May Writing Prompt Contest

Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

Let’s start things off right here at Don’t Wake the Mage and kick May off with a proper paying writing contest.

We’re looking for short stories (up to 3,000 words) and flash fiction (up to 1,000 words) within the genre of monsters, magic or science fiction adventure. Your story submission should be inspired by and revolve around this writing prompt:

Ordinary-looking retro object with supernatural properties

We’re looking forward to seeing your most imaginative story that revolves around at least one ordinary looking item from times gone by. Not ancient artifacts, but retro artifacts. Think 20th century objects. Hmmm…the possibilities are endless and I’m tempted to spout off a series of potential objects but I don’t want to skew your thought processes on this too much. Do your thing with it. Let the magic flow. The only rule is, make sure that the ordinary-looking retro magical object is central to your story. In other words, the story won’t work without it.

We’re all about writers being able to promote their work so please feel free to include up to two links to other stories you’d like to promote plus an author bio paragraph. Your bio paragraph can include links to your blogs / books / social media profiles but try to make it on the shorter side. The best bios are short and sweet so even 100 words may be too long to be effective.

Three stories will be selected as winners by our editors and judges. The prizes will be awarded either via Paypal or Amazon gift card, whichever the winner prefers.

First Place: $50
Second Place: $25
Third Place: $15

Please submit your very best work, only one story per writer. We will accept submissions as early as today and the deadline for submission to be eligible to win one of the prizes is May 31, 12:00 a.m. Pacific time.

If you’re already a writer of this publication, you can submit your story draft the same way you always do. If you’re not yet a writer with us, comment on this post “I want to be added as a writer” or send an email to with the subject line “I want to be added as a writer” and also a link to your Medium profile. Either way will work but if for some reason you haven’t heard back from anyone after you request to be added, please feel free to send a reminder because most likely it was an oversight on our part.

Contest submissions will only be accepted as unpublished drafts. No previously published submissions will be considered. Please submit your story outside of the metered paywall. Winning submissions and finalists will be able to move their stories inside the paywall.

Please be sure to include an image with proper attribution to the source. Please include a title and a sub-title. To mark your story as a submission to this contest, please include in the sub-title (May Writing Prompt Contest). Also, please tag the story with “Writing Prompt Response” and at least one of these other tags:

  1. Monsters
  2. Fantasy
  3. Science Fiction

Also, remember to feel free to include a few sentences for your bio at the bottom of your piece. Your bio can contain links to your promotional materials or other published works. We’re all about helping you find your ideal readers here at Don’t Wake the Mage.

Haley Flores: A lifetime reader, Haley spends most of her time on her book blog The Caffeinated Reader and trying to defeat her never-ending TBR list. She likes shiny things and spending too much of her time on Twitter. When spotted in the wild, do not approach without a book topic or a cup of coffee as an offering. Check out her fantastic book reviews at The Caffeinated Reader.

J.J. Hartly: Writer of science fiction and fantasy and a Creative Artist of apparel, games, merchandise, novelties, and toys. Check out his mad creations at

Sam Koumi is a Swedish guy who loves writing and reading. In his spare time he’s a writer on a book and a voracious reader who spends way too much time on Twitter.

Kiya Lewis is a 30 year old woman from Minnesota who has loved reading since she was a little girl. One of her first loves and favorites to this day is Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass. She reads copious amounts of fantasy/urban-Fantasy, sci-fi, murder mysteries and true crime books. She loves the the smell and feel of a physical book and when she’s not reading, she works as a programmer-analyst and enjoys gaming, hiking and spending time with friends.

Bill DuBay Jr. grew up surrounded by monsters, magic and science fiction adventure stories. His dad was an editor, writer and artist for Warren Publishing in the 70’s and 80’s where such visionary titles as Famous Monsters of Filmland, Creepy, Eerie, and 1984 were published. As a kid, Bill was surrounded by so many writers and artists of classic fantasy and monster stories that it’s no wonder he decided to pen his own tales when he got older. He is the founder and editor of Don’t Wake the Mage and an author of stories and upcoming novels of monsters, magic, and science fiction adventure.

Thanks to everyone who has responded so well to calls for submissions to this contest. I can’t wait to see with what everyone comes up with!

Check out these amazing stories from authors Elle Fredine, Quasimodo and Dale E. Lehman, the first three submissions into the contest:

Grew up with the laughter of Jim Henson echoing down the hall and the likes of Stan Lee darkening my door. Fiction is in my bones. Awkward humor is my maladie.

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