vssCollab Challenge

vssCollab TL;DR / Overview

The general rule for vssCollab is:
  • Use the tweet vssCollab Prompts for vssCollab and optionally the other vss groups we are following for the month.

  • Make at least 2 tweets in a thread for a story that month to participate. (In otherwords, use 2 of the prompts in a story, minimum.)

  • If you do all the vssCollab monthly prompts - you earn the badge for that month (listed on the prompt page).

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

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

  • What is vssCollab?

    If VSS is a new concept for you, it stands for Very Short Story. You write a Twitter length story snippet using the prompt of the day.   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

    To get the most out of the challenge, you'll need to put #vssCollab in your tweets so I can find them, read them, and retweet. (If you wish to minimize the hashtags used, I don't mind if you vssCollab. Though, most other vss prompt sponsors don't want to be ed.)   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.)   We are most active on Twitter and Amy's Discord
  • Follow vssCollab on Twitter.
  • Hop over to ShyRedFox'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.


    How to Participate in the Challenge

    There are multiple ways to take part in the challenge.

    The VSS Segment of the Challenge

    This is the only required portion of the challenge.   Use the required daily prompt from vssCollab in your VSS. We may choose a VSS list for additional challenge. The other vss lists we join are optional.
  • (vssCollab Prompts and which VSS prompt lists we are using are listed at vssCollab Prompts and https://twitter.com/vssCollab.)
  • Post your VSS on Twitter with the #(the tag of the chosen VSS list) and #vssCollab so participants can find them and retweet as they like. If you wish add a hashtag for your world/brand. You don't need to add # to the prompts.Twitter seems to give less preference to tweets with many tags. They suggest using only 1 or 2 hashtags. We'd like to see your tweets do well! To highlight the prompt words, we recommend putting a * in front of them. See example below.
  • She could only *diminish the spotlight of writing the Techo app by hiding deep in the caverns of Sumichou. She’d meant well. But those who hired her to write it? They *pushed the app to be far more intrusive than she’d intended. #vss365 #vssCollab #LiminalChronicles


    Posting and Sharing

  • The minimum number to tweets you need to post is 2 in a thread. That's it. We want to keep this low key so everyone can participate.
  • The #vssCollab account will retweet as many of the challenge VSSes as we can. You must have #vssCollab in your tweet for me to find it. We'll try to retweet 1-2 times/day.
  • It would be appreciated if you'd retweet for your fellow participants too! To find the challenge's tweets: retweet from #vssCollab on Twitter or a search for #vssCollab. (I saved that search in TweetDeck for vssCollab and it works great!)
  • It would also be sweet of you to retweet other tweets from the #(the tag of the chosen VSS list) hashtag. The #(the tag of the chosen VSS list) community is great and a lovely way to make new friends on Twitter. Be sure to read up on their rules as each group is a little different.


    The goal

    Have multiple VSS tweets that make a larger story or story fragment.
  • We recommend making a Twitter thread of these.
  • If you wish to do one thread for all the posts or a thread for each set of stories, that is up to you. Make it easy on yourself. Make a bookmark of your threads, you'll need them later! (Tweetdeck is nice for this. You can make a column for your thread.)
  • You can and are encouraged to make multiple stories. The month's tweets don't ALL have to be about the same story. If you want to try to to make them all into one story, more power to you. Just be sure the words work in naturally and remember this is meant to be a low-key challenge. Don't stress, ok? I chose the option for multiple threads to have options for when words really don't work with our stories.
  • If you'd like to put your VSSes on a page (World anvil or otherwise), let me know via Discord or the sign up form so I can link to it on your profile block of the participant's page.
  • Please use the prompt pairs for a certain day together in the tweet.
  • 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'.



    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. Just keep them within the same month.
      We do not require you to complete the 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.

    Badge Bonus

    If you complete the VSSes for every day of the challenge month, we'll give you a badge to show off your VSS prowess.
  • Finish your vss tweets by the end of 1st day of the next challenge month, in your timezone.
  • Share in the monthly Discord thread or the monthly Twitter call for badge requests post by the 5th of the month after the challenge to claim your badge.
  • I'll Discord DM or Twitter PM you 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'll be making 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 will be 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 (releasing in May) includes Feb-May.   The submissions should be from stories created with the prompts for the respective month. Using a previous month'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.   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 1.5K 3.5K. For August 2022 (In Threads Issue #3), we'll test out allowing longer, more fleshed out stories. The word maximum is strict. I want people to be able to print the booklet. This is about the number of words possible (minus tags and mentions) for the month's tweets.
      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 anticipate posting a zine 3x/year. But if we can manage it, we'd love to do a monthly zine.  

    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 Twitter
  • Ask on ShyRedFox's Discord in the #vssCollab channel.
  • Ask Amy/ShyRedFox in her streams on https://www.twitch.tv/shyredfox
  • Table of Contents



    Upped the word limit for August 2022's In Threads issue #3 to 3.5K.
    Changed the requirement from vssCollab to either vssCollab or #vssCollab.
    Updated the info about using specified multiple VSS lists. In June, we'll try a pick your own and see how it goes.
    Clarified zine submission dates and that going back and doing prompts later for submission isn't in the spirit of the zine.


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