The What's What of Short Story Writing Contests for Fall

by Miranda Brumbaugh in ,


Changing it up a bit today. I am working on restructuring my work schedule to make more time for what I enjoy writing, that creative stuff called fiction! See, I do not dream of writing content for websites until I wither and die. No sir, no ma'am, no way Jose.

Novelist, Author, Bestseller. Those are the titles of my desires.

And while web content pays the bills, it lacks a certain independence that comes with creative writing. I have been working, and not working, on a certain novel for the past couple of years. However, there's a lack of experience that is holding me back from doing my best.

Enter the world of short stories. This is a world I had loathed and detested and fought against. Why waste my energy writing short stories, learning the craft, understanding the structure and style of this format, when all I want to do is write bestselling novels? See the delusion there, the disconnect?

Exactly. So when I noticed several articles on my news feed regarding submissions to short story contests, I took the sign seriously. I've entered a couple of contests in the past and didn't even garner myself a rejection slip. That all has to change if I want to take my fiction writing seriously.

Here are the contests I discovered last night.

Leap Books "Beware the Little White Rabbit"

This is for an "Alice in Wonderland" YA anthology that will pay $50 per accepted article. The anthology will commemorate the 150-year anniversary of "Alice in Wonderland." The only guidelines are that the story must feature a girl named Alice and a stuffed rabbit. How cool is that?? "Alice in Wonderland" enthusiasts and YA writers could have a field day with this one...

Deadline is November 15.

Word length is 4K to 6K, no cost to submit.

WritetoDone Flash Fiction Contest

Prize: $500, $10 to submit a story and you can submit as many as you want

October 5 is the deadline. Stories must be 500 words or less, thus the term flash fiction. You can write about anything you wish.

Bundoran Press Publishing House Second Contacts

Just in time for horror season, Second Contacts is open to submissions for their science fiction anthology.

"Second Contacts seeks stories which explore what happens fifty years after first contact, for us, for them, for our shared future. The possibilities are endless — conquest, collaboration, assimilation, or, even abandonment. On Earth, in space, or on alien planets, what will happen to individuals and societies after two generations or more of staring into alien eyes?"

Deadline is January 15. Payment of up to $130 Canadian for submissions of up to 10K words. No cost to submit.

Shenandoah Literary Journal Accepting Submissions for Fiction, Reviews and Nonfiction

This would be a gem to win! Past editors of the Shenandoah include Tom Wolfe, James Boatwright, Tom Carter and Dabney Stuart. Contributors to this literary journal have included e.e. cummings, Ezra Pound, Flannery O'Connor, Seamus Heaney.

Submit your poetry, creative nonfiction and flash fiction in the category of noir/crime/mystery from now til April 5. Payment varies at $25 per page for up to $250 depending on their budget. They typically publish about 40 percent of new writers among 30 pieces of content in each issue.

I'll let you know how it goes. Do you have any suggestions for upcoming short story contests that you have heard about, are entering, or would steer clear of? Please share!