About the Contest

How does the contest work?

Every Friday morning, Reedsy sends a newsletter that includes five themed writing prompts. Those five prompts will also appear at the top of our Reedsy Prompts page. Writers then have one week (until the following Friday), to submit a story based on one of our prompts. Each week, we pick a winner to be featured on our blog and win $50. Sign up to participate in the contest here. 

Read our contest’s full Terms of Use here.

How do I submit a story?

Please follow each of these steps:

  • Sign up for a free Reedsy Prompts account.
  • Head to this week’s Contest page.
  • Choose the prompt you want to respond to.
  • Enter your title and story, and then hit "Submit story."

We no longer accept submissions via email.

Is there an entry fee?

No, this contest is free to join!

What is the deadline to submit a story?

Five new prompts go out every Friday. The deadline for submissions in response to those prompts is the following Friday at 11:59 pm EST.

When is the weekly winner announced?

The winner of each contest is announced on Friday morning after the closing date.

Who is eligible to participate in the contest?

The award is open internationally, to all writers over the age of 18. (Keep in mind, however, that you will need a PayPal account to receive the $50 prize). Submitted stories must be written in English and unpublished.

Can authors submit more than one story per week?

Authors can submit one story per prompt. In other words, up to five stories per week. However, each story must each be different. Duplicate entries will be removed.

Can authors continue to participate in the contest after they win?

Authors who win the contest are welcome to continue submitting, and are eligible to win the contest multiple times.

Can I submit stories under a pen name?

Yes! To change the name associated with your account, visit your account settings. And if you'd like a hand in coming up with your pseudonym, why not give our Pen Name Generator a try?

How does the Critique Circle email work?

Each Wednesday, we send out a Critique Circle email, encouraging users to leave feedback on other stories by randomly pairing them with three submissions.

To leave feedback on a story, simply scroll down to the comments section and leave your notes there!

There is not the option to send critiques via private messages at this time.

What are karma points?

Karma is awarded to authors who contribute to the community. You can gain karma by submitting stories, winning contests and gaining upvotes on your comments. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Receiving likes on a story or comment = 1 points
  • When your story is approved = 10 points
  • If you win a contest = 100 points

If an author has a lot of karma, this generally means they have contributed popular content to Reedsy Prompts. Check out the leaderboard here.

About the Award

What is the award?

$50 USD (to be paid via PayPal), publication on our Medium blog, and publication on Reedsy Prompts, where it will be highlighted as a winner.

Each week, a handful of shortlisted entries will be awarded a $25 credit towards Reedsy marketplace services — such as professional book editing, design, or marketing. There is a limit of one $25 credit per user, even if they are shortlisted multiple times. Learn more about the Reedsy publishing community here!

Who judges the short stories and picks the weekly winner?

All entries are initially reviewed by a team of judges comprised of Reedsy Prompts members. Those members all shortlist what they believe are the top entries. The marketing team at Reedsy then reads the shortlist and determines the weekly winner. For more information on becoming a Reedsy Prompts judge, please head here.

About Submissions

Why is my story approved days after I submit it?

Stories are reviewed and approved the week after the closing date. So if you submit a story on a Wednesday, your story will not be read and published until the following week, after the contest has closed on Friday.

What are the word count limits for submissions?

Unless otherwise specified, the short story must be between 1,000 - 3,000 words.

Can a story reference more than one prompt at a time?

Yes, you can incorporate as many of the prompts as you’d like. However, you can only submit each story once, so pick the most relevant prompt when submitting.

Are there any restrictions about the type of content the story can include?

Stories may contain mature themes and language. However, stories containing large amounts of graphic or explicit language will not be considered for publication on our blog. Read our Terms of Use for more information.

Can I delete or edit my story after I submit it?

You can delete your story at any time. Stories can be edited after they’re submitted until the closing date of the contest passes.

Can I submit my story elsewhere after publishing it on Reedsy Prompts?

When authors submit a story, they retain the copyright, but they grant Reedsy a non-exclusive, irrevocable, perpetual, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide, royalty-free license to store, publish, and otherwise use the entry on any platforms, in accordance with our Terms of Use.

After you submit your story, you may still publish the story elsewhere, but the publication must include:

  1. the relevant prompt;
  2. acknowledgment to Reedsy.com for providing the prompt that inspired the story.

This acknowledgment should be in the form of a mention, and in the case of a digital publication, a “dofollow” link back to https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts

Can I receive feedback on my submissions?

The Reedsy team does not offer individual feedback on submissions. However, we do send out a weekly Critique Circle email to all Reedsy Prompts members. Scroll up to the question “How does the Critique Circle work?” for more information! 

How can I get more likes and comments on my submissions?

The best ways to receive likes and comments on your stories are to share them via social media, and take part in our weekly Critique Circle email. The more you engage with other users on Reedsy Prompts, and the more you comment on the stories of others, the more likely you are to receive comments in return.