ONU English Short Story Contest

Sharpen your pencils and charge up your laptops. The ONU English Department is sponsoring a short story contest and we want to see your best work. There are no restrictions on genre or style – just a 5,000 word limit. Time to start writing!

For any updates on submission guidelines or judging, keep an eye on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ONUEnglish.


All undergraduate students enrolled at ONU in the spring 2023 semester at least part-time are eligible to enter this contest. To have your submission considered, you must follow all of the submission guidelines. Any plagiarism results in disqualification (and then we burn the manuscript).


In April, entries will be judged by English Department faculty. One winner will be chosen along with two honorable mentions. All three will receive recognition and prize money.


  • Winner
    • $100
    • Recognition on English Department social media and Olivet's English Department page
  • Honorable Mentions
    • $25
    • Recognition on English Department social media and Olivet's English Department page


Submission Guidelines

  • Entrants must be enrolled undergraduate students at Olivet Nazarene University.
  • Manuscripts must be no longer than 5,000 words (not including the title).
  • Submit the completed entry form along with your manuscript (two separate documents) to shortstorycontest@olivet.edu by 11:59pm on Sunday, March 29, 2023. Include your submission as a Word document. Only electronic submissions will be accepted. Late submissions will not be eligible.
  • Manuscript pages must include a header that contains the title of your work and page numbers.
  • Do NOT include your name anywhere on the manuscript itself. Your accurately completed entry form (attached to your email) will provide the necessary personal information.
  • Only one submission per entrant will be eligible for judging. Choose your best work!
  • Work previously submitted for a course is eligible, but it must be your own original work and you must submit a clean, ungraded copy.
  • Submission of any entry grants the ONU English Department permission to reproduce or distribute that work (credited to you) in the event that it wins a prize. Winners’ names will be posted on the department website and social media.
  • Failure to follow any of the submission guidelines will result in your entry being disqualified.

Ready to Submit?

The completed entry form must be submitted along with your manuscript to shortstorycontest@olivet.edu.

Contest Entry Form