30 Inks 30 Days

Started back in 2018, the 30 Inks 30 Days challenge brings fountain pen enthusiasts together from around the world to participate in a fun, creative daily practice of playing with pens and ink.

Naturally, you're here to learn more about this writing challenge and how to participate. Below, I hope you'll find all your burning questions answered.

What is the #30inks30days handwriting challenge?

It's a daily writing challenge that encourages anyone with a fountain pen (and ink) to explore and revisit their collection of pens and inks by using a different ink each day for 30 days.

When does the #30inks30days challenge take place?

Any month that has only 30 days - April, June, September & November. 

How can I participate in #30inks30days?

Materials necessary: a fountain pen (or dip pen), 30 different colors of fountain pen ink, and paper.

Starting at the beginning of the month (e.g. April 1st), use one ink per day. Record the pen and ink combination in a notebook or journal.

Although it isn't necessary, most people who participate enjoy sharing their daily pen and ink combination on social media (Instagram is usually the favored platform). This adds a fun community aspect to the challenge and holds the participant accountable to finish the challenge.

Do I need to use the same pen every day?

No. It is encouraged that you give plenty of love to all the fountain pens in your collection.

You may opt to clean out the day's pen before inking the next day's pen. If time is an issue, you could leave your pens inked until you have a moment to clean them out. Or, you could simply dip the nib (or dip pen) to write with the day's ink.

How do I avoid wasting ink during the challenge?

Depending on how much you write, you most likely will not need a full fill of ink in your pen each day. Therefore, cartridges will not be ideal to use during this challenge. When filling your pen with ink, only draw up enough to get a few drops in the pen.

If you're using a piston or vacuum-filling fountain pen, I would recommend filling the pen, then releasing most of the ink back into the bottle or sample vial. Leave only a little bit in the pen. Before washing the pen out, drop the remaining ink back into the bottle or sample vial.

What are the rules to 30 Inks 30 Days?

Over the years that I've hosted this challenge, I've had a lot of people ask me, "is it against the rules if I..."

Listen: this is a creative challenge that is meant to stimulate an appreciation for using your fountain pens and inks. If I attempt to put you in a rigid box with hard and fast rules, the challenge ceases to become fun and becomes more of a chore. That's not the goal here.

The point is to enjoy using your fountain pens and exploring the various inks in your collection. Have you ever tried using this one ink in this particular pen with this nib size? Then try it. Did you need an excuse to go through your ink sample stash you haven't touched in a few months? This is your opportunity to do so.

So, if you only have time to dip test one ink per day - that's fine!

Even if you don't do social media, you can always play at home. You can write a letter each day in a different ink and mail them to pen pals.

This challenge is flexible and welcoming for all to join.

Where can I share my #30inks30days posts?

Typically, most folks share photos and videos on Instagram. As of this writing, the #30inks30days hashtag contains over 30,000 posts. Simply post your daily photo or video of the pen and ink combination and add the challenge hashtag #30inks30days Optionally, you can tag @inkjournal so I can share your post on our IG Story.

Of course, that's not the only place you can share your ink-thusiasm.

You could make TikToks, YouTube Shorts, post on your favorite fountain pen forum (like the /r/fountainpens subreddit), Twitter, or Facebook to name a few of the most popular social media platforms.

Like I mentioned above, you don't need to share your daily posts at all. Over the years, I've found that participants are more likely to stick with it to the end if they post them online daily.

Are there prizes or trophies if I win the challenge?

In years past, we did sponsor prizes. There were random giveaways for those who completed the challenge. Usually, these are held on Instagram. Since it is beyond my capabilities to track every participant on every platform, I do not guarantee any prizes or rewards (other than the self-satisfaction of a job well done).

I'm a few days late. Does that mean I've lost #30inks30days?

If you are late to the party or skipped a day - make it up. I encourage you to catch up and continue your daily posts. If you missed a day, it's OK.


I hope that you'll join us for the next #30inks30days challenge. We're looking forward to your creative contribution to this fine community of fountain pen enthusiasts.