Imagine, Enhance, Grown Your Stories


Official Rules

This contest is open to all writers whether published or not, and regardless of experience. Writers who submit stories or poems must be 18 years or older and reside within the United States. If a writer is under 18 years of age, they must have their parent’s consent to enter. Current and former employees of,,, Modern Babies and Children Central Florida, or their relatives are not eligible for prizes, but may appear in the publication at the request of Story Institute. Inclusion of guest writers will appear at the discretion and expense of Story Institute.

All poems must be no more than 30 lines and no less than 5 lines. You may enter as many poems as you wish to this site. All poems will be considered for publication.

All short stories must be between 500 and 5000 words. You may enter as many short stories as you wish to this site. All short stories will be considered for publication.

However, not all poems or short stories will be guaranteed publication or online visibility. All accepted poems and short stories will appear in our
Shared Writing section.

Contest Deadlines and Timelines:

2016 Edition:
Submission process ends – April 30, 2016
Winners and other publication determined – July 1, 2016


For each contest duration with 10 or more entries by 10 or more individuals, the following prizes are guaranteed to be awarded for the Poetry and Short Story competitions combined:

One (1) Grand Prize – Story Institute will offer to publish a book-length manuscript of either short stories, novel, or poetry to one individual. This will be on top of one free copy of the published compilation in which your short story or poem appears, and an award certificate.

One (1) First Prize – $100 gift certificate to Amazon or Barnes & Noble, one free copy of the published compilation in which your short story or poem appears, and an award certificate.

For each contest duration with 10 or more entries, the following prizes may be awarded depending on the quantity and quality of all short stories and poems submitted:

Two Second Prizes – $50 gift certificate to Amazon or Barnes & Noble, one free copy of the published compilation in which your short story or poem appears, and an award certificate.

Three Third Prizes – One free copy of the published compilation in which your short story or poem appears, and an award certificate.

In the event of ties, we may award additional prizes. Various special promotions may be conducted from time to time depending on sponsorship and amount of submissions. Prizes are subject to change or may be substituted at any time. If less than 10 short stories or poems are entered, alternative prizes may be available depending on the ratings of the judges and averages from past contests.

Judges are members and partners of Story Institute. Entries are judged on creativity, ingenuity, inspiration, storytelling ability, imagination, and the adherence to line limits. We do not consider, publish, or post short stories or poems that are interpreted as offensive, explicit, or in poor taste. The interpretation of whether a short story or poem matches these descriptions is based on the decision of the judges. All decisions of the judges are final. If the judges do not select enough short stories or poems to complete a compilation, prizes will still be distributed. However, publication may be delayed until the next book is scheduled for print.

Simultaneous Submissions & Previous Publications:

Story Institute will accept previously published or simultaneously submitted short stories and poems as long as: 1) the work is the original work of the author who submitted it; 2) there are no restrictions from the previous publisher; 3) and the work did not receive any “top awards” in other contests (this would usually be 1st, 2nd, or 3rd prizes).

There are no entry fees, no subsidy payments, and no purchases of any kind required to enter and win the contests.

All short stories and poems remain the property of the writer. A short story or poem submitted for any Story Institute contest is also eligible for publication within a Story Institute Compilation. Story Institute is under no obligation to publish every contest entry and can disqualify an entry at any time for any reason. The writer is under no obligation whatsoever to purchase a copy of the publication in which the short story or poem may appear. Purchasing the publication will not determine inclusion within the compilation. Publication will be determined on merit alone. Final compilations will be available for purchase on and other online retailers. By submitting a story, the writer grants Story Institute, its owners, and affiliates the right to publish, market, and reproduce in any format currently available or developed in the future without compensation for the reproduction. Each reproduction will list the writer as the owner and author of the work.

All writers whose work will appear in a Story Institute publication or whose work wins a prize will be notified through the email submitted within the contest entry form. All accepted short stories, poems, and names of writers will be posted on our internet site, Rules and prizes may change. All contributors will be notified of changes via website publication.

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Story Institute Customer Service (615) 431-WRIT (9748)


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