So in honor of all the fun book releases this month (including A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner–I will be posting my interview with her TOMORROW, March 23) AND my recently finished revision of The Elect, I’m going to host a contest. I want you to all finish your own novels. . . though not exactly how you think. Just write a story in 15 words or less and post it here.

Yep, that’s right. You only have 15 words to write a funny / adventurous / tear-jerking / whatever-you-want story.

Can you do it?

What you need to do:

  • FIRST 1-2 entries: You must mention and link this contest in at least 2 places through your social media (ie: twitter, facebook, blog post, ect) — Give me the appropriate links so I can verify.
  • For 2 additional entries, do one of the following (doing both = 4 entries): do Rule 1 AND follow me on twitter OR do Rule 1 add me to the sidebar of your own blog (no blog? Mention this contest in a comment to a blog you follow). Again I need the appropriate links so I can verify.


  1. You can enter up to 6 stories total.
  2. Submissions received after the contest deadline will be deleted.
  3. Submissions that have not given the links (either posting them or emailing them to me chersti.nieven [at] gmail [dot] com) will be disqualified.
  4. Post your story as a comment. (Go ahead… you know you want to!)
  5. Deadline is Friday, March 26, at midnight. Winners will be posted Tuesday, March 30 — make sure to check back then so you can get your prize!

Follow the rules to make sure your story doesn’t get disqualified.


First Place: The winner will receive a copy of This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer, which was just released this month (and if you already have a copy of that, we’ll switch out for a YA book of your choice at same price).

Honorable Mentions: To be announced!

I would give examples, but I don’t want to destroy your creativity!

So go ahead and get your creative juices flowing. . .and remember, you only have 15 words.

15 thoughts on “contest: 15 words or less – can you do it?

  1. Oh the joys of this! Here are a few just to keep the romance on this site down to a normal level.

    Entry #1- Guy likes girl. Girl hates guy. Guy dates other girl. Girl hates guy too. Loser.

    Entry #2-
    The adventures of the world most active comatose patient.
    Chapter 1.

    The end.

  2. Entry #1: Snipper Snap wanted snipes climbed high until in a whirlwind fell face flat splat.

    Entry #2: Bob Pettermill loved himself. And in one final breath realized he had forgot all else.

    Entry #3: Nancy’s heart beat with haste. But with scorned glance her two pearl tears to waste.

    Entry #4: A sword flashed, crimson rain. A new king stood, the old forgotten.

    Entry #5: A glance, a hidden breath. A touch. Two hearts entwined in threads of gossamer.

    Entry #6: Marching. With raw feet reached the goal, standing tall at home at last. Marching.

  3. Okay, Chersti – I immediately thought of a true story. Here’s a trilogy for you:

    The hot frying pan fused itself to the cheap carpet. Joel let me do it.

    The hot pan fused itself to the carpet. Joel didn’t say “I told you so”.

    The hot frying pan fused itself to the cheap carpet. Joel didn’t.

  4. 1. The room was empty, or was it?
    2. The piano sat alone in the corner, ignored by the family and all who entered.
    3. “There’s another one here,” he said. “Another what?” I screamed.
    4. As I bit his thumb he bravely uttered, “Go ahead. It doesn’t hurt.”

  5. The girl left a note on the table. He never got to read it.

    The music turned dissonant; the sky, grey; the wind, turbulent; and his heart was stone.

    He nodded, looked fiercely into the torturer’s eyes and said, “Pain for will, any day.”

    Water sparkled in the sun, distracting passing travelers. But no water shone like his tears.

    His eyeballs flew hard to the right. “Its good to get some air,” he said.

  6. Day dawned bright, but the blackness in the sky grew. Interesting, until darkness swallowed everything.

    Mountain air thick, yet thinner in the valleys. I’d taken a wrong turn somewhere.

    Jasper always succeeded, but never as planned. To make things interesting, he planned to fail.

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