with every rose, but ain’t the roses sweet!”- Frank Lebby Stanton

Mr Elijah Turner

Our hero, never lacking in pragmatism or foresight, was well-equipped for the upcoming winter which on record and much to his advantage, was to be the warmest in one hundred and sixty years. Nevertheless, with admirable consideration he had prepared all that was needed which, to tell the truth, wasn’t much. Despite ever-swelling rumours of a nomadic and ascetic life (which no doubt would flatter his vanity), his theatrical runaway is perhaps a little more flaccid in its true state.

Retiring to a woodland cottage is certainly bold—daring even, for a staunch village dweller of his type. But with all due respect, perhaps not quite so worthy of all the prattle and tattle, the endless annexations compiled atop and mutating from, like arms and legs on a gross body, once such a modest story. The tale has said to have achieved anchoritic heights, with some so bold as to suggest Mr. Turner had taken to the desert as a source of purgation—one which particularly appealed to church-types, who conveniently omitted the absence of a nearby vast and arid landscape which would substantiate the claim. But at the end of the day, who’s to blame those steadfast and humble people for their excitable stories? It is certainly not within my jurisdiction to mock or deride the gossip of villagers whose friendly community lacks the heady punch of a scandal.

So let them talk, I say. It’s not harming anyone. Certainly not Mr. Turner who, fond of his new sedentary life, is reclining contentedly with his toes to the fireplace. Not to mention he had the clairvoyance to pack in his smartly packed belongings a bottle of good whisky and some biscuits for its accompaniment, which he just so happened to treat himself to now. And if he is to run out then not to worry, for there’s a small shop about a twenty minutes down the road.


by Marcus Bechelli

(prompts: foresight, exposure)


I’ve got a comet dangling from my lips. Somehow, some way, it got itself into my capsule with me. Only friend I’ve got up here that isn’t the whispering light of a distant star. It’s burning itself away in a sad little spiral as we go round and round together, watching the big blue marble in the distance. We float together, looking out through the window into space, and I think of the marbles ma used to buy me at the fair. I used to knock them together, try to crack them. Never did. Never could. Was never quite strong enough.

I’m feeling strong today.

Something whirs. The camera in the corner’s spinning too, into focus, and down on the surface of that marble maybe somebody’s spinning out of their chair to go screaming at whoever let me smuggle cigarettes onto a space station.

You won’t go to prison, they said, while they told me just what I would go to. I’d go to the limits of human endurance up here at lagrange-3, and they’d watch what me waste away of Van Allen Syndrome.

Camera’s light’s blinking. I’ve got a message waiting.

I’ll just bet.

They put strings on me, when I came up here. Not tight enough. Maybe this is their dollhouse, but I’m no doll.

I take my sad little comet and let it strike home. It melts through a protective casing, shorts a wire, a panel by the window goes from red to green.

It’s not a window anymore. Now it’s a door.

I’m out in a heartbeat, out to say a fond farewell to those whispering stars, and to take my place among them. My strings are cut. They won’t even see me go.

I’m not a doll. I’m a comet.

Feels like today I could crack one of those marbles.


by Thomas Boyle

(prompts: gravity, cigarette, dollhouse)

Workshop 1″Icebreaker” Stories

Last week was our first workshop of this years Creative Writing sessions. Despite being an informal “icebreaker” we actually managed to do some work and produce some really good stories.

Our task was to create a story using two of the below sentences. But many of our groups (in true competitive spirit) managed to create stories using all 15 sentences! Here is a sampling of our work for you to enjoy.

  1. “And basically that’s why we can never go to Disneyland again”
  2. “I need to borrow a shovel… don’t ask why.”
  3. “Don’t go to the door.”
  4. “Holy shit a unicorn!”
  5. “I didn’t realise it was so cold.”
  6. “No I haven’t. Not for a while.”
  7. “I wish someone had told me that.”
  8. “There’s only one left.”
  9. “You’re not serious?!”
  10. “Only if she’s not going to be there.”
  11. “Take her to the castle.”
  12. “It was only a shadow.”
  13. “Find him. Find him, before it’s too late.”
  14. “The road was long and winding, and night was dark and full of mysteries.”
  15. “It would only take one bullet.”


The Misadventures of the Bytheways

-By Elizabeth Graham, Ebba Magnusson, Maciej Garbacz, and Daniel Reidy


The road was long and winding, and night was dark and full of mysteries.

“I didn’t realize it was so cold,” Bytheway Junior said and shivered in the back seat.

“You’re not serious! It’s the middle of August, and we’re in Florida, you twat!” replied Josh.

“Be nice to your brother,” Mama Bytheway chided from the front. She looked out the window and murmured, “There’s only one left.” From the window, Mama watched the dark trees fly by. Papa squinted and flicked on the high beams.

“Honey,” he said, “Have you seen any road signs for Disneyland?”

“No, I haven’t, not for a while,” Mama replied. Papa reached over the glove compartment to find a map.

Suddenly, a white flash passed in front of the car. Papa looked up and tried to swerve out of the way, but it was too late. The small car collided with the mysterious object in the road. They spun out off the road and into the woods. The car jerked and collided head on with a tree. All Mama could do was scream as they were jostled about.

After the initial panic had died away, Mama spun around to look at her sons and ask, “Is everyone ok?”

Everyone confirmed: yes, they were ok, no broken bones. They stepped out of the car. While the Bytheways had suffered no damage, a bright white carcass lay in the middle of the road.

“HOLY SHIT! A UNICORN!” screamed Junior.

“Is it . . . is it dead?” Josh walked closer to the unicorn. Without warning, the beast sprang up and trampled Josh. He hit the road with a thump and the unicorn galloped off into the forest.

“I guess it’s NOT dead!” exclaimed Junior.

“I wish someone had told me that,” Josh groaned from the ground. He sat up, adjusted his fitted cap, and took out his vape (to calm his nerves). Papa ran to his eldest son and fell down beside him.

“Are you okay, my sweet boy?” Papa cradled Josh’s head.

Josh replied, “You need to find him. Find him before it’s too late.”

“What, y-y-ou want me to kill him or something?”

Josh looked up, tears in his eyes, and said, “It would only take one bullet.”

It was then Papa knew what he had to do. He went to the trunk of the car and took out an AR-15 (like a real American). He went to Mama and touched her shoulder.

“I need to borrow your shovel . . . don’t ask why.”

Mama nodded and took her prized shovel out of her purse. Papa took the shovel and kissed Mama on the cheek. He then walked back to Junior.

“Son, if I don’t come back,” He looked wistfully at Mama, “Take her to the castle. Find Disneyland and take her to Cinderella’s castle.”

Junior, overcome with emotion, could only nod as Papa ran into the woods after the aggressive unicorn.

Hours passed. Mama, Josh, and Junior sat on the side of the road, waiting. After some time, Mama said, “That’s it. We’re going in after him.” Josh and Junior nodded and they walked into the deep, dark woods.

While they trudged through the forest, Junior began to remember and tell his family about the famed Floridian Forest Witch (which he had learned about in school).

“Do you see that?! That figure in the trees! It’s the witch!” Junior cried.

“It was only a shadow!” Mama said, and they forged onwards.

Soon, they stumbled into a clearing with a cabin. Horrific noises  erupted from the inside.

“It’s her! The witch!” screamed Junior.

“We have to go in,” Josh said, his voice trembling.

“Only if she’s not going to be there!” Junior weeped.

While her sons made fools of themselves, Mama ran to the cabin.

“Don’t go to the door!” Junior screamed, but Mama didn’t listen. She went to the cabin, grabbed the door handle, and wrenched it open.

Mama’s heart sank as she looked upon the cabin’s interior: Papa and the unicorn were making sweet, sweet love on the hardwood floor.

“Papa!” screamed Mama, “Not AGAIN!”

Papa pulled away from the unicorn and looked at Mama with pleading eyes.

Mama shook her head and ran back out to her children, tugging them back into the woods towards the road. She explained what Papa had done.

With tears in her eyes, Mama choked and said, “And basically, that’s why we can never go to Disneyland again.”


Unicorn Hunting

 –By Robin Thomson & others


The road was long and winding, and the night was dark and full of mysteries. That’s why we took a torch. It was getting close to half past one and we still hadn’t reached our destination. Suddenly, John stopped in his tracks and pointed the torch at something in the bushes – something which quickly scampered away.

‘Holy shit! A unicorn!’

‘Find him. Find him, before it’s too late.’

‘Too late?’ I was afraid – not of the dark night, not of the great beast, but of John: his steely eyes and his grim tone. It wasn’t like him.

‘It’s very dangerous. Too dangerous to let it live.’

‘…I wish someone had told me that.’

I had always thought that unicorns were friendly. But John seemed certain – really certain – that this one was not. He had pulled his gun from its holster hidden under his jacket. He hand me the torch.

‘Keep an eye on the bushes,’ he told me. ‘If you see it, we’ll shoot it.’

‘You’re not serious?’ I followed him towards the trees, by now thoroughly fed up. ‘This is the worst date ever! You’re so into your virtual reality, I don’t see why we can’t do something normal-’

‘We just need to finish this level! There’s only one left-’

‘You told me we were having dinner!’

‘You want dinner? Help me shoot this unicorn. There! …No. It was only a shadow.’ He sighted down the gun, oblivious to my scowl. I was sufficiently put out that I made up my mind to sabotage his “hunt”.

‘Over there!’

‘What? Where?’ John swivelled to aim at an unremarkable patch of bush.

‘There’s nothing there. It was just a trick of the light.’

‘Damn it, Kate, next time don’t shout unless you actually see something.’

This was getting ridiculous. I just wanted to go out to dinner for once, instead of this virtual reality gaming crap. He knew i didn’t like this kind of thing. Fed up and tired, I reached up and pushed the “Exit” button that hovered in the top corner of my field of view.

A glowing blue door appeared in front of me. John turned just in time to see it pop into existence.

‘Aw, Kate,’ he whined, ‘Come on, don’t go to the door. We’ve been having such a good time, we’ve got dinner with my parents next week-’

‘I don’t want to go if your sister’s coming,’ I said, but with less conviction. The door flickered and disappeared. ‘Last time we were all together, she got off with six different guys – and basically that’s why we can never go to Disneyland again.’

‘We could still go ourselves! If I stop playing now, will you come next week?’

‘Only if she’s not going to be there.’ I spotted the unicorn picking its way towards us again, but I didn’t say anything. ‘I don’t mind your mum and dad.’

‘Good. I don’t think Emma’s coming, anyway.’ John raised his gun again, taking aim in the wrong direction. ‘Think her boyfriend wanted to visit Edinburgh with her anyway. Take her to the castle have you ever been?’

‘Not for a while. I don’t really like Scotland. I didn’t realise it was so cold.’

It was a hint, but he didn’t pick up on it. He was watching the trees.

‘Look, let me just kill this unicorn. It would only take one bullet.’

Three hours later, I went home by myself.

[Well – I had John with me, in a manner of speaking. I left him at the bottom of the garden and went to wake up my mum.

‘Mum? I need a shovel, don’t ask me why.’]


The Great Mouse

 –By Reilly Dufresne, Marta Ron Folz, Hannah Donnelly


It was only a shadow- a shadow of a nightmare. But it haunted me for the rest of my life. There, in front of me loomed the castle. Behind me a woman screamed “Take her to the castle!” in a shrill Glasweigan accent.

My brother, next to me, trembling hysterically, whispers “It would only take one bullet.”

I nodded, feeling cotton candy swirl around my stomach like the sick web of lies we had been caught in. I knew the day was coming but I had not anticipated the fear. I wish someone had told me that.

I didn’t realise it was so cold. And it was not just the tropical air that had taken the downward plunge. The road was long and winding and the night was dark and full of mysteries as we made our way past the masked silky sweet figures bemused with false smiles and baskets of treats.

My brother boldly reached for the door. I hissed “Don’t go to the door…”

He shot back, indignantly “It will only take one bullet. We must kill the Great Mouse- enslaver of the young and optimistic.”

My brother was too anxious. “We need to find him, find him before it’s too late.”

We both held the hands of our parents as we waited in line to meet the Great Mouse.

35 mimutes we were standing in disgrace at the front gates, our parents glowing crimson. And basically that’s why we can never go to Disneyland again.