Short Story competition- an archaeologist’s nightmare

Sometimes the hardest thing about writing a story is getting started…..

For my students I often use a short piece of writing to get them started, to get the creative juices flowing and to limit the time spent biting the end of the pen.

I thought the other day that this would be a great way of encouraging other people to have a shot at a tale or two and so I decided that a little contest might be fun.

The rules:

Taking the following short passage as a starter, write the story this inspires you to write in as many or as few words as you like. Copy and paste the text below as your starter; it’s not to be changed in any way. The rest is up to you but no smut please. And definitely no pornography. I have some tolerance for strong language but only when it is in context.

Then what? You have two choices at this point. You can either post the story on your blog, and put a link to the contest here(and encourage your visitors and friends to have a try too) or if you don’t have a blog, either post the story in the comments section for this post or email me the story and I will include it in a follow up post which links all the contestants together so everyone can have fun reading what the others have written.

The reward:

Apart from the satisfaction of writing a great story? OK, you mercenary lot….if you are not already on my blogroll, I shall add you. If you are, I will plug your blog here.

As an added incentive,  I will write either a blog post (as guest blogger) or a short story or poem, on a subject of your choosing (within reason; I have limits….) for whoever writes the story I would most like to have written myself. Yes, I know this is entirely subjective but hey, I have to decide somehow.

One other thing: the archaeologist in the starter is almost certainly Alex from Strangers and Pilgrims…..

Over to you.

An archaeologist’s nightmare

Many years ago while Alex was a student, he spent some weeks one summer helping on an archaeological dig. The weather was fine and while the work was quite boring, the other people were pleasant and he found he was making friends.

One afternoon, he was kneeling in a ditch with the sun beating down on his back. He was slowly uncovering something buried in the earth but when the piece of pottery came free, so did something else. Looking down with utter horror, Alex saw poking out of the mud………

© Vivienne Tuffnell 2008

13 thoughts on “Short Story competition- an archaeologist’s nightmare

  1. Hi Viv,

    Glad to see you back in action:)

    You have a confirmed participant – but of the caricaturist kind:( So I’ll begin with the premise that mine won’t be the story that you’d want to have written yourself!

    The gears are beginning to move… (can you hear them – I guess they are a bit rusty and squeaky…)



    • WD40, the friend of all mechanics should sort you out.
      Back in action, but (between thee and me) totally walking wounded. I am still thinking about your picture-story carnival and need to get started.
      I wonder how many will have a go…..


      • I am glad you are confident of this as I am not. That said, I have 13 from my poor beleaguered students from today that i might photocopy and keep for reference(and maybe post a few…)
        I sadly didn’t see your contest. As you may know, I have had a sad loss lately and my blog visiting has been as scanty lately as my posts.


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    • Wowsers!!!
      Fantastic story indeed. I loved it. Thank you so very much kind sir.
      I have had one story sent to me that I shall put in a post here as the writer doesn’t blog, and will do that either later today or soon. I have the plumber coming today(I await his knock right now) so I hope to have hot water(and the potential of heating too) today.
      Much obliged!


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  4. Pingback: Breaking News – The Caricaturist Turns a Writer! Read the Story, “An Archaeologist’s Nightmare!” « Shafali's Caricatures

    • I am overwhelmed with delight; we now have three entries. I shall pop over and read very soon but a big thank you.
      As for novels, you know from our instant messaging I write fast; but I guess the muscles are now well trained and i don’t need to worry. My greatest output in one day was 11k words or thereabouts, but that was longhand too and I got a blister!!


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