Do you have a story burning inside you? Are you up for a challenge? Do you like prizes?

 

If so, you’re in for a thrill, because we’re hosting our first short story contest, and we hope you’ll grab your pen (or laptop) to compete!

 

But first I’m sure you’d like to hear about all the prestige and loot you could gain as a result of your literary genius.

 

Prizes

First Place Winner will receive:
• $75 Amazon gift card
Theme Mastery: How to Write Meaningful Stories without Being Preachy, a course taught by Josiah DeGraaf (worth $147)
• Publication on the Story Embers website

 

Second Place Winner will receive:
• $30 Amazon gift card
• Two minicourses from Ink Slinger Academy (worth $20)
• Publication on the Story Embers website

 

Runner up will receive:
• $20 Amazon gift card
• Acknowledgement in the announcement post

 

Official Rules

Please read our guidelines carefully and refer back to the list before entering. We reserve the right to disqualify entrants for not following our criteria, and our decisions as judges are final.

 

• Word count (excluding the title and byline) must be no shorter than 1,000 and no longer than 8,000. The genre is up to you, though we will ask you to select a category for review purposes when you enter.
• The story must be a work of fiction (not a memoir) and seek to teach as well as delight. We aren’t interested in sermons, but we also don’t want stories that have no purpose except to entertain.
• The story must be original and unpublished. If the piece has previously been posted online (on a personal blog or elsewhere), that classifies as published. Story Embers retains exclusive use of the winning stories for three months after publication, but once that time span has elapsed, the rights revert back to the authors.
• Entries must be submitted as Microsoft Word documents. Type your story’s title at the top of the page with your name below it, skip a space, and begin your material. Use 12 pt. Times New Roman, left-align text, and italicize words of emphasis. Do not indent paragraphs. Apply single spacing between sentences and double spacing between paragraphs.
• A $5 submission fee must be tendered at the time of entry. This fee is nonrefundable.
• Only one entry is allowed per person. Once a story has been submitted, we will not accept edits or exchanges, so be sure to polish your work thoroughly and attach the correct document.
• Entrants must be subscribers to our newsletter. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you may do so by taking the writing rank score and signing up for our free resources (link in the sidebar).
• Entries that contradict our statement of faith or contain objectionable content will be disqualified.

 

Judging Process

Stories will be evaluated on the basis of style/mechanics, theme, characters, and overall uniqueness. Josiah and I will be serving as judges. We’ve been working together for two years in various capacities, and our different but complementary skill sets make us a dynamic editorial duo.

 

Josiah is the editor-in-chief of Story Embers and the fiction content manager at The Young Writer. He writes because he’s fascinated by human motivations, and he enjoys putting normal people in crazy situations (did he mention he writes fantasy?) and forcing them to make difficult choices. He will be zeroing in on themes, the motivations behind characters’ actions, and the events that push the protagonists toward the climax. He’s eager to be enthralled by your stories!

 

I’m the managing editor here at Story Embers and a contract editor/proofreader for Gilead Publishing. Although I began as a writer, my penchant for noticing typos and obsession with syntax compelled me to wield a red pen rather than a black one. As a professional editor, I love aiding writers in achieving their aspirations to captivate and change the world through fiction. I will be focusing on the nitty-gritty details of storytelling—from grammar to showing vs. telling to breathtaking prose. I can’t wait to see the magic you weave with your words!

 

How to Enter

Fill out our entry form and attach your story. Make sure that all the information you provide is correct and accurate, or we might have difficulty contacting you if you place in the contest.

 

Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EDT on June 30, 2018. That gives you two full months to hit us with your best shot, so take your time, craft a riveting story, and enter with confidence. Winners will be announced on or by August 24, 2018.

 

Have a question about the contest? Email brianna@storyembers.org or drop a comment below.

Brianna Storm Hilvety is a cherisher of words and the stories that can be woven with them. She has been a professional editor for four years, a writer for a decade, and a bibliophile from the moment she pronounced her first syllable. As a former columnist for two Christian periodicals, she’s published dozens of articles, as well as won story and essay contests. Although she began as a writer, her penchant for noticing typos and obsession with syntax compelled her to wield a red pen rather than a black one. She loves aiding writers in achieving their aspirations to captivate and change the world through fiction.

She’s worked on a variety of projects and occupied editorial positions at different organizations (including Castle Gate Press and Kingdom Pen). Currently, she serves as a contract editor/proofreader for Gilead Publishing and the managing editor at Story Embers, where she helps oversee the staff in addition to polishing submissions. She is also a silver member of The Christian PEN and holds editing certifications from The PEN Institute.

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