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[Art Writing Challenge] 2020 Big Bang

Big Bang 2020

The start of the new year (and the new decade; welcome to the roaring 20s) is a great time for beginnings, for new things, and for fresh takes. In the spirit of all things not-yet-done-before, and The Silicon Valley Sci-Fi/Fantasy Writers group are partnering up to host a Big Bang challenge!

Those of you familiar with Big Bangs are probably used to seeing them take place in the Fan Fiction realm. This time, we’re doing something a bit different, and asking our writers and artists to meet the challenge of something new and original!

Members of the PaperDemon community have mentioned how fun it would be to have a challenge where artists and writers could collaborate together. We're very excited to finally make that dream happen by pairing up PaperDemon visual artists with writers from within PaperDemon and also from The Silicon Valley Sci-Fi/Fantasy Writers group.

Writers are being called on to submit five thousand (5,000) words of original work. Artists will then select (or ‘claim’) a written work, and produce a piece of art that has never been seen before.

New characters! New worlds! New art!

How to participate: Writers

You will submit an original work by posting to the PaperDemon Contest and Events forum. Detailed instructions below

  • Your work must be original, and must be yours (or something that you have explicit permission-to-post from the writer).

  • Your work should be approximately five thousand (5,000) words long. You are allowed to post more than five thousand (5,000) words, however you MUST clearly indicate in your work where the five thousand (5,000) word line is - artists are not expected to read more than five thousand (5,000) words.

  • The character or scene that you would like artists to CONSIDER illustrating should be in the first five thousand (5,000) words of the work that you post. Please do not directly request or insist on what an artists should illustrate - in the end, it is up to the artist.

  • You are allowed to post a work which includes Adult Content, however you MUST clearly and explicitly label what content is included in the work.

  • Use trigger warnings. If you are not sure how to do this, check out our trigger warning examples (inspired by Remember, not everyone is okay reading everything - but the only way for someone to make an informed decision to pass on a piece is knowing to what they may be exposed. Be kind and courteous to readers.

  • You must submit your post to the PaperDemon Contests and Events forum by end of the day January 24th, 2020.

How to post to the big bang challenge

If you have any trouble getting your story posted, no worries. We have you covered. Just email all the information about your story to one of the two challenge coordinators (Maya at or BogusRed at for help.

What to include in your post

In order to submit your work for this challenge, your post to the PaperDemon Contests and Events forum should…

  • Use a subject line of “Big Bang 2020: Story title”

  • Include a synopsis of the piece being submitted (if it is something other than the beginning of a story, include a “the story up until now” so that your submission makes sense)

  • Include trigger warnings, and if there is adult content be clear in indicating what it is

  • A link to your story . If you do not have it posted somewhere already, you may post it to our drive folder

  • Up to three bullet points of what you might SUGGEST an artist pay attention to for illustration - remember, it is up to the artists to pick what they eventually illustrate

    • 1st bullet should be a character

    • 2nd bullet should be a scene or moment

    • 3rd bullet can be another character or another scene/moment

  • Lastly, the post should include your contact information so the artist or artists that claim your story can reach you with any questions

How to participate: Artists

This is your chance to bring visual art to something that has never had it before - you get to be the first!

UPDATE: Deadline EXTENDED. See news post for details

  • First, read through the synopses posted in the PaperDemon Contest and Events forum which begin with “Big Bang 2020” for any stories that pique your interest.

  • Posts will include suggested characters and moments which you may choose to illustrate - however, what you end up illustrating is entirely up to you! The bullet pointed suggestions are only that; suggestions.

  • Claim a story by replying to the post of the story you wish to choose. You will need to have a PaperDemon account to do this (it’s easy and free to set up!). The deadline to claim a story is midnight February 2nd, 2020.

    • Only two artists max may claim a story.

    • Artists may claim more than one story.

    • Please be committed to creating art for any story that you claim.

  • Read at least five thousand (5,000) words of the story/stories that you have claimed. You are welcome to read more than that, but it is not required.

  • Create! You have until February 29th, 2020 (happy leap year!) to work on your art. Submit it to the PaperDemon art gallery with the tag pd-bigbang-2020. Artists will earn 60XP for each entry submitted.

  • Post a link to your art in the forum thread attached to the story you claimed. All art must be posted by February 29th, 2020.

  • Feel free to communicate with the writer of your claimed story should you have any questions. You are also welcome to send the writers drafts, or even early peaks of your finished work. This isn’t required, but feel free.

UPDATE: Deadline EXTENDED. See news post for details


Lastly, and most importantly, have fun creating something new and exciting! Something that hasn’t been visualized before! Something unique, and something original!

P.S. What do you think of this challenge? Reply and let us know your feedback. If there's enough excitement and interest, we'll look into repeating this again annually.

Stock photo provided by Pixabay

Post updated on 1/15/2020 with more detailed instructions on how to post to the big bang forum.

Post updated 2/3/2020 with deadline extension