vssCollab Challenge in vssCollab | World Anvil

vssCollab Challenge

vssCollab TL;DR / Overview

The general rule for vssCollab is:
  • Use the vssCollab Prompts and (optional) the other vss groups.

  • Make at least 2 vsses put together for a story that month to participate and post them to social media. (In otherwords, use 2 of the prompts in a story, minimum.)

  • If you use half of the the vssCollab monthly prompts - you earn the silver badge for that month (listed on the prompt page). Using all the prompts, earns you the gold badge.

  • We appreciate it when members like and share VSSes from fellow vssCollab members and the other VSS communities we are participating with.

  • 2-3x/year, we'll do read alouds and an issue of the In Threads zine with the best stories from the VSS threaded stories we did since the previous zine issue.

  • Follow vssCollab

    Instagram, Substack, and the bsky feed

    What is vssCollab?

    If VSS is a new concept for you, it stands for Very Short Story. You write a story snippet up to about 280 characters, using one of the month's prompts.   Click for a VSS example
    I wrote a story snippet with the two prompts from #vss365 and #vssLiminal. I highlighted the prompt words in red for this example.  
    The maitre_d’ wouldn’t let me enter the establishment. Just because I wanted a conversation with the lovely lady waiting at a table by herself. But a flash of my clan’s business card gained me grudging access. I couldn’t let on that I knew her. —Hiro #vss365 #vssLiminal

      In vssCollab, we'll encourage participants to use VSS prompts from multiple sources (#vss365, #inkmine, #BraveWrite, #vsslocation, etc.), make threads of interconnected VSSes, and share them online. Plus, we have two optional parts for extra fun. You can submit your best stories to our free zine we'll electronically publish and you can join our Read our Best stream on Twitch.     Click for an example of connecting VSSes
    The first VSS in my series of tweets was this.  
    The maitre_d’ wouldn’t let me enter the establishment. Just because I wanted a conversation with the lovely lady waiting at a table by herself. But a flash of my clan’s business card gained me grudging access. I couldn’t let on that I knew her. —Hiro #vss365 #vssLiminal
      Then I continued the story in another tweet.  
    Her perfect lips formed a frown as she read the fine text. "What's commensurate mean?" I kicked myself. What the hell did they use legalese for? She's smart, but uneducated. So, I ordered dinner for us and quietly went through the contract with her. #vss365 #vssLiminal

      I managed to post 13 tweets in this story. If you post them in the same thread, people will easily be able to read the whole thing. You may also want to track the threads/stories somewhere. They could be fodder for future writing! For an example, here is where I store mine.


    Goals for vssCollab

  • Get eyes on the participants' work
  • Have flexibility - so no one feels pressured if they can't post for a day or so
  • Our own list of prompts


    How to Join + Challenge Details

    The VSS Segment of the Challenge

    This is the only required portion of the challenge.
  • Share your up to ~280 character vsses (with one or more of the month's prompts) on social media.
  • Write and post a minimum of 2 vsses (in social media posts) to make a story or story fragment. We want to keep this low key so everyone can participate. More is fine too!
  • You can make multiple stories from the month's prompts.
  • Feel free to post your collected vsses in one page (World Anvil, blog, etc.).
  • If you'd like to put your VSSes on a page (World anvil, blog, or otherwise), that's great.
  • You can use variants of a word. For example: 'resolve' - if 'resolved' or 'resolves' work better in your VSS use those. And 'birth' can be used as 'birthday'.

    Be sure to ping vsscollab. You can use #vssCollab too. But the Instagram search doesn't catch everything with the tag.
    Share your work on the chat or comments or ping amywintersvoss. Share your faves!
    add your vsses to the #vsscollab feed with the #vsscollab tag.
    We still have a Twitter account but are not actively posting prompts there. But you are more than welcome to post your vsses to whichever platforms you fancy.
    Other Social Media
    Share where you like! Try to include #vssCollab if you can, ok?

      The challenge will run each month, from the first to the last day of the month.
    Entrants must write about their own world/story setting. Sorry, we will not accept fanfiction for this challenge. (While fanfiction is fun, it's just not suitable for our purposes. We'll be making a zine from the best entries and aren't able to deal with the legal side for such stories. If you are looking for a place to post fanfiction, we can recommend AO3.)   Amy's Discord is where news is first posted and where the group edits happen for the In Threads zine.
  • Hop over to Amy's Discord
  • Join the 'member' and 'vssCollab' groups in the #roles-and-commands channel, so you can pop into #vssCollab and say hi. We'll post updates here and can help each other out if we get stuck on prompts.


    Sharing is Caring

  • The vssCollab accounts will share as many of the challenge VSSes as we can. See the accnounts list uner How to Join + Challenge Details for tips on helping us find and share your vsses We'll try to share your work often.
  • It would be appreciated if you'd like and retweet, reskeet, reblog, or make Instagram stories for your fellow participants too!
  • It would also be sweet of you to share other posts from other vss communities too. The vss community is great and a lovely way to make new friends on social media. Be sure to read up on their rules as each group is a little different.



    Can we add to story threads later in the month? (For example: if we started a story thread and went on to another because the prompts didn't fit. Can we add to the first one?)
    YES! I've done that with my own story threads and it works nicely.
      We do not require you to complete a VSS every day.
    Life gets crazy sometimes, so don't guilt yourself. But we will encourage you to do your best to complete all the VSS prompts in that month.


    Badge Bonus

  • If you use half of the the vssCollab monthly prompts - you earn the silver badge for that month (listed on the prompt page). Using all the prompts, earns you the gold badge.
  • Finish your vss posts by the end of 1st day of the next challenge month, in your timezone.
  • Share in the monthly Discord thread or the monthly badge requests post by the 5th of the month after the challenge to claim your badge.
  • I'll Discord DM or PM you in social media the badge in a WA/BBCode link and PNG file format so you can post it on your WA profile, a VSS page, Twitch streams, or wherever you like.


    Bonus Segments

    We have two fun options beyond tagging #vssCollab to help you get eyes on your work.


    We create a free publication of the best of the submitted stories hosted on the vssCollab site, simply for joy of sharing our best works. No money is involved.   Publication will be non-exclusive.
    Meaning you can publish your stories anywhere. We don't own your stories! You do! We just want to help bring eyes to your work.   To be in the zine, you'll give us permission to publish them to our site in our zine with credit to you. This will be on the submission form.   This is a flash fiction zine, where entries are read in 5 minutes. These stories are teasers for your books, series, and worldbuilding.

    Zine Submission Guidelines
    Each author may submit TWO of their best multiple vss stories (a minimum of 2 VSSes threaded together) from the last issue to present for the current zine. For example: Our first issue was Feb 2022. So Issue 2 (released in May) includes Feb-May.   The submissions should be from stories created with the prompts for the respective submission period. Using a previous period's words to be able to submit a story isn't in the spirit of the challenge or the zine.   Please do your best to edit your submissions before submitting. We wrote these stories in little bits, so go a head and make them flow. If you didnt' get to 'finish' the story in the tweets, you can do that in your edits. If you have to remove a few prompts to make the story work well, that's ok. Try to leave most of them. If I see stories with very few of the prompts, I won't be able to accept them.  
    Formatting Note: Please don't use a double carriage return to add space between paragraphs. They have to be removed for the zine. Instead, if you want space between paragraphs for readability, please just tell Google docs to add space after the paragraph.
        I had imagined a traditional definition of story. But, as long as they make sense as a whole for the reader, it's fine. We'll also allow continued stories and see how it goes. (<- If it bites us, we'll remove that option.)   Please, grammar and spell check at a very minimum. If you need a free grammar and spell checker, Hemmingway is a good one.
      The maximum word count/story is 3.5K. The word maximum is strict. I want people to be able to print the booklet.
      Please keep your submitted stories to TV-14 at maximum. This challenge is open to writers of all ages.   Trigger warnings: For stories with topics like suicide, non-consent, graphic violence, etc. When we put a story in the zine (online WA and PDF format), I would like to put a trigger warning. For your tweets and your own story pages, what you do is up to you.   Submissions must be received by the deadline of the call for submissions. (Deadline is listed on the calendar on the front page of vssCollab.)
      Use the Google form to submit your best VSS stories that use multiple tweets to make a storyline. Submission does not guarantee publication. Publication is at the editor's discretion.   Publication and submission dates are posted to the calendar on the front page of vssCollab.   We post the zine 2-3x/year.


    Live Reading

    Join us for the Best of the vssCollab read along on https://www.twitch.tv/shyredfox. Date and time are posted on the front page of vssCollab.
      Please adhere to the max word count for the Zine so everyone can have a turn to read.


    Have questions?

    You can contact us via the following.
  • vssCollab on Instagram
  • the vss Collab Substack
  • the bsky feed
  • Ask on ShyRedFox's Discord in the #vssCollab channel
  • Ask Amy/ShyRedFox in her streams on https://www.twitch.tv/shyredfox
  • Table of Contents


    Simplified the instructions and updated for different social media platforms
    Updated the challenge to include social media beyond Twitter.
    Upped the word limit for August 2022's In Threads issue #3 to 3.5K.


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