Story in a Bottle Contest – 2019

Story in a Bottle Contest – 2019

Imagine a bottle rides the waves of the ocean until it finally washes ashore, where someone discovers the bottle, pulls out a cork, and...there is a message inside.

The message may have been written last week or several centuries ago. It might be a friendly greeting or a desperate plea for help. It might be a missive to be delivered to someone or a dying person’s will or a note for posterity. It might be anything.


What does the message say? We are dying to know!


Tell us what the message says in 27 words or fewer. The person who creates the most compelling “story in a bottle” wins a free Gotham class of his or her choosing.

Here are two examples:

I am alone on a ship of ghosts, sailing aimlessly, losing my mind. I recently glimpsed Cape Agulhas, where the Indian meets the Atlantic. March 1873.

Sooo bored on this cruise! Dad’s a doofus, mom’s a control freak, brother a total ass. And there’s NO ONE here I can talk to.

Illustration by Claire Tomasi #alittleclaireity

Deadline: Monday September 2, 2019, 11:59 pm Eastern Time


The Details:

  • Submit an original, unpublished piece.
  • Entries must be submitted online by 11:59 pm Eastern Time, September 2, 2019.
  • Entry is free. Limit one entry per person.
  • Entry must consist of no more than 27 words. 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  • Entry must be original and unpublished.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 September 24, 2019.