Writers' Police Academy Short Story Contest Officially Open!

The Writers’ Police Academy is pleased to announce the opening of the Golden Donut short story contest. The rules are simple. Write a story about the photograph above using exactly 200 words, including the title (each story must include an original title). All stories must be polished and complete, meaning they must have a beginning, middle, and a twisted ending that would make our keynote speaker proud. Again, all stories must be exactly 200 words. Not 201 or 199!

The contest winner will receive the prestigious Golden Donut Award (sponsored by the High Point North Carolina Public Library). All entries will be screened by a panel of authors who will select their ten favorite stories and then forward their picks to our mystery judge (identity will be revealed at the academy banquet). The masked decider will present the winning story title to the appropriate Writers’ Police Academy staff member. The winner’s name will be announced at the WPA banquet. The contest is open to everyone, not just attendees of the academy, and the winner need not be present to win.

Submission Guidelines:

Submission Deadline: September 10, 2010

– Any entry not meeting the exact 200 word requirement will be disqualified.

– Hyphenated words, for the purpose of this contest, will be counted as two words.

– Be sure to include your name, address, email address, telephone number(s), and title of your story on a cover letter that’s separate from your story page. DO NOT include your name anywhere on the story page or it will not be read by the judges.

There is a $10 entry fee. Checks or money orders MUST BE made payable to “Writers’ Police Academy” and must accompany the submission in order for your submission to be considered.

– Send all entries to:

Writers’ Police Academy

P.O. Box 60091

Savannah, Ga. 31420

att. Short Story

– There is no limit on the number of entries by any author. But each individual entry must be accompanied by its own $10 entry fee. ( One entry = $10. Four entries = $40, etc.)

– Any entry not meeting the exact 200 word requirement will be disqualified.

– By submitting an entry to this contest authors agree to allow The Graveyard Shift/Lee Lofland/the Writers’ Police Academy, and affiliates to publish the story as a part of The Graveyard Shift blog and/or as advertisement for the Writers’ Police Academy.

*All rights to all work/short story shall remain the property of the author. The Writers’ Police Academy reserves the right to exclude or delete any entry without cause, reason, or explanation.

-No refunds. Proceeds go to the Writers’ Police Academy fund to benefit the GTCC criminal justice foundation.

Photo by Sunday Kaminski

Sunday Kaminski’s mysterious work has been featured in publications such as the Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.

So there you have it. Now get busy and take us on a journey down that winding road in the photo. Will anyone make it back? Who knows. That’s up to you.

Good luck!


*It may take a few hours before these details and guidelines show up on the WPA website, but we’re working on it and hope to have it there by the end of the day.

  1. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    The word count must be exactly 200 words, including the title. Words will be counted manually, so do not trust your computer to count for you.

    A, And, and The will be counted as words.

  2. Anne
    Anne says:

    Similar question–since the word count is so unusually exact, but entries are submitted in print through the mail rather than online, will the judges be counting words manually?

    Typically flash fiction depends on a word processor word count which is not necessarily the same as a manual count (where articles and such might be discounted).

    I’m a little perplexed about how the official word count will be determined and how an author would make sure an entry is exactly 200 words.

    If you could post clarification and some additional detail on the site that would be very very helpful. Thanks much.

  3. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Question:
    Because the word count is so critical… do hyphenated words or numbers (e.g., “clip-clop” or “seventy-six”) count as one word or two?

    (I have used a false email address, just in case you’re one of the judges… I’ll look for the reply on the web site.)

  4. SZ
    SZ says:

    Greetings Shawntel !

    Click the “Contest” tab to left, 3rd down I believe, and you may have to hit older entry once, to see an example. It is a fun challenge.

  5. Shawntel
    Shawntel says:

    Lee,
    Are you going to post some of the submissions here after WPA? I’m dying to see how on earth someone can write a complete story in 200 words; that’s a whole lot more talent than I’ve got.