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Coming Soon: 100-Word Microstory Contest

July 15–26, 2024

Mark your calendar for our 100-Word Microstory Contest—a free online writing competition for a variety of age groups. You don’t have to be an Iowa Writers’ Workshop grad—or even have participated in a flash writing contest before—to join in the fun. Just create a story in 100 words or less that uses one of two specific writing prompts. We will announce the writing prompts here on Monday, July 15, 2024, at 9 a.m. CDT.

Contest Details

The contest begins on Monday, July 15, 2024, at 9 a.m. CDT, and runs through Friday, July 26, 2024, at 4 p.m. CDT. At the contest’s start we’ll provide a selection of two writing prompts, and the rest is up to you. 

Submissions must be 100 words or less and composed in their entirety during the contest period. All contestants will receive the same prompts. The contest is free and open to UI alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends from each of the following age categories:

  • Grades 3 & 4
  • Grades 5 & 6
  • Grades 7 & 8  
  • Grades 9–12
  • Adult (UI alumni)
  • Adult (non-UI alumni)

Any participant who is 18 or older and in high school, should enter the grades 9–12 category. All other participants who are 18 or older should enter one of the adult categories.

We will select one winner from each category and post all the winning microstories here on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2024, at 9 a.m. CDT.

Winners’ Prizes

Winners in each of the four grade-school categories will receive a writing prize pack and a $25 gift card. Winners in each of the adult categories will receive a wooden pen carved from a tree that was located on the University of Iowa campus and a $50 gift card. In addition, the winner—as well as honorable mentions—in each age category will be posted to the Write Now website.

More information

Deadline and submission format

  • Deadline: You must submit your completed story by Friday, July 26, 2024, at 4 p.m. CDT. Late entries will be ineligible. 
  • How to submit: You must upload your short story through the contest website or submit it via email to
  • File format: You must upload your story at as a Word document (.doc or .docx), text file (.txt), or rich text format document (.rtf). Stories submitted in Apple’s Pages format will not be accepted. The name of the file must be the title of the story. For example, if the title of your microstory is “Autumn,” then the name of your file must be “Autumn.doc,” “Autumn.txt,” or “Autumn.rtf.”
  • Font: Your submission must be in 12-point Courier, New Courier, or Times New Roman typeface.
  • Anonymity: Your name must not appear anywhere in the microstory document; you will only submit your name on the web entry form.
  • Length: The maximum length for your microstory is 100 words. Entries with more than 100 words will be disqualified.

Before the contest begins, enjoy some of these amazing writing samples from your fellow Hawkeyes. Check out entries from past winners and explore the University of Iowa's writing resources to inspire your own creativity.

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