Current Contest

The Current Contest

Short Story Contest #38 launched on Sunday, June 13, 2021.


For this contest, write a creative, compelling, well-crafted story between 1,000 and 5,000 words long in which someone or something is considered to be a monster… and maybe that’s accurate! Maybe you’re writing a straightforward horror story. Or maybe the “monster” label is terrible and undeserved. Or is the truth somewhere in between? That’s entirely up to you.

SPECIAL NOTE: Famous mythological monsters from history, religion, or folk tales are fine. True, we say below that pastiches/parodies of (or other uses of) other authors’ fictional worlds are not acceptable, but we meant specific fictional worlds created by known authors after, let’s say, the 1750s. Vampires are fine. Bram Stoker’s “Count Dracula of Transylvania” is not. Large, dangerous plants are fine. Triffids from John Wyndham’s “The Day of the Triffids” are not. We hope these guidelines help.

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 (or otherwise use) 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, September 3, 2021.

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