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Ten-word Story CompetitionAs part of the Alliance of Independent Authors' tenth-anniversary celebrations, we're running a Ten-word Story Competition!

Three prize winners will win Kobo Clara HD eReaders, and an overall grand-prize winner who will win a Kobo Elipsa eReader pack and the “Get It Published” package.

It’s an oft-repeated story in literary land that "the Algonquin set", the group of famous writers who used to like to meet at The Algonquin Hotel in New York City, once set the master of brevity, Ernest Hemingway, a challenge. Not even he, they said, could write a decent story in ten words.

If he could, they’d give him ten dollars (no small sum in the 1920s, especially for a band of scribes).

Hemingway took a napkin and wrote what has become the most famous micro-fiction in English, using not even ten words, but six: “For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.”

To win this competition, use your ten words wisely. You must infer a larger story, which means each individual word has to earn its place. Your story is unlikely to move outside a single moment in time, or have more than one character. You need to surprise, amuse or otherwise move the reader.

Your stories can be comic or tragic, insightful or allusive, but those that use more than ten words will be disqualified. See below for further terms and conditions.

ALLi's Ten-word Story Competition: How to Enter

Entry to the ALLi's ten-word Story Competition couldn't be easier. There is no entry fee. We just need your name, email address, and your story.

Entry to the Ten-Word Story Competition is now CLOSED. Winners will be announced during our Mini-SelfPubCon (#SelfPubMiniCon22) on Saturday 16th April 2022. Register here for free 24-hour access.

Here are the steps:

  1. Read the advice on writing your story here.
  2. Craft your ten-word story.
  3. Submit your story in ten words here.
  4. The closing date is Midnight Pacific Time on April 10th 2022.
  5. The winner will be announced online, across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube by Tara Cremin, Director, Kobo Writing Life, at our upcoming mini-SelfPubCon.

ALLi's Ten Word Story Competition: Prizes

Three prize winners will win Kobo Clara HD eReaders (value £119.99), and a choice of ten ALLi's self-publishing guidebooks to upload to the eReader.

An overall grand-prize winner will win a Kobo Elipsa eReader pack (value £349.99), similarly loaded. This grand prize winner will also receive a “Get It Published” self-publishing services package. A variety of approved ALLi Partner Members are offering free products and services, across the seven stages of publishing, for the grand prize winner to choose from.

More information on the grand prize publishing package can be found here.

We will be adding new products and services for the winner to choose from all the way up to the closing date (Midnight Pacific Time, April 10th 2022).

ALLi's Ten Word Story Competition: Terms and Conditions

  • The Ten-word Story Competition is being run by the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) and the Self-Publishing Advice Conference (SelfPubCon).
  • The Competition is open to working or aspiring independent authors aged 18 and over. No purchase or entry fee is necessary.
  • Employees, consultants or agencies of ALLi or their family members, or anyone else connected with the competition, may not enter.
  • Only one entry per person.
  • You are permitted to submit work you have previously published.
  • Stories that use more than ten words will be disqualified.
  • The competition launches on Tuesday, March 1st and the closing date for entries is midnight (Pacific Time) on Sunday, April 10th 2022. Entries received beyond this date will not be considered.
  • The judging panel is Orna Ross, ALLi Director, Kayleigh Brindley, SelfPubCon Manager, and Tara Cremin, Director, Kobo Writing Life. The winner will be announced by Tara Cremin on April 16th at ALLi's mini-SelfPubCon.
  • Competition entrants are automatically registered for the SelfPubCon so they can attend the celebration and prize-giving.
  • Three (3) winners will be announced from all entries received in accordance with these Terms and Conditions, and one additional grand-prize winner.
  • Winners will be announced on the ALLi and SelfPubCon websites, The Indie Author, ALLi's member magazine and and in member and subscriber emails.
  • The winner may be required to take part in promotional activity related to the Ten-word Story Competition and the winner shall participate in such activity on ALLi's reasonable request. The winner consents to the use by ALLI, Kobo and SelfPUbCon, both before and after the closing date for an unlimited time, of the winner's voice, image, photograph and name for publicity purposes (in any medium, including still photographs and films, and on the internet, and in advertising, marketing or promotional material.

Legal T&Cs

  • All entrants agree to receive emails from SelfPubCon containing news and offers, and updates of interest. You can unsubscribe from these emails any time by clicking the link in the email footer.
  • SelfPubCon shall use and take care of any personal information you supply to it as described in its privacy policy, a copy of which can be seen here, and in accordance with data protection legislation.
  • By entering the Ten-word Story Competition, you agree to the collection, retention, usage and distribution of your personal information in order to process and that we may contact you about your Ten-word Story Competition entry, and for the purposes outlined herein
  • SelfPubCon/ALLi does not accept responsibility for any damage, loss, liabilities, injury or disappointment incurred or suffered by you as a result of entering or accepting either the top prize or the book offered to every entrant; for any injury or damage to your or any other person's computer relating to or resulting from participation in or downloading any materials in connection with the Ten-word Story Competition
  • SelfPubCon/ALLi  reserves the right at any time and from time to time to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, this Ten-word Story Competition with or without prior notice due to reasons outside its control (including, without limitation, in the case of anticipated, suspected or actual fraud). The decision of ALLi in all matters under its control is final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • SelfPubCon/ALLi  shall not be liable for any failure to comply with its obligations where the failure is caused by something outside its reasonable control. Such circumstances shall include, but not be limited to, weather conditions, fire, flood, hurricane, strike, industrial dispute, war, hostilities, political unrest, riots, civil commotion, inevitable accidents, supervening legislation or any other circumstances amounting to force majeure.
  • SelfPubCon/ALLi  accepts no responsibility for entries that are misdirected or incomplete or cannot be delivered or entered for any technical or other reason.
  • The prizes are non-exchangeable, non-transferable, and not redeemable for cash or other prizes.
  • Entrants into the Ten-word Story Competition shall be deemed to have accepted these Terms and Conditions.
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