Editor’s note: Contestants retain ALL rights to their contest entries and, of course, the characters they create. 🙂

I Love, LOVE this contest! I now have so many stories I never would have written otherwise. Thank you so much! Always a great time!

J. David Thayer

I LOVE this contest. It’s a good challenge, and the time and word-count compression makes one work harder. And for $5?? A bargain!

Marianna Busching
Images for Better Singing: A Visual Approach to Vocal Technique

This contest topic was challenging and unexpected. It really made me go deep in my hat of resources to relate to it and stretch my imagination. But, as always, something eventually emerges and I am off to the races. Thank you for another great writer’s experience.
Good Sunday.
Thank you.
Andria Goldin

I really appreciate the contests, as they give me much needed practice with structuring my story line. I also appreciate all your tips and hints and I find the instructions
straightforward and helpful. Thank you for always being writer-focused in everything you offer us!

Thank you!
Beth Conklin


I found the Short Story contest challenging as well as fun.  I’ve never tried to write a short story connected to a predetermined topic.  It was fun creating a storyline that worked off the topic.  Lots of creative possibilities which added to the fun.

Thank you for a great contest! I eagerly look forward to the next 24 hour contest.

Bob Miller


This is my second 24-Hour Contest entry, and I’ve enjoyed participating in both. The list of Common Themes to Avoid is really useful. I assume they apply to writing contests in general.

I wouldn’t do some of the items anyway, such as the story about a writer in a writing contest. But, some of the things surprised me and are good to know, such as avoiding domestic violence stories because they occur too frequently. 

Thank you very much.

James Johnson

I enjoyed participating in this 24 hour Short Story contest. The topic was fun to work with and I  thought of many scenarios to choose from based upon those great lead in paragraphs. I will definitely to this again.  
Regardless of the outcome, I just enjoy writing and conveying ideas to myself, a select few or the entire world. Thank you for the opportunity to do just that. 
Best regards,
Arthur McNamee 

This was my first time entering a context of any sort, writing or not. I had a blast. My brain was on turbo charge for hours. I can’t wait to do it again in the fall. What a great way to be creative!

Irene Marchenay

Thank you so much!!! I was sooo excited for this contest. I studied the rules, wrote them down in my notebook and diligently waited for the noon hour…because I am actually type A. I had a blast!!!! Thank you for making my afternoon so enjoyable.

Katheryn Sheridan

This was my first attempt at your 24 hour contest and I found it to be an enjoyable and creative exercise. Coming up with an idea, writing it and then editing it down to the proper word length was a fun challenge and I am definitely going to register for the next contest. And yes…if you choose to publish my comment, you may use my name.

Thank you,

William Boston 

Challenge: to stimulate especially by presenting with difficulties
Motivation: to incite determination and action
Gratification: a source of satisfaction or pleasure

This contest provided this author with the motivation to, once again, feel the gratification that comes from rising to the challenge. I am writing again. This is the outcome I needed. THANK YOU!

Barry Lindstrom

Thank you so much for having this contest. It makes me write stories that are not what I would normally write. I gives me a challenge. I am 86 years old, and the chance to do something new that pushes me a bit is a good thing. You make this inexpensive and fun. Thanks.


I love participating in the 24-Hour Short Story Contest because it forces my plotting, writing, and editing into overdrive and improves every skill. Consequently, I create more interesting stories with higher quality, which I’m happy about because I’m my own tough customer. And regardless of the outcome, I always come out with a story I can submit elsewhere. The plethora of prizes to win is a nice bonus too.

Thanks for continuing to run the contest.

Best regards,


This contest was not at all what I expected and was so freaking fun. It’s the first time I’ve entered a writing contest since I was six years old. The short word maximum made it really
challenging – I had not expected it to be that low, but the challenge was fun. I entered on a whim, and it was just a really good time.


Jane Hartsock

Thank you! I love this contest SO much! I actually recruited my aunt and two nephews. They submit now every quarter as well! Thanks again.

David T.

Hello, Angela,

This was my VERY first ever opportunity to submit a short story in a contest, and actually for anyone but my family to read.

This contest seemed very cut and dry, a “right before your very eyes,” submission.

I have truly entered a new world of almost becoming a published author. As Willie Wonka once stated, “The suspense is terrible, I hope it will last.”

Thanks again,

Gerry Buncher

This topic was hard for me. It was not the kind of thing I normally write about, and I started three different stories before finally biting the bullet this morning and writing from a woman’s point of view in a genre I’ve never done before. I know I didn’t have to according to the rules but something made me do it. I guess it was you!

This was great and thank you for pushing me.

Time for football games!



Thank you for organizing this fun event!

I am a novice writer and this 24 hour event was inspiring and a whole new brilliant concept for me.

I didn’t know it was possible for me to think of a setting, create character outlines, use provided keywords and create a compelling plot and twist with such a short time limit.

I hope you will keep continue to provide these kind of contests to keep writers like me on our toes to keep improving our skills!

Kind regards,

Hylain Wright

I enjoy being creative and using my imagination! Your writing prompt allowed me to do just that.

I love the challenge of 24-hour contest and giving it my best shot! It was great fun!

Katherine Lenz

These contests are an exercise I’ve been looking forward to entering as welcome distractions from my other work. Breathers. It surprises me how readily my stories develop from an innocuous concept. In my past, deadlines were often a curse, the pressures often underminining clear thinking and, oftentimes, quality writing.

But during these short windows of time I find myself creating an incident as though it were happening in real time— perhaps a carryover to my early days as a journalist. “Get the story. Write it. The presses are waiting.” Except that, in these shorts, I have control over both the incident and the outcome.

It’s also like taking an exam while watching the clock!

Thanks Angela…these are fun intervals.

Tom Baldwin
Author, Macom Farm

Yes, the 24 hour short story contest is delightful! Considering there are always life events rumbling around in my head, having someone else design a framework is brilliant. I adore the challenge of fitting my vision into your beginnings.

Time is my friend in my 80s. This is a lovely break from writing children’s stories. It is good to nurture my adult imagination.

Celinda Ann Doyle

My first 24-hour writing challenge. And a great challenge it was. A good exercise in creativity as well as prioritizing and concentration.

Derek Reinhard

I have nothing but praise for the way this contest is handled. If someone gets it wrong, they did NOT read the guidelines and rules and tips–it’s all there. Thank you for this opportunity to hone our writing skills. It doesn’t get much better as far as contests go!

Gloria Jean Hansen

It was a very good contest. Especially for writers like me who have a lot of ideas but never write them. Such contests are great opportunities to exercise my writing muscles.

Winning or not winning is a different matter, but the joy one gets in the process is unimaginable.

Thank you for giving me this enjoyable experience.

Avinash Nath

This was my first time entering the 24 Hour Contest. It was so much fun. I felt like it was a competion within me and the clock, not other contestants. After I submitted my story I felt so proud of myself for completing the task. It is a great challenge. I would do it again for sure, and with the story and word count changing with each contest the suspense will always be fresh.

Sylvia Mintz

First of all, I LOVED the opportunity to participate and the low barrier to entry (re: entry fee only $5). I also am impressed and grateful you don’t automate the confirmation of receipt of said story. That you personally respond is impressive. Too many people rely on automation bots, and it’s discouraging, at best.

Moreover, the ultra specific guidelines/instructions were welcomed, as were the samples of prior years’ winners; this helped me study/prepare.

The only ‘downside’ to the process is that it may be 6 weeks before I know the results. <Sad face.> That being said, I appreciate and value the seriousness with which you and your team take the judging responsibility. I’d rather quality vs. speed, and I realize judging upwards to 500 entries would be extremely daunting.

Finally, I was grateful that the topic could be adapted, so we could make the overall story direction our own.

SUCH a FUN exercise, and quite frankly, a BIG challenge to my mental juices and creativity.


Thank you for continuing this 24 hour contest. I participated for many years and just entered this one again. Several years ago we moved to an independent living facility for seniors and just recently we started a new writing group in our building. I was delighted to tell our group about your contest and hope several will participate in the fall contest. This helps stimulate our brains now in our waning years. Thank you so much, Angela. Yes, you may use my name.

Shirley Dilley

This is my 3rd 24 hour contest. This one made me think outside the box and get out of my own head. These contests are helping me grow as a new writer. Thank you for challenging me.

Valarie Kerns

It was my first entry into a writing contest. I really liked creating the story. It was easier than I thought. It just created itself.


The 24 Hour Contest encourages me to come out of my historical nonfiction shell and be a wild fiction writer for a day. Love the freedom!

K. Marshall

Hi…I’m really enjoying the contests. They’re getting me away from my routine of book writing and into the spontaneity of of contesting. I was once a news reporter, always racing to meet deadlines. I think deadlines enhance the originality of creativity.

T. Baldwin

Thank you! I loved this month’s prompt, plus the encouragement to ‘give us a good ending.’ For the pantsies in the group, this was a fun way to allow the story to unfold and come to the writer. Finding an ending with a twist was a challenge but it made the experience fun and entertaining — a great way to spend time near a dock with a laptop.



OK, this is awesome. I’ve signed up for it a handful of times, completed the challenge a handful-minus-some-fingers.

But the participation fee is low, the treatment of writers so ethical, the prompts are just enough to put on some constraints… it’s not scary!

I love the 24 Hour Story Contest.

I’m the advisor for a teen writing club and this is the only contest that I suggest to my teens’ parents because of how manageable and friendly it is.

Some weekends, I just gotta say to the family, “Sorry, there’s a deadline on this piece, see you Sunday night.” Angela and Team? You rock.

Sparrow F. Alden, CRE, MA

The story idea ran into my head as soon as I read your entry paragraph. I hope I have made you happy, Because I was happy writing tge story. I don’t normally write love stories. I usually write thrillers.

Bob Keil

Good morning Angela,

Both my wife and I enjoyed the contest. It helped teach me, once again, about making every word count. I have wordiness issues! E.B. White would have thrown things at me.

We enjoyed our little stories and surprised each other with them. We certainly will do this again! Thank you for doing this and putting up with all of us out here.

John and Kerry OConnell

Hi Angela,

I think I had the most fun with this one! I think it’s the fourth one I’ve entered and the first few were very nerve wracking! Now I just write and have fun. Great theme and I hope you have fun reading! Yes, you can use my name if you’d like.

Take care,

The contest was definitely a challenge! I was appreciative of certain rules and suggestions for the contest, such as not going with your first idea. Had I not read that, I would’ve gone with my first idea. I also liked the recommendations of what to NOT base your story on or include in your story (which also eliminated easier ideas and made us think). 

Thanks, Angela. I enjoyed writing the story, especially from the angle I elected to take–a bit unorthodox, but I think it works. I hope your reading of the many submissions goes well. This was my first time entering. It won’t be my last! A

Luc Agosta

I had a blast participating in the 24-Hour Short Story contest! The prompt was interesting and fun to incorporate into a caper! I hope to participate again!

Sharon Fisher Roberts, Esq.

Hi Angela,

Always enjoy this contest, have been entering for years, and hope someday to submit something judged good enough to win, finally! I lead a short story writers’ group for the Atlanta Writers’ Club, and always encourage our group’s fifteen members to participate. They like it as much as I do, and next time we meet we’ll be ‘critiquing’ each other’s submission to the 24-Hour, after the fact, of course. Our group’s goal for 2022 is to win more contests and have more of our stories published. Thanks for giving us more chances to practice.


I love this quarterly contest! Several people in my writing group have entered over the years. We all agree that the premise of only a certain number of words which may be written in a 24-hour timeframe gets our creative juices flowing. The word limitation reminds us to write concisely, something many of us struggle with under normal circumstances. Don’t ever discontinue this contest!!

Sandy Kangas 

Thanks for another fun writing challenge. Prompt day is always exciting around this house. We’re always excited to see what the writing prompt will be, and I always check my email a few minutes early just in case…

Then there’s the challenge of coming up with a compelling story. Sometimes I can, and sometimes I can’t, but it’s always instructive to rise to the challenge.

Next comes the submission. Did I include a title? Do I have my word count? How many typos did I miss before sending it off?

Finally, there’s the joy of discovering the story I SHOULD have written, right after hitting “Send!”

Best wishes and thanks for the adventure.

J. Pickens

Hi Angela,

This prompt was so much fun! It’s my second time participating & I have to say – the guidelines are so clear. It’s great!

Thanks again,

This experience was so fun! It has been a long time since I challenged myself to write a short story. I found the instruction and hints clear and helpful. I went back to my regular writing refreshed after my weekend excursion.

Thank you.

Cathy Lovelady

The exercise was excellent. It left the Imagination challenge wide open. It was a lot of fun writing within the guidelines. Instructions are easy to follow and fun! Thank you for the fun exercise.

Jerry Davies

Hi, Angela.

You asked for feedback, and I wanted to send you some before I get busy and forget.

I enjoyed participating in the Writers Weekly 24-Hour Short Story Contest much more than I thought I would.

I must admit that I was hesitant to sign up at first. My thought was that the pressure of writing a story in 24-hours, which for me is actually 16-hours, (a 76-year-old needs 8-hours of sleep), would be too stressful. It wasn’t. 

When your email containing the topic and word count arrived in my inbox, I opened it with some trepidation. But, to my surprise, two or three ideas popped into my head immediately. After giving your prompt some thought, I dumped my original ideas and chose a different way of telling the story. I had fun writing that version, and it wasn’t stressful at all.

It doesn’t matter if my story is chosen. The five dollars was well spent, and it’s less than the cost of my morning coffee.

Some say speech is transient—once spoken, words fade away like an echo shouted at a canyon. However, the written word lives on long past our lifetimes. So it doesn’t matter if I win or lose. I still have a story under one thousand words that I can send to other magazines or publish in an anthology of my own.

Thank you for the inspiration.

Antaeus Balevre

This was a blast! Being my first time, it was crunch time with a brain teaser and I was on my toes all day. There were so many possibilities to come from this topic. Dressing up in my fall comfy’s totally reeled in and focused my work. Thank you!

Felicia Darlington

Thank you for the 24-hour Writing Contest! Despite sleep apnea, Words In Bloom competition, anime addiction, and family visitation, I was able to complete the story and get it in under the wire — while having a blast with the topic.


Thanks for another fun writing challenge. Prompt day is always exciting around this house. We’re always excited to see what the writing prompt will be, and I always check my email a few minutes early just in case…

Then there’s the challenge of coming up with a compelling story. Sometimes I can, and sometimes I can’t, but it’s always instructive to rise to the challenge.

Next comes the submission. Did I include a title? Do I have my word count? How many typos did I miss before sending it off?

Finally, there’s the joy of discovering the story I SHOULD have written, right after hitting “Send!”

Best wishes and thanks for the adventure.

J. Pickens

I’ve needed these weekends of creativity throughout covid like I can’t even begin to express.

Lots of love,

I will continue to enter these for as long as you keep doing them. THEY ARE JUST SO MUCH FUN, plus it does help me with my writing skills.

Thank you again for the challenge:)

R. Howard

Hi Angela –

Another contest – my second – and just as much fun as the first. I love the process. The topic provides a good balance between a focus on specific actions and characters and enough leeway to go outside the box a bit. It makes you think creatively and provides another step in becoming a better writer. Thanks so much for the opportunity.

Larry Levy


Just have to say:

That was a fun topic!

I like topics that can go many ways! Who knows, maybe I’m just seeing more ways…

Can’t wait to read what others did with it.


Kudos! This was a wonderful and thrilling experience.

Writing off the cuff is not as easy as it sounds! I had intense fun doing so.

Andrea Daniel

Thank you Angela,

Enjoyed the time challenge even as I realized I feel better about my work after I’m able to polish it for weeks..okay months.

I do find word prompts an excellent writing practice and it does create storylines for the future.

Jody O’Marra

Good Morning Angela,

Since I recently have become part of the BookLocker family, and have subscribed to WritersWeekly, I was excited to participate in the writing contest (that I never knew existed!).

It’s the first I’ve participated in any contest and was nervous about it, not sure I could actually follow through with something of substance in such a short time. I’m one of those that has to edit and re-edit until I finally make myself walk away and just go with it.

I was really surprised at myself. As soon as I read the caption of what I needed to expand upon – I sat right down and started writing. Before I knew it I already had 470 words of the 875 max written.

I think this is an amazing opportunity for writers; a break from their own stories and a chance to expand the mind elsewhere, even if it is for just a short period of time and even if we don’t place in a winners’ spot. We’re still winners.

Thanks for making some fun time for authors, Angela! Feel free to use my feedback, if you’d like.


Susan Clawson

Hello Angela,

I just wanted to send you a quick note to say that I really enjoyed writing this story today. It was a great prompt. I’m catching an international flight tomorrow and I had a million things to do, but I wanted to write it as I had entered the contest a long time ago!

What I really liked was the list you provided of things not to do. To be completely honest with you, many of them are on my list of my own personal bete noires. I hate it when people win writing contests using one of those strategies! There’s been a spate of people killing off mothers with cancer in their short stories. No more! The dream thing? That is so bad that I haven’t even seen that recently. There’s one you didn’t mention that’s also on my list where the protagonist is writing in first person, and dies in the end – just tell me how does that happen? Oh and then stories without a plot where nothing actually happens. Those are the worst.

Okay, I’m on a roll now but I’ll stop. I hope you like my story and I hope the ending is satisfying. I definitely tried to create a little suspense there and a little oh my God what’s going to happen now. Hope it worked.

Thanks for running this contest!


Hi, Angela,

A lot of people in my writing group participate in your challenges throughout the year. As a collective, we anticipate what you’ll send us for a prompt and have fun in the week leading up to the 24 hours with reminiscing about old prompts we loved or loved to hate. You’ve created an international community of excited writers and I think that’s a pretty cool nail to hang your hat on at the end of the day.

As for suggestions, I like that you’re open to suggestions from your community. I, however, can think of none.


I had so much fun entering this competition! I’ve never done a 24-hour contest before, so this was wild, and now it’s over I feel exhilarated. I had so many ideas, and actually wrote two very different stories in the 24 hours, but the first one was too long and I didn’t see how I could cut it down, so I wrote a second one. Then I panicked to cut that one down in the time, and as the deadline approached, I started cutting with wild abandon, and got my entry in 10 minutes early, or so I thought. Actually, I was so panicked and intent on not missing the deadline that I sent it one hour and 10 minutes early. Oh well, you live and learn! Better early than late, but I could have used some of that extra hour to edit in a calmer fashion!

It was a really good topic, which fired my imagination, so thank you. I had a fun day! And I feel very chuffed to have written my first flash fiction story; a feat I thought I’d never be able to achieve.

Thanks very much, I’m looking forward to the next contest. 🙂

Terri Bannerman

I love this contest! I think I’ve been entering since the very first year, and it never fails to challenge and entertain. What a great way to spend a day!

This prompt was particularly difficult, given your advice about current events, but I love the hard puzzles most. Once I finally figured out what to put in that little box, though, my story wrote itself. Within your prompts, for me, there’s usually some little key that opens a door of insight and LO! the writing pours forth.

Hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing!

Gail Laursen

Thank you so much! What a fun contest. I loved the theme, and I think I followed the rules fairly well. Sure had a blast writing it. I wrote about 1200 words, then trimmed down to just below the max. Wow, if I could write that amount every day, I could crank out a lot more work. Perhaps that’ll get the creative juices flowing. This was a fun contest, and I look forward to participating if future ones. 😊

Many thanks, and best wishes,


I almost missed it this time thanks to COVID! But I made it…for the sixth (?) time. Enjoyed it right down to the breathless last-minute-read before SEND. Thanks for doing this, especially for those of us who are just wannabe writers!

David Tarpenning

I loved doing the 24 Hour Short Story Contest! I’m an author of several books and it was great to hone my skills in being creative and concise. It was such a thrill to get the topic and have 24 hours to produce a unique and fun story. My kids, family and friends were cheering me on as I started and completed the story. I recommend this contest to new and veteran writers. I already signed-up for the next one.

Thank you!!

Michele M. Reynolds, Author

I have enjoyed this contest ever since it began and will keep doing it. It strengthens my writing muscles and gives me practice.

Elizabeth Westra

This is my second contest, and though I didn’t win a single prize last time, who cares? I learned so much and had a wild day of fun. I’m signing up for the next contest. One of these days I’ll be on the prize list….wait and see!

Marianna Busching

What a challenge!!!! Your imagination can takes off in the matter of seconds and end up with an article that you never thought you had in your mind. It was fun and I hope you enjoy reading it. Information is excellent and easy to follow. If you want to share this with others, please do. This is the best exercise we need at this time. I can’t wait for the next one. Thank you for your invitation into your “24 Hour Contest.”

Donna Deines

Thank you for the confirmation on receiving my short story submission. The contest was enjoyable from start to finish. The guidelines were thorough. I particularly enjoyed coming up with the story idea. Thank you for the opportunity.

Dorothy M. Hunter

The Fantasy Gardens of my mind came alive with ideas. You took me out of my comfort zone, writing about angels. I was even inspired to invent a new piece of safety equipment. Who knew! Thank you to Writer’s Weekly for a great topic and contest. And thank you for all your invaluable information to us writers week after week and through your generous offering of knowledge and books.
Love you guys

Stay safe and healthy!
Patty Callahan

Hi Angela,

Well, this is a first for me, and I have to say that not only did I have fun, I was challenged and feel that your process for this is just spot on. I’ll be back. The price is awesome, and your undertaking to make this contest so is a testament to your willingness to share…and also to the business acumen. Kudos!

All my best…and thanks for this.


Dear Angela,

Thanks so much for accepting my entry for the 24 Hour Short Story Contest.

I’d never heard about the contest before and only learned about it from my wife, who forwarded the information to me. The instructions were very clear, and straightforward. The writing prompt was detailed, loose enough to allow a person to flex their creative muscles, yet sufficiently challenging to require no small amount of skull sweat in order to produce something engaging and unexpected.

I’m already looking forward to the Spring challenge.

Best wishes and many thanks,

John R. Pickens

So enjoyed this flash fiction event. Even found some weaknesses to work on. I’ve been writing poetry the last few years, so this was a bit out of the box for me. Really look forward to reading the winners’ & honourable mentions’ stories.

Best wishes,
Jo Dahl

The 24-hour short story contest is a blast. Each season I enjoy stepping away from the grind of what I am currently working on to completely shift my mindset for a day. It is a fun and super challenging way to open the head space for a breath of fresh air. This spring contest was especially uplifting because of the current heavy energy the Coronavirus has dumped on all of us. I had received a dump truck delivery of 20 yards of mulch so I was out playing in the open air, hauling mulch to the garden beds while brainstorming the topic that I received in the morning. While I worked around the emerging plants, new ideas sprouted in my head. I stopped the gardening when my back said it was quitting time, then hit the writing desk where I unloaded what was brewing in my head. I went to bed smiling about the productive day, and woke up at sunrise to clean up the story before I hit send. The other cool thing about the contest is when the winning stories are shared so we can all admire what other writers created from the shared topic. There are so many talented writers out there.

I appreciate the opportunity to participate in the contest each season! Thank you for hosting it.

– Julie Sampson

As a writer, I often find myself frozen, unable to open that laptop, make those edits, or read and re-read and edit and re-read and then read it again. This contest sparked a flame that I needed sparked! It was a much needed event that worked; I’m back at it with very little hesitation. Thank you to Angela for hosting this amazing writing experience. Stressful? Oh yeah. Daunting? You know it. But, when you hit send after having gotten a random topic only 24 hours (or less!) before, it makes that laptop seem like a friend again, and the ideas began to flow instantly.

Amy Gabe

Hey there! Thought you might like to know that this story, which would not have been written were it not for the Winter 2020 contest, was published yesterday. I’m sure piles of writers have had similar experiences. Thanks again for the work you and your team do. You really cannot measure how many ripples continue moving on from your contests, long after the 24-hour window closes. I always look at those weekends as a productive time of writing first and a competition second. Good things result. Be safe and blessed!

J. David Thayer

Love this contest…time becomes the teacher/mentor as you are forced to dig deep real quick. Having 24 hours gives you 22 hours to mull over your crappy first draft, about an hour to hone a second draft, and then 50 minutes (more or less) to get that piece ready for prime time. And, at a $5 entry fee you aren’t hitting us over the head for the chance to compete against time and ourselves.

Thanks for the opportunity.

– Donna Marazzo

I’m new to the contest and truly enjoyed the Saturday challenge! The story flowed freely since it’s based on an actual event.

– Jean

This is the first time I’ve written anything in many, many years and the only time I’ve submitted to a contest. Amazing what a pandemic – and thoughts of mortality – will do. Regardless of the results I feel so blessed and rewarded already. I want to continue on this new path, one which I have been longing to walk for a long, long time.

– J.P. Fox

I enjoyed the contest because it made me step out of my comfort zone. Writing a story to match the topic line was different. Telling a whole story in 875 was difficult. It made every word important.

– Mary Faust Smith

I’m someone who writes pretty much every day, even if it’s just in my journal. These last several months, due to the crappy stuff that happens to most, if not all of us at one time or another, I haven’t written a word. When I got the reminder email about the contest this time, I went ahead and paid my nominal fee to enter but didn’t commit to writing something. I just wanted the option open for me.

When I got the email with the opening lines, the words sparked a million ideas at once and I was hooked. I wrote and rewrote for several wonderful, glorious hours and, the whole time, I didn’t think once about what was going on outside of my story.

I appreciate the time and effort you expend to run your contest four times a year!


– Sharon Gerger

I love the contests and I love the low cost. Today, I wrote my story quickly, which worked out well because it forced me to narrow my thoughts, and get right to work.

Thank you,

– Tammy Mackey

Thank you for the FUN! FUN! FUN! writing contests you have provided for us throughout the years. There is nothing that brings me more delight than participating in this unique creative process.

– P.A.

This is the first time I entered an impromptu story writing contest. I find it exciting and I look forward to the results. Yes, you can publish my first name.

– Rose

This was my first 24-Hour contest and it was so much fun, and surprising that I could actually complete a story in that much time. I really appreciate the specific guidelines and suggestions, I found them to be very helpful. Thank you for this opportunity.

– Laurel Profit

The whole idea of writing a story in 24 hours is intriguing–always playing these kind of competitive games with myself!

– Gloria

I had so much fun writing this! I was crying when I was reading it! My husband loved it. He said you had my every word. This is my first contest I just started my training at AWAI and ITWPA around 4 to 5 months and love the direction that this was taking.

– L.N.

I enjoyed writing my story. I was actually glad that the word count was on the shorter side, as my first draft was around 100 words over. So my inner editor came out and deleted some extraneous verbiage. I was surprised at how quickly the characters and their environment took shape. The story just seemed to write itself. This was my first time ever of entering this contest so I’m hoping it resonates with the judges.

Thanks for taking the time to read all these entries. Looking forward to the outcome.

– Carolynn Van Namen

I love this contest, win or lose. It makes me write something I wouldn’t have been likely to write otherwise. One of my rejected stories that didn’t even merit a notice was sold in another contest.

– R.S.

I had a great time writing, and having a deadline for me is always great. That comes from having been a print and radio copywriter, and magazine writer for a number of years.

I especially liked how organized everything was, with very clear instructions as to what to write, and what NOT to write. I had no problems following the suggested story line and was able to use an example from my own life in this. Yes, I “stole” flowers from a neighbor’s garden a few months after we arrived in Canada. I didn’t know you couldn’t go onto someone’s property even if there wasn’t a fence, or hedge or gate.

Great contest. I look forward to the next one, and will definitely send something again at that time.

YES, you may certainly use my name in your if you decide to use these comments.

Thank you again for a fun contest. I’m sure you will receive hundreds of superb submissions.


– Monika Forberger

I enjoyed writing the short story even though it didn’t win anything. I think I won by just writing!!! Read the first place winner and thought, yes, this deserves first place. Excellent idea and excellent suspense throughout.

Thank you for holding these contests. I’ve already signed up for the spring onslaught and am sharpening my pencils.



My first writing contest other than NaNoWriMo!

Just delicious. I might be hooked.



I love these contests. It really takes me out of my comfort zone!

Thank you!

I love it. As a new writer, I find it a great way to improve my craft. I appreciate the limited time because it forces me to think creatively and to dig deeper for plot and characters without constant rethinking. It’s fun. Can’t think of anything that needs tinkering with!

Oklahoma City

It’s somewhat challenging, but I like that. I take breaks to figure out what’s going to happen next. This is a lot of fun and I’m glad I stumbled across your website a few months ago.


Once again, I loved every second of the challenge. Thanks for making it happen.


Greetings, Angela.

I hope you are doing very well. I wanted to take a minute to give feedback on the 24 Hour Short Story contest. Though there are many contests out there and hopefully most are legit, there is one thing that stands out about Writer’s Weekly contest. That one thing being consistency. Other than the topic and the word count, which obviously must change, the rules are simple and straight forward. Additionally, writers are awarded prizes timely and reasonably. Not all contests are so, and this is why I look forward to each challenge.

That’s my two cents worth,

Have a great week.


Thanks for this very fun adventure.

Thank you for running the contest. It is always a challenge, always fun and somehow always satisfying to finally hit send.

Kind regards,


A publishing contract (as first prize + $300 cash)? OH BOY!

Chaleen Duggan, 1st place winner of the Spring, 2019 contest!

Even when I don’t win anything I love this contest. It’s such a challenge and such fun. Keep it going.

Elizabeth W.

Hi Angela,

I didn’t place this time, but I was a finalist in your summer contest, and the story I wrote for the summer contest (“Las Traidoras”) just got published in The Sirens Call! 🙂 Just wanted to let you know!

Alexandra Otto

Hi Angela,

I LOVE this contest; it’s helpful in my growth to become a better writer. Now I can breath…and wait for the results. 🙂 Betsy O.

Who says writing can’t give a person a rush?

Michael Smith

Hello Angela,

I am Angela also.  This is the first time I entered the contest.  I loved it!!  I found writing the story under the word count was the most challenging part.  I didn’t know that part was going to be so hard.  I like to show a story, not tell one.  I’ll have to learn how to do that in fewer words.  It certainly pushed my skills to a new level.  I can’t wait for the next contest!!
Thank you 😊
Angela Walters

Thank you for putting on this contest! I had a lot of fun, and the 24 hours, along with the word count, was just the right amount of pressure. Keep doing what you guys are doing!

-Eufrey Domingo

Thank you so much for the opportunity to be in your contest. It’s the first writing contest I have ever joined. I have loved reading your blog and getting so much free and valuable advice, but because of time constraints I have allowed myself to read instead of write. I feel that a weight has been lifted (off of my heart? my soul?) so that I now know I can write SOMETHING in 24 hours. How liberating! How joyful!

Peace and Blessings,
Trish Herron

Thank you so much, Angela.

These weekends are four on my favorites on the year! When you enter a submission for the 24 Hour Contest, one of two things will happen:

a) Your idea and execution rises up out of the pile, and you place somewhere among the winners—obviously a very cool thing.

b) You end up with a new story, that you drafted in a day or less, and one you never would have written otherwise. What you do with that idea from there is wide open. Maybe you expand it way beyond the initial word cap. Maybe a new character is born worth developing further.

If even a seed survives from that initial draft, then the experiment was absolutely worth your time. And even if that doesn’t happen, you still have given yourself a scenario in which you had to brainstorm from a given prompt, list and abandon the most obvious ideas, draft, polish, make decisions based on economy of words, and then fire off your best shot for professional review. All that for five bucks.

In short: There is no way for a writer to lose in this process. A

gain, thank you and I’ll see you in April.

David T.