A Very Short Story Contest—2023

We asked you to write a great short story in ten words or fewer.

Here we present the winners and finalists:


Fine! Judge away! Like you've never spilled someone's ashes before

John Gilbert
Bethesda, Maryland


I offer my cigarette. The tombstone stares back.

Audrey Liu
Mount Laurel Township, New Jersey

Her hand grips mine. She says, "I found superglue, Mom."

Arya Dixit
Friedens, Pennsylvania

Balloons sag like drunk party guests. Another year without you.

Alissa Levine
Merrick, New York

His head fills her hands. Unattached, it’s surprisingly light.

Gabriela Scarritt
Cape Canaveral, Florida

My daughter's a free-range chicken. She has prison yard privileges.

Kimberly McVicker
Des Moines, Iowa
The contest is closed.