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‘When Fiction Comes True’ Short Story Contest

Entrance Fee: $10

Deadline: October 31, 2022

(600-3,000 words)

1stPlace: $250, featured writer in our newsletter, story posted on our blog, certificate

2ndPlace: $150, story posted on our blog, certificate

3rdPlace: $100, certificate

Amidst all the chaos and uncertainty of the world, it’s easy to feel hopeless - like you don’t have any control. And while it may feel like there’s nothing we can do in trying times, it’s imperative to remember the famous expression: the pen is mightier than the sword. Through the series of unfortunate events occurring over these past few years, we have at least gained experience in outrageous circumstances we never would have otherwise, producing limitless opportunities for our creativity.

A genre always eager to be our outlet for our frustration and dissatisfaction is dystopian fiction. Not just for YA readers, powerful titles in the genre such as George Orwell’s 1984, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, proves the influential power these types of books have. Often a direct reflection of modern society, dystopian fiction is always relevant, and reiterates that words can move mountains… and challenge corruption.

In Oprelle’s very first short story contest, ‘When Fiction Comes True’, we challenge our writers to write, in 600-3,000 words or less, a short story that takes place in a dystopian setting. All subgenres of fiction are accepted such as, action, romance, mystery, thriller, etc. We’re looking for something deeply stirring, with powerful language and allusions that give us goosebumps.

We hope this will be as cathartic of an experience for you as you write - as it will be for us to read these submissions. Good luck!

Dystopian Fiction CONTEST RULES, Terms and conditions

1. Your information must be able to be verified.

2. Your story must be original in its entirety.

(Your work will be checked for plagiarism, so do not copy another’s words.)

3. You may enter as many times as you like. Just keep in mind that each separate entry costs 10.00

4. Your story must be written in English.

5. Contest entries have a 600-word minimum length, but no longer than 3,000 words.

Your title is not included in word count.

6. Your entry should be typed and submitted as a word or a PDF document. ( No Name on document itself )

Times New Roman – 12 font – 1.5 spaced.

7. We will get back to you on average within 30-60 days after the close of the contest.

8. We cannot respond to every entry, so please do not inquire.


The contest is open to anyone age 14 and up who writes science fiction.


Contest entries are blind judged by a highly educated panel of 3 experts from team Oprelle who hold advanced degrees in English and Poetry, and/or are published and award-winning writers.

Judges are scoring:

  • Creativity - Surprising,      convincing language that grabs our attention right away, and keeps us      intrigued to the end. Take us on a journey.
  • Originality – A blending of      language and unexpected syntax creates a special overall piece.
  • Substance – The story is well      orchestrated in timing and structure…every word is vital to our full      comprehension.
  • Conventions – (Of course,      grammar rules can be bent in creative writing.) Writer utilizes      punctuation to create a desired tone, to strengthen certain words or      phrases, to give signals, and to indicate pauses.
  • Feeling – This story is filled      with vivid, mesmerizing and intriguing details and/or memorable, concrete      images that provoke emotion.
We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.