Announcing the 2015 Storming the Short Story Contest

2015 contest promo


new ACFW logo (2)

Writers on the Storm (ACFW – The Woodlands) & Houston Christian Authors (ACFW – Houston)

in partnership with Chalfont House Publishing’s fiction imprint HopeSprings Books

Chalfont logo


The Short Story contest is open to all authors, published or unpublished, 18 years of age or older.

Entries & Fee: 

An original 4,000-6,000 word short story. Entries must not have been previously published in any form.

Entry fee $25.00 via PayPal.

Entry fees are non-refundable. Entry fees are used by the local ACFW Chapters to finance the contest, as well as fundraising for local chapter events.

Theme: Dancing

Your short story can be about anything as long as it fits into the one of the genres listed below, contains the theme mentioned above, and has a clear faith element (Christian). The theme should be obvious to the reader. For instance, if the theme was “Storms” there would need to be a storm in your story somewhere. Metaphorical storms would not count.

Categories and definitions:

  • Contemporary
    • Stories set in year 1960 or after that do not fit in one of the other categories
  • Historical
    • Any story with a setting prior to 1960
  • Mystery/Thriller/Suspense
    • Contemporary
    • Romantic suspense would fit here
  • Romance
    • Contemporary
  • Speculative
    • Any type of science fiction, fantasy, horror, or combination.
    • If it’s weird, it goes here.
  • Young Adult/Middle-Grade
    • contemporary, Earth-based, regular fiction
    • Protagonists younger than 20 years

The Contest Committee reserves the right to combine categories if a minimum of 5 entries are not received.

This is a Christian fiction contest. No objectionable content allowed.


Category Coordinators will determine whether the entries meet the required theme, content, and formatting requirements. Entries that do not meet the requirements will not pass to judging.

First Round judging: Panelists will score entries based on 5 categories. Scoring results will be returned to the contestant as feedback. Panelists can only vote in categories they have not entered as a contestant.

Final Round judging: HopeSprings Books will select stories for publication from the highest rated entries and will award at least a first prize in categories with 5 or more entries.


Winning entries will be edited with the cooperation of the author prior to publication. Winners retain copyright to their work, but the publication contract will be a 7-year license of the paperback, ebook, and audiobook rights.

Proceeds from the sale of the anthology will be donated directly to the ACFW Scholarship Fund, but authors can receive a report each quarter upon request.

Winners from the 2014 contest are published in the Out of the Storm anthology.

out of the storm


June 1st – Contest is open for entries.

June 30th – Submissions closed (Midnight Central Time).

August 1st – Scoring begins.

August 15th – Scoring ends.

August 31st – Winners announced.

Formatting Requirements:

  1. Name should not appear anywhere on the entry
  2. Bible verses must be referenced in a footnote or endnote
  3. Manuscript pages must be in standard format:
    • Double spaced
    • 1-inch margins
    • Size 12 Times New Roman or Courier font (Including the header)
    • Unjustified and aligned left text with no extra space between paragraphs
    • Begin one third the distance from the top margin
    • Scene breaks should be indicated with a single (#) or triple pound sign (###) as their own line with a single blank line above and below
    • Header should contain the category and title aligned left and the page number aligned right.

About Linda W. Yezak

Author/Freelance Editor/Speaker (writing and editing topics).
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