53-Word Story Contest

It's free, it's fun, and the winner gets published in Prime Number Magazine and receives a free book from Press 53.

Read Our Winning Stories

Open for entries the first day of each month.

Deadline for entries is the 21st day of each month.

Winner will be announced on the first day of each month along with our new prompt.

Email your 53-word story to 53wordstory@gmail.com

Congratulations to our winner for July 2019: “Spring Patrol” by Kate Wolf (forthcoming in Issue 163, October 1, 2019) To read our winning stories right away, subscribe to Prime Number Magazine for free to receive an email on the first day of each month with our winning story and the prompt for our next contest.

Your Prompt for August


Summer’s almost run its course. We’re running last-minute errands, making school-supply runs until we run out of options (#3 pencils—fine). Batters run bases. Water runs into the eyes of the season’s last swimmers, who run the risk of sunburn as temperatures run high. That reminds us…can we run an idea by you?

Write a 53-word story about running 

Our judge for August is the editorial staff of Press 53 and Prime Number Magazine. Our winner for August will receive a copy of Blood a Cold Blue by James Claffey, and the winning story will be published, along with the author’s photo and 53-word bio, in Issue 163 of Prime Number Magazine on October 1, 2019.
Guidelines and Information:

—There is no age limit to enter this free contest

53 words—no more, no less—titles are not included in the word count. Stories not meeting this rule will be disqualified. Send only stories; poetry with line breaks will not be considered.

1 submission per person.

Deadline for entry is the 21st day of each month. Stories sent after the 21st will not be considered.

Email your submission directly to 53wordstory@gmail.com. The winning story will be announced the first day of the following month and will be published in the next issue of Prime Number Magazine, along with the author’s photo and 53-word bio. Have your 53-word bio ready in case you win.
No attachments, please. Paste your story into the body of your email. Stories sent as attachments, or images embedded in the email, will not be considered.
—Titles are not included in the word count. Please title your story as follows: Title of Your Story by Your Name.
Be careful of word count. If you use ellipsis… or em-dashes— make sure these are not being counted as words. Important: Hyphenated words count as one word.
All rights revert back to the author upon publication.