It’s that time of year again! The Arcanist turned two (yay!) and we are celebrating with a brand new flash story contest all about, you guessed it, MONSTERS!

Just like with our other story contests, we are keeping the prompt open to interpretation. You can have old gods, swamp monsters, zombies, and anything else you dream up. Just make sure that they live within a well-crafted story!

If you’re new here, read our normal submission guidelines to find out what we look for.

Let’s get into the details.

What We Want

In short, we want monster stories. These can be funny, creepy, terrifying, heart-warming, and everything in between. Just make sure it has a monster element in it somewhere.

Here are some more details rules and guidelines:

  • All stories must be 1,000 words or fewer. All stories over the word limit will be automatically rejected.
  • Only original stories will be considered. No previously published stories or fan-fiction, please.
  • No porn, no hate speech, no excess gore. These are no brainers but apparently need said anyway.
  • Multiple submissions are okay! There’s no cap to the amount of submissions you can turn in for the contest. However, keep in mind this isn’t a lottery. More isn’t necessarily better. One great story is going to trump five okay stories. That being said, if this is your jam and you have a stack of great monster stories, have at it!
  • Stories must address the prompt in some way. A word of advice: Get creative. This prompt is meant as a theme to keep you on track, not a bible to be followed prescriptively. Write your monster story. This can mean werewolves, vampires, and ghosts (oh my!), mummies, serial killers, chimeras, cannibals, your very own id, teenage girls, and anything else you find monstrous.
  • Because of the volume of submissions we anticipate, there will be no rejection letters. When you submit, you’ll be given a receipt of the transaction. All winners will be contacted by October 1st. If you have a problem, feel free to reach out by email, but we won’t be giving status updates like we normally would.

How Much Does This Thing Cost to Enter?

We’ve decided to go with the simple fee structure listed below:

  • Early Entry (July 31— August 10): $5 (CLOSED)
  • Standard Entry (August 11— September 19): $7 (CLOSED)
  • Late Entry (September 20— September 29): $10 (CLOSED)

Winners will be announced on October 1st.

The entry window is about two months long. This is designed for you to spend enough time to make a nice, polished story but still keep a sense of urgency.

We are also offering a discount this time around. If you are a member of our Patreon page or sign up to it now, you will get one free Standard Entry submission (that means you save $7 and help our cause, too)! We want to keep this as simple as possible so if you are a Patron, simply go through the submission process and we will refund your entry cost. We will do this with new Patrons, too.

Become a Patron and save here.

  • All entry fees are non-refundable.

Besides bragging rights what’s up for grabs??

Yes, the good stuff.

Besides praise from all of your friends and family, the top four stories will receive CASH prizes and will be published in The Arcanist throughout the month of October — otherwise known as the spookiest month of the year.

Here are the prizes:

  • First place prize is $200 USD
  • Second place prize is $100 USD
  • Third and Fourth place prizes: $75 USD

All payments processed through PayPal.

AND we will be releasing a special monster anthology to celebrate the winners and the runner-ups. The winners and runner-ups all get a free copy of the e-book monster anthology.

Wait, How Do I Enter?

To enter, click this link and fill out the form. You will be able to upload your story via the form and checkout. You can also click this button:

If you are submitting multiple entries, please send them as a separate order so nothing gets lost. You should receive a receipt via email after your submission has been made. Please check your spam folder to make sure that emails from us are not being filtered before reaching out for confirmation.

Have any questions? Drop us a line at editor(at) Thanks!