51 Word Summer Story Contest

in Contests for writers

Ok, this is our 51 Word Summer Story Contest. We have run many of these in the past. We usually offer a non-cash prize for the contest and publication. The last horror contest we ran we were not able to make good for our winners. We were publishing a print issue of our magazine, and it was canceled. Our site fell on hard times, and other perks that we were offering our winners were not fulfilled.

This time we are not offering any winnings except bragging rights. We will publish your story on our site on picture cards and promote and share them on the web, and we will give you a post an an announcement. Right now we are not running any outside ads because of time and negative impacts they were having on SEO. It’s a long story. This is our bragging rights only prize, and we hope you will still take part.


  • Must be high quality (any topic or genre)
  • Must be 51 words or under
  • Must be a complete story
  • Have to be in before our deadline.
  • Deadline is July 4th 2018
  • Enter as many stories as you like!
  • Post your story in the comments below.

We will announce the winners in a movie chat night, like we do with all our contests.

What you win:

  • Your story will be placed on a tile and shared on our social networks
  • You will get a winning announcement post with links to your books and/or website
  • You will have bragging rights

We hope to soon honor the winnings of our last contest, and in the future we will offer better prizes. For now, we hope you will still take part in our 51 Word Summer Story Contest.

Richard Edwards has a BFA in Creative Writing and Journalism from Bowling Green State University and an M.S. in Education from the University of Akron. Managing editor of Drunk Duck, poetry editor for Prairie Margins, reporter for Miscellany, Akron Journal, Lorain Journal...check our About Us page for more. Also here is info on our On Classic Articles


  1. Sorry, I am trying to put together a winners event/night, but it keeps falling through. Our winner for this contest is Allan Alright with the entry..The lifeguard cranked her warning siren….congrats! Movie chat is coming very soon for all the winners….

  2. 1776

    Bitter the struggle raged. Brutality and hardship; defeat at every turn against a foe, a monarch insurmountable.

    Unlikely alliances – some for, some not. Some seeking only an end. Pledges of sacred honor, lives, fortunes and faith prevail to declare with one voice, finally … Independence. All created equal, all created free.

  3. The poet contributed greatly to the intermittent periods of silence with his smile.

    Anna drew the attention of those around her to the joyful expression on his face.

    “Hey!” she called out to him. “Please! Please! Tell us the joke, luv!”

    The poet stood up and ambled across to her.

    Looking down at her, he asked softly, “Are you aware that to know is human and not to know is human, too?”

  4. Words To Live By

    Do what you’re told,
    And not what you see.
    Be better than others,
    But don’t rub it in.
    Don’t pride yourself on earthly possessions,
    Or take for granted what is yours.
    Be quiet,
    But make your voice heard.
    Live life cautious,
    But take risks.
    Here, the statutes of life
    Are yours

  5. Gone

    I held on to my mother’s hand as she was hanging on to life by a thread. I shook with a crushing sadness as if my whole body was broken, not just my heart, as I held on to her hand one last time. My best friend lay lifeless before me.

  6. ‘Love & Mercy’

    The Raglan brothers killed my baby.
    Everything turned RED.
    I beat Jake with a hammer.
    I threw Jim off his balcony.
    ‘This won’t bring her back,’ hissed John through bloodied, broken teeth.
    ‘I know.’
    I reversed over him, checked into an ibis and slept all night.
    Today I’ll hunt their father.

  7. Raindrops

    “Have we met?” asked the traveler.

    “I don’t think so. Been here before though. Over and over, the never ending game. You?”

    “Nah. I’m new. Came from the river, yonder…”

    With a bulbous, pregnant splash into waves rippling across the sparkling ocean, she parted, shouting “It’s life. We’ll meet again!”

  8. The lifeguard cranked her warning siren after spotting a shark fin between the ocean swells. Swimmers, surfboarders, even wadding toddlers rushed out of danger on to the beach. Cynically, Sally headed out to surf, soon she disappeared between the sea swells never to be seen again. A broken surfboard washed ashore.

  9. Heiress

    “I thought you were gone” she sniffled through tears, fingers entwined.

    “I thought I was gone” he croaked.

    “Don’t ever do that again.”

    “I can’t work for you anymore.”

    The doctor spoke: “We removed three bullets. He’s lucky.” The monitor punctuated his words with the steady beep of his heart.

  10. Ripples

    “No” he said. “ I forbid it. You cannot marry. He is not worthy of you.”

    “Father” she pleaded. “I am a doctor now. An adult.”

    “Too long we have been in America. No!”

    Later, speeding toward the bridge, she slipped the belt with one hand and breathed “forgive me Allah.”

  11. 757

    They gripped the arms of the seats, row after row.

    White knuckles and mumbled hushed words filled the lurching cabin. Lightning flashed; the would be terrorist bomber mourned in retreat.

    He hit hard. Luggage spilled in screams. Then, a sudden stop – and applause – as the captain emerged to welcome them home.

  12. Workers

    Always alone, often weary, the days drag on.

    Entangled victims of our machine, the sticky trap of our own devise, ultimate judgement, justice yet to prevail. Post-truth, generational split-second multimedia administrative enslavement, unbounded rulers. The republic is lost. Or taken?

    Repeat the day white ant worker, beast of Churchill’s prophecy…

  13. I walk through the arrival gate, gripping my carry-on. I pause, and see the man who looks nothing like his profile, holding a sign bearing my name, then I head in the opposite direction. Nope. Internet dating is a gamble – sometimes you lose and get on the next flight home.

  14. One in ten would contract it. One in ten. Nine golden tickets, one deadly, no-consolation prize. Shannon, Jeffrey, Al, Victoria, Chuck, Liam, Brendan, Danielle and Genevieve didn’t get it. I held the remaining chocolate bar. Odds aren’t an exact science, but I found I wasn’t really hungry, after all.

  15. El Diablo Prevails

    Bright morning brings the bustle. Pancho Diablo and Rawhide Winnie rouse with renewed energy for the ever antagonistic game.

    Round they go feline taunting canine taunting feline.

    Diablo prevails today, preening in dappled sunset on his high sill, cautiously eying his earthbound friend with satisfaction as daylight wanes…

  16. 51

    An age. Perhaps a beginning. For some a fleeting or maybe a dawdling midpoint while crossing. Not prime yet not done.

    Only a number I’ve heard. Others never get there. Full of virtue and good deeds – or vice?

    We’re beyond that now. That simple story, in the end.

  17. After the Bomb

    Grey dust covered everything. A fence wobbled, gave up the fight to stay upright. A pheasant staggered, confused by its flight into an apple tree. No-one stirred under the rubble of the village. Soon the pheasant would give up, the last of the living. What did they think would happen?

  18. The Rescuer

    The old man hit the ground with an ancient stick. His back was humped by a sack. He reached his farm, entered the barn, emptied the sack onto a mattress. The third rescue this month – he would need to build another barn. Their cruelty would not win, he vowed.

  19. The child slept but downstairs the fists clenched and open mouths filled the rooms with noise. Strong winds threw words out the open doors and into the garden. Above, the child stirred.

    In the morning bright sunlight danced into the child’s windows and tiptoed down the stairs into the garden, where she followed.

  20. Modern Medicine

    A technician from my doctor’s office called to report that I have a disease with a French-sounding name that probably won’t kill me, but might make my stomach sick and my skin yellow.

    I asked, “What should we do now?”

    She said, “I don’t know, you’d have to ask the doctor.”

  21. Guidance from Beyond

    It’s been five years now and I am missing my Dad’s presence and help with my business. While speaking with other participants at a business event, I am inspired to make a call. I see a business card and intrepidly call. Success!

    Impossibly my Dad’s wallet is there, with the card.

  22. From the gnarled old grandmother Oak, from the weathered hole of a limb gone wrong, short whoots emerged at uneven intervals. An owl sang into the Sapphire Blue night. Moonbeams danced on the silver surface of the lake like dusky memories. “Let the Owl call my name.”

  23. It was her first Yoga Retreat since the bitter breakup. A chance to rediscover the who, what & where of herself. Under Oak and Pine boughs she lifted her arms heavenward in gratitude. She was finally at Peace.
    From deep within Savassana she heard the crack.
    The irony felled her.

  24. Postcard from Somewhere

    Dear Sis,

    Hawaii still a dream. Plane ran out of fuel/booze/paper napkins. Moose wandering by, same bored, disgruntled look we all have.

    Darkness falls. Plane will depart at 9.00 a.m. – no day mentioned, not optimistic.

    Flying over large landmass – USA? Who can tell. Will phone on arrival wherever.


  25. Awakening

    A beautiful darkness surrounds her – peaceful. Where are the hatred, the anger, the wish to end her life?

    A whisper speaks her name, there is light. She sees her mother’s tired, anxious face and the love in her eyes.

    It is a face to love, not to hate.

  26. The Builder

    They laughed at him, the way he built his house. Two months on the door, six months on the house frame, four months on the rafters. The supports were set in concrete, ten feet below the surface.

    They stopped laughing when the hurricane hit the village. He started on the walls.

  27. The boy told his sister
    do not be afraid
    black Beard, Arabic began to speak
    Tonight, you must bring the girl to the brothers of God
    The boy pierced his sister’s belly
    The black beard was angry and placed his gun on the boy’s face
    The boy fell to the ground

  28. The Appointed Time

    At age 10, I was almost run over, but someone pulled me back. Once while driving on an interstate, I fell asleep — going off the road, but my wife’s screams woke me in time to bring the car under control. I wonder when will be my appointed time.

  29. Snubbed – 1973

    “………..like a nigger in a woodpile” said Mr Baker, my Physics teacher – then looked at me – “Sorry!”

    “What are you apologising to me for? That term doesn’t apply to my racial group “ calmly in my Queen’s English accent.

    He obviously couldn’t distinguish between brown and black individuals!

  30. The Commodity

    “They’re both my women – Eva used to be my girlfriend, then she traded me in for a newer model and passed me on to Jen.”

    “So is Jen now your girlfriend?”

    “Actually, she went as far as marrying me.”

    All three were now on holiday together – how modern!

  31. Alone

    For years, I watched the old couple and their ugly little dog pass my house on their daily morning stroll. We made a habit of waving and smiling.

    Then, it was just the couple. Still, we waved and smiled.

    Now, it’s the man alone. We still wave, but he never smiles.

  32. Title- Once Upon A Time

    I begged grandma for a story.
    She eventually relented “They lived happily ever after.”
    “Wait, what about the middle part?” I questioned.
    “You see that’s the secret. The end is the most important for a story, but the best part is filling in how to get there all on your own.”

  33. Discovering the Truth About Tithing

    When theological truth is revealed and cognitive dissonance strikes, the impact on your life is everlasting. When I discovered the truth about monetary biblical tithing and rejected it, I knew I would face the wrath of a fire-breathing church rebuttal to go against an institutional doctrine that has existed for centuries.

  34. The Eclipse of October 8th

    In September, Mum fell and hit her head. By October 8th, bleeding had spread all over her brain. She could not walk or talk.

    I cut up felt creating Munch’s Scream figure gazing at a black-centered red moon entitled Eclipse of the Moon on Another Planet. She saw it and laughed!

  35. I assume the title is not include in the word count. My tile is DWI.

    “I recognize you. Ya’ll got that 800 lawyer number on TV. So what’s you doing ridin’ the damn bus? Your limo got a flat?”

    I unfolded my arms. “No, ma’am. I pleaded guilty to a DWI charge and lost my license.”

    “Serves you right then, don’t it?”

    “Yes ma’am, it does.”

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