Prompt: Idioms

Below is a list of idiomatic expressions. Choose one and use it to weave a 500-word story (the idiom’s texts you choose need not appear in the manuscript). Follow the guidelines to avoid disqualification

  1. swim against the tide/current: to do the opposite of everyone else; to go against the trend
  2. music to my ears: good news; information that makes someone happy.
  3. march to a different drummer: follow one’s own ideas rather than being influenced by the group.
  4. turn over a new leaf: to forget the past and start again with the intention of doing better.
  5. the pot calling the kettle black: (an instance of)someone with a fault accusing someone else of having the same fault
  6. know which side one’s bread is buttered on: to know what is most advantageous for one
  • Send in your entries to as an attachment in a word document (.doc/.docx) along with a 2-3 line bio, in the third person (not required if previously sent).
  • The subject of your mail should be “Entry for #QuinTale-20(compulsory).
  • Along with your entry please send a suggested cover for your story (to be sent as a separate attachment. Make sure it is a stock photo and of high resolution –800 pixels and above)
  • Instantly earn 100 Penmancy Points on submission.


  1. Your fictional story can be in any genre (or a combination of two or more genres).
  2. The submitted story must be between 450-500 words (each). Entries lower than or exceeding the word limit will stand disqualified for the event. (Penmancy Tip: Use to check your word count.)
  3. There is no limit to the number of entries you may submit- though only the first story received shall qualify for the event. The remaining story/ies shall be treated as a guest story/ies. 
  4. 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.
  5. Stories found to have been shared on another platform or blog before the declaration of results stands disqualified from the event.
  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 event.
  7. No corrections/reviews of story/ies shall be entertained, but you may submit your edited stories after the event has concluded.

Winning criteria:

The winner will be chosen on the basis of votes from the readers and the judges’ scores (out of 10), in the ratio 30:70

  1. a. Judges’ scores to be based on-
    • plot/story/creativity (15 points)
    • language/grammar (10 points)
    • narrative voice & content (9 points)
    • emotional impact, (8 points)
    • use of prompt/theme (8 points) 

b. The voting process for the readers:

    • The option for rating would be given below each story on the website.
    • Readers to rate the story on the basis of 5 (rate it based on the content, language, creativity, prompt and emotional impact).
    • Readers can vote once for each story. Multiple votes shall not be recorded.
    • Once the rating is given, your vote is recorded and cannot be altered.
    • Writers are requested to share the link of the posts to garner more votes.

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.

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 for anyone. 

4. Only stories that garnered an average score/rating of 7.5 and above from the panel of judges shall be eligible for winning.   

5. The last date of submission is June 23, 2020 (Tuesday). Voting concludes on July 1 (Wednesday). Winners shall be announced on July 2, 2020, at 8 PM (Thursday). Announcement of winners may be postponed or preponed depending on the number of entries received.

6. Top three winners will earn themselves a copy of the book “Rainbow Housing Society” by Meha Sharma.

For questions related to the rules and criteria, please write to us at or through the Contact Us section on the website.


Here are the submitted stories for the event:


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