Winners of our FREE monthly 53-Word Story Contest

Each month we offer a prompt to subscribers of Prime Number Magazine to write a 53-word story—no more, no less—and send it to us by the twenty-first day of the month. Our judges select one winning story, and the author receives a book from Press 53 as well as publication here, in Prime Number Magazine. Want to play along? Subscribe to Prime Number Magazine and we’ll send you the prompt on the first day of each month.

Read our winners by scrolling or clicking on the links

March–Denise Jones / April–Brian Rosten

May–Heather G. Davis / June-Jacqui Brown

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Denise Jones

March 2019

Prompt: write a 53-word story about a warning

Judged by Press 53 Editorial Staff


Followed by 53-word Bio

Speed Dating by Denise Jones

Over forty, biological clock almost stopped. My ideal man is handsome, sporty, drives a Porsche Panamera and holidays in Mauritius.

Careful what you wish for, Mother had warned. My next “date” sits opposite me now.

“I’m Cecil,” he mumbles. “I like bird-watching, stamp collecting, and I live with Mummy.”

Close enough! I think.



Denise Jones, born in London, raised in Cornwall, now lives just outside Liverpool, England. Since retiring, her favourites to write include reader’s letters, funny poems, competition slogans, and articles, many of which are published. Her current project is writing her memoirs about growing up in the 1960’s and what an education that was!


Brian Rosten

April 2019

Prompt: write a 53-word story about foolishness

Judged by Press 53 Editorial Staff


Followed by 53-word Bio

Guts by Brian Rosten

Amanda leaned over the bell tower railing. Grass flailed in the wind as if to say “don’t do it.”

She glanced at Victor, her face a pale orange against the sunrise. “I can’t,” she finally admitted.

He lifted the chum, visibly disappointed as he rained fish guts down onto an unsuspecting Associate Dean. 



Brian Rosten is a science teacher in Champaign, IL. He lives in Urbana with his wife Samantha and dog Hermione. They are soon expecting twins. Brian loves discussing books with his friends, especially Evan Anderson-Bliss, who helped him create the character of Victor. He is immensely appreciative of everyone who reads his work.


Heather G. Davis

May 2019

Prompt: write a 53-word story about superstition

Judged by Press 53 Editorial Staff


Followed by 53-word Bio

Nose Hairs Crossed by Heather G. Davis

My nose itches. I'm in dignity's void.

Both wrists in casts, and I'm on my bathroom floor wishing I'd flushed before trusting my thighs. I consider floss that missed the trash and the importance of cleaning the outside of the toilet.

Granny always said, "If your nose itches, company's coming."

Here's hoping, Granny.



Heather G. Davis lives in Georgia with her husband and daughter. She enjoys watching birds, sipping whiskey, and laughing at life's delightful absurdities. As a POTS syndrome soldier, of fourteen years, she spends most of her day trying to show gravity who is boss. She should think about writing less and write more.

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Jacqui Brown

June 2019

Prompt: write a 53-word story about repetition

Judged by Press 53 Editorial Staff


Followed by 53-word Bio

Borborygmus by Jacqui Brown

I saw him, first, as mere bones for broth. But his skin was egg-white and soft like soufflé. So I left him apple teacakes by the gate until his school shorts pinched around his middle. Then cherry sweet-pies on the doorstop until his blazer buttons burst.

Tomorrow, I’ll invite him in for gingerbread.


Jacqui Brown is a scientist, writer, and cat lover from the northern beaches of Sydney, Australia. She holds a Master of Creative Writing from Macquarie University and received the Eleanor Dark Flagship Fellowship for 2019. Recently, she put the final sentence on her first children’s manuscript, a ghostly detective story for middle-grade readers.