Sunday Book Review Topically Challenged Volume 1 Flash Fiction Anthology – New Book, Proceeds to Charity

Today I’m sharing a book that I totally forgot I’d submitted to be part of in this wonderful anthology – Topically Challenged. In this book 100 writers submitted entries of short stories and flash fiction containing 100 stories on news-themed stories. Authors who submitted their work to – “Alice’s ‘Trump This’ News Writing Challenge”. After reading the intro to how this book came about, in both, A.H. Creed’s and Chris Fielden’s introduction to the book, he states that the topic came about as a play on words by Creed, so to speak, as the former president seemed to be hogging the news headlines for a few years, hence, the title of the challenge. Now this isn’t to say that all the stories reflected around Trump, but of course, quite a few stories were based on some of the headlines he was making. My story included.

Visit Chris Fielden’s announcement post for this book. Chris invites writers to many writing challenges, and many are made into anthologies. All profits from this book go to the UK’s largest reading charity – BookTrust.

The book was officially launched on Saturday 3rd April 2021.


Profits from this book go to BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity.



Topically Challenged Volume 1 contains 100 news-themed stories from 100 authors who submitted their work to Alice’s ‘Trump This’ News Writing Challenge on Chris Fielden’s website.

They are:

A.H. Creed, A S Winter, Alan Barker, Alan Pattison, Allan Tweddle, Allen Ashley, Amanda Garzia, Andrea Goyan, Andrew Ball, Andrew Carter, Andrew Stiggers, Antonio Salituro, Ashutosh Pant, Barbara Hull, Benjamin Noel, Betty Hattersley, Brian Mackinney, Bridget Scrannage, Cathy Cade, Chris Espenshade, Chris Green, Chris Lee, Christopher Fielden, Clare Tivey, D.G. Kaye, David McTigue, David Rosenblum, David Silver, Debbie Singh, Dee La Vardera, Derek McMillan, Dora Bona, Dr Betty, Duane L. Herrmann, E. F. S. Byrne, Edmund Piper, Francesca Pappadogiannis, Frank Havemann, Gail Everett, Gary McGrath, Gavin Biddlecombe, Geja Hadderingh, Glen Donaldson, Guy Monson, Hajra Saeed, Hullabaloo22, Jack Caldwell-Nichols, Jacob Weller, James Goodman, James Louis Peel, John Gisby, John Holmes, John Notley, Jon Drake, Jon Spencer, Josie Gowler, K. J. Watson, Kelly Van Nelson, Ken Frape, Kenneth Muir, Klaus Gehling, Kwame M.A. McPherson, Len Saculla, Lesley Anne Truchet, Leslie Roberts, Louise Burgess, Lucy Morrice, Lynne Chitty, Madeleine Fox, Maggie Elliott, Majella Pinto, Malcolm Richardson, Mark J Towers, Matilda Pinto, Meghan O’Brien, Mehak Vijay Chawla, Michael Rumsey, Mike Scott Thomson, Nam Raj Khatri, Paul Mastaglio, Peggy Gerber, Pete Armstrong, Peter J. Corbally, Raymond E. Strawn III, Sam Nichols, Sandra Orellana, Sarah Charmley, Sarah Mosedale, Simon Williams, Stacey George, Stephen P. Thompson, Steven Barrett, Teresia Nicolas, Tiffany H White, Tony Thatcher, Vaki Kokkinaki, Valerie Fish, W R Daniel, Yvonne Mallett and Yvonne Mastaglio.

The news writing challenge was created to raise awareness of the importance of a story’s theme, support authors and raise money for charity.

Every story submitted to the challenge is published, so writers can gain the experience of having their work edited and then see their stories distributed in print and eBook formats all over the planet.

Profits generated by sales of this book are donated to BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity. They transform lives by getting children and families reading.

Please help us raise money for this worthy cause and spread the joy of topical stories around the world – buy this book 🙂

You will find many writing challenges, all run in support of charities, on Chris’s website in the ‘challenges’ section.


My 5 Star Review:

I am one of the authors who contributed to this writing challenge that ultimately, became a book, an anthology of stories told in flash fiction or micro short story fashion. The writers were asked to compose a fictional story based on a headline that grabbed us. The topic of the anthology writing challenge was titled: Alice’s ‘Trump This’ News Writing Challenge. The idea was to choose a headline from the news that ‘spoke to us’ and write a short fictional story that would coincide with the title of the news article.

In this book there are 100 creative and entertaining stories on a multitude of topics that touched writers in various ways. Many stories stemmed from politics – mainly US and UK related. Topics talked about cover a myriad of social issues from politics, medical system, animal rights, environmental issues, bullying, transgender issues, to racism and more. Every story is told in each author’s choice of style whether in sarcasm, satire, cynism, even humor. And like Felden mentions in his intro this book, “If a theme resonates with a reader, it can help them remember a story long after they’ve finished it”.


Just to share a few of the many stories that resonated with me:

Why Do My Nipples Hurt? Written by Chris Espenshade, cracked me right up. The headline he chose was inspired by Trump’s comment after the hate crime spree in a Pittsburgh synagogue – comedic sarcasm.

End by Allen Ashley. – Inspired by ‘the end of austerity’ on the BBC 2018 budget – government cynicism.

For Whose God and Which Country by Kwame MA McPherson – Inspired by the headline of Trump abandoning his umbrella, (MSNBC), while stepping on to Airforce 1 – fictional nonfiction.

You’re Fired by Dr. Betty. Inspired by the false alarm, missile threat alert in Hawaii, headlined on CNN – chilling ending!

Thoughts and Prayers by David Rosenblum – they do nothing.

Red Card by Jon Spencer – another chilling ending as Russia takes over the world.

Droning On by Len Sucalla – Inspired by the story of a drone hitting Gatwick airport.

Roald Dahl Whose Verses Were Censored by Gail Everett – Inspired by Aldi stores in Australia removing ‘revolting rhymes’.

Truth Uncovered by James Louis Peel – Inspired by Trump attacking his own CDC on how to reopen schools – hilarious satire written in sci-fi style, taking place in the year 2892.

The Fruit-Full Argument by A.S. Winter – Inspired by Apple’s fight with someone’s choice to use a pear as their logo.

Disney Self Identity vs. Labels by Raymond E. Strawn – Inspired by controversy over Disney choosing a new ‘black’ Ariel.

And last, but far from least, my own spin at a flash fiction that raises a question – What Do We Tell The Children? – Inspired by ‘The Children at Trump Rallies’ headline by Damon Winter, New York Times – #ChildAwareness and A parent’s dilemma.

For those of you who enjoy short stories and flashfiction that leaves a mark, I invite you to grab yourselves a copy of this entertaining book, and if you enjoy it, please don’t forget to leave a review. Also, all proceeds go to children’s reading charity,




34 thoughts on “Sunday Book Review Topically Challenged Volume 1 Flash Fiction Anthology – New Book, Proceeds to Charity

  1. Sounds like a lot of book for the money Debby and wonderful to see you there in the credits… Highly entertaining I am sure and much needed poke at the establishment and people who show themselves up in the headlines…♥♥


  2. What a fun project, Debby! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this compilation! It sounds intriguing.


  3. What a wonderful surprise for you, Debby. ❤ Kudos to all who write for charity and this sounds like an entertaining read. An antidote to 'fake news'. ❤ for you, always. ❤


  4. So funny that you forgot about a book where you have a published story! Lol. It sounds like quite a collection, Debby, about one of my least favorite villains. And so wonderful that the proceeds support literacy. Probably the only good thing Trump ever contributed to in his life! Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the book and Congrats!


    1. LOl Diana you cracked me up with your tRump comment, but hey it makes for great food fodder, and the book has some delightly clever stories in it. So yes, sometimes if my head weren’t attached I’d be looking for that too! I honestly forgot I submitted, hey, it was 2018! LOL. Nice surprise. ❤


  5. Hi Debbie, Congratulations. Anthologies are a great way to get your work noticed and increase your following. But then you know about this, it isn’t your first rodeo. I will definitely put this on my reading list. If you recall, I did a post about anthologies and you added a very nice comment.

    With your work, it’s double recognition because the proceeds go to charity. Fantastic. HUGS


    1. Hi Chuck, thanks so much. Yes, so true, anthologies get us noticed in unsuspecting places. I truly forgotten I’d contributed for this one, so I was pleasantly surprised to find it finally published. I thoroughly enjoyed every story. ❤


  6. Congratulations on having your story included in the anthology, Debby. It sounds like an interesting read and it’s probably long enough away from all the Trump headlines to get a good laugh out of the stories. What a great organisation it’s supporting through sales too – a worthy cause. Well done.


  7. What a fun and unique way to get published in an anthology – and a surprise, apparently. 🙂 Congratulations with your story in this wonderful collection, Debby. So nice the proceeds go to a good cause!


  8. Congratulations, Debby, and to all authors involved. A great idea for an anthology, and one with a huge scope for all kinds of stories, and for an excellent cause. What is there not to like? I hope it does very well.
    Stay safe.


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