VCLS Writing Challenges


MA-Rated /R-Rated Stories – Some of the challenge stories in the Library contain explicit language and adult themes; and are not intended for readers under the age of 18. Please heed our rating guidelines.

Writing Challenges Hosted by Cheaux, unless otherwise noted.

Specific VCLS Writing Challenges:

2016 Advent Calendar (Hosted by faust)
2017 Advent Calendar (Hosted by faust)
2018 Advent Calendar (Hosted by faust)
2019 Advent Calendar (Hosted by faust)

An invitation to the members of the BonanzaBrand Forums to select a day and create a contribution based on a prompt provided by faust for the Advent Calendar.

Ancestry Challenge – 2018

Several relatives of the Cartwrights have turned up from time to time. Are there more and what affect do they have on the Cartwrights?

Better Late than Never Challenge – 2018, 2019, 2020

The ‘best laid plans of writers’ don’t always match with the deadline to earn a badge for that challenge. This challenge gives the writers a chance to finish their story and still earn a badge, only not the one originally intended.

BoNaNo Challenge – 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

Bonanza Brand’s answer to NaNoWriMo.

Bonanza Brand Anniversary “R” Literary Challenge — 2016, 2017, 2019

Celebrating Bonanza Brand’s Anniversary in the “R-rated” Forums

2016 – This challenge is also known as the Dirty Word Challenge. Authors were given 25 words that had to be incorporated into their stories.  Most stories submitted were sexually explicit.

2017 – Authors were encouraged to pen an R-rated story regarding the Cartwrights (any or all) reaction to an ad appearing in the Territorial Enterprise. (The ad is the featured image for these stories.)

2019 – Authors were encouraged to pen an R-rated story that included the words: lacy lingerie.

Camp in the Pines – 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

A summer past-time, full of fun and shenanigans, especially Hoss’ Go-Fish Tournament.

Chaps and Spurs Challenges – 2009, 2010,2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2019

Stories submitted to word/phrase or photo prompts or story titles, opening or closing lines.

Christmas Challenge (Hosted by Rider) – 2013

Favorite Christmas carols inspiring Bonanza stories.

Cross-Over Challenge2018

Mix the Cartwrights with another fandom.

Dan Blocker Literary Challenge – 2012 & 2014

Celebrating Dan Blocker’s birthday.

Death of a Cartwright Challenge (Hosted by Inca) – 2013

Reader Advisory: For this challenge, the authors were tasked with ‘killing a Cartwright’ within their story. There could be no hope of revival or turning up months later with amnesia for the character selected. The Cartwright had to be Dead and Gone. Selecting Jamie Hunter-Cartwright, or Cousins Will, Muley, or Clarissa were not an option.

Devonshire Birthday Challenge – 2010 & 2011

Celebrating the birthday of the Queen of SJS – Devonshire.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner Challenge – 2013

Celebrating Lorne Greene’s birthday.

Halloween aka Bonanza Spooktacular! Challenge – 2018, 2019

Write an other-worldly story involving one or all of the Cartwights.

Hindsight 20/20 Challenge – 2020

Regrets.  What would the any of the Cartwrights (or supporting players) have done differently if they knew then what they know now.

Hop Sing’s Fortune Cookie Challenge – 2019

A story based on the wisdom found in a fortune cookie.  Announcement in January.  Chinese New Year runs from February 5-19.  A different fortune posted each day.

Little Bit Challenge (Hosted by freyakendra & BluewindFarm) – 2015

To write a vignette for as many of the 431 episodes as possible using exactly 100 or 200 words.

Ma Hoad’s Valentine’s Day R Challenge! 2011

In response Ma Hoad in The Spitfire, authors were challenged to write an R-Rated story for Valentine’s Day.

Man in Black Birthday Challenge – 2013

Celebrating Pernell Roberts’ birthday.

Michael Landon’s Birthday Literary Challenge – 2012, 2017

Celebrating Michael Landon’s birthday.

Missing Man Challenge – 2017, 2018

Include Adam in a season 7 – 14 episode, as if he’d never left.

Once Upon a Midnight Dreary (Gothic Challenge) – 2017

In honor of Edgar Allen Poe’s birthday, write a dark, moody tale (or poem) in the Gothic style (Poe’s themes generally embraced lost love, death, mourning, etc.)

Pernell Roberts Special Literary Birthday Challenge – 2014

Celebrating Pernell Roberts’ birthday.

Ponderosa Paddlewheel Poker Tournament – 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

The mother of all poker tournaments. Words were substituted for the face value of the cards in a deck. Not only did authors have to use all five words, but they had to craft a scene for each word, unless they were lucky enough to be dealt a Joker.

Round Robin Challenges – 2011, 2019

A Round Robin is a group of authors who collaborate on a single story, the opening of which is selected by Brand members.  An author writes part of the story before the story is forwarded to another author, which continues until the story is completed.

The Mother of All Challenges – 2015

In observance of Mother’s Day. Authors were invited to write a story featuring one or more of the Cartwrights in any time period (prequel, season 1-14, sequel, AU), in which Virginia City is an integral part of their tale.

Thinking Man Challenge – 2015

Celebrating Pernell Roberts’ birthday.

World Poetry Day Challenge – 2018, 2019

Celebrating National Poetry Month


Note: There are many more challenges and their responses located within the Virginia City Literary Society Forums. Not all submissions are uploaded to the Library by their respective authors. Readers must be a member in the Forums to access these pages.