Have you ever asked yourself, what would it take for me to be a writer? How would I get started? Writing is a complex system of steps that require so much more than the ability to tell a good story. There is structure, command of language, and imagination. Beyond that, there are the marketing aspects that, to many, are more daunting than ever. Most "Indie authors" can write, but few have their works noticed by a mass number of people, especially at the beginning of their writing careers.

To this end, DireWolf Publishing editors are taking an unorthodox approach to finding writers. Rather than display the typical "submission guidelines", we will begin our search by examining the talent pool.

Adding an author or two to our team is both exciting and challenging. The more talented the writer, the less time spent with instruction and editing. What better way to take a peek at the aspiring literary talents in our community than to host a short story contest?

Short Story Writing Contest Guidelines:

All contributing authors must subscribe to our email newsletter. Click on the link below if you have not already subscribed to our Dire Wolf Project email newsletter.

Subscribe Here!

Contributing authors should submit a short story with a word count of 5,000-7,500 words. We will accept any genre as long as it involves a DireWolf Dog (American Alsatian dog) or a dire wolf (prehistoric or fantasy-based). Non-fiction stories may involve a real life experience the author had with their DireWolf Dog or a chance encounter with a dire wolf fossil. Fiction stories may involve any of the fiction genres:

  1. science fiction
  2. fantasy
  3. mystery
  4. romance
  5. thriller
  6. literary fiction
  7. horror
  8. western
  9. historical
  10. coming of age
  11. dystopian
  12. magical realism
  13. realistic
  14. speculative fiction

Dates for receiving the first round of submissions will be between November 7th and December 7th.

Contest winners will be announced in the January 7th Dire Wolf Project email newsletter.

Only twelve winning stories will be selected for the first annual Dire Wolf Project Short Story Anthology. This beautiful leather-bound, limited edition anthology will come signed by all winning authors and will surely become a treasure to have in your home.

In addition, each month one winning story will be featured in our rapidly expanding Dire Wolf Project email newsletter and on our Dire Wolf Project Facebook page with over 17,000 subscribers!

Along with the prestige that comes from being highlighted in our thriving Dire Wolf Project community, winning authors will receive a free signed copy of the Dire Wolf Project Short Story Anthology and a frameable awards certificate. If that wasn't enough, all winners become eligible for the grand prize, a full novel writing contract with DireWolf Publishing along with a $5,000 advance.

The sky's the limit! Let's see your writing talent shine!

Submission Guidelines

  1. Cover Page (including: Title, Author's Name, Story Genre
  2. Two Paragraph Author Bio (including: Name, Address, Cell Phone, Email, basic author background info)
  3. Short Story (.docx file only) 12-point Times New Roman, 5000 - 7500 words
  4. Email attached .docx file to: americanalsatian@yahoo.com
    No earlier than November 7, 2021.
    No later than December 7, 2021.

Contest Terms

  1. Submissions shall only be accepted from the copyright holder of the written content. No third party submissions accepted.
  2. Upon submission, the author grants DireWolf Publishing and its affiliates permission to proofread and copy edit the work. This service will be provided by DireWolf Publishing without charge to the author. Editing that requires any story or structural changes will not be completed by DireWolf Publishing or its affiliates without the express permission from the author.
  3. Upon submission, the author grants DireWolf Publishing and its affiliates permission to display the work on the Dire Wolf Project website and publish the work in the Dire Wolf Project Short Story Anthology in no more than 500 copies. The Author retains full credit and all copyright for the submitted work. Anthologies will only be for sale through DireWolf Publishing featured on the Dire Wolf Project website.
  4. All submissions that are not chosen winners will not be used in any way by DireWolf Publishing or its affiliates.
  5. Winning authors are not guaranteed a publishing contract through DireWolf Publishing. Any publishing contracts granted by DireWolf Publishing will be separate from this contest and require additional terms.

Writing Tips

The best way to win a short story contest is to research best writing practices including CONCEPT, and PREMISE and structuring them with the basic elements, 3-ACT STRUCTURE, INCITING INCIDENT, COMPLICATION, POINT OF DECISION (Rising action), CLIMAX, and RESOLUTION. Whether telling a true story or creating an imaginary one, following these components will assure that your story is cohesive, and compelling.

A winning author will also display a good command of the English language, avoid sticky or complicated sentences, and be free of spelling and grammatical errors.

We recommend any of the following resources to get you started:

  1. The Story Grid, What Good Editors Know by: Shawn Coyne
  2. Story Fix: Transform Your Novel From Broken to Brilliant by: Larry Brooks
  3. The Plot Dot by: Derek Murphy
  4. Plot Perfect: How to Build Unforgettable Stories Scene by Scene by: Paula Munier
How to Write a Short Story in 6 Steps