Current Contest

The Current Contest

Short Story Contest #39 launched on Sunday, December 12, 2021.


For this contest, write a creative, compelling, well-crafted story between 1,000 and 5,000 words long in which… IN THE FIRST SENTENCE… one or more characters arrive at a location and find something unexpected.

You are NOT required to use this opening template, but you can if you want:

When ___character(s)___ arrived at ___location___, the last thing ___pronoun___ expected to find was…

GENRE RULES: No fiction aimed at readers younger than 12, no exploitative sex, no over-the-top grossout horror, and no stories that are obvious parodies of existing fictional worlds/characters created by other authors. Other than that, we’ll take anything from the most super-realistic literary drama to crazy farces (real-world or otherwise) to any variant of science fiction or fantasy you can imagine. Read our past issues and you’ll see.

Deadline: 11:59 PM Eastern US time, FRIDAY, March 4, 2022.

One entry per author. There is no fee for entering this contest.

Remember to take all identifying information out of your story! Tell us who you are in the space provided in the web form cover letter you get when you click on the “submit” button, NOT in your story! No headers, no bylines… just the story.

Submit Your Entry


If your contest entry does not get selected for publication, we will critique it for $15. For more information see our critique page.

If you have questions, ask us at