800 writers participated in the Short Story Challenge 2013 and the
field was whittled down to 25 writers who were challenged to write
original stories based the final round assignment below:
Subject: The end of the world
Character: A Surgeon
The winning stories are listed below. Congratulations to the
winners and everyone that took the challenge this year for creating
so many amazing stories, it was definitely our most competitive year
yet. We look forward to many more challenging and exciting
competitions in 2013 and beyond. Congratulations again to all
the writers, keep telling great stories!
#1 'Before the Inevitable' by
Stephens SYNOPSIS - The narrator explains the unfolding
circumstances, which center on the impending surgery of a loved one.
#2 'The Hollow Men' by Jessica Zimmerman SYNOPSIS - Nothing can cure
the new disease that's making people terrifyingly feral. Surgeon
Kate Bell has been performing a procedure that at least renders
patients less dangerous – but she finds it's harder to do the
operation the closer it gets to home.
#3 'The Five Stages' by
SYNOPSIS - There are five stages for accepting death. Not everyone
goes through them all.
#4 'Aperturae' by Melinda Melin SYNOPSIS - A woman loses her only
child. The end of her world is only the beginning of her story.
#5 'Anthropocentrism' by
Cobb SYNOPSIS - When disaster strikes the planet, humanity turns
to its most advanced creation for salvation. Saving the world,
however, is open to interpretation.
#6 'Both Ends of the World' by Susannah Carlson SYNOPSIS - An
expectant mother faces the inevitable.
#7 'Magic Kingdoms' by Hannah Thurman SYNOPSIS - After the world
splits open, a surgeon tries to reconcile with her pregnant daughter
by taking her on a long-promised trip to Disney World.
#8 'The Sacrifice' by
Kinzer SYNOPSIS - There are four people left on earth and the
last man is dying. Sarah is the only one who can save him and
possibly avert the end of civilization, but doing so comes with a
#9 'The Black Fox' by Sophie Dutton SYNOPSIS - A veterinary surgeon
and his nurse find a strange black fox one warm September evening.
They bring the weakened creature into the surgery, but when they
operate upon it, nothing can prepare them for what they find inside…
#10 'Wasteland' by Anthony Jones SYNOPSIS - Apocalyptic survival at
the edge of our earth.
#Honorable Mention 'Amy' by Rachel Unkovic SYNOPSIS - A friendless
girl grows up to be a surgeon, putting people back together like
puzzles. In the middle of a war, she begins to learn the importance
of other types of healing.
#Honorable Mention 'Finite' by
Clements SYNOPSIS - A dwindling of experiences, of life, of
things experienced in life.
#Honorable Mention 'It's Not' by Margaret Ronke SYNOPSIS - Liam’s
wife lay dying in the hospital, and, surrounded by clean white walls
and florescent lights, he faces the end of his world.
#Honorable Mention 'Nigh' by Joseph Miller SYNOPSIS - Doctor
Williams is left with a nagging question: with hundreds of 'end of
the world' predictions, is it possible to almost let the end slip by
#Honorable Mention 'The End' by Nicholas Hutchinson SYNOPSIS -
Facing the ultimate plague, mankind’s last surviving medical
specialist struggles to save what little life remains.
Click here to view the 1st
Click here to view the 2nd Round
The 7th Annual Short Story
Challenge is a creative writing competition open to writers
around the world. There are 3 rounds of competition. In
the 1st Round (February 22-March 2, 2013), writers
are placed randomly in heats and are assigned a genre, subject, and
character assignment (see examples of past assignments
here). Writers have 8 days
to write an original story no longer than 2,500 words.
The judges choose a top 5 in each heat to advance to the 2nd
Round (April 11-14) where writers receive new assignments,
only this time they have just 3 days to write a
word (maximum) short story. Judges choose a top 25
from the 2nd Round to advance to the 3rd and final round of the
competition where writers are challenged to write a
word (maximum) story in just 24 hours (May 17-18).
A panel of judges review the final round stories and overall winners
Registration is now closed. The first round assignments will
be posted here tonight at 11:59PM EST. Good luck to the
Official Rules &
If you wanted to register but didn't have a chance, make sure to
sign up for our newsletter and follow us on
twitter for updates and announcements. There will be many
more exciting writing competitions in 2013!
||January 17, 2013
||February 21, 2013
||February 22 - March 2, 2013
||April 11-14, 2013
||May 17-18, 2013
Not only does every writer receive feedback from the judges for every story submitted, but
a special review forum is available for the participants to submit
their stories for review from fellow writers throughout the
competition. During the Short Story Challenge 2012, there
were over 1,700 comments made
on the 140+ stories submitted on the forum.
Click here to visit the