Penknife Press Short Story Writing Contest

This is the second annual Penknife Press Short Story Writing Contest.


  • Entrant must be 21 years of age.
  • Employees of Penknife Press and agents and the immediate family (defined as parents, spouse, children, siblings, grandparents) of each such employee, and all those with whom such employees are domiciled, are not eligible.
  • For contest eligibility purposes, current Penknife Press authors and contest judges are considered employees of Penknife Press.


  • Contest begins at 12:00:01 a.m. Chicago Time on Sunday, July 15, 2007 and ends at 11:59:59 p.m. Chicago Time on Sunday, September 30, 2007.

How to Enter:

  • Submit your entry online to
  • Each entry must be 5000 — 10,000 words.
  • The story should have a social and/or political theme that reflects current events.
  • Only one entry per person. More than one entry from any person or e-mail address will void all entries from that person or e-mail address.

Judging Criteria:

  • Each entrant selected as a potential winner must comply with all terms and conditions set forth in these Official Rules, and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all such requirements.
  • The prize winners will be selected by a neutral judging panel and will be rated in three areas:
  1. Writing skill,
  2. Story content, and
  3. Social relevance.
  • Participants agree to be bound by these rules and the decision of the judges, whose decisions are final.
  • Potential winners will be notified by e-mail. If a potential winner cannot be contacted within fourteen (14) days after the first attempt to contact such potential winner, an alternate entrant will be selected in his or her place from all entries received.


  • The following prizes will be awarded:

First Prize: $1,000.00.
Second Prize: $600.00.
Third Prize: $400.00.

  • All taxes, fees and surcharges on prizes are the sole responsibility of winner.
  • Selected winners and runners-up shall be included in a collection of winners’ stories to be published by Penknife Press at the end of the contest.

Winners List:

  • A complete list of prize winners will be available on the Penknife Press website.

For full terms and conditions, contact Penknife Press.

Related Resources:

On Writing, Writing Short Stories,Strategies for Successful Writing

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