How to Win Upliterate’s Summer Short Story Contest

If you haven’t heard already, Upliterate is putting on a short story contest, and it started yesterday. This contest is open to everyone — young people, old people, veteran authors, writing rookies, Earth natives, aliens. If you have a story to tell, we’d like to read it!

At the same time, however, there is only one winner, only one champion, only one victor over everyone else. Will it be you? Maybe you have the skill and the talent, but that’s not all it takes. If you want to win….

1. Remember the theme

This year’s theme is “Refresh Button”, like button at the top of your internet browser that you push when the website freezes or you want the page to update. However, as far as the contest goes, you don’t actually need to use the exact words, “refresh” and “button” in order to stay within the theme. Think about what a refresh button does. Maybe you’ll write a story about starting over, or trying again, or escaping a life that’s been stagnant. Or if you want, you can write a story about pushing the refresh button while browsing the Internet. Incorporating the theme is important for objective judging, but don’t be afraid to be creative. If you have questions regarding the theme or your story, feel free to email us at

2. Remember the time constraints

You don’t have forever to write your story — the contest ends on June 9, which is only 3 weeks from now. Of course, this is plenty of time to write a fantastic short story. But we can’t accept submissions after the deadline, so don’t be left out in the rain with a great story and nowhere to put it.

3. Remember your inspiration

Something inspired this story. When you’re stuck, think back to your original idea. Why did you want to write this story? Who inspired your characters? What is the essence of your story? Figure out why you’re writing, and write from there.

4. Remember to keep it short

This is a short story contest, not a novel writing contest. Keep your story between 1,000 and 5,000 words, and don’t waste a single one. Write what you want, and no more.

5. Remember to do your best

Remember Emily’s post from last week? Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. Use good grammar and spelling, avoid unnecessary tangents, and write the best story you can, because you know what? Any story that you put effort into is a little piece of you, and it’s the part of you that the world can see as soon as you publish your story. That might sound intimidating, but if your story is an authentic representation of yourself, the world will be a better place for reading it. Write a story you can be proud of.

6. Remember that we believe in you

Here at Upliterate, we want to see you succeed in whatever you do, including writing. Good writing comes with practice, and to practice, you need motivation. Let this contest be your motivation. There’s a great story in there somewhere, and now is your chance to share it.

Ready to write? Check out the contest page FAQs, prizes, and instructions for submitting your story!

About the Author

Angela Cunningham is the funniest person she knows, but can’t decide if that’s hilarious or sad. She’s also the Marketing Director for, so she knows what’s up with this whole contest thing.

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