Dire Days

$3,000 Grand Prize

Current Submission Count:

101

JANUARY PRIZES

1st Place:
$3000 + 10c/word and publication

2nd – 10th Place:
10c/word and publication

11th – 35th Place:
$20

Meet The Winner

About the Contest

Write a story involving a dire situation and a bell.
$3,000 grand prize.

Is the end of the world approaching? Some days, it sure feels like it. Many people worry about the future. Economies falter, wars rage, and environments are destroyed. It seems like every day brings news of a new disaster.

And to top it off there are personal struggles. That sinking sensation in our gut as the world seems to crumble around us. When it feels like nothing is going our way and every bad thing that could happen does. Dire days indeed, when we feel like throwing in the towel and calling it quits. It’s easy to give up when times are tough, but it’s the people who keep fighting even when the odds seem insurmountable who are hailed as heroes. Those are the ones we write stories about.

This contest invites you to explore a dire situation, whatever that means to you. Mystery, fantasy, romance, crime. All genres are welcome.

Submissions close January 31st at 11:59 pm EST. Contest only open to new writers. More details below.

Share this contest with friends.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

Meet the Head Judge

Max Gladstone

Hugo-, Nebula-, and Locus Award winning author Max Gladstone’s works include Empress of Forever, the Craft Sequence of fantasy novels and games, and, with Amal El-Mohtar, the internationally bestselling This is How You Lose the Time War. His interactive projects include the XYZZY-nominated Choice of the Deathless and Deathless: The City’s Thirst, which take place in the world of the Craft Sequence. Gladstone created the Serial Box series Bookburners, and the interactive television series Wizard School Dropout.

Read stories from
the last contest.

Get it in your inbox (it’s free).

Are you a new or unpublished author? We want to see your work. Check out the link below to learn what we are looking for.

Submission Guidelines

Contest Short Rules


Who can enter?
New or unpublished authors, from anywhere in the world (excluding Quebec, Canada). Full details here.

Prize: 1st place: $3,000 USD.
2nd – 10th: 10c/word and publication.
11th – 35th: $20 USD and an honorable mention in the magazine.

How to enter: Sign up for an Elegant+ Membership and visit the Members Area, or click “Submit Story” in the navigation bar. Fill out the form and copy/paste (preferred method) or upload a file containing your work.

Important Dates: 
The contest opens at 12:01 am EST on January 1st.
The contest closes at 11:59 pm EST on January 31st.
Winners will be announced on March 1st.

Entries: 
Unlimited. English language only. Must follow the contest theme/prompt and include the word “bell”.

Length:
Minimum 500 words. Maximum 2000. Word count does not include title of work.

Head Judge:
TBA

Selection Criteria:
The Judge will choose the winner based on:

Creativity
Character
Structure & Flow
Quality of Writing

For more information, please see the full Contest Rules.

For answers to common questions, please see the FAQ.

We have a uniquely streamlined Publication Process. Read about it here.

See our Submission Guidelines for information on how to increase your chance of selection.

Dire Days

New Writers Only

1st Place:
$3000 + 10c/word and publication

2nd – 10th:
10c/word and publication

11th – 35th:
$20

Current Submission Count:

101

Meet The Winner

About the Contest

Write a story involving a dire situation and a bell.
$3,000 grand prize.

Is the end of the world approaching? Some days, it sure feels like it. Many people worry about the future. Economies falter, wars rage, and environments are destroyed. It seems like every day brings news of a new disaster.

And to top it off there are personal struggles. That sinking sensation in our gut as the world seems to crumble around us. When it feels like nothing is going our way and every bad thing that could happen does. Dire days indeed, when we feel like throwing in the towel and calling it quits. It’s easy to give up when times are tough, but it’s the people who keep fighting even when the odds seem insurmountable who are hailed as heroes. Those are the ones we write stories about.

This contest invites you to explore a dire situation, whatever that means to you. Mystery, fantasy, romance, crime. All genres are welcome.

Submissions close January 31st at 11:59 pm EST. Contest only open to new writers. More details below.

Share this contest with friends.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

Meet the Head Judge

Max Gladstone

Hugo-, Nebula-, and Locus Award winning author Max Gladstone’s works include Empress of Forever, the Craft Sequence of fantasy novels and games, and, with Amal El-Mohtar, the internationally bestselling This is How You Lose the Time War. His interactive projects include the XYZZY-nominated Choice of the Deathless and Deathless: The City’s Thirst, which take place in the world of the Craft Sequence. Gladstone created the Serial Box series Bookburners, and the interactive television series Wizard School Dropout.

Read stories from
the last contest.

Get it in your inbox (it’s free).

Are you a new or unpublished author? We want to see your work. Check out the link below to learn what we are looking for.

Submission Guidelines

Contest Short Rules


Who can enter?
New or unpublished authors, from anywhere in the world (excluding Quebec, Canada). Full details here.

Prize: 1st place: $3,000 USD.
2nd – 10th: 10c/word and publication.
11th – 35th: $20 USD and an honorable mention.

How to enter: Sign up for an Elegant+ Membership and visit the Members Area, or click “Submit Story” in the navigation bar. Fill out the form and copy/paste (preferred method) or upload a file containing your work.

Important Dates: 
The contest opens at 12:01 am EST on January 1st.
The contest closes at 11:59 pm EST on January 31st.
Winners will be announced on March 1st.

Entries: 
Unlimited. English language only. Must follow the contest theme/prompt and include the word “bell”.

Length:
Minimum 500 words. Maximum 2000. Word count does not include title of work.

Head Judge:
TBA

Selection Criteria:
The Judge will choose the winner based on:

Creativity
Character
Structure & Flow
Quality of Writing

For more information, please see the full Contest Rules.

For answers to common questions, please see the FAQ.

We have a uniquely streamlined Publication Process. Read about it here.

See our Submission Guidelines for information on how to increase your chance of selection.