Fiction500 Writing Contest Official Rules


How to Enter

Each Contest begins at 12:00 a.m. Eastern time on the published start date, and entries will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on the published deadline date, or until 500 qualified entries are received, whichever comes first. Contest is limited to 500 qualified entries, after which entry form will be disabled. Fiction 500 reserves the right to extend the entry deadline beyond the original published date. The entry fee is $15, which entrant is required to pay via a secure online transaction at the time of the story submission. No entries will be accepted without the entry fee. All story submissions are final, and all entry fees are non-refundable. Stories cannot be revised or edited after they have been submitted. Entries and fee payments will only be accepted through the submission form on this website. No submissions or payments will be accepted by regular mail, email, links to online sites or any other means. Each person may submit only one (1) story per contest. Attempts to enter multiple times under one or more identities will result in the entrant's disqualification. By entering the contest, you agree to be bound by these Official Rules. You further acknowledge that the decision of the Fiction 500 judges shall be final and binding. 

Qualified Entries

To qualify for the Contest, an entry must include only one fictional Story. The Story must relate to the prompt and meet the following qualifications:

  • Be in the English language
  • Not exceed 500 words in length
  • Be entirely the original work of the entrant and written solely by the entrant
  • Not have been previously published or otherwise distributed or disseminated in print, electronically or in any other media
  • Not be in the public domain; not be in violation of or in conflict with the trademark, copyright, privacy rights, publicity rights or any other rights of any other person or entity; not include any language or content that, in the sole opinion of the contest judges, indecent or inappropriate. Stories must be submitted in the required format.

Any entry that does not meet these requirements will be disqualified. If Fiction500, in its sole discretion, has reason to believe that any entry contains content that may infringe or violate any law or any rights of a third party, or that the publication of the entry in the contest may infringe or violate any law or any rights of a third party, Fiction500 may immediately disqualify the entry and take any other measures it may deem appropriate.


The Contest is open only to legal residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are age 18 and over as of the entry deadline. Any individuals who have been employed by or performed services for Fiction 500 within two (2) months prior to the start date of the Contest, and immediate family and household members of those individuals or thereafter, are not eligible to enter to win. This includes all contest judges and anyone who assists in the judging process. Fiction500 reserves the right to verify and confirm any entrant's age and compliance with Contest rules and other eligibility requirements. Fiction500 may require entrants to submit additional information to verify their eligibility.    

Selecting the Winners

Judging will begin at the time the first entries are received, and continue until all qualified entries submitted by the Contest deadline have been received. The judge(s) will be published authors, editors, agents, college-level creative writing instructors and/or other such persons as they may select to assist them at their sole discretion. The judges will select one (1) Contest Winner; one (1) Second Place Winner and one (1) Third Place Winner, based on the following criteria, weighted equally: originality; creativity; and quality of writing. In the event of a tie, tied entries will be re-judged solely on the overall quality of the writing. Judging will be completed and the Contest Winners will be notified within 45 days of the published contest entry deadline.  Fiction500 will require the Contest Winners to sign and return by email within five (5) business days of receipt a signed Affidavit of Eligibility and any other verification that Fiction500 may reasonable require. If any Contest Winner does not reply to any notification within 48 hours, or fails to return any documentation within five (5) business days of delivery to the Contest Winners, that Contest Winner(s) may, in the sole discretion of Fiction500, be disqualified and an alternate Contest Winner Selected.


Fiction500 will award the First Place Winner of each Contest $500 cash; the Second Place Winner $200 cash; and the Third Place Winner $100 cash. Cash Prizes will be awarded within 30 days of the notification of the winners. Fiction500 will also publish on its website the First, Second and Third Place Winning Stories, and other non-prize-winning stories as selected by the judges for honorable mention. 

 Grant of Rights 

By submitting a Story entry, the entrant grants to Fiction500 the first right to distribute the Story on its website unless Fiction500 waives that right, in writing, provided that Fiction500's first right to distribute will automatically expire 180 days after the published entry deadline for the Contest. Entrant retains the copyright and all other rights in the work.  

Entrant Representations, Warranties, Indemnification and Release

By entering, each entrant represents and warrants to Fiction500 that his/her entry is (i) completely the original work of the entrant and was written solely by the  entrant, (ii) not copied from any other source or previously published, broadcast or otherwise disseminated in any media or format, (iii) not in the pubic domain, and (iv) not in violation of or in conflict with the trademark, copyright, rights of privacy, rights of publicity or any other rights, of any kind or nature, of any other person or entity. Entrant agrees to defend and indemnify Fiction500 for any breach of the above representations. By submitting an entry, each entrant agrees to indemnify, defend, release, discharge and hold harmless Fiction500 and its affiliates, subsidiaries, promotional partners and agents, and all others associated with the development and execution of this Contest, and the officers, directors and employees of each of the foregoing, from any and all claims and liabilities arising from or in connection with participation in this Contest, including without limitation (a) claims for injury, loss or damage of any kind resulting from participation in this Contest and (b) claims based on rights of privacy, rights of publicity, false light, defamation, copyright and/or trademark infringement relating to the submission or exploitation of the entrant's concept.


Fiction500 reserves one-time publication rights to the 1st- through 3rd-place winning Stories and such Stories as the judges believe merit honorable mention to be published on the Fiction500 website for a period of 180 days following the announcement of the winning entries. The authors retain all other rights to the material submitted. 

General terms and conditions 

By entering the Contest, each entrant grants permission to Fiction500 to use his/her name, photograph, likeness, voice, and/or biographical information for Fiction500 publication, publicity, advertising and all other promotional purposes without compensation, review or approval, unless prohibited by law. Fiction500 reserves the right to terminate, modify or suspend this Contest due to any act of God; unavoidable accident; epidemic; fire; blackout; act of public enemy; war, riot or civil commotion; enactment, rule, order or act of government or governmental instrumentality or tribunal; strike, lockout or other labor dispute; inclement weather; the recapture of any time period scheduled for the live broadcast of a program for an event of national importance or emergency; failure of technical facilities; failure of essential production, or technical personnel to appear or be available for production or broadcast; or other cause beyond its control. Fiction500 is not responsible for lost, late, illegible, incomplete, damaged, mutilated, misdirected, mid-delivered, or delayed entries, or for technical or human errors or failures of any kind in connection with the submission, transmission, processing or judging of entries.


This Contest is governed by the internal laws of California without regard to principles of conflict of laws. All cases and claims pertaining to this Contest must be brought in a court of competent jurisdiction in California.


The names of all Contest winners will be published on this site within 45 days of the entry deadline of the contest.

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