Fiction Challenge – The Sixties



“People today are still living off the table scraps of the Sixties. They are still being passed around – the music and the ideas.” – Bob Dylan


For you, my readers, to take Bob’s words as advice and use one (or more) of the “table scraps” below as inspiration to write 750 to 1,000 words of fiction:

The Crying of Lot 49: Pynchon, Thomas (1965)

“Oedipa settled back, to await the crying of lot 49.”

One Hundred Years of Solitude, Garcia Marquez, Gabriel (1967)

“Before reaching the final line, however, he had already understood that he would never leave that room, for it was foreseen that the city of mirrors (or mirages) would be wiped out by the wind and exiled from the memory of men at the precise moment when Aureliano Babilonia would finish deciphering the parchments, and that everything written on them was unrepeatable since time immemorial and forever more, because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth.”

The Man in the High Castle: Dick, Philip K. (1962)

“She walked on without looking again at the Abendsen house and, as she walked, searching up and down the streets for a cab or a car, moving and bright and living, to take her back to her motel.”

Wide Sargasso Sea: Rhys, Jean (1966)

“But I shielded it with my hand and it burned up again to light me along the dark passage.”

You shouldn’t use these lines! Just go with an image they put in your mind, and take it from there. There are no wrong answers, only interesting writing. Stories should be self contained, but if you think a scene of a larger piece will capture out imagination go for it! The competition is open to everyone, regardless of age, writing ability, or location on the planet.


Three fantastic books are up for grabs! In no particular order:

Signed copy of After The Fall, by Kylie Ladd

Kylie Ladd is a Melbourne author, currently residing in Broome, Western Australia. Find out more about her at her website. She can be followed on Twitter via @kylie_ladd.

Kate: ‘I had been married three years when I fell in love. Fell, collapsed, stepped off the curb and found nothing but air. Oh, I already loved my husband of course, but this was different. That had been a decision; this was out of my control, an impulse as difficult to resist as gravity.’

Cary: ‘It happened, it’s over, I’ll survive. What’s the point in talking about it?’

Cressida: ‘For ages after I found out I tormented myself wondering when it had started. Not the sex, which was too much even to contemplate. Not even the kissing, but the thought, the desire, the possibility.’

Luke: ‘For seven months I was the happiest man in the world. Who wouldn’t have been? Two beautiful women whose faces lit up when they saw me, one always available if the other was elsewhere.’

Two married couples: Kate and Cary, Cressida and Luke. Four people who meet, click, and become firm friends. But then Kate and Luke discover a growing attraction, which becomes an obsession. They fall in love, then fall into an affair. It blows their worlds apart. After the fall, nothing will ever be the same again.

Signed copy of Power and Majesty, by Tansy Rayner Roberts

Tansy Rayner Roberts is a Hobart based author, well entrenched in the Australian speculative fiction scene. Find out more about Tansy at her website. She can be followed on Twitter via @tansyrr.

The first novel of her Creature Court Trilogy – Power and Majesty, has recently been released:

“She almost missed the sight of a naked youth falling out of the sky. He was long and lean and muscled … He was also completely off his face.”

A war is being fought in the skies over the city of Aufleur. No one sees the battles. No one knows how close they come to destruction every time the sun sets.

During daylight, all is well, but when nox falls and the sky turns bright, someone has to step up and lead the Creature Court into battle.

Twelve years ago, Garnet kissed Velody and stole her magic. Five years ago, he betrayed Ashiol, and took his powers by force. But now the Creature Court is at a crossroads … they need a Power and Majesty who won’t give up or lose themselves in madness …

Signed copy of Worlds Next Door, edited by Tehani Wessely

Tehani Wessely is a Perth based speculative fiction editor, a founding member of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, and the driving force behind Fablecroft Publications. Find out more about Tehani and Fablecroft at the website. Fablecroft can be followed on Twitter via @fablecroft.

Worlds Next Door is an Australian anthology of speculative fiction stories for 9-13 year olds, containing stories by 25 Australian authors, each illustrated by Australian artists. Many of the authors in the pages are award-winning and well known writers of children’s fiction, and the anthology is compiled to be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Worlds Next Door has its own website containing lesson plans and ideas, free downloads of individual stories, podcasts and lots of other great material for use in the classroom.


WINNING ENTRIES will be posted on the Fiction On Demand blog, and all entries must be submitted giving permission for publishing on the blog.


Email your entry to dansimmo1(@) with the entry pasted into the body of the email, and the subject line: “Reverse Inspiration Entry: 1960s”.


750 – 1,000 words


Friday 2nd July 2010 – Friday 13th August 2010

Get writing people!


8 Responses to Fiction Challenge – The Sixties

  1. […] submit short fiction of 750 to 1,000 words that were inspired by one of the prompts in Dan’s Fiction Challenge.  Entries must be received by August 13, 2010.  Winning entries will be published on the Fiction […]

  2. Amber Hunter says:

    LOL, well it’s sort of empty support at this point since I just started the blog and it has zero traffic. But thank you. :o) Maybe one of these days I’ll be able to flow some decent PR your way.

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kim Tairi and Sue Hickton, Gigglesigh . Gigglesigh said: any #librarians out there interested in entering this writing comp? […]

  4. Marielle says:

    Can you participate if you’re from another country?

    • dansimpson says:

      Hi Marielle,
      Absolutely! About half the entries in my first comp were from outside Australia, and Amber Hunter (who has commented above) placed with a story she wrote in Texas!

  5. […] prize for placing in Dan Simpson‘s first reverse inspiration challenge (there’s another one up now, so get your entries in!). Published by the rapidly growing Perth-based independent publishing […]

  6. […] ran another writing competition on his blog Fiction on Demand. This time the theme was The Sixties. Well I am chuffed that I managed to place so here’s my story if you would like to have a […]

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