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We launched the Creative Writing Contest one month ago. I'm sharing:

  • A brief summary of how it's gone so far (including a new update, which is why I've changed the original publication date to 10/14)
  • A few updates that we hadn't announced yet

The stories so far

We've had 44 submissions (defined as "posts with the contest tag + recommendations on the submission thread + private submissions").

As a judge, I'm trying not to read anything until the judging process begins, and I've... almost succeeded. (I check r/rational more days than not, so the "see story, read story" instinct is powerful.)

But you, reader, are not bound by this limitation! I envy your ability to click the contest tag, find an interesting title, and dive in. 

You could also be contrarian and look for the least interesting title. Maybe you'll find a hidden gem.

There's still time to submit! 

You have until 11:59 pm PST on October 29th. 

Submissions don't have to be long. I can easily imagine a 500-word entry (flash fiction, a well-done thought experiment...) winning a prize.

Updates on the contest

More prizes

Thanks to a generous donation from Owen Cotton-Barratt, we've increased the total prize amount from $10,000 to $22,000! More details here.

Private submissions

Several authors made the point that "publish your story on the Forum" is a steep requirement for someone who might want to sell that story somewhere else. So we opened the option to submit something privately, to be published only if you win.


At present, our judging panel consists of:

  • Kelsey Piper, writer at Future Perfect and The Unit of Caring
  • Alexander Wales, author of Worth the Candle and other EA-adjacent fiction
  • DaystarEld, author of Pokemon: The Origin of Species and host of the Rationally Writing podcast
  • Aaron Gertler, who mostly writes procedural Forum posts (but reads a lot)

One or two more people may join later.

We'll split submissions between the judges to keep the workload manageable. Each judge will recommend a few favorites to the rest, and we'll work out the final winners via discussion.


This isn't really news, but it's a reminder: I offer feedback on Forum posts, including entries to this contest. I've already talked to a few people who wanted to know whether their work was a good fit, and I'd be happy to help you.

(If you end up submitting something I've seen, I'll make sure it goes to another judge.)




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Thanks for all you do Aaron and thanks to the judges for giving their time. And thanks to all who write. I'm really looking forward to reading them.

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