Hosting Short Story Writing Contests

In the beginning of September, I read an article about the benefits of writing 100-word short stories. In that moment I was inspired to host a short story contest in my writing group on Facebook, Accountabilibuddies. First, I had to see if anyone would be interested. I asked around. Not only were six people in the group interested, but there were writers I knew outside the group that were also interested. I had a meeting with one Accountabilibuddy, and he made me think about what was needed such as prompts, rules, and a deadline. 

For now we'll only have the 100-word contest and after the holidays we'll try to have the longer short story contest. If anyone wants to have the longer short story contest now, let me know. 







For the rules, I do want you to try a genre you haven't tried before or haven't worked for in a long time. 

Do you think a deadline of by the end of the month is doable?

I even submitted, and I thought of a prize later as well. We had a member later volunteer to judge as well though I can never win the competition. I answered any and all questions sent my way. At the end, I shared three of my own entries and one entry from a non-member of the club with his permission. The rule when submitting your entries was that you had to add your word count. I also directed contestants who had gotten lost. They weren't sure where to post their final submissions. The prize is that I share their story here and interview them, so without further ado, here's our winner's story and interview with winner, Marshall Chico. 

Happy Birthday

By: Marshall Chico

Joshua walked over to open the door and was greeted by Marshall with a gift in his hand. “I’m not late, right?” Said Marshall. Josh Smiled, “You’re right on time.” Marshall walked in, hugged Josh and made his way around the room saying hi to everyone he knew. The party was small but it made Marshall happy to know his godson has such a caring family. Later on Joshua’s mom said, “It’s time to open the presents.” Marshall’s gift was first. The gift was a Godzilla toy, the same toy Josh gave Marshall 9 years ago. Seeing the toy made Josh happy, knowing his friend still had it after all these years.

112 words

He had asked how many words I would say were too many words. I would say anything over 115 was too much.

Note: The goal was to not edit his formatting, but unfortunately the blog doesn't like that idea. I'm not going to let you guys miss out on Marshall's story because my blog is being difficult. First, before I edit the formatting of how he writes I'll see if I can see if I can fix this by changing the font a bit. Okay, awesome it was a font issue. Whoo. 

Kaylyn Gabbert: What inspired you to write this piece? 

Marshall Chico: Is it cheating if this happened?

K. G.:No.

M. C.: Then yeah. Josh got that for me when we were in fourth grade. It was the first thing Josh gave me when we became friends. 

K. G.: How long have you been writing?

M. C.: Hmmm… I usually do it in my free time. But with you sharing my recent stories I’d say about three months. 

K. G.: Do you have a favorite genre to write?

M. C.: Hmmm… I like to write thought-provoking stories. 

K.G.:  Word is you’re joining another writing contest, do you have any ideas in mind for it?

M.C.: I think I might do the first [Day of the Dead] prompt where I’m missing someone.

K.G.: Would you like to tell us more about it or keep it a secret for now?

M.C.: Keep it a secret for now.

K. G.: Is there anything else you’d like to let us know?

M.C.: I’m really happy I got to participate in the contest. 

Now that it’s officially October, that means it’s officially Spooky Season! Whoo! For this contest, there are two options this round, the two-five minute conversation round or the full day round. The original idea was inspired by an episode of Fantasy Island about the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), and in this case it’s all about who you miss the most? Or who misses you the most? I’m not giving a minimum word count or anything as long as you tell the story you want. The prompts were inspired by both the season finales of Fantasy Island and Surreal Estate. 


  1. The summon happens based on purely missing one another

  2. You feel you wronged them, and though you didn’t there is a conversation that needs to take place

  3. They wronged you, and they need to make it up to you to get out of purgatory 

  4. Maybe you did wrong someone, and they didn’t show up at all Dia de los Muertos, but in the very last minute they lashed out. How would that go down?

Rules: Make it genuine and compelling. 

As soon as the 1st started I posted it in Accountabilibuddies tagging eight members, and I emailed it to six people outside of the group. I had one member who had questions and messaged me right away. The Accountabilibuddy who I had a meeting with in September and helped me think of what I needed for the contest noticed I didn't have deadline. I did that on purpose. I didn't have one planned last month either. I wanted them to tell me how long they needed to write. I already started my entry. My entry is already surprising everyone because they all assumed what I would do. My mom (biological) loves my idea.

If you would like to join the contest comment below. ^-^


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