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A weekly short story contest
Looking for a steady supply of historical fiction short stories? Every week thousands of writers submit stories to our writing contest.
Coming of Age
People of Color
Teens & Young Adult
We'll send you 5 prompts each week. Respond with your short story and you could win $250!
What would you do if you only had one day left to live? It’s a hard question to answer. Maybe you would have a picnic in the park, go dancing with your spouse, or just head down to the river and spend your last day fishing with a close friend. See, it’s a scary thing to know what’s going to happen before it happens. It all started with a few words: “Jamie will be coming with us, pack a bag for him and be ready Friday mo...
When I go through my dad's photo album and come across his photos while he was serving in the Royal Canadian Navy, November 11 has a special meaning. you see my dad served his country during the Cuban Missile Crisis
My Dad's Navy Service During The Cuban Missile Crisis
During 1961 President Kennedy visited Ottawa and gave a speech in The House of Commons "Geography has made us n...
Ciqәne sat cross-legged as he gazed into the fire flaming before him. The dancing shadows it cast around him in the darkness reminded him of his inexpressible grief at the loss of his grandmother. Thoughts of her brought tears to his eye, that never managed to spill over. The lump in his throat did not change the stern expression on his chiseled brown face. His eyes closed and he saw her dancing again. Her...
“Listen… I’ve discerned a pattern.”
A small group stood in the shadow of the church, at Canair, listening to James, the caretaker.
“I first heard the bird’s call the morning of the baby Aiden’s christening.”
The widow, called Mad Agnes, spoke. “The bird didn’t bring the Christening.”
Several moaned, “Oh, I pray not an omen…”
“Of course not. Father Ambrose says a healthy baby is from God...
Something Woke Her
Something woke her. Her eyes opened to a shaft of alabaster cloud-broken moonlight peeking through a slightly parted blackout curtain and the almost melodic-sound of waves breaking against the shore in the cove. The storm? But the...
Mrs. Lewis lowered the storybook she had been reading aloud from and turned to face her six-year-old daughter. Marie was no longer nestled in her bed as she had been previously, but was instead perched at the window, gazing intently out through a few holes she had rubbed in the frosty glass. There wasn’t much to see through the dim moonlight, only the shady outline of the dense fore...
“Listen,” August said.
Etta sighed, put down the shot glass she was drying, and stared at August from across the bar.
August had been working on the song all morning; Etta had heard it a dozen times already.
August played the tune again, the jangling of the saloon piano echoing through the empty room.
“What do you think? Will the men like it?”
I breathed in deeply, letting the fresh air fill my lungs. It didn't choke me like the city air or leave a strange film in my throat. I could taste the salt on the back of my tongue. It was oxygen rich due to the evergreen mountains behind me. The bluffs towering over the ocean.I relished in the sight of the grayish blue water foaming and tossing up spray. Despite the cold bite of winter and the harsh wind that nipped at my skin, I felt calm looking at it. Safe even.'Angry Seas' is what my father called...
Inspired by Led Zeppelin's "No Quarter"
“Is daddy going to say goodnight?” My three-year old waits for my answer as I stroke his cheek with my hand. I can’t let him see me crying.
“Not tonight, son.” I hear my voice tremble as I take in his expression. I try to memorize every part of this moment. His soft face and innocent eyes fill my heart with pain and joy. I pull him in for a hug and hold h...
Staring out towards the harbour, where a mist shrouded the other side, she pronounced her new surname repeatedly, as though saying it would unlock its meaning. She held the name like a rosary bead as she went about her chores that morning. Would they arrive? When she was sent outdoors at noon to retrieve a parcel, she had to rub her eyes. Last night’s rain had swollen the streets, giving a peculiar glare as the sun rose in puddles. Despite the moisture and humidity, her feet were light. She strode uprightly. She took in the pedestrians pa...
The sea had tamed itself, for now. The incessant pounding of waves on the walls of the lighthouse had subsided, replaced with the far-off cries of gulls in the bay. The sun had risen, and until its last beam conceded to the inevitable night, the calm waters would stay.
The lightkeeper extinguished the last lantern inside the tower with a swift exhale. There was no need for them until dusk. Her second task of th...
Mother says my brother is sick. The stones, cut slate, are set firm into the earth; they do not budge as I race towards the town of Bayle. To either side of me runs the wall. It is crumbling, but still high. My footfalls are mostly silent, but they are enough to startle a raven into flight. The leaves, though turned for autumn, have yet to fall from the trees. Filtered through them the morning’s light is honey-colored, dripping into puddles on the forest floor. The crisp air sears my windpipe and squeez...
I once stood here tall and proud. Supplicants from the world over came here to do me homage. But, the world has changed.My name is David and this is my story.I was conceived on a commission by Agostino di Duccio in 1465 in the quarries of Fantiscritti. Master Agostino had taken over a commission from Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi (Donatello) to carve a statue of for the roof line of the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo). I was to be one of twelve statues of biblical heroes commissioned to a...
Today’s the day I change.
The course of history. From mundane to exalted.
The hunchback has a very minute role in it. But I will give her due credit. For I know that the world is never kind to an ugly old woman giving clever advice.
When the king walks into my royal chambers, he will find a stranger.
A dishevelled woman lying on the floor who is beyond reason.
The reason that has been...
cw: violence Like lightning, Middknight’s cavalry never needed to strike twice. Eleanor pulled the reins on her horse and cued him to turn. Hooves pushed into the field’s grass. They picked up speed, wind blowing her hair behind her, and Eleanor raised a stick to the air. Her makeshift sword—she would be the first woman from Middknight to ride a horse into battle.Someday.Until then, she found herself like every other woman training for the army. Atop a pegasus. A pure white, flying horse. One that could control...
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