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                                  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

                         awarded a



Penelope Waples (1st Place)
Beth Cole (2nd Place)

Sheree Tams (3rd Place)


Congratulations to our
victorious valentines!

Next up:

join the mailing list for alerts about our upcoming contests!

Until Shtories are Due!


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.)



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)! 


Prompts for the upcoming "BE MINE, SHTORYTIME" contest will be sent out at noon EST on Friday, Feb 2nd. From that point, contestants will have 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 Friday, Feb 9th. All winners will be announced, published, and compensated on Feb 14th; Valentine's Day.


The registration fee for each participant is $20, 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 $500, the second place winner will get $200, and so on.


In other words:

Fewer Writers = Less Prize Money

More Writers = More Prize Money



Woohoo! You're in.




(last updated: 8:45 PM EST,  02/13/24)

Since the Grand Prize winner gets 50% of the pot (second place: 20%; third place: 5%), the winnings will increase with every added contestant. So... spread the word! 

This form no longer accepts submissions.



To ensure that your shtory is judged anonymously and objectively, please be sure to follow the submission instructions carefully:​

(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. 

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