Writing Contest Guidelines
We invite all writers to write a new story inspired by the theme of our contest; workshop it in Becoming Writer, our partner writing community; and submit it for publication here at Short Fiction Break. We believe good stories are meant to be shared, and so all writers who participate may be published if they choose.
Maximum length: 1,500 words.
Contest theme: Scar. Everyone has scars, whether physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual, and stories about how they were made are almost always fascinating. Is there an amazing story behind a hideous mark? Does life today look different since some damage was done? Let the word “scar” take you wherever it will. As Stephen King says, “A little talent is a good thing to have if you want to be a writer. But the only real requirement is the ability to remember every scar.”
Deadlines and dates:
- Monday, July 11: Enrollment deadline. You must enroll for the contest by this date to participate.
- Sunday, July 24: Your story is due for workshopping in Becoming Writer.
- Sunday, July 31: Your final submission is due.
Writing Contest Prizes
1st Place: One grand prize winner will receive a cash prize of $500. Their winning story will be featured here on Short Fiction Break and at our partner writing community, The Write Practice.
2nd–6th Place: The five runners-up will each receive a cash prize of $50.
ALL SUBMISSIONS: All authors who submit a story to this contest will be published here on Short Fiction Break.*
We will announce the winners in mid to late August.
*Authors who do not wish to be published may opt out.
We offer two entry options for this contest:
Standard Entry: $20. This includes entry to the contest, story workshopping, and six weeks of premium access to Becoming Writer, our partner writing community (normally $25).
As a bonus, you will also receive the following story writing resources:
- The #1 Amazon bestselling reference book Let’s Write a Short Story
- The companion workbook 15 Days to Write and Submit a Short Story. Together, these two books are normally $20.
- The Write Practice’s new book How to Win a Writing Contest, normally $10.
The total value is over $55, but entrants pay $20.
Premium Entry: $30. This includes all of the above, as well as personalized feedback from the judges on your story. With this entry, you’ll learn what drew the judges to your story or why it was not selected.
Full Contest Rules
- Write a new story based on the contest theme: Scar. Everyone has scars, whether physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual, and stories about how they were made are almost always fascinating. Is there an amazing story behind a hideous mark? Does life today look different since some damage was done? Let the word “scar” take you wherever it will. As Stephen King says, “A little talent is a good thing to have if you want to be a writer. But the only real requirement is the ability to remember every scar.”
- Join the Becoming Writer community. For six weeks, you’ll have access to Becoming Writer, a supportive, encouraging community of writers who will help you workshop your story.
- Finish your story. This isn’t just a writing contest. We want to give you accountability to write something new. We’ll give you the support you need to write a new story of up to 1,500 words.
- Workshop your story. After you finish your story, share it in Becoming Writer and receive valuable feedback from other writers. Then, edit your story so that it’s the best it can be.
- Submit your story to the judges. After your story is workshopped, you can submit the final draft to the judges.
- Get published! We know you’ve worked hard to write a great story, and we want to share it with the world. Every writer who enters has the option of getting published here at Short Fiction Break. Whether the judges select your piece or not, you’ll get the exposure your writing deserves.
- Get feedback from the judges! If you choose the premium entry, you’ll also get personalized feedback about why your story was or wasn’t selected by the judges.
- The winners. The judges will choose a winning story and five runners-up. These top six stories will receive featured spots on Short Fiction Break. They will also publicized to The Write Practice’s community of readers.
Enter now! Enrollment for participation in the contest is only open until Monday, July 11 at 11:59 pm PT. Your story is due for workshopping Sunday, July 24, and your final submission is due Sunday, July 31. The sooner you enroll, the more time you have to write a better story. Sign up below!
Join the Contest
Registration for this contest has closed. Join us next time.