Contest

Guidelines

This contest runs every month from the 1st to the 10th. Entries are due on the 10th at 11:59 p.m Pacific Time.

We rotate through fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction. Check this page on the 1st of the month for the next contest guidelines or sign up for our mailing list for notifications.

Open to anyone worldwide. Prize payout via e-transfer (in Canada) or PayPal (rest of world).

January 2022:

Fiction:

Write a piece of short fiction that includes something being stabbed. It could be a fork stabbing a piece of lettuce, a child stabbing a marshmallow with a stick, a chimpanzee stabbing at a termite hill, or a knight stabbing a dragon. Be creative, as long as stabbing occurs somewhere in the story.

Stories should be under 1500 words.

All fiction genres, mixed genres, non-genres, and so on are accepted. For this category, we do not accept poetry, screenplays, or anything else that is not a prose story.

Multiple submissions welcome, but each one counts as a new entry with a new fee. You can pay your fees in one transaction, as long as it totals $5CAD per piece.

Submit by January 10, 2022, at 11:59pm Pacific Time.

All stories receive feedback from the judges.

Prize

The winner will take home 50% of the submission fees and your story will be published here at Off Topic. It may also be eligible for future anthologies.

Submission Fee:

$5 CAD (additional contributions gratefully accepted, to boost the prize, pay the judges, and help cover costs)

Photo by ArtHouse Studio from Pexels

GENERAL CONTEST info

As of April 2021, we publish one story or poem every month. This story or poem is the winner of our contest.

Winners are paid 50% of the submission fees received for that month. The other 50% goes to the judges, organizers, and incidental costs (such as website upkeep and payment processing).

No simultaneous submissions!

Multiple submissions are welcome!

Short Fiction: All fiction genres, mixed genres, non-genres, and so on are accepted. For this category, we do not accept poetry, screenplays, or anything else that is not a prose story.

Stories should be 1500 words or less. 

Short Creative Non-Fiction: All creative non-fiction genres, mixed genres, non-genres, and so on are accepted. For this category, we do not accept poetry, screenplays, or anything else that is not a prose story.

Stories should be 1500 words or less. 

Poetry: All poetry forms, rhyme schemes and meters, traditional or otherwise, are accepted.

Poems should be 20 lines or less, including blank lines.

If you win, we ask for first serial rights, exclusive worldwide print and electronic rights for six (6) months, and perpetual non-exclusive worldwide print and electronic rights, including the right to archive and anthologize the work.

If your piece is reprinted elsewhere, we ask that you include a statement that it originally appeared at Off Topic.

Honourable mentions may also be included in a future anthology.