What if you had different authors each write the same story? What would each of them bring to the piece in terms of style, tone, and resolution? That’s the question this anthology sets out to answer.

Reading 5X5 asked twenty-five authors to tell five stories in five different ways. We started with story briefs in five different genres – each brief with just the basic information required to tell a story. Then we asked five authors to write that story, each in their own way. The result is twenty-five great, fascinatingly different stories.

The story briefs are imaginative and compelling all on their own – from a grandmother who can bring devastation just by visiting the kitchen to a person asked to sacrifice everything for space flight – but it’s what the authors did with them that makes this collection special.

Some briefs were detailed and specific, others broad and conceptual. Some authors stuck closely to the brief, while others substituted their own innovations in some areas. The results are wildly different tales that each have the same basic story at their heart.

The anthology includes not only the 25 resulting stories, but the original story briefs, and story notes by each author and brief writer on what was hard, what was easy, what they expected, and what they found.

Not only that, but we’re inviting you to join in! All the briefs are here, on this site, and you’re welcome to try writing and posting your own story. See how what you come up with compares to others, and to what the original writers came up with!