Spring Writing Contest

This March, The Write Practice is partnering with Short Fiction Break literary magazine and Story Grid to host a writing contest in which everyone gets published!
Learn more

Writing Contest Guidelines

Open to writers of all kinds to write a new story based on our contest theme, workshop it in our writing community, and submit it for publication.

All writers who participate may be published if they choose.*

Maximum length: 2,000 words.

Contest theme: Person in a Hole. A character gets into a big problem, then finds a way out of it. (See Kurt Vonnegut’s video that inspired the theme.)

Enrollment deadline: To participate, you must enroll for the contest by Monday, March 6. Your story will be due for workshopping on Monday, March 13. Your final submission is due Monday, March 20.

Over $1,300 Prizes + 2 eBooks for Every Participant

The panel of judges from Short Fiction Break literary magazine will select one grand prize winning story, two runners-up, and five honorable mentions. These winners will receive:

ONE GRAND PRIZE: The grand prize winning story will be featured on the front page of Short Fiction Break. The winner will be invited to become a monthly contributor to the literary magazine.

They’ll receive one year of free membership to Becoming Writer, normally $180, as well as a cash prize of $300. They will also receive a print copy of The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne. 

This prize is valued at $512.

TWO RUNNERS-UP: Two runners-up will have their stories featured on the front page of Short Fiction Break. They will also receive one year of free membership to Becoming Writer, normally $180, a $100 cash prize each, and a print copy of The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne.

This prize is valued at $312 each.

FIVE HONORARY MENTIONS: The honorary mentions will have their stories featured on the front page of Short Fiction Break.

ALL SUBMISSIONS: Every writer who submits a story to this contest will be published.*

Winners will be announced mid-April.

*Authors who do not wish to be published may opt out.


For the last eight years, author and book marketer Tim Grahl has helped top bestselling authors like Daniel Pink, Hugh Howey, and Jeff Goins launch their books and reach the bestsellers list. As a sponsor to this contest, he is giving one free copy of his book Your First 1,000 Copies to each participant.

Becoming Writer is the premier workshopping community from The Write Practice. Contest participants receive six weeks’ access to the workshopping community to get feedback on their short stories, novel chapters, and other writing pieces.

The Story Grid is a tool developed by editor Shawn Coyne to analyze stories, see what works, pinpoint problems, and inspire original creation. With over 25 years of experience, Coyne has worked with some of the best selling fiction authors in the world. As a sponsor to this contest, he is providing a digital copy of his book The Story Grid to each participant and a print copy for the price of shipping.


Participants in this contest get five bonus eBooks worth almost $50, including our guide How to Win a Writing Contest, the bestselling book on writing short stories, Let’s Write a Short Story, Shawn Coyne’s essential manual on the mechanics of storytelling, Story Grid: What Good Editors Know, and Tim Grahl’s Your First 1,000 Copies on book launches.

Entry Fee*

There are two entry options for this writing contest:

Standard Entry: The standard entry fee is $30, which includes entry to the contest, story workshopping, and six weeks of premium access to the Becoming Writer community (normally $25).

PLUS, you’ll get a copy of Shawn Coynes The Story Grid and Tim Grahl’s Your First 1,000 Copies.

The total value is $99, but entrants pay $30.

Premium Entry: The premium entry fee is $50, and includes all of the above, PLUS personalized feedback from the judges on your story. Grow as a writer through constructive feedback and find out why your story won or why it wasn’t selected.

*Current members of Becoming Writer receive standard entry to the writing contest at no additional fee. Premium members receive premium entry.

This writing contest is currently closed to new entrants. See our list of writing contests to join.

Full Contest Rules

Want to know all the details? Here’s how the Winter Writing Contest will work:

  1. Write a new story based on the contest theme.  Person in a Hole. A character gets into a big problem, then finds a way out of it.
  2. Join the Becoming Writer community. All entrants get six weeks access to the Becoming Writer community, where you’ll be able to workshop your piece for the writing contest and join a supportive, encouraging community of fellow writers.
  3. 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 2,000 words.
  4. Workshop your story. After you finish your story, get valuable feedback from other members of the Becoming Writer community. Then, edit your story so that it’s the best it can be.
  5. Submit your story to the judges. After your story is workshopped, you can submit the final draft to the judges, who will review your story for publication.
  6. Get published! Every writer who enters has the option of getting published by Short Fiction Break. Whether the judges select your piece or not, you’ll get the exposure your writing deserves.
  7. 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.
  8. The winners. The judges will choose several winning stories. These top stories will get featured publication and cash prizes, as well as be publicized to The Write Practice’s community of readers.
Enrollment for participation in the contest is only open until Monday, March 6 at 11:59 pm PT and your story is due for workshopping Monday, March 13. Your final submission is due Monday, March 20. The sooner you enroll, the more time you have to write a better story.

This Contest Is Closed

The writing contest is closed. But don’t worry! We host new writing contests all the time.