The Commuter Challenge

5 December 2008

The December 2008 Challenge

by CC @ 14:29

Draw up some New Year’s resolutions. Tell us what they are, and why you’ve chosen them. Go into as much detail as you’d like to. For a change of pace, we’re not requiring a specific format for your submission: you can use prose or poetry as best fits your needs.


11 November 2008

The November 2008 Challenge

by CC @ 23:01

Produce the shopping list (or to-do list, or Post-it note, or something of that nature) that you found on the refrigerator or desk of Gertrude Stein, Marcel Duchamp, Aristotle, or someone of that ilk.


5 October 2008

The October 2008 Challenge

by CC @ 23:43

Create one to three minutes of spooky music. There are no requirements as to genre, vocals, instruments, or anything of its contents. Just make it spooky, and at least sixty seconds long.


2 September 2008

The September 2008 Challenge

by CC @ 15:19

For September we’re going to spend the month immersed in process of writing really short stories, a genre popularly known as flash fiction. However, the typical flash fiction word limit is between 750 and 1000 words, and that’s just too expansive for us.

The challenge is: Write a story between 250 and 300 words long, as per Micro Fiction. Then write another story between 50 and 55 words long, as per The World’s Shortest Stories. Finally, write a story using exactly six words, as per Not Quite What I Was Planning.

Subject matter is up to you. Your three stories can be loosely related, but not as a way to get around word limits: Each story should stand on its own.


6 August 2008

The August 2008 Challenge

by CC @ 17:04

The website has a large catalog of examples of the many different forms that written language has taken throughout human history. Alphabets, abjads, syllabaries, ideographs, and as-yet-undeciphered writing systems all can be found there. There is also a subsection at this site devoted to constructed writing systems. The challenge for this month is to invent a writing system suitable for submission to the omniglot website.

Note that the challenge is to create a script suitable for submission, so it is not required that you actually submit it. But of course we hope that you ultimately will.


1 July 2008

The July 2008 Challenge

by CC @ 19:36

Design an original game. It can be a board game, card game, party game, drinking game, computer game or whatever. Provide images (photographs, drawings, or rough sketches) of any equipment, such as boards or pieces, that would be needed in order to play.


1 June 2008

The June 2008 Challenge

by CC @ 11:37

Write one or more poems, or a series of poems, that are genuinely instructive and/or educational on any level, preferably to some practical end. For example:

Write a sonnet that is also accurate driving directions somewhere.
Write a rubaiyat that is also a complete, followable recipe for chocolate chip cookies.
Write a series of limericks that, when read in order, teach someone how to program your VCR/DVR.

Use whatever poetic form you want, and choose whichever subject you like.


5 May 2008

The May 2008 Challenge

by CC @ 08:27

Design a tattoo for yourself. Be realistic in your design (i.e. respect the constraints on color and detail). Include in your submission any information you wish to volunteer on placement and its significance.

And really do design it for yourself. You should be seriously willing to consider getting the tattoo.


1 April 2008

The April 2008 Challenge

by CC @ 10:30

Create a greeting card for any occasion. Make a birthday card, a wedding invitation, a holiday card, or something completely new … anything. Mother’s Day is coming up in May, so that might be a timely project, but it’s completely up to you. Create the artwork for the front and the text for the inside.


1 March 2008

The March 2008 Challenge

by CC @ 15:01

The challenge is to create an ambigram.

An ambigram is a word or phrase that is written so that it can be read in more than one way. (Or, as Douglas Hofstadter put it, “a calligraphic design that manages to squeeze two different readings into the selfsame set of curves”.) There are many different kinds of ambigrams. The most common type of ambigram is a word or name written so that it appears the same when turned upside-down (or in technical terms, with 180-degree rotational symmetry). But there’s also ambigrams where the second reading is a mirror image, or the spaces between the letters of the first reading, or many other possibilities. Nor does the second reading need to be the same as the first; it can also be a related word (or name), or an opposite.

The two widely acknowledged masters of ambigrams are Scott Kim and John Langdon. They both have websites where you can view many examples of their creations. There are also several archives of other people’s ambigrams to be found on the web.

Feel free to create more than one if you get inspired. Or, create several and pick the most legible one for your submission.


6 February 2008

The February 2008 Challenge

by CC @ 20:00

Illuminate a page. The text can be anything you want. You can do something traditional (i.e. a passage from a religious book), or maybe one of your favorite quotes, or something that you wrote yourself.

For more information on illuminated manuscripts, see or Gold leaf is not required.


1 January 2008

The January 2008 Challenge

by CC @ 23:26

Imagine that you are a beloved, popular, syndicated cartoonist, with your strip appearing in thousands of newspapers worldwide. Draw some unpublishable (or very nearly unpublishable), contract-breaking strips. You can either make your own original characters, or channel some other cartoonist: your choice, but you have to actually draw the strips yourself. Simply whiting out the word balloons on some Cathy cartoons and then filling in your own text will not fulfill the requirements of this challenge.

You can draw two or more daily strips (three or four panels in black and white), or a single Sunday strip (in color, typically eight panels plus the throwaway-gag row, though you could imagine yourself to be as popular as Bill Watterson and able to demand free-format Sundays).