Welcome to the Spring Writing Contest!

I’m excited that you’re joining this writing contest!

Before I get into all the details, let me just say what an honor it is to have you in this contest. I’ve participated in a lot of writing contests myself. I know how exciting, stressful, empowering, and sometimes discouraging they can be.

My hope is that together we can make this more than just a competition. I hope it can become something of a community, one that encourages us to become better writers as we try to write our best stories.

Let’s talk about the process for the contest, shall we?

Next Steps:

Here are the details:

  1. First, join the private Facebook page exclusively made for members of this contest. This will be a limited time group that will only be available during the contest, so make sure to request access now.
  2. Then, introduce yourself to the Write Practice Pro community. You get six weeks access to The Write Practice Pro. Start by reading the community orientation and introducing yourself here!
  3. Write a new story based on the theme. See below.
  4. Finish your story by Monday, March 22. This isn’t just a writing contest. It’s accountability. We’ll give you the support you need to write a new story of up to 1,500 words. A polished draft of your story is due Monday, March 22. We’ll remind you, but make sure to mark your calendars and plan accordingly.
  5. Workshop your story in the Writing Contest Workshop. From the day you finish your story until Monday, March 29, you’ll be able to submit your story to the contest workshop and receive valuable feedback from other members of the Write Practice Pro community. To be accepted by the judges, your story must be workshopped. (See the section below titled, “How to Post Your Story to the Workshop,” if you need instructions on how to post your story.) The workshops will stay open until the judges submission deadline for you to continue to get feedback on your story.
  6. Give Feedback. To view your feedback in the Workshop, we also ask that you give feedback. Once you post, we will match you to three other writers in need of feedback. After you critique their stories, you’ll be able to view any critiques on your story. This way, everyone will get the feedback they need to improve. How do you give good feedback? Check out our helpful critiquing guide.
  7. After the workshop deadline. You may continue to workshop your story and post edited drafts in your group workshop. If you post multiple drafts, make sure to give feedback on 3 other stories PER draft you post.
  8. Submit your story to the contest. After your story is workshopped, you can submit your story to the contest judges. The deadline to submit your final draft to the contest judges will be Monday, March 29. We’ll email you a link to the submission form where you can submit your story shortly after the workshopping period is over. The judges at Short Fiction Break will then review your story for publication.
  9. Get Published! Every writer who enters has the option of getting published on shortfictionbreak.com. No matter what, you’ll get the exposure your writing deserves. (If you choose not to have your story published, you can opt out.)
  10. The judging process. After you submit your story to the judges, the judging process takes 4-5 weeks. This is a great time to write your next story!
  11. The winners. Our judges will choose one winner, who will receive $300 plus 1 year of premium access to The Write Practice Pro (worth $360) and two runners-up who will each get $100 and 1 year of access to The Write Practice Pro (worth $180). They will all be featured on shortfictionbreak.com and delivered to our thousands of readers.
  12. Feedback. If you signed up for feedback from the judges, it will be emailed to you 6-10 weeks after the submission deadline.
  13. Have any questions? Ask away in the community café.

Please note: This is more than a writing contest. It’s also a mini-writing course. To be accepted by the judges, your story must be submitted to the workshop.

Ready to get started? Here are a few guidelines for your story:

Judging Guidelines

Winning stories will follow these guidelines:

  • 1,500 words or fewer
  • Based on the theme: Life vs. fate worse than death. Turned into a werewolf. Narrowly escaping being eaten alive by piranhas. Doomed to a long life wracked with guilt. Whatever the “fate worse than death” in your story is, there’s no question that the stakes are high.
  • Surprising. Great stories have great characters who want something and are willing to go through conflict to get it. Their choices always have surprising consequences. Surprise us!

Please add the following dates to your calendar.

  • Enrollment Deadline: Invite your friends to enroll by Tuesday, March 16 at 11:59 Pacific time.
  • Workshop Deadline: On Monday, March 22, your story is due for critiquing in the contest workshop. The workshop will stay open until the judges submission deadline for you to continue to get feedback on your story.
  • Submission Deadline: Submit your story to the judges by Monday, March 29 (we will send you the link to submit your story to the judges shortly after the Workshop deadline).

Bonus Resources

As a bonus for joining the contest, you’re entitled to a free copy of Let’s Write a Short Story!, the companion workbook, 15 Days to Write and Submit a Short Story, and our guide, How to Win a Writing Contest. You can download those eBooks here, where you’ll also find more short story writing resources.

How to Post Your Story to the Writing Contest Workshop

Ready to post your story? Here’s how to do it:

  1. Navigate to the Writing Contest Workshop group. If you are not already following the group click “Follow.”

  1. To post your story once in the contest workshop, add a title, and copy and paste your story in the editor. Most of the formatting should come over from your document fine, but double check your story for spacing issues.

When you’re ready, click “Submit” to post your story.

Congratulations! You just submitted your story to the workshop!

Now, go give feedback to the three stories you are matched to. By the way, here’s a guide to critiquing.

Next Step: Write Your Story

Submit a draft of your story to the contest workshop by Monday, March 22 to qualify! Happy writing!

Workshop Deadline: Monday, March 22
Submission Deadline: Monday, March 29

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