Sunday 23 March 2014

April Short Fiction Contest

Welcome to the latest monthly short fiction writing competition here on The Cult of Me blog. Every month I post a new picture and you can then write and submit a short story (with a maximum word count of 500 words). At the end of the month I will pick the winners and announce them on this blog.

The winner's stories will be available here (and promoted across KUF, Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook and Stumbleupon and anywhere else I can) and you'll also have a link to your blog or website displayed alongside your story if you win.

Winning stories will also be compiled in a collection later in the year, proceeds from the sales of that collection will be used to help fund the prizes for this competition.

The winners will also receive an Amazon gift card:
  1. First Prize is a £50 gift card
  2. Second prize is a £20 gift card
  3. Third prize is a £10 gift card
Details on how you can enter are provided below and I'm looking forward to reading your entries!

The last two contests have had images for scary faces, I thought that I would do something a little different this month until I discovered the scary doll picture. It reminded me of a drabble I wrote a while back so it must inspire some excellent stories, I'm already looking forward to reading the stories!

Here's the drabble I mentioned and let's see what stories this month's image inspire you to write.

China Doll

Her cold lifeless eyes are staring into mine. Her perfect porcelain features, without expression, hold me transfixed where I stand.

"Genuine haunted doll", was the description on eBay. Of course I thought it was a gimmick, just something to push up the price. I thought it was pretty cool, so I bid and won.

It arrived yesterday, it looked pretty creepy. I placed it on the table and here I am. I cannot move. I'm hungry and thirsty. I can't even look away; I'm locked in this death stare.

Oh God! Will anybody find me here? Before it's too late?

As always, thanks to everyone who has entered and a big thank you to everyone who has supported the contest. Please continue that support by sharing the link to this contest wherever you can, it's much appreciated!

Please make sure to check your story for typos before submitting. I don't mind a few errors, but my enjoyment of a story is diminished if I have to wade through too many.

I'll post the winning entries by May 1st 2014.

As with everything in life there are a few rules:
  1. Only one entry per person.
  2. The story must not be longer than 500 words.
  3. Closing date for submissions is April 20th 2014.
  4. By submitting the story you grant me a non-exclusive license to use it. I'll only post the winning entries.
  5. You also grant me a one time non-exclusive license to include the story in an e-book release.
  6. The judges decision is final.
Use the form below to enter your submission. After you've submitted please leave a comment on this page stating that you have submitted. And please help spread the word. I'm working to make this a regular feature so I need readers for the stories as well as entrants.
As well as comments section below you can chat about this competition in any of the threads I've listed below. If you don't know the sites then entering the competition is a good way to introduce yourself. Note that these sites are not affiliated with the competition in any way!


Goodreads (UK Amazon kindle Forum group):


If you've started you're own thread or discussion somewhere about this month's competition then let me know and I'll add the link to this page.


  1. You know, I couldn't imagine what a "drabble" could accomplish until I read your tiny story above. Well done!

  2. I don't normally read the enormous amount of mail sent by Goodreads, but this contest caught my eye and I couldn't resist! Thanks, Michael. (I hope that's not a photo from one of your family albums...)

    1. No problem and no it's not scary enough to from my album :-)

  3. Hi Michael,
    Great prompt again
    Andrew C-K

  4. Submitted again. Great idea to have a picture prompt.

    Philip Coutts

  5. Submitted. That doll sure is creepy...!

  6. Submitted my entry. As usual, thanks for running the comp

  7. I thought I'd have a go. Submission sent.

  8. that doll make me so exciting to enter this competition. Submitted.

  9. I've submitted my entry for this month's contest - a great image once again.

  10. I know this is going to sound silly, but I wrote a story and don't remember if I submitted it! I know I meant to, but I've been busy, not to mention a little under the weather and can't for the life of me remember! *scratching my head* :-o

    1. Yes, you submitted one called 'Last Night'.

    2. Bless you, Michael! Thanks! You've eased this old lady's mind. Thought for a minute I was REALLY losing it!! (think I've already lost some of it - er, whatever "it" is) I remembered writing it, but...Now, if I could just remember where I filed's not in my short story folder...or MS documents...reckon I flung it somewhere in "library"... Geez, hope I didn't accidentally delete it! The closer I get to seventy..! What am I gonna lose next, my teeth? *shaking my head*

  11. I've submitted my entry for this month's contest - And a very absorbing image.

  12. I submitted my piece and just three hours short of the 20th too! As always thank you for this awesome contest, Michael.

    1. Thanks, I'll be posting May's competition tomorrow.

  13. Hey can you please explain how I submit and how I find Mays image I'm having a bit of a blonde moment ? :/