Almanac Writing Competition – #almanac280: COVID-19

Here we are in The Time of Coronavirus.
It has brought change, opportunity, loss and uncertainty to sport and to life, generally.


The Competition:

Write a story inspired by life in the Time of Coronavirus and COVID-19.
The story cannot be more than 280 characters long. (A space is a character. Every key stroke is a character.)
Each story needs to include the tag #almanac280.
That takes 11 of your characters.


Entries close at 6.00pm on Thursday 7 May 2020. 


How to Enter:


There are two ways to enter:

1. Via Twitter. Judges will access all stories with the “#almanac280” tag.
2. Via the comments field below.

Judges will ensure that all entries are published both in the comments field below and on the @thefootyalmanac Twitter feed.
Enter as many times as you like.


The Prize:


Almanac membership and two books from the Almanac Shop will go to the author of our favourite story; in the spirit of the Almanac.
The winning entry will be announced on Friday 8 May.


Check out previous #almanac280 competitions:


#almanac280: Sport. Write from the Heart
#almanac280: Adelaide
#almanac280: Tigers 2017
#almanac280: Finals




Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


Do you really enjoy the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over pleaseconsider making your own contribution.

Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE
One off financial contribution – CLICK HERE
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  1. Well I woke up this morning………..

  2. Colin Ritchie says

    The Trumpet has blown, the answer is easy,
    a remedy for you, believe me it works.
    Some good ol’ lysol, is all it will take,
    One quick injection, and Covid is trumped.

  3. @TruckerSlim says

    Far, far Away from me @TruckerSlim
    Our days are measured in cups of tea. At brekky, mid morning and in the afternoon, with a Chewy Caramel Tim Tam. At 9.30pm we prepare a Snowy Leaves oolong tea and watch a Nordic Noir TV show online. On Saturday evening we might have a Handsome Johnny or three.

  4. @MichaelRandall5 says

    Mickey Randall @MichaelRandall5

    At the outbreak of the outbreak in a Swedish cottage. Beyond the cold glass are the forest, lake, brisk air, and our sublime late afternoons. We breathe our words to and fro. The cottage is a meniscus, and like migratory atoms, we are within, and then, without. #almanac280

  5. Well son footy was a game where teams of 18 blokes ran round a big field chasing a leather ball full of air. The bloke with the ball kicked it towards his sticks at one end. The other mob would belt ’em to get the ball back. At least that’s what grandad told me. #almanac280

  6. DBalassone says

    Election 2020

    The Orange One was sure to get a second term,
    until he was confronted by the Orange Germ,


  7. The restaurant kicks the ‘no work for Yoshi’ footy. Running towards the ball, I win a contested mark. This turnover ends up kicking a goal for a freelance blog writing job. #almanac280

  8. Underdogs are having the ‘bye week’ between roster season and finals. They will do it like the Western Bulldogs in 2016. #almanac280

  9. I wouldn’t forget about sadness on missing two occasions to play footy. And I transform this emotion to passions of loving the sport and swear to boot goals like Milney next time we play a game. #almanac280

  10. Chris @cweaver1983 says

    Wednesday: we’ll play on until we get the word to stop. Thursday: season starts with shouts echoing in empty grounds. Sunday: sorry, everyone – we’re out to pasture until at least 1 June. Tuesday: footy departments are stood down.

    A week is a long time in footy. #almanac280

  11. E.regnans says


    Slate grey autumn sky shimmers in a roadside puddle. He shuffles through drifts of fallen leaves as Saturday afternoon wind presses against his wrinkled neck.
    At the oval he reaches for the fence and again he thinks of the war.
    Again he stands to watch. No one.

  12. @TruckerSlim says


    We find respite in our small overgrown garden. Uncertainty, boredom, anxiety don’t go out there. They are in the house hanging around like squatters. Sucking the oxygen from the living room. I look out at our trees and the night sky and a possum on the back fence.

  13. @swishtter says


    A year of training for staying at home had me in tip top shape. Just like retirement, except the kids are home working. Occasional bursts of inspiration. Daily walks the highlight. Remember the long haired prisoner in the Wizard of Id? Put another stroke on the wall #almanac280

  14. @MichaelRandall5 says


    Our languid breakfast is done. On the table: a carton of milk, muesli, a punnet of berries. Two coffee cups, almost nodding at each other like we might’ve done at a party decades ago, a conspiracy of caffeine. The day stretches its arms. Isolation begins. #almanac280

  15. School mornings out on the street, time enough for a kick. Two gum trees on the nature strip. They were there with me – Matthews, Knights, Dipper, Tuck. A running commentary. We always won. Today it’s a different kind of quiet. But they’re all here, providing solace #almanac280

  16. The world still goes but with a limp. Hope the reset is better than the cure. Could this be the disease we had to have? #almanac280.

  17. @TruckerSlim says


    A captain of industry dressed in her PJ Harvey 2001 Big Day Out tour t-shirt and frayed pajama bottoms rubs sleep from her eyes, puts her hair up with a pencil stub, downs a kombucha and kicks off the zoom meeting with an ironic meme. #almanac280

  18. Corona virus
    Miley Cyrus
    Footy bias

    Staying well
    Give a yell
    What’s that smell?
    Markets in the doldrums!

    We didn’t start the fire….

  19. @smokiedawson says

    The garbage truck makes its way down the quiet street, its mechanical arm lifting and emptying the glass bins with an almighty clatter. Glass shatters noisily into the truck. But my bin seems louder than most. Maybe it’s time to cut back on the drinking?

  20. E.regnans says


    Tanya is invited to a small gathering.
    “Come on. None of us has COVID-19, do we? And no one else will ever know.”
    She looks at her kids who sit on the couch.
    “Your mental health is important, too.”

  21. E.regnans says


    “What time shall we make it?”
    “I’ve had a look at that. If we Zoom at 10am Blackburn time, that’ll be 8am in Singapore and 8pm the night before in Santiago.”
    “Awesome. We haven’t all been together in years.”

  22. No matches and training is off. I went for another run, past the oval, then back again. At the gates I stopped. A quick look around before I passed through. Tentatively at first. Five laps. The turf Nazis are absent. I could keep running in circles. Nobody’s watching. #almanac280

  23. Matt O'Hanlon says

    Of all the times for COVID to come
    Why April 2020 – B’day #80 for mum
    No party now was causing fatigue
    Social Distancing ruined her Rugby League
    The clan had to get on the hunt
    A genius said she loves the punt
    Gold Coast R8 lifted the gloom
    Happy 80th Carmel-Boom Chicka Boom

  24. What divoc is going on?

  25. @MichaelRandall5 says


    The light bends in and falls across us like soft piano notes. A tiny expansive space. This is our morning and evening altar, and here we share the day’s fresh promise and sink into night’s snug entwining. Outside, an earth spins. Inside, it’s our second week. #almanac280

  26. @e_regnans

    Overheard in the Time of Coronavirus

    “Dad, look at our friends here on Instagram! They are hanging out with their mates!”

    “Yeah! They’re not social distancing! Why can’t we see anyone?”


  27. @diogenesbrown says


    It’s so complex, English

    Wait, what?

    If you were listening in the first place, you wouldn’t need to ‘wait, what?’ me

    Ok boomer

    How many times do I have to tell you I’m not a boomer?

    Settle down, Karen

    By the way, you’re going back to school on Monday


  28. @TruckerSlim says


    I parked further away from the shop just so I wasn’t parked next to another car … I’m hyper-alert to the amount of toilet paper I use … I just clicked on a story about Springsteen getting his haircut at home by his wife … Seriously, I just did that! #almanac280

  29. Neil Anderson says

    To restart FOOTBALL 2020 please enter security codes and press DELETE

  30. Neil Anderson says

    To restart FOOTBALL 2020 please enter security codes and press DELETE
    #almanac 280

  31. @joehuddler says


    Which haze is steam from the chip shop vent, which is breath, and which is smoke blown ostentatiously from Rory dragging the last fly ember from the Regal Filter we shared. Training’s over, bare legs and ears pink and numb from slide tackling through winter puddles. #almanac280

  32. @GillianDite says


    I wore my Tigers beanie this morning. It was not to celebrate a magnificent win on the weekend; it was to keep my head warm during my government-approved exercise outing #almanac280

  33. E.regnans says


    -They reckon they’ll play in lockdown places.
    -Yeah. Hubs. It just shits me.
    -What does?
    -The rest of us have to cop the distancing rules. Pubs, restaurants, businesses. No one likes it.
    -No. But we’d get footy back.
    -Nup. No crowd, no connection, no footy.


  34. Neil Anderson says

    Now is the winter of our discontent
    But three Suns were persistent
    Join our hub said Dew Pitts and Swallow
    No need for grief in which to wallow.

  35. E.regnans says

    Memory- visited, held.
    Motivation- questioned.
    Passion- examined.
    Care- valued, honoured.
    Respect- felt.
    Hope- clutched, dropped, caught, fumbled… allowed.
    Patience- resolved.
    Wonder- accepted.

  36. @TruckerSlim says


    When things return to the new normal we need to cut each other a decent sized piece of slack. I call on employers to be kind. Working from home we have, ah, forgotten business attire etiquette. Expect to see employees turn up in pajamas for the first week or three.

  37. @TruckerSlim says


    Well, we’re off to a friend’s 50th tonight, it’s a tropical cocktail party. Be great to catch up with friends, trade jokes and retell old stories. Empty a few jars, get jingled, maybe even shickered. This is going to be a good night. Via computer screen via zoom.

  38. E.regnans says


    Time of Coronavirus: we were never really in control.
    Our jobs, reputations, elaborate little kingdoms of the mind that we build; all are the stuff of wind.

  39. Neil Anderson says

    We didn’t start the fire
    But no need for retribution dire
    Landy’s of the world will ask from whence it came
    While we will prosper just the same

  40. @ShaneThomasMelb says


    It’s not right to label Nick homeless. He’s lived in the grandstand for years.

    He is now jobless. We’re not leaving terrace cans for collection. Weeds grow instead.

    Nick reckons they’ll get a season in. His nephew is due to debut in navy shorts and a crimson sash.


  41. @ShaneThomasMelb says


    John honed the quiet-loud technique before Pixies and Nirvana.

    Three-quarter time, players would bunch. Orange pulp in teeth, ale breathed on necks, straining to hear a summary. Then, they’d be blasted out to win.

    Alone with his mutt, he doesn’t have such command.


  42. E.regnans says


    Jess carries her bag to the footy ground.
    The gloom of early morning broken by street lights.
    She places her bag on the grass and she stretches.
    She runs a lap.
    Does a series of push-ups, sit-ups, burpees.
    Runs another lap.
    Bounces a footy in the Time of Coronavirus.


  43. E.regnans says


    Time of Coronavirus.

    Hell hath no fury like a rich old man slightly inconvenienced.


  44. haiku bob says

    lockdown –
    no one came to visit

    I sterilize
    my preserving jars

    flattening the curve
    the poison ivy
    still climbing

    online concert –
    so much easier
    to discreetly leave

    new cluster –
    my kid’s wardrobe
    becomes a floordrobe


  45. @mattquarters says


    Thoughts and prayers to all the breakfast and drive radio shows in the lockdown helmed by footballers.

  46. @mattquarters says


    It’s not the clubs or the footballers or the grounds that matter. It’s the crowds.

  47. E.regnans says


    In preventative action, the very absence of catastrophe defines its success.


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