is a recurring Holiday-
themed creative writing
competition, open to writers
of all ages and experience levels.
Contestants are given up to a week
to write a short story (AKA "shtory") of
1,000 words or less, based on the given
writing prompts. The top 3 shtories are
published and credited online
and across social media,
and the winners are
Until Shtories are Due!
"SHTORY" = SHORT STORY
There is no minimum word-count requirement, but shtory entries must not exceed 1,000 words in length! (This typically translates to just under two pages.)
STICK to the PROMPTS
Each round of ShtoryTime is fueled by a unique set of writing prompts, specific to the holiday(s) during which the given contest is taking place. These prompts are emailed to all participating writers once the contest's registration window has closed, and should be used as creative inspiration!
Where tone and genre are concerned, we encourage contestants to think outside the box. For instance, a writer may opt to create a chilling Valentine's Day horror shtory, a quirky Halloween rom-com, a noir Easter Egg hunt, a Hanukkah sonnet, or a Thanksgiving dinner set on the planet Xthorpaz — but no matter how inventive the context, shtory entries must adhere to the assigned prompt(s)!
SUBMIT before the DEADLINE
Prompts for the upcoming "Shpring is in the Air" contest will be sent out at noon EST on Sat, April 8th. From that point, contestants will have up to one week to write and submit their shtories for consideration. The sooner you register, the more time you'll have before the submission deadline. Shtories must be submitted before noon EST on Sat, April 15th. All winners will be announced, published, and compensated on Saturday, April 22nd; Earth Day!
SPREAD the WORD
The registration fee for each participant is $10, which collectively forms the prize pot.
The prize pot is divvied up as follows:
First Place wins 50% of the pot
Second Place wins 20% of the pot
Third Place wins 5% of the pot
The remaining 25% goes toward ShtoryTime! costs and maintenance
This means that if 50 writers enroll in a contest, the first place winner of that round will get $250, the second place winner will get $100, and so on.
In other words:
Fewer Writers = Less Prize Money
More Writers = More Prize Money
So... SPREAD THE WORD!
SUBMITTING your SHTORY
To ensure that your shtory is judged anonymously and objectively, please be sure to follow the submission instructions carefully:
E-mail your shtory as an attachment to email@example.com
The subject line of the email must be “Shpring 2023 Submission”
(which will be filled in automatically by clicking the link above)
The title of the attached document should be the title of your shtory.
Include the shtory title and author's name in the body of the email; however, the author's name must not appear anywhere in the attached shtory! (It is crucial to the anonymous judging process that the author's name only appear in the body of the email.)
ShtoryTime! was launched in October of 2020 by Georgia Warner, a multi-hyphenate in the entertainment industry, and the former lead judge and editor of the "BOO! Short & Scary Story Contest" (an annual Hamptons-wide writing contest hosted by The Independent Newspaper, a multi-award winning publication for which Ms. Warner also worked as a resident arts & culture journalist). When The Independent unexpectedly dissipated in March of 2020, so too did the beloved BOO! contest; and thus, the cherished opportunity to inspire and publish the creative writings of many hundreds of children and young adults was brought to a sad and sudden halt.
Still, the Boo! competition had always held a special place in Ms. Warner's heart (due to her having won the grand prize as a local twelve-year-old, and arriving full-circle as the official judge of the contest so many years later), and she was not about to let her short-story-judging days go without a fight! So, independently of The Independent, Ms. Warner created ShtoryTime!
Though largely inspired by the contest she formerly oversaw, ShtoryTime! was built with a different set of guidelines. Unique to ShtoryTime! is the chance for all writers, from novices to award-winning authors, to join the creative challenges, which have expanded beyond simply a Halloween Contest. In fact, ShtoryTime! was created as a Holiday Contest, providing writers of all ages a chance to celebrate their creativity multiple times throughout the year!
Georgia Warner serves as the head judge and editor for all ShtoryTime! contests, employing a rotation of published authors, arts journalists, playwrights, professors, and other highly regarded professional writers to serve as guest judges for each contest round.