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The Story Embers Short Story Contest

Do you have a story burning inside of you? The Story Embers Short Story Contest recognizes Christian fiction writers proficient in the art of storytelling. It provides the opportunity for recognition of the writer’s work, and the chance for finalists to have their work published on our website. You can read more about the rules of the contest and how to enter below. You can also read the winners of past contests here.

Testimonial #1

“Winning the contest was the best thing ever!”

Testimonial #2

“My winning was even better than that!”

Prizes

First Place Winner will receive $500 cash and publication on the Story Embers blog.

Second Place Winner will receive $100 cash and publication on the Story Embers blog.

Three Honorable Mentions will receive a certificate of achievement and acknowledgement in the announcement post.

Dates & Deadlines

Contest Opens: May 2, 2022 at 10 AM EDT.

Contest Closes: June 30, 2022 at 11:59 PM EDT.

Winners will be announced on or before October 17, 2022.

Submission Instructions

Please read these 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 must be no shorter than 1,000 and no longer than 5,000.

    The story must be a work of fiction (not a memoir) written in first or third person point of view. 

    The story must be original and unpublished. If it has previously been posted online (on a personal blog or elsewhere), that classifies as published. You may acquire the help of beta readers and critique partners to refine your story, but coauthored pieces are not permitted.

    Entries must be submitted as Microsoft Word documents. If you don’t have access to that program, you can prepare your text in Google Docs and export to Word.

    Type your story’s title at the top of the first page, but do not include your name anywhere in the document (that information will be collected on the entry form). Use 12 pt. Times New Roman, apply double spacing, left-align text, indent paragraphs, insert a trio of centered asterisks for hard scene breaks, and italicize direct thoughts and words of emphasis.

    Entries must be text only. Images, graphics, or illustrations (whether enclosed in the file or submitted separately) will be rejected.

    Entries that contradict our Statement of Faith or contain objectionable content (such as gratuitous violence, profanity, or sex) will be disqualified.

    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 upload the correct document.

    Judging Process

    She Stories will be evaluated on the basis of style/mechanics, theme, characters, and overall uniqueness. Read our Christian Storytellers Manifesto to see the attributes we want stories to display. Josiah DeGraaf and Brianna Storm Hilvety will be serving as judges. 

    Josiah is the editor-in-chief of Story Embers, the fiction content manager at The Young Writer, and a literature nerd who fell in love with stories at an early age. Because he’s fascinated by human motivations, 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!

     

    Brianna is the managing editor and graphics director here at Story Embers. Although she began as a writer, her penchant for noticing typos and obsession with syntax compelled me to wield a red pen rather than a black one. She’s proudly a gold member of The Christian PEN: Proofreaders & Editors Network and have been certified by the Christian Editor Connection. Over the years, she’s worked on a variety of projects for individual clients, publishers, and organizations. She loves aiding writers in achieving their aspirations to captivate and change the world through fiction. She’ll be focusing on the nitty-gritty details of storytelling—from grammar to showing vs. telling to breathtaking prose. She can’t wait to see the magic you weave with your words!

    Publication Rights

    Entrants must be subscribers to our newsletter. If you haven’t signed up yet, you may do so by visiting our Resource Library.

    The following individuals are ineligible to enter the contest: Story Embers board and staff members, writers, interns, and forum moderators, as well as the previous year’s first place winner.

    Fees

    A $15 submission fee must be paid at the time of entry. This fee is nonrefundable. After you fill out the form and click Proceed to Payment, you’ll be redirected to PayPal to pay the fee.

    Patrons who pledged at the $8 tier or above may enter for free. Type your name/pseudonym and genre in an email, attach your story, and send it directly to us at brianna@storyembers.org. All other participants must submit their stories via the entry form.

    Eligibility

    Entrants must be subscribers to our newsletter. If you haven’t signed up yet, you may do so by visiting our Resource Library.

    The following individuals are ineligible to enter the contest: Story Embers board and staff members, writers, interns, and forum moderators, as well as the previous year’s first place winner.

    Contact Information

    Have a question about the contest? Email brianna@storyembers.org. 

    If you place in the contest, we’ll contact you a few weeks prior to that. Otherwise, due to the volume of submissions we receive, we won’t be able to follow up with you on the status of your entry.

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