Writers’ Asylum

This way lies madness. Or salvation. One of those.
(Picture by ark4n)

1 day, 5 challenges, 1,000 words each. Can you keep up?

Welcome to the Asylum: a day of writing challenges for writers!

This is a chance to try something outside your usual realm. Step outside of your comfort zone. Stretch into a new area. Do something just a little crazy, because it’s fun.

Each Asylum is created from scratch by Kess, one of our illustrious Family Heads. The prompts include everything you need to do the challenge, including a bonus element with each one for those looking for an extra way to challenge themselves!

2024: Writers’ Asylum: Coming soon!
Join us for writing challenges! 2024’s theme is yet to be announced. Watch this space!

The next Asylum will open its doors in May 2024.

Want to check out what we’ve done in previous Asylums? Here’s the story so far:

2013: the first Writers’ Asylum
6 challenges in 6 hours, in a day full of craziness. The challenges were across different genres, different subjects, different styles.

2014: Writers’ Asylum: Altered Perspectives
The Asylum narrowed its lens to focus on a single theme. There were 5 challenges across the day (with a break for lunch because the inmates got restless without sustenance last time), and each featured a different kind of point of view character.

2015: Writers’ Asylum: Colonising Minds
The Asylum shifted focus again: this time, the challenges move around a central story about a colony.

2016: Writers’ Asylum: Mental Battlefields.
This time, the Asylum focussed on the story of a single battle, within the scope of a wider war.

2017: Writers’ Asylum: Murder in Mind
We’re throwing a party in the Asylum, but it doesn’t go well for everyone.

2018: Writers’ Asylum: Mind and Spirit
There’s something supernatural going on! Each challenge has an extra bonus part for you to enjoy, too.

2019: Writers’ Asylum: Time out of Mind
Something is wonky in history, but will you have the time to fix it?

2020: Writers’ Asylum: Love in Mind
Every relationship has its ups and downs, these challenges take you on the ride.

2021: Writers’ Asylum: Superpowered
Where will super powers take you? Jump in and find out!

2022: Writers’ Asylum: Altered Dimensions
Join us for a multi-dimensional adventure!

2023: Writers’ Asylum: Experiential
This year, we tried something different: the five challenges were spread out across the five Mondays in May.

Curious about our usual format? Here is the breakdown of the day:

Time (Brisbane / AEST)Stage
10:30amOpening address / Prologue
10:40am – 11:40amChallenge #1
11:50am – 12:50pmChallenge #2
12:50pm – 1:30pmLunch
1:30pm – 2:30pmChallenge #3
2:40pm – 3:40pmChallenge #4
3:50pm – 4:50pmChallenge #5
4:50pmClosing address / Epilogue

Join us:

  • In person: in Brisbane at the Coffee Club at Milton. To find us, head to the back of the restaurant and look for the forest of laptops. That’s us!
  • Online: the challenges will be going up here, on Kess’s writing blog on schedule and we will be broadcasting them live on the Discord server! Join us!

(The usual disclaimer: adult themes and subjects will be discussed, so this event will be unsuitable for children.)