Anyone who, like me, loved the composition part of their English language exam (“More paper please, Miss!”) should make a date with Write Invite on a Saturday night at http://www.write-invite.com/write-on-site.php.
Every Saturday at 5:30 pm writers from around the world (time zones permitting) take part in a live, online writing competition. Themes are only revealed at 5:30 and entrants have half an hour (less if they haven’t prepaid) to write on one of the three themes while the click ticks down.
CONS: Nerves (the recurring dream of retaking those exams comes to mind); the challenge; a £3 entry fee.
PROS: Nerves (you have to conquer them sometime); the challenge; £40 prize money for the winning story.
Plus you get ranked according to the number of times you enter, the times you vote for a winner from the shortlist, and any 1st, 2nd or 3rd places. And who doesn’t like to work their way up the rankings?
NB I am 63rd.