After three rounds of intense competition and from an original field of 4,000 writers around the world, we finally have a winner!  Congratulations to Michael Tippett (Mayfield, Australia) for winning the 2018 competition with his final round story, "Crawlers". Michael and 74 other finalists had just 24 hours to create a story no longer than 1,500 words based on the assignment below:


Genre: Open

Subject: Altruism

Character: An actress


Congratulations to all the writers that completed the challenges this year and thank you for submitting so many wonderful stories!  The full list of winners from the final round is below:


#1 - ''Crawlers'' by Michael Tippett SYNOPSIS - A father struggles to protect his three children from the horrors of an alien apocalypse.

#2 - ''Good Cop, Bad Cop'' by Trey Dowell  SYNOPSIS - Wealthy heiress Florence Standish is about to discover that judgment in the afterlife depends on an altogether unfamiliar currency.

#3 - ''The Final Conversation'' by Emma Fischer  SYNOPSIS - If you could have one last conversation with the deceased, who would it be with? And what would it be about?

#4 - ''Becoming Ana'' by Emily Morrow  SYNOPSIS - After her twin sister is killed in an accident, Isabel makes a difficult decision.

#5 - ''Hololife'' by Cayce Osborne  SYNOPSIS - The solitary routine of a popular actress is interrupted by distressing sounds from a neighboring apartment. She leaves the safety of her home and shirks her work responsibilities to come to the aid of a fellow human, forging an unexpected friendship.

#6 - ''Win a Date with Dolly'' by John E. Simpson  SYNOPSIS - Little Dolly Mathis thought she was washed up. But then came the date -- THE date -- and her life really took off...

#7 - ''Year of the Snake'' by A. J. Bermudez  SYNOPSIS - On three occasions over the course of three decades, aspiring actress Chůsi Chen visits a zoo under a strange series of circumstances, through which she navigates the animal nature of power, privilege, and predation.

#8 - ''By the Graveyard Oak'' by Sean David Pillars  SYNOPSIS - A disease spread by pollen has ravaged the population of the United States. In her final act, Elizabeth scrambles to help one last child while heading to her son’s final resting place.

#9 - ''WHERE MY SKELETON HIDES'' by Nicole Robb  SYNOPSIS - After many years of receiving poor performance reviews, the Grim Reaper decides to take lessons on how to act more like a human.

#10 - ''Tiger Tiger'' by Drea Silvertooth  SYNOPSIS - The world is falling and an aspiring actress has one last role to play.

#HM - ''Vanishing'' by Megan Whitmer  SYNOPSIS - One of the most recognizable actresses in the world deals with feelings of loss whens she travels to the home of the mother who no longer recognizes her.

#HM - ''Closing Curtain'' by Jenna Samuels  SYNOPSIS - After a tragic accident, a playwright and her beloved, an actress, dance between reality and the stage, between life and death.

#HM - ''The Other Side'' by Marguerite Alley  SYNOPSIS - In the ruins of his once promising career, Domingo Ortega does his best to stay afloat.

#HM - ''Kevin's Dying Wish'' by Andrew Berkowitz  SYNOPSIS - In one unforgettable moment, Broadway comes together for good.

#HM - ''Albert and the Jondy'' by Zach Lisabeth  SYNOPSIS - Albert Crenshaw resorts to supernatural means to revive his flagging acting career before it’s too late, but can he stomach the price of fame?

#HM - ''Run to the Shallows'' by Jennifer Downs  SYNOPSIS - An aging actress is asked to make a cameo appearance decades after her retirement. Her response reveals the lifelong and generational effects of Hollywood stardom.

#HM - ''Women Like You'' by Frances Klein  SYNOPSIS - While recuperating in the hospital, Vickie has a series of encounters with an actress, and discovers that the two of them have quite a bit in common.

#HM - ''Philosophy 102'' by Laura Bulkin  SYNOPSIS - A teen girl ponders questions of ethics and consent.

#HM - ''Lapis Saffron Burgundy'' by Michael Cursio  SYNOPSIS - Two lovers spend one last night together before the coming dawn sheds light on both their destinies.

#HM - ''Chiffon and Baby Pink'' by Katie Mostad  SYNOPSIS - A teenage girl’s obsession with her neighbor, an actress in a television show, leads to some unexpected truths about the reality of innocence, confidence, and womanhood.


Other important competition links:


1st Round: Assignments / Results

2nd Round: Assignments / Results

Rules: Official Rules & Participation Agreement



The 12th 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 26 to February 3, 2018), 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 29 to April 1, 2018) 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 (May 11 to 12, 2018).  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 26th!



We have reached our maximum number of participants and registration is now closed.  Please join our mailing list and follow us on facebook and twitter to be the first to know about our next competition. 



  1st Round: January 26 - February 3, 2018

2nd Round:

March 29 - April 1, 2018

3rd Round:

May 11-12, 2018



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 2017, there were over 7,000 comments made on the 550+ stories submitted on the forum.  Click here to visit the forums.



Carrie S.
San Francisco, CA, USA
“Done! So excited....this is such an exhilarating exercise. :)”
Kim B.
Hixson, TN, USA
“And with less than 50 minutes to deadline, I have done this thing I thought I could never do and submitted a short story in a major contest/challenge. Whew, now to rest and wake up tomorrow beset with anxiety and fear while I wait.”
Dave M.
Katy, TX, USA
“That was exciting! Nothing like a tight deadline to get the creative juices flowing.”
Miguel R.

New Jersey, USA
“Done. It made my wife cry, I'm taking that as a good sign. Although it was comedy, so maybe not.”
Kai Love
Hazel Crest, IL, USA
“Submitted and feeling a great deal of relief. This was such a great learning experience for me. Good Luck to all!!!”
Janet P.
Newberg, OR, USA
“Wahooooooo.Done.Crazy fun.”
Rachel C.
Jumbunna, Australia
“Mine is in. Not a genre I was comfortable with but proud of what I submitted. Good luck to all!”
Cheryl B.
Greenville, SC, USA
“All done! Phew! That was down to the wire. I can't wait to what everyone else came up with on the forums!”
Dawn F.
Indianapolis, IN, USA
“First stab at political satire is saved, stored, backed up and submitted! So much fun!”
Ileana J.
Happy, TX, USA
“This was immense fun! Luck to all!”










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