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

The New Year brings a change: Deadline for entries is now the 21st day of each month. Winner will be announce on the first day of each month along with our new prompt.

Please note the email for entries: 53wordstory@gmail.com

Your Prompt for January

January53-Word image 300 px.jpg

January sees us at our most ambitious, spirited to remake anew. We purge the fridge and pantry, making plans to melt away our insulating holiday layer. We’ll return some gifts, pack others away, whether unwanted or unused, and soak in the lengthening sun with an early itch for the clean season of spring.

Write a 53-word story about waste

Our judge for January is Tara L. Masih, founding editor of Best Small Fictions and author of the story collection Where the Dog Star Never Glows (Press 53) and the new young adult novel My Real Name Is Hannah (Mandel Vilar Press). Our winner for January will receive a copy of Tara’s collection, and the winning story will be published, along with the author’s photo and 53-word bio, in Issue 151 of Prime Number Magazine on April 1, 2019.
Guidelines and Information:

Please note:
Due to the growing popularity of this free contest, we are changing the monthly deadline to better help us manage the workload. We want to keep this contest free and fun, so please note the new deadline in our guidelines below. Thank you!

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. Changing the deadline to the 21st will also allow us to announce our winners on the first day of each month at the same time we offer our prompt for the new contest.

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.
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]. If your story is Untitled, please use Untitled as your title. This will save us a lot of time. Thank you.
Be careful of word count. If you use ellipsis… or em-dashes— make sure these are not being counted as words. Hyphenated words count as one word.
–All rights revert back to the author upon publication.