A Very Short Story Contest—2018

A Very Short Story Contest—2018

It may be apocryphal, but the story goes that Ernest Hemingway won a bet by writing a short story that ran fewer than ten words. One version of the story places the bet at the famed Algonquin “round table.” Whether true or not, there is an actual bet-winning short story attributed to Hemingway:

For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.

You have to admit it’s pretty good. It builds, and there’s a whole world of background and emotion lurking beneath those words.

We would like to make a similar bet with you. Write a great short story in ten words or fewer. (You may use a title, but that goes into the word count.) Submit it to our contest. Entry is free. Winner of the bet gets a free Gotham class.

We did this contest last year, and here are some of the best entries:

A cobra tattoo covers your first girlfriend’s name almost completely.

Linda Schwartz
New York, NY

He stared at her with anticipation. Therefore, he’s failed already.

Xzavier Harris
Bossier City, LA

Comfortable coffin for sale. I only used it briefly.

Greg Beatty
Bellingham, WA

The Details:

  • Submit an original, unpublished 10-word short story.
  • Entries must be submitted online by midnight Eastern Time May 14, 2018. Only online entries will be accepted.
  • Entry is free. Limit one entry per person.
  • Entry must consist of no more than 10 words. You may use a title but that goes into the word count. Longer entries will be disregarded.
  • Entry must be original and unpublished.
  • Entries will be judged on originality, quality, spelling, and grammar.
  • Gotham will post the winning entry at GothamWriters.com.
  • The winner will be notified by June 14, 2018.