The Ink Well Two-Week Summer Short Story Contest and Workshop


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Hello to The Ink Well community members and guests, and welcome to our Summer Short Story Contest and Workshop. We have some fun in store for you, and a great opportunity to learn, grow, and improve your skills.

But First....

Before you post in our community, please be sure to read the community rules (right side of the page) where we outline the "do's and don'ts" for posting in The Ink Well. If you only use a mobile phone and can't see them, you can read them here.

Our community rules are designed to make our community a safe, welcoming, plagiarism-free space for self-publishing original short stories.

Our Two-Week Summer Contest

Here’s how it works. The workshop will run for two weeks:

  • Week One is for writing the initial draft of your short story, and for providing feedback on the other writers' stories. If you complete those two requirements, you can continue on to Week Two. (See complete rules below.)
  • Week Two is for refining your short story based on feedback you have received. By the end of Week Two, you must revise your story and post a new version.

Note that you must participate in Week One of the contest to continue on to Week Two. And you must provide feedback on at least two other stories that are submitted during Week One to qualify for the contest.

Official Contest Rules

Here are the official rules to follow. We hope everyone will enjoy the process!

Step One: Write a short story draft during Week One (July 19, 2021 - July 25, 2021) using any of the 50 Log Lines provided.

Step Two: Post the story to The Ink Well community by July 25:

  • Keep your story to a word limit of 1,000 words or less.
  • Use this format for the title: The Ink Well Contest: Week One Draft - Your Story Title
  • Use all of these tags: story, fiction, contest, inkwellsummercontest, theinkwell

Step Three: Look for contest entries by other writers during Week One. Read at least two stories and provide feedback on what the writer could improve in their final draft. For example:

  • Does the story include a good description of the setting?
  • Is the story interesting and original?
  • Does the story have well-defined characters?
  • Is the conflict of the story well-defined?
  • Is the conflict resolved in the end?
  • Is it easy to follow the story?
  • Are there grammatical problems that should be fixed.

Step Four: During Week Two (July 26, 2021 - August 1, 2021), read the feedback you have received on the first draft of your story. Write a NEW draft that incorporates the helpful suggestions you have received. (You are not required to use every suggestion. It's your story! But do focus on improving your story.)

NOTE: Do not replace your Week One story with the revision. You will write and publish a new post with your revised and improved story for Week Two.

Step Five: Post the revised story to The Ink Well community by August 1:

  • Keep your story to a word limit of 1,000 words or less.
  • Use this format for the title: The Ink Well Contest: Week Two Final Draft - Your Story Title
  • Use all of these tags: story, fiction, contest, inkwellsummercontest, theinkwell

During Week Two, there are still opportunities to improve any issues in your story, once it is posted. If you receive helpful suggestions for edits from The Ink Well or community members, feel free to edit your posted story during Week Two, up until the final deadline of August 1.

How to Write a Great Contest Entry

The Ink Well moderators (@jayna, @agmoore and @gracielaacevedo) will be the final judges. We will also be providing tips and feedback on the initial entries in Week One. However, we want everyone in the community to take the opportunity to support your fellow writers with feedback. We will also be giving moderate rewards for the works in progress. But the focus of the contest is quality work, not curation rewards. See the information about prizes below.

Here are the things we will be looking for:

  • Originality: We want to see fresh and interesting writing themes, characters and conflicts.
  • Quality of writing: We are looking for some nice “turns of phrase”, settings that are so well described we can “see” them, well-defined characters and good dialog.
  • Quality of editing: We know this can be challenging for those who do not know English as a first language. However, we are seeking improvements in grammar and punctuation in the final draft in Week Two. (Note that we provide many writing tips to help our writers improve their skills in our Catalog of Fiction Writing Tips, including a post titled Help for the Grammatically Challenged which provides tools to help find grammatical mistakes and fix them.
  • The important elements of a short story, including character development, a good setting, dialog between characters, an interesting conflict, and a resolution of the conflict.


We are so excited to see these stories develop, and we know you are going to all work hard! So, here are the exciting prizes for The Ink Well Summer Contest:

  • Grand Prize: 25 Hive
  • Second Place Prize: 10 Hive
  • Third Place Prize: 5 hive
  • All other entrants who successfully complete requirements for both rounds: 2 Hive

Judging Period

The Ink Well will announce the winners within one week of the final draft deadline of August 1 (by August 8), and then return to our regular schedule of weekly writing prompts.

Have fun and enjoy the process. If you have any questions, please post them in a comment on this post. Good luck!

We look forward to reading your stories!

@jayna, @agmoore and @gracielaacevedo

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We would like to invite lovers of creative writing to visit The Ink Well, a Hive community started by @raj808 and @stormlight24 and run by @jayna, @agmoore and @gracielaacevedo.

We also invite you to follow The Ink Well curation trail on the Hive blockchain, at Simply navigate to the curation trail section and search for theinkwell (all one word with no @ symbol) and our trail will pop up as an option.

Similarly delegations are possible on Hive using the fantastic Hive Blockchain front end. If you wish to delegate to @theinkwell, you can do this from the wallet section of

A big thank you to all of our delegators:
@jayna, @agmoore, @gracielaacevedo, @iamraincrystal, @generikat, @marlyncabrera, @owasco, @preparedwombat, @marcybetancourt, @zeurich, @barge, @lacrucita, @stormcharmer, @adncabrera, @vision-of-esca, @josemalavem, @morey-lezama, @sayury, @rypo01, @evagavilan2 and @bertrayo.

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