Summer Writing Club July: Mystery!

Welcome to the 2017 Summer Writing Club! This summer’s Challenge is a mystery – and we mean that literally. We are asking you to dust of your virtual pencils, and write an old-school whodunnit. The first part (Chapter 1) is due at the end of July and must end with a cliffhanger, the second part (Chapter 2) will be due in August.

This month we ask you to write part 1 of a 2-part Mystery. We’re looking for cozy, old-school whodunnit detective story. no blood or violence, death (if you choose to write a murder-mystery) is offscreen, and the tone is gentle and quaint. To cap it off, you must end this month’s (July’s) Chapter with a CLIFFHANGER. And, because this is the SWC (Summer Writing Club) you’ll finish part 2 of your story in August.

Pick an image and start writing a LONGFORM chapter and include the theme above. You may only enter one chapter this month and it must end in a cliffhanger. As always, plot your story before you start. It should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. It should have characters—a protagonist and an antagonist. And it needs a setting—where does it take place?

Tips and hints for a classic whodunnit: According to Wikipedia, the definition of the classic whodunnit is when:

…the audience is given the opportunity to engage in the same process of deduction as the protagonist throughout the investigation of a crime. The reader or viewer is provided with the clues from which the identity of the perpetrator may be deduced before the story provides the revelation itself at its climax. The investigation is usually conducted by an eccentric, amateur, or semi-professional detective.
Stay-tuned for more tips and hints throughout the summer! Go SWC!

Do the Challenge


1. Your challenge - is to write a CHAPTER BOOK that includes the theme. Remember, all stories submitted to the challenge must follow our community guidelines.

2. Start by choosing your artwork – Browse our library of images to find the artwork that inspires you, or search for a specific theme.

3. Write your story - Using the image you chose as a starting point, write your story.

4. Submit your story to the challenge - When your story is complete, select this month’s challenge from the dropdown on the book details page (it’s on the page before you submit to moderation). Please submit only ONE brand new story to this Challenge. (Note if you have a student account, you will not see this option — see Eligibility below.)

5. Eligibility – Any Storybird member can participate in our writing challenge. You join simply by participating. Paid membership is not required but it will allow you to display your beautiful badges like the one shown below, receive printable certificates for each challenge, and ensure your work is reviewed within 1-2 days.

You must have a Regular (non-student) account for your story to appear in the public library and to be featured on our blog and to earn the badge. Stories published from Student accounts are only visible to members of your class.

Note that if you miss the July Challenge, you may write both chapters in August — we’ll post more information in the August Challenge.

6. Moderation - Paid membership ensures your work is reviewed within 1-2 days. Otherwise, your work will be reviewed on a first-come, first serve basis and can take up to several weeks to be visible in the public library. We try to accelerate Challenge entries because of the short timeframe, but there are no guarantees.

8. Due date - To be eligible to be featured, your story must be submitted to moderation on or before July 27, 2017.

Select stories will be featured on the Storybird blog at the end of the month and may also be featured in our New & Noted section.

Do the Challenge

Featured artwork by Carlydraws badge art by Kelley McMorris

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