announcing the Hope in Disaster short story contest!


Hello, my friends!

Life is pretty crazy and tough right now, and all of us could use some hope. That’s why K.E. Stanton, Charis Rae, and I are hosting the Hope in Disaster short story contest! I’m so excited to tell you about it.

about the contest

The Hope in Disaster contest is all about finding hope through trying times. Your challenge is to write a short story (1k-2k words long) based on the theme of hope in disaster AND including this line of dialogue:


Submissions are open starting now (May 2) until May 31 at 11:59 PM EST. Then Charis, Kiki, and I will judge the stories, and we’ll announce the winners on June 13!

// read the full guidelines + submission instructions here //

Please note:
  • The contest is ONLY open to writers ages 13-25. If you’re not in that age range (or you just want to enter another contest!), check out this contest hosted by our friends Bella and Lili.
  • The contest is open internationally, but physical prizes will be awarded ONLY to writers within the United States. If you are not in the U.S. and you win, we will contact you to work out the details of your prize.

how judging works

Each of the judges will award your story up to two points in each of the following categories:

  • plot
  • characters
  • theme
  • writing style
  • use of the prompt

You can earn up to ten points from each judge, and up to thirty points total. The three writers with the highest scores will be featured on our blogs and win prizes!

the prizes

All winners will receive one book, a custom literary swag bundle, AND a critique of their short story. In addition, the judges will feature your story on their blogs.

// books //

first place: paperback of Fade to White by Tara K. Ross

second place: e-ARC of Dust by Kara Swanson

third place: ebook or audiobook (your choice!) of The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson

// swag bundles from Literary Treasures Co. //

first place: 10 mini book keychains + chapter in a bottle necklace or magnet + custom tote with the words from your short story

second place: 5 mini book keychains + chapter in a bottle necklace or magnet + 2 square keychains with a quote from your short story

third place: 3 mini book keychains + chapter in a bottle necklace or magnet

// critique + feature //

Finally, all winners will receive a critique on their story by the judges! We’ll give you suggestions on how to improve your writing and tell you which parts and elements of your story we loved, and we’ll feature you on our blog posts when we announce winners.

meet the sponsors

visit Tara’s website // visit Kara’s website // visit the Literary Treasures Co. Etsy shop

meet your judges

judge bio -- kiki (1)K.E. Stanton (known by the general populace as Kiki) is a Jesus enthusiast, family girl, actor, and author. Ordinarily, she can be found baking healthy treats, going on another adventure, or writing her novels which, most always, tend to be trilogies. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, and her blog.

judge bio -- charis(2)Charis Rae is a book enthusiast, ballet dancer, and daughter of God. Her first story, “The King Who Went Through Too Much,” was written on blank sheets of paper with stick-figure illustrations. She now pens contemporary and historical fantasy works, fueled by avocado toast and dark chocolate. Want to join her literary lifestyle? She celebrates beautiful stories, defends Slytherin house, and teaches writing on her blog and bookstagram.

judge bio -- mayaMaya Joelle is a writer, dreamer, bookdragon, and sinner saved by grace from Michigan. She loves writing fantasy and poetry to inspire readers to long beyond themselves and have courage to create. When not involved in literary pursuits, she enjoys martial arts, deep discussions, taking walks in the woods, and singing Broadway loudly in the car. You can find her on her blog and her book recommendation site.

submit your story

I’m so excited for this! I hope it inspires you to write and gives you hope amidst the real-life disaster we’re living through. Don’t forget to check out the rules + guidelines and submit your story by May 31!

We can’t wait to read your stories! ๐Ÿ˜ So go start writing.


P.S. If you have any questions, leave a comment below or send an email to!

And tell me: Are you excited for the contest? Which prize would you like to win?


Published by Maya Joelle

classics student, bookdragon, wordsmith, forest girl, incurable romantic seeking to adorn the dark with my words and kindle hearts with legendary fire looking for beauty in the ordinary but the men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark

32 thoughts on “announcing the Hope in Disaster short story contest!

  1. Ooooh!!! This sounds like fun!!! Not sure if I should enter (;)) but good luck to the judges and all those others who enter!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hey Sandi! We would prefer it if you use the exact quote, but if you need to rework it in order to fit in your story, I think that would be fine. I’ll check with the other judges and let you know if they say otherwise!


        1. I think that would be fine. The judges and I agreed that we’d still like it more if it’s exact, but if the tense simply doesn’t work with your story, we’ll understand.


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