Ends on December 1, 2018

Writers are invited to create and submit a short story consisting of 50 paragraphs. The contest provides the 1st and 25th paragraphs, and the short story writer crafts the rest.   First prize is $3000, 2nd prize is $2000, and 3rd prize is $1000 with the winning short stories published in a short story anthology, as well as an invitation to give a public reading at Inkberry Books in Niwot, CO. The twenty-four (24) Finalists will also have their short stories included in this anthology.

Owl Canyon Press provides paragraph #1 and two alternative paragraph #25's. The writer gets to choose which paragraph #25 to use and then writes the other 48 paragraphs (i.e., paragraphs 2-24 and 26-50) to complete the story.


  • There’s no cost to enter
  • Anyone can submit, including outside the USA, but the stories must be in English
  • 50 Paragraphs total – including the 1st and 25th provided in the submission form
  • No maximum word count, but each paragraph needs to be at least 40 words – this isn’t flash fiction so feel free to use as many words as you need to tell the story
  • Dialog is fine as long as it’s in a paragraph of at least 40 words
  • Authors retain all rights to their short stories
  • Winning authors agree to permit Owl Canyon Press to publish their stories in an Anthology
  • Winners receive up to $3000 in cash awards, publication in a short story anthology, and an invitation to give a public reading at Inkberry Books in Niwot, CO
  • Winners will be notified in February 2019
  • Failure to comply with any contest guidelines may result in disqualification

For additional information check the Owl Canyon Press Hackathon FAQ