Idioms are a fundamental aspect of language that add richness, depth, and cultural context to communication. These expressions, often figurative in nature, convey meanings that extend beyond the literal interpretation of their individual words.

For this month’s story idioms can add colour and authenticity to your narratives, enriching characters and dialogue with layers of meaning and nuance. Choose one of the following idioms to base your story on:

Write a short story that incorporates the chosen idiom as a central theme or pivotal moment. Mention your choice of the idiom at the bottom of your story.

Prompt credit: Kajal Kapur


  1. The submitted story must be between 2500-5000 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. AI generated content stands invalid for the contest. Repeated offenders will be barred from participation in Penmancy events.
  5. 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. You may share the story on your blog wih a backlink to Penmancy’s original published post.
  6. 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:

  1. 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)
    • characterisation (8 points)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Only stories that garnered and average score/rating of 7.5 and above, as aggregated on judges’ scores, shall be eligible for winning.
  5. Contest Duration
    The submission for the contest is open from May 1 to May 30, 2024.
    Results for the event shall be shared on June 7, 2024, at 8:00 pm.

Top three winners will receive a copy of the book ‘The Labyrinth of Silence’ by Aparna Salvi Nagda.

Below are the submissions