Contest Official Rules



The writing contest (“Contest”) opens Monday, January 14, 2019 (12:00am ET) and will remain open until Friday, March 8, 2019 (11:59pm ET). Sponsor’s computer is the official clock for the Contest. Temple Editorial Team review begins March 9, 2019 and runs through March 22, 2019. Finalists will be announced on March 22, 2019. Jury review and public selection by voting begins on March 22, 2019 and runs through April 5, 2019. The juried winner and two runners-up and the public winner will be announced in April.

Stages of the competition


Qualifying submissions will be published online* throughout the 8 weeks of open submissions. Once a submission is received, it's checked and validated by the Temple Editorial Team to be sure that it qualifies based on the minimum requirements (length, theme, category). Judgments and decisions of the Temple Editorial Team as to submission eligibility and disqualification are at their complete discretion and are final.

* After the contest, participants will be able to delete their story and/or poem from the site if they so desire.


15 finalists will be selected by the Temple Editorial Team, and 5 finalists will be selected by the public based on the highest number of community votes, for a total number of 20 finalists. If there are fewer than 40 submissions, then 50% of the number of submissions will be the number of finalists selected. The Temple Editorial Team will select 3/4 and the public will select 1/4 of the overall number of finalists. The finalists will be announced on the contest website on March 22, 2019.


The jury will select one overall winner and two runners-up. There will also be a "public winner," which will be the finalist who receives the most community votes. Once the finalists are announced on the website, the votes for the finalists are reset to zero and the public has two weeks (the same time that the jury members have to decide their winners) to vote for their favorite works. Members of the public can vote for as many stories and poems as they wish, but only vote for each work one time. Members of the public can comment on as many works as they wish.

The offering of incentives in exchange for votes or comments is prohibited.

The use of bots and/or robotic submissions is prohibited.

If the Temple Review Team deems a vote invalid based on the previously mentioned rules, they reserve the right to remove the vote at any time from the site.

contest timeline

The Contest Dates

January 14th to March 8th
March 22nd to April 5th
  • Submit your short story or poem of maximum 8,000 characters (spaces included)
  • All qualifying submissions will be published on the contest webpage shortly after receipt
  • March 22nd: Annoucement of finalists
  • 15 works selected by the Editorial Team as finalists
  • 5 works selected as finalists based on the highest number of votes from the online community
  • All finalists are set back to zero votes
  • One winner and 2 runners-up selected by the Jury
  • The public winner selected by the community
  • April: Annoucement of winners


All Temple University students, faculty and staff are invited to participate in the contest. All participants must create their author account and submit their work using a valid email address.

Participants will create their own username upon making their author account — this will be the name associated with their work when it’s published on the contest website — but they must provide their full name and contact information to the Sponsor if they should be selected as a finalist or a winner. The Sponsor must be able to easily get in touch with the participant if necessary to organize receipt of the prize.


No purchase necessary to enter or to win. All Contest submissions will be reviewed by the Temple Editorial Team for compliance with the Contest theme and these rules. Every submission is subject to disqualification based on violations of these rules.

All submissions must be original works by the submitter, in English.

Submissions must not be published anywhere else. Submissions may be simultaneously submitted elsewhere, but if it is published or accepted elsewhere prior to the announcement of winners, it will be disqualified from the Contest.

Submission Limits

Submissions may not exceed 8,000 characters (including spaces).

All submissions must fit within the contest theme of “Transformation.” Submissions must also fall within the short story fiction or poetry categories.

The submission process is entirely electronic via the Short Fiction Contest submission portal. No paper manuscripts will be accepted. The submission form is copy/paste format.

  • All genres are accepted, as long as they are literary fiction, (historical fiction is acceptable if it includes an imaginative story).
  • Submissions must be appropriate for publication in a commercially distributed publication.
  • Submissions must not violate or infringe the rights of any other person or company (including but not limited to privacy rights, copyrights, trade secrets, confidential information, trademarks, or trade names).
happy and sad faces transformation
  • Submissions must not defame, libel, or slander anyone or any entity.
  • Submissions must not contain or describe any excessively obscene, vulgar, offensive, profane, or provocative violence or sex.
  • No submissions containing derogatory, racist, or sexist language or situations will be accepted.
  • No biographical narrative, news-related texts or social issues written in a journalistic style will be accepted.
  • Plagiarism, which includes the use of third-party poetry, song lyrics, characters or another person’s universe, without written permission, will result in disqualification.

  • Formatting

  • Dialogue. Any portions of dialogue should be enclosed in quotation marks.
  • Italics. Titles of work, narrator thoughts, emphasis on words, and words in a foreign language should all be italicized.
  • Line breaks. Insert a single blank line between paragraphs for ease of reading.
  • Short Story Titles. Titles for submitted works written in capital letters will not be preserved, with the exception of acronyms and initials. Please follow typographical norms for writing your title (i.e. capital letter with each word – The Great Gatsby, A River Runs Through It, etc.).
  • No indentations. Please do not indent any lines.

Multiple Submissions

Submitters may submit up to one work in each category (short stories and poetry). So in total, submitters may submit maximum two submissions.


Each submission will be emailed a confirmation of receipt. Submitters will receive an email if there is a change in status of the submission.

Potential winners will be notified via email before the announcements are made public.

4. Rights to Submitter Data and Submissions

Subject to the acceptance of the story and/or poem by Short Édition and the Temple editorial team, the author grants the right to Short Édition and the Temple University Libraries to modify, edit, correct, translate, adapt, reproduce, distribute, and publish the submitted stories and/or poems on the website and in the Short Story Dispenser at the Temple University Campus and in any other online media including the internet, mobile apps, or any other electronic form under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. This license allows others to share the work with an acknowledgment of the work's authorship and initial publication in the Temple University Short Fiction contest.

The author agrees that no royalties or any other payment or remuneration is due in connection with publication with the Temple University Short Fiction Contest either online or in print.

Accepted submissions will be published online for reading, public votes and comments, as well as be considered by the editorial team and contest jury for contest prizes.

Short Édition reserves the right to contact contest participants to enter into a contract for the publication of their stories in the Short Story Dispensers around the world.

Submission of the registration details and any prize notification documents (“Entrant Data”) constitutes your consent for Sponsor to obtain, use, and transfer your name, address and other details for Contest administration purposes. Any Entrant Data shall be used only in a manner consistent with the consent given by submitters at the time of entry and with these rules.

By accepting a prize, Winner consents to the use of their name, biographical information, including city and state of residence, for promotional purposes by Sponsor, and its designees, including but not limited to the posting of winner’s name on the Sponsor website, in a Winners List, without additional compensation, except where prohibited by law (“Promotions”). All copyright, trademark or other intellectual property rights in such Promotions shall be owned by Sponsors or its licensors and winner hereby disclaims and waives any claim of right to such Promotions. Such Promotions shall be solely under control of Sponsor or its licensors, and winner hereby waives any claim of control over the Promotions content as well as any possible claims of misuse of winner’s name under contract, tort or any other theory of law.



The Temple Editorial Team, made up of Temple Libraries and Press staff, will review and evaluate all submissions and select a total of 15 finalists. If there are fewer than 30 submissions, the selected number of finalists will equal 50% of the number of total submissions. In addition, five finalists will be selected by the public based on the highest number of community votes. The 20 finalists will then be reviewed and evaluated by the Temple Jury, comprised of the broader Temple community. The jury will select one overall winner and two runners-up. During the two weeks of finalist review, the votes for each finalist story will be set back to zero, and the public will have two weeks to vote for their favorite story. The finalist with the highest number of community votes will be the selected public winner.

Members of the public can vote for as many stories as they wish, but only vote for each story one time. Members of the public can comment on as many stories as they wish.

The offering of incentives in exchange for votes or comments is prohibited.

The use of bots and/or robotic submissions is prohibited.

head transformation

The Prize

A monetary prize of $250 USD will be awarded to one overall juried winner. A monetary prize of $100 USD will be awarded to each of the two runners-up selected by the jury. A monetary prize of $125 USD will be awarded to the public winner. Monetary prizes will be distributed by a check mailed by Temple University. The prizes will be shipped at no expense to the winner, to the address provided by the winner at the time of entry. The winner is solely responsible for any taxes on the prize. The winner is responsible for confirming the correct ship-to address. A signature will be required at the time of delivery.


For the names of the prize winners, available from 4/30/2019 the latest, indefinitely. Please access:


Temple University Libraries
Paley Library, 1210 Polett Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19122