Q.  Is this competition open to writers outside of the United States?

A.  Yes, the competition is open to writers around the world and all submissions may be uploaded online.


Q.  What time does the competition start?  What if I live in a different time zone than New York?

A.  The competition starts at 11:59PM in the Eastern Time Zone (New York) on Friday, January 18, 2019.  If you live in another time zone, you will need to make sure you are aware of how many hours ahead or behind you are from New York.  For example, if you live in Los Angeles, CA the competition will begin at 8:59PM local time on Friday, January 26th.  If you live in London, UK the competition will begin at 4:59AM local time on Saturday, January 27th.  There will also be countdown clocks on the website to help writers keep track, but we also recommend you mark your calendars with the correct times so you know when the competition starts and ends so there is no confusion later. 


Q.  I signed up, but how will I receive my assignment?

A.  All registered writers will receive an email at the start of the 1st Round which begins at 11:59PM EST on Friday, January 18, 2019.  Emails are sent from feedback@nycmidnight.com, so make sure to add us to your safe list so you receive all the correspondence.  In some cases, the emails are filtered by spam or junk mail folders.  So, we always recommend adding the start date to your calendar so you know when to begin even if you don't receive the email.  For your reference, all the assigments will be posted on the Challenge home page and links will also be posted on our Facebook and Twitter pages.


Q.  Can we provide previously written short stories during the competition?

A.  No.  All short stories must be created during the competition and must be based on the genre and subject provided.


Q.  Who owns the rights to the stories created during the competition?

A.  You, the writer.  NYC Midnight reserves the right to publish the synopsis and e-mail address of any writer that enters the competition for publicity purposes, but that's it.


Q. Can I write under a pen name?

A.  Yes!  When registering for the competition, please keep in mind that the First and Last Name fields will be posted to the website.  If you would like to write under a pen name, make sure to include your pen name for these First and Last name fields.  You will be prompted to enter your legal name at the end of the registration form for our records, but only the name you enter in the First and Last name fields will be posted to the website.


Q.  Can I participate if I'm under 18 years of age?

A.  Yes, but anyone under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian send their consent to feedback@nycmidnight.com with the following information:
1. The subject line of the e-mail should be: Parental Consent for Short Story Challenge 2019.
  2. Their consent for your participation in the competition in the body of the e-mail. For example, "I am the parent/guardian of __________(Participant Name) and I hereby provide consent for him/her to participate in the Short Story Challenge 2019 on nycmidnight.com"
  3. The full name and phone number of the parent/guardian in the body of the e-mail.


Q.  What are the format requirements for the stories?

A.  There are no requirements regarding spacing or margins, but we ask that all stories are written in 12 point Courier, New Courier or Times New Roman typeface. Also, the title page must only contain the title of the story and a short synopsis (1-2 sentence description of the story). The author's name must not appear anywhere in the story or on the title page to keep the document anonymous for judging.


Q.  Can teams of writers (more than 1) work on the stories?

A.  Yes.  You may list additional writers on the registration form, but please note that ONLY the writer who registers will be eligible for the prizes.


Q.  How closely do we have to follow the assignment?

A.  The story must be written in the assigned genre, the assigned subject must be integral to the plot of the story, and the assigned character must be a relevant character used in the story.


Q.  Do you have some examples of past assignments?

A.  Yes, here are a few from previous challenges:

  Drama / A laboratory / A teacher
  Romantic Comedy / Recycling / A bartender
  Sci-Fi / Halloween / A bus driver
  Horror / A trial / A CEO (Chief Executive Officer)
  Fantasy / Luck / A lead singer


Q.  What are the acceptable formats for the stories?

A.  The only acceptable formats are .doc (Word Document 97-2003), .docx (Word document), .txt (Text File) or .rtf (Rich Text Format).


Q.  What are the rules regarding spacing?

A.  There are no rules regarding spacing, you may space the stories any way you like.


Q.  What is a brief synopsis of my story?

A.  A brief synopsis is a 1-2 sentence summary of your story.  It should be simple, yet very enticing (the main goal is to make the reader excited to read your story).


Q.  What kind of feedback will we get for our stories?

A.  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 2018, there were over 9,500 comments made on the 700+ stories submitted on the forum.  Click here to visit the forums.




Still have questions? 

Send us an e-mail at feedback@nycmidnight.com or ask us on twitter @nycmidnight  










Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Join our Mailing List

©2018 NYC Midnight, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.