Prompt: #HerStory

Let’s put our writing to the Bechdel Test! What’s that? Well, the Bechdel test is a measure of the representation of women in film and, by extension, in fiction. 

The usual criteria of the Bechdel Test are:
1. that at least two women are featured,
2. that these women talk to each other, and
3. that they discuss something other than a man.

Write a story that fulfils all three requirements of the Bechdel Test. Remember, these are the minimal requisites for the Bechdel Test. Rather than limiting your creativity, we encourage you to make these the foundations of your story and then experiment with themes and ideas to your heart’s content.

  • Weave a tale in a genre of your choice. (Head on to the thread of this post on our FB Group for an enlightening discussion, if any.) 

  • Send in your entries to penmagica@gmail.com as an attachment in a word document (.doc/.docx) along with a 2-3 line bio (not required if previously sent) and a cover picture for your story (optional).

  • The subject of your mail should be “Entry for #HerStory″ (compulsory). 

  • Along with your entry please send a suggested cover for your story (LANDSCAPE ONLY, as direct attachment, and no watermark, please). Use pixabay.com, pexels.com or unsplash.com to source lovely covers. In case your story is unaccompanied by a cover or is of poor quality, it will delay the publishing process.


  1. The submitted story must be between 2500-3500 words (each). Entries lower than or exceeding the word limit will stand disqualified for the event. (Penmancy Tip: Use https://wordcounter.io/ to check your word count.)

  2. There is no limit to the number of entries you may submit- though only the first one of them will be eligible for the contest.

  3. Previously published or plagiarised works will not be considered for contention. The writer of such content stands to be disqualified for the next Penmancy event.

  4. Stories found to have been shared on another writing platform or blog before the declaration of results stand disqualified from the event. Kindly check the Terms of Use for details.

  5. In case a story is received after the submission deadline, it shall be considered as a guest entry and shall not qualify for the contest.

Winning criteria:

  • The winner will be chosen on the basis of the judges’ scores (out of 10)

    • plot/story/creativity (15 points)

    • language/grammar (10 points)

    • narrative voice & content (9 points)

    • emotional impact, (8 points)

    • use of prompt/theme (8 points) 

  • The entries adjudged by a panel of judges and event organisers shall be binding. Judges’ scores to be deemed final and may not be contested or sought from the Penmancy team.

  • All writers are required to read and comment on 5 stories other than their own and encourage their fellow writers with valuable and constructive inputs. Comments like ‘nice’, ‘good work’, ‘brilliant piece’, etc., do not provide the necessary critique and are not helpful to anyone.

  • Only stories that garnered and average score/rating of 7.5 and above, as aggregated on judges’ scores, shall be eligible for winning.

  • Contest Duration 

    • The submission for the contest is open from March 1 to March 31, 2023

    • Results for the event shall be shared on April 7, 2023, at 8:00 pm

Top three winners will receive a copy of these books sponsored by Mumtaz Khorakiwala

For questions related to the rules and criteria, please write to us at penmagica@gmail.com or through the Contact Us section on the website.
Here are the submitted stories for the event:



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