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DEADLINE: A TEXT-BASED Summer Writing Contest for Youth (ages 30 and under!)

September 15, 2021

This writing contest pairs our obsession with technology and instant messaging with our shared love of creative writing!

For this writing prompt, WANL is asking applicants to craft a story based on one of the last text messages (or text-based communication, i.e. Instagram direct message, Facebook messenger message, etc.) they have received.

Paired with a screenshot of the text you’re working with, use that message to kick off your story!

Submission guidelines:

1) Submit a screenshot of the singular text-based message you are working with, cropping your image to show just the text itself. (Note: please omit any identifying contact names, should they include a first and last name, for privacy/security purposes.)

2) Use the message as the opening line of your story – it will also double as the story’s title.

3) Begin writing a short story or work of creative fiction based on an imaginary scenario built from this now out-of-context message.

4) Stories must be a minimum of 300 words, up to a maximum of 500 words. (Please see an example below to get you on the right track!)

Send your submission to

Submissions should consist of:
1) a screenshotted message in .jpg format

2) a document with your original writing in .docx  or .doc format

Deadline: September 15, 2021

Contest Prizes:

WANL is offering three prizes for our “TEXT-BASED” writing contest:

1st place: $100
Runner-up x 2: $50

The prizes will be paid to the winning authors via email money transfer.

Please note: This contest is open to WANL Members only.

Here’s a short example to get you started:

“Won’t be by. No time.”

This wasn’t the first time she had heard that. He seemed to have all the time in the world for his job, his friends, his hobbies, and of course, that damn dog that he loved so much. But it seemed like he never had any time for her.
To say the relationship was “on the rocks” was an understatement – it was buried by a tsunami of broken promises, under the rubble of an earthquake of soul-shattering half-truths and little white lies, with a tornado of mixed feelings swirling around.
The relationship wasn’t on the rocks so much as it was stuck between a rock and a hard place, if we’re continuing with the earthly analogies. To break up with him meant a world of hurt and heartbreak. Yet, to keep going somehow would equal the same…

(Total word count including title: 140, so, more words yet to come to meet submission requirements!)

Questions? Concerns? Email Member Services Coordinator Wendy Rose!

Click here for full submission guidelines!

Times and Locations

September 15, 2021

5:00 pm