From an original field of 2,100 writers and after 2 rounds of competition, 40 finalists were challenged to create a 1,500 word max. story in just 24 hours based on the following assignment:


Genre:  Open

Subject:  Eavesdropping

Character:  A hoarder


Congratulations to the winners listed below, to all the finalists for making it through such intense competition all the way to the 3rd round, and to everyone that completed the challenge this year!


#1 'Leaving Shaktoolik ' by Sarah Beaudette SYNOPSIS - Your animals have gone child, and they’ve left our house so empty. If I promise to stop listening to your thoughts, will they ever come back; will you?

#2 'Emptiness' by Matt Flickinger SYNOPSIS - High School graduation is a magical and empty time. A time for good byes, for fear, for change.

#3 'Accumulation and Its Opposite' by Nicole Leszczuk SYNOPSIS - There are some things she needs help getting rid of, but most of what she had is already gone.

#4 'Amish Oak' by Joy Baglio SYNOPSIS - A dying woman’s strange obsession with hoarding furniture remains a mystery to her husband until he overhears a secret confession.

#5 'Ms Moreland's Collection' by Leisl Egan SYNOPSIS - It’s Detective Lawson’s first case, and a call out to a hoarder’s house isn’t exactly the exciting career opportunity he was hoping for. Further inspection into the house however proves that this case could be the making of Lawson.

#6 'Ever After' by Viktoria Neumann SYNOPSIS - After losing her son, a mother tries to save people by turning them into stories. But can a happily ever after truly bring back the dead?

#7 'And Then We Put the Dog on the Trampoline' by Lisa Grimes SYNOPSIS - Sam Brown’s life is filled with stories. They’re just not his own.

#8 'Peach Kisses' by Jackie Morgon SYNOPSIS - Brian has been trying to show Sadie his love with the coffee he makes her every morning. After six months of harboring his feelings, he tries to take their relationship outside the café.

#9 'Goose and Sparrow' by Corrie Adams SYNOPSIS - When five-year-old Goose’s mentally ill mother unexpectedly dies, he has a chance for a fresh start in life. But only if he can leave the past behind.

#10 'Pried' by Kelsey Wilson SYNOPSIS - A young boy’s obsession causes his mother to question everything she has taught him.


'A Horde Unto Herself' by Brad Reid
'Belongings' by Rachel Richardson

'Broken Parts' by Courtney Hollander

'Butterfly Wish' by Justin Carroll

'From the Files of Subject017' by Mary Squillace

'Gold Dust Woman' by Annmarie Lockhart

'Putting Out the Trash' by Paulene Turner

'The Necessity Of Bitter Things' by Jamie Brindle

'The Plan of Edward's Mind' by Kevlin Henney

'What the Snow Hides' by Maria Reeves


The 10th 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 (January 22-30, 2016), writers are placed randomly in heats and are assigned a genre, subject, and character assignment.  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 (March 17-20, 2016) where writers receive new assignments, only this time they have just 3 days to write a 2,000 word (maximum) short story.  Judges choose finalists from the 2nd Round to advance to the 3rd and final round of the competition where writers are challenged to write a 1,500 word (maximum) story in just 24 hours (April 29-30, 2016).  A panel of judges review the final round stories and overall winners are selected.  Sound like fun?  Join the competition below and get ready for January 22nd!



The maximum number of entrants has been reached and registration is now closed.  To learn about our upcoming competitions, please sign up for our mailing list or follow us on facebook and twitter.


View the 2nd Round Results!

View the 1st Round Results!


Official Rules and Participation Agreement



  1st Round: January 22-30, 2016

2nd Round:

March 17-20, 2016

3rd Round:

April 29-30, 2016



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 2015, there were over 4,900 comments made on the 300+ stories submitted on the forum.  Click here to visit the forums.







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