Lulu Short Story Contest

The Lulu Short Story Contest is here and starts right now!

As many of you know, November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) – a great time to put your nose to the grindstone and try to complete a 50,000 word novel in under 30 days.

But we got to thinking: over 200,000 authors participated in NaNoWriMo last year and only 30,000 actually made the deadline.  That leaves 170,000 dedicated and talented folks high and dry.  That’s a whole lot of creativity to waste.  So why not make things easier?  After all, creativity is about quality, not quantity.

Thus, the Lulu Short Story Contest was born…

Throughout the month of November – all the way to December 1st – anyone can participate in our Short Story Contest and take the pressure off the creative process.  Better yet, we want to help folks see their creativity available to the public as quickly as possible too, so we’re gonna help you create an eBook out of your short story that’ll go live in the iBookstore and on Barnes & Noble’s NOOK.

How to play:

  • Write a 600 word short story using our handy eBook template.  Download the template here.
  • Follow the list of things you don’t need to worry about available here.
  • Upload your work to and send it through the Lulu ePub Converter
  • Make sure to set your work to public availability and set to “sell on Lulu, the iBookstore, Barnes and Noble, and more.”
  • Once published, submit a link to your eBook’s product page, along with your name and registered Lulu email address to SurveyMonkey to help us track submissions and claim your 20% off coupon.  Once submitted, you’ll receive a notice within Survey Monkey confirming your entry.
  • Feel free to promote your contest submission on our Facebook and Twitter (#nanowrimo) pages too

What about prizes?!?!

This is the best part.

First place:

  • $500 cash
  • Barnes & Noble NOOK
  • Feature in Lulu Staff Picks and Lulu Blog
  • Free mentions in upcoming Lulu publicity
  • Professional review of your work

Second place:

  • Barnes & Noble NOOK

Third place:

  • $100 gift card to Barnes and Noble

All participants:

  • 20% off coupon for next purchase on

Winners will be selected by a panel of Lulu judges and announced mid-December after review of all submissions.  Bring on your remarkable stories for a chance to win some amazing prizes!

No purchase necessary.  U.S. only.  Prize packages for the Lulu Short Story Contest include:  First place prize of $500, a Barnes and Noble NOOK, publicity in upcoming Lulu materials.  Second place prize of a Barnes and Noble NOOK.  Third place prize of a $100 gift card to a Barnes and Noble retail store location.  All participants will receive a 20% coupon good for their next purchase at  The maximum savings for this offer is $100. Sorry, but this offer cannot be applied to previous orders. You can only use this code once, and unfortunately you can’t use this coupon in combination with other coupon codes. This great offer expires on December 31, 2011 at 11:59 PM, so don’t miss out! We can only accept English-language content.  While very unlikely, we do reserve the right to change or revoke this offer at anytime, and of course we cannot offer this coupon where it is against the law to do so.  Lulu also reserves the right to make any short story submitted publicly available and to make small edits to content to aid in distribution to third-party retail stores.


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  1. This sounds fun, but to clarify is that 600 words, or is it supposed to be 6000? Thanks!

  2. Hi again…never mind; I see it is 600. Sorry! I’m looking forward to this! Have a great day!

  3. I know how to create a correct ePub. Do I really need “a new eBook project using Lulu’s DOC to EPUB conversion tool”?

  4. Great – I’m part of a creative writing group and we’re meeting tonight for a “Just Shut Up and Write Workshop” so this is a perfect target.

  5. Are we allowed to submit more than one story to the contest? Is there a limit on the number of entries per person?

  6. AJ


    Yes! Feel free to submit as many different short stories as you want!


    I’d recommend using the converter and our template just to take some of the headache out of sending it to the iBookstore. We’ve set everything up for you so you don’t have to worry about it bouncing back.

  7. Can it be a narrative poem that is 600 words long?

  8. Sarah

    Can it be longer than 600 words, or is that the maximum?

  9. HelenB

    Is it 600 words *exactly*? Or is there a range?

  10. Greg

    Can you enter more than once?

  11. gnume

    can multiple stories be submitted or we are limited a one story per user ?

  12. What is the max length of submission? Or is their a max length? Is the 600 the minimum or the maximum or what? I’ve read the whole and it’s not really very clear on that…


  13. Jackie F.

    Wow!!!!!! Starting my story today.

  14. Roger

    Sounds cool.

  15. I have a new book coming out called “Sherman: Champion of the New World Order”. However, it’s at least 95 pages. Is that too large for this contest.

  16. From the fine print in the rules it looks like by entering, contestants are giving you a permanent non-exclusive right to publish their entries with no compensation (even if they don’t win).

    Sucker bet.

    No thanks.

  17. MStarman

    I have never entered any kind of contest before and my one question to this short story contest is, can the story be in poem format? Or would that be considered a poem and not a true short story?

  18. Dee

    If an author wins this competition, who owns the copyright?

  19. Hi! I am more a technical writer then a “story teller or novel” writer but I am tempted to try it!
    So we will be in touch later.

  20. How many stories can we submit? Is there a limit?

  21. Greg Steinacker

    Are you allowed to enter more than once?

  22. Does the 600 words also include the title and copyright material?

  23. What if I have 13 short stories already written and I want to submit one of them. Can I transfer the file to the short-story template?

    Nicholas M. Regan a.k.a. nick78, a.k.a., nicholas 8 regan

  24. I finished my story and have gone through all of the steps. My questions are two:

    1) Is there something special I need to do for the pricing and DRM? I left them as the standard settings.

    2) How do I submit it for the contest? It seems like I just created a project of my own right now.


  25. Mark

    Can it be a previously published story?

  26. AJ


    We’d prefer it were a new story, but hey, if you don’t already have an eBook version of it, why not? Go for it.


    Nothing special you need to do with pricing and DRM. Once published, submit a link to your eBook’s product page, along with your name and registered Lulu email address to SurveyMonkey to help us track submissions and claim your 20% off coupon.


    Heck yes! Submit all 13! The more the merrier.


    The 600 word count does not include the title and copyright material.


    Yes! Please enter as many times as you want as long as it is a different story each time.


    Submit as many different stories as you want!


    All authors on Lulu maintain complete creative and copyright control – always.


    Sure! Just make sure you enter it into the provided template.


    The terms and conditions are worded so that we are able to distribute the stories to the iBookstore and Nook for free as part of the prize package. All authors on Lulu maintain complete creative and copyright control. It isn’t a “sucker bet,” but rather a way for authors to get their work distributed freely to millions of readers and gain exposure. Since authors are publishing their work through a Lulu account, any revenue made would have to be paid out to them.


    95 pages is unfortunately too long for entry. You should still publish your work though! And perhaps you could offer a passage in short story form as a teaser for your main book.


    600 words is the maximum.


    600 words is the maximum.


    As long as you’re able to fit your work in the provided template and it passes through the EPUB converter, go for it!

  27. jennifer beck

    are there age groups for children’s creative writing as well or is it all one group?

  28. AJ


    This contest is open to anybody 🙂


    Sorry, no images can be submitted, but I like your idea!

  29. Brett

    Ran into you guys (Lulu) at the Blogworld and Book Expo in New York, are you going to be at Blogworld in LA tomorrow? Cool contest too, will enter soon!

  30. Susan

    Hello AJ,

    This sounds like a wonderful competition, and I just have a quick question.

    If I submit a children’s book, could I do it with pictures? That is, can I format it like a traditional picture book, with a picture and a paragraph per page? (I would be doing both pictures and words, so it’s a single-person entry.)



  32. Visit my blog over 400 original stories.

  33. Michael Barry

    I would like to submit an item in the short story contest but cannot decipher exactly how to do it. If anybody on this site figures out how this might be done let me know.

  34. AJ


    Just publish an eBook using the provided template and submit your link to Survey Monkey. It is that easy!


    Submit all of them!

  35. Hello
    This is so new to me, that I don’t understand the jargon such as, submit a link to my ebooks prouct page-what is that? Of course I must not have one. I haven’t published my book yet-hope to by the end of December-looking for a better price that what I have seen recently.
    Thanks Nancy

  36. 600 words or less of short story goodness in Word format using our template at the bottom of this post.

  37. Tania

    Can we create an illustrated cover for our short story, or must it be a simple, plain-text cover?

  38. Michael Barry

    Thanks for the advise Charles, but I am gonna pass. It is over my non-technological head. I saved my story to my own documents cause I cannot even figure out how to save it here. Someday I will use it somewhere else.


  39. Rebecca Krusee

    Hi AJ. Is this fiction or non-fiction?

  40. I’ve entered my story into the contest and am at the point for pricing. Do I need to make it free for the contest or can I put a price on it?

  41. Lea

    Gosh, I’d really love to enter this contest, but 600 words is EXTREMELY short. I entered a contest once that allowed for 24,000 words, and I still felt limited. To me, that’s just crazy. What kind of story could you really write with that?

  42. AJ


    It may be a challenge, but it is possible! You can do it! Challenge yourself to see what can you tell in 600 words that still makes it interesting to your readers. NPR did a similar contest a while back


    You can price your short story however you want, even free.


    You can submit either fiction or non-fiction.


    You sure can create an illustrated cover – in fact I encourage it!


    600 words is short, but you can do it! Challenge yourself to see what can you tell in 600 words that still makes it interesting to your readers. NPR did a similar contest a while back


    Fret not, once you finish publishing you’ll be able to go into your My Lulu tab and click on your eBook title. It’ll take you to your book’s webpage / product page and you can just copy and paste your page’s link to Survey Monkey above. Let us know if you have more questions.

  43. Anna

    600 words really isn’t a short story, more like flash fiction.

  44. Thomas Lichtenstein

    Sorry to sound so ignorant, but I have no idea how to submit a link to “survey monkey” or even what that is. I published my short story here on Lulu, but I have no idea how to enter the contest itself. Some clear instructions would be much appreciated.

  45. Jewels

    I have rights to a book already published. Can I use some short stories from there?

  46. Thomas Lichtenstein

    I went to Survey Monkey dot com, and looked for a place to “submit a link” (as per your instructions) but there is no such place. All Survey Monkey has is ways to create surveys. What is this all about? how are we supposed to enter this contest?

  47. AJ


    Just click the words “Survey Monkey” in the contest instructions above. It will take you to the page you need to go to. Then just copy and paste your eBook page’s web address in the question box.

  48. Farnaz

    Can it be an essay?

  49. william p.

    So, it can be less than 600 words? Sweet.

  50. Antonia

    I’d love to enter, but I’m not from/in the USA. Can I still enter? Or is it US only?

  51. A bit off topic here, but I’m confused about the TIMES these postings are taking place. I’m in California, and it’s just now 4:06, yet the posting times seem to be about six hours behind my time zone, which would put them two hours ahead of GMT. The only land I see in that time zone are a few islands off the coast of South America and a slice of Greenland. Any clue???

  52. Never mind about the time zone question. I was a bit behind in reading, so instead of six hours behind, it’s seven, and as we are in DST, the time posted must be GMT itself! What a relief. 🙂

    (Of course, it could be identified to avoid confusion.)

  53. Doug Allen

    Why is the competition for US Only please?

  54. AJ


    The contest is US only because contest legalities get fuzzy internationally and we had to restrict it. Sorry 🙁

  55. David Schultz

    Όσον αφορά: “σύντομη ιστορία μου”.
    Έχω διαβάσει την αφήγηση. Γιατί γράφετε ότι στη λατινική γλώσσα; Δεν καταλαβαίνω αυτό,είναι απλώς ένα συνονθύλευμα. Μπορείτε να μας εξηγήσετε;

  56. David Schultz

    Haec epistula indicat “My Short Story»
    Ad vos epistulam in linguam graecam misi. Per iocum erat. Haec epistula itidem ioco est. Sciscitari autem volo, cur fabulam latina confusa lectoribus dare? Causa qualis?
    Gratias ago.

  57. Tesia

    I already submitted a story earlier today, but when I tried to submit another one (we can do multiple stories, right?), it wouldn’t bring me to the Survey Monkey page. What should I do?

  58. Georgia Washington

    Is there a theme, any specific guidelines to follow other than what’s already mentioned?

  59. The initial page says the ePub converter is free, but once you choose “250 pages or less” the cost is $99.00 Is there a hidden code or something for converting a 600 word story?

  60. I might need to dig some more, but I didn’t see a time-frame for the ebooks to populate in iBooks or other places. Is this done quarterly?

  61. JC

    Thanks for this fun contest!

    Just one qn–SurveyMonkey link works only once (I’d like to submit more than one story). The subsequent times I just get the “thank you” page (can’t submit more than one entry).

    Is there another SurveyMonkey link to confirm more submissions??

  62. This is going to sound completely daft as I’ve never epublished anything before, and so I’m also not very informed on this website.

    1. Does it cost any money to publish a short story (or any length story for that matter) on here?

    2. If I wrote a 600 word short story for this contest, would I be able to edit it later into something longer (say a novella-length story)?

  63. Jenny

    Will there be any way for us to find and read other entries in the contest? Maybe a special tag or a page where links to all the stories are posted? I’d love to see what other writers come up with.

  64. AJ


    We encourage folks to post their content on our Facebook and Twitter pages (linked above), lots of people have posted theirs already!


    1. Nope it is free to publish on Lulu always.

    2. You sure could!


    This is actually a great question. If you have more than one submission, I’d recommend posting them all to SurveyMonkey at the same time on one form. However, if you need to make multiple submissions, you’ll need to clear your web browser’s cookies and you’ll be able to submit a new form.


    With our direct live status, your eBooks will appear on the iBookstore within a couple hours.


    You’re looking at our conversion service, not our converter tool. The service is where an actual person takes care of the conversion for you. The tool you just upload a doc to and it will make an eBook. Using the template we’ve provided it should just go straight through no problem.




    This is actually a great question. If you have more than one submission, I’d recommend posting them all to SurveyMonkey at the same time on one form. However, if you need to make multiple submissions, you’ll need to clear your web browser’s cookies and you’ll be able to submit a new form.

  65. Melanie Ramos

    Hi AJ! Is this contest open to U.S. residents only? I’m interested but I’m from Manila. Please let me know. Thanks!


  66. RedBird

    Is the winner going to be announced and can we submit our story with a pen name and put our real name on the entry sheet? because some of the topics i write about my family doesn’t agree with and i want to try to avoid conflict. (though i doubt they would, they do their best to support me and i’m going to enter any, i’d just like to know.)

  67. Dee

    I’m from overseas and not from the U.S.
    May I join this short story contest too?

  68. AmeHime

    Can people from other countries participate? If we can’t, it’s kinda unfair. Don’t you think so? We want to be a part of this, too!

  69. Those are all good post comments I would like to see all those question answered.

  70. Is 600 words the maximum or minimum. If its the minimum, may you please announce what the maximum is?

  71. AJ


    600 words is the max.


    Answering as fast as I can!


    Sorry – US only 🙁 Contest rule legalities get fuzzy once extended internationally.


    Sorry – US only 🙁


    The winner will be announced, but you can absolutely submit under a pen name.


    Sorry, US – only 🙁

  72. Does this have to be a new work, or can it be one that has already been published?




  74. Wayne

    If I am submitting my work under an Artist / Pseudo name, where do I put my real name and artist name? How does that work?

  75. WOWsers! 600 words is the challenge. I think my shortest short story was like 1600 words…lol. Iam game for the challenge though. Thank you for the opportunity!

  76. eric mokotoff

    why only 600 words, that is an essay, I have a short story of 34 pages 9k words. Can I enter that?

  77. Juan

    Just wanted to say hi, and that I entered a short story called “Way of the Charmed Snake”:

    Let’s see where this goes!

  78. Dennis

    It would appear that I am limited to only the default cover art. No matter what I try, nothing works in terms of changing it. Is there a problem with the software here?

  79. Julia

    I am confused. I uploaded my short story but it acted like I was creating a novel and I saw no indication that it was put into the contest. Where do I upload this story?

  80. Julia

    I figured out what I did wrong, sorry. 🙂

  81. marc

    I can’t find how to enter the contest so i’m going to post it here.THAT NEXT STEP
    By Marc Keesy

    It was a plain everyday day. It could even be described a gloomy day. It was late afternoon, middle of June, and it was just starting to rain on this average dismal day. He walked around the house in the large manicured lawn. He past the gas grill located on the out door patio. He looked at the mist over the lake, as he walked across the croquet playing field on his way towards to fringe of the woods, yet some how he could not remember doing any outdoor activity ever. All his memories were misplaced. He knew he must have swam in the lake and played in the yard or cooked on the grill. But a day like today didn’t spark any recollection. A day like today had no bench mark of holiday picnic birthday any comparison other than just a plain old everyday gloomy dismal day that if it never happen day no one would ever miss it. But it was a perfect day for a funeral. He thought to himself while he was digging the grave. How perfect the rain was that it softens the Earth like she was accepting one of her own back. How fitting the rain was warm on his shirtless back and yet cooled him from the digging. How appropriate the rain was like tears of the onlooking-mourning angels. He knew that there was more to do before he could grieve today. The words were said, the stones were laid, and the marker set.

  82. I had the same question as “Tesia”

    I wish I had known to submit multiple stories at once. I have already submitted one, and when I went to submit another story, ‘surveymonkey’ wouldn’t allow me to submit another one.

    AJ, you had advised to clear our web browser cookies, but I have NO idea how to do that!?!?

    If anyone knows, please help!


  83. Aly

    Can it be more than 600 words?

  84. I have submitted my short story to this contest. I did not put a dollar amount on the story – why should judges have to pay to read a contest entry? Nevertheless I see that people will be charged $1.24 to read it.

    I had to choose a category for it – there was no category for “contest” or for “short story”, so I chose science fiction & fantasy, hardly representative but the best I was allowed to do.

    In addition, the instructions said to choose “Sell anywhere” – but if you don’t have an ISBN you can’t sell anywhere (as I was informed). So I confined it to the Nook.

    May I suggest that the instructions on how to submit a contest entry be rewritten to amplify on this? Should we charge to read a 600-word short story, and if so, how much?

    Also, all the little “help” links open up in the same window, rather than a new window, and that was annoying.

    The whole process was very confusing.

    Having said, thanks for holding this contest.

  85. Susan Henderlong

    I have a short story that is completed and ready to go. I would like to enter it in your contest. Please let me know what to do next. Thanks

  86. AJ


    Way to go! Now click the blue, underlined link that says “Survey Monkey” in the blog above, fill out the form and submit. You’ll receive confirmation that you’ve entered.


    You can set the cost of your eBook to anything you want. I would suggest pricing it at $0.00 – totally up to you though. Also, if you right click a link on any webpage, you can choose to open them in a new window. Your welcome?


    The max word count is 600. You can do it!


    We have fixed the Survey Monkey page so that you can submit multiple stories.


    Hmm, that is odd, I would suggest emailing support with as much info as possible. They’re happy to help.

  87. Miss Em

    Yo dude. I would like to enter but I have a slight predicament preventing me from doing so, unless you can figure out a solution to my problem… A. No personal computer B. Not allowed to download programs onto public library computers C. No money to get a computer. Can I send in my material the old school way, either typed on a typewriter or handwritten? If so, awesome! I’ll write something tonight and mail it tomorrow. If not, then I feel like this contest is excluding those who do not have the financial resources to own a personal computer.

    Also, what’s the deal with giving you permission to make “small” edits to someone elses work? Can you be more specific about the editing process?

    Thanks love,


  88. Jenny

    I don’t have a Facebook page (and I refuse to join 🙂 ) so I’ll just put a link to my story here if that’s OK:

    I’ve got a new cover being “catalogued”, so if you see the plain blue one with white text, check back soon! And best of all, I made it free. I just can’t see charging for 600 words.

  89. Jade

    Your contest pitch and rules don’t really seem in sync. That’s 200,000 Nanowrimo participants world wide but only Americans can enter the contest and win the prize? That’s just disappointing, what about all the international folks?

    Or hell, the Canadians. We’re close enough, we should be able to win the prize!

  90. Kariba K Brown

    I have attempted to upload a 600 word story, but seem to be going round and round in circles. Is there a set of simple explanations somewhere ?


  91. Mogo~Spok-Spok~Slogo

    Is this like a contest where we can win stuff? Write or wrong?…Can I add my own art drawings/illustrations?…Must my intergalactic language hieroglyphs be jpeg.ed…Can non-earthlings enter?…

  92. AJ


    Out of morbid curiosity I wish I could say yes to all your questions. Unfortunately this contest is for US citizens only. Intergalactic denizens need not apply. However, yes, you can win stuff just for entering like a 20% off coupon on your next Lulu order. Avoid adding images of any kind to the template. We did most of the work for you so you can just plop your text in and get on with exploring the furthest edges of the galaxy.


    I’d suggest emailing support. They’re happy to help walk you through the process.


    I appreciate your passion! We want to extend this contest internationally next time, the terms and conditions get a little fuzzy when you extend a contest that broadly though. If it is any consolation, most of our staff is Canadian and they are just as upset.


    I think I can help. Firstly, there is no software to download to use Lulu. It is all web-based. A library computer should have a copy of Word on it that you can use, then it’s just a matter of getting it uploaded to our site. As for the “small edits” comment that is in there in the unlikely case that we have to tweak your short story’s formatting to get it to pass validation and be sold on the iBookstore and Nook. We would never alter your content or anything like that – just the actual formatting so it looks pretty. If you still have trouble uploading your content, just let me know. Yo.

  93. SorrowHeart

    Where’s the link to the template download? The one provided goes to “Lulu Short Story Contest Materials.”

  94. Waldo

    Yikes! Flash fiction. You mean flash fiction. Numbskulls.

  95. Travis

    I’m a US citizen living abroad, and I still have a US mailing address. Am I eligible to enter?

  96. Hi, I’ve just finished my 600 word story and am about to upload it and have just realised this is only available in us? Does that mean I can’t enter? Even though I have books published through lulu in uk?

  97. susan jackson

    Can the story be anything of my choice

  98. AJ


    Yes! Let that creativity flow!


    Unfortunately this contest is US only, but you should still publish your work so others can read it!


    Yep, you’re good to go.


    We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of the dreams…play nice.


    Yep, the template is available on the “Lulu Short Story Contest Materials” page.

  99. Kim

    Why can’t I change my cover design while building my book? I want to change the background image and the font or add a theme, but when I click “accept” nothing happens. All I get is the boring yellow background with Arial Unicode font.

  100. Tonya

    I tried to add a custom cover of my own, but the site won’t load it. Why?

  101. John C

    AJ, For the contest, I have done a cover page and the 600 word story according to your template. Should I also add an author’s bio, a little about why I wrote the story, and a table of contents with an NCX as part of the upload file?

  102. Narcissus


  103. If my ebook “title” and “author” were not excepted by Amozon and others, does that mean I cannot be considered for this contest.

  104. Honest, I know how to spell accepted. And I know the difference between accepted and excepted. Honest!

  105. Pamela Frost

    up loaded a short story but saw no link about a contest or survey monkey… it even said I didn’t have enough chapters when I set it up.

  106. AJ


    If you log into Lulu and click the “My Lulu” tab you’ll be taken to a page of your projects. You can then click on your short story for review. I’m sure it is fine though 🙂


    Congrats on uploading! The link to Survey Monkey is the underlined blue text in the blog post above. Click it, fill out the form, and be sure to copy and paste your short story’s web address in question 4 so we can track your submission and give you your coupon code.


    Firstly, I don’t believe you 🙂 Second, you’ve got my interests peaked about your title and author name. I can’t imagine why you’d have trouble. Give it a shot.


    Thanks! You’re not so bad yourself.

    John C,

    No! Please avoid adding things to the template. We’ve done most of the work for you and set it up to go through the converter as smooth as possible. I’m glad you’re anxious to write more though!

    Kim and Tonya,

    Hmmm, that’s odd, you should definitely be able to. I would suggest emailing support with as much info as possible. They are happy to help.

  107. J.C.

    I wasn’t able to download and review my entry and I’m afraid that it might be all “yucked” up . Will the Epub converter smash all my sentences together? I remember it said that it took out line spaces…how can I view my entry?

  108. Hi — This is a great idea! I already have an account with you guys, and my own ISBN’s. For this epub, can I use one of my own, or is this mandated to be a Lulu ISBN? Not a prob if so. Thanks!

  109. More questions.
    This looks to be a product that needs a front cover, yes? Back cover as well?
    Forgive this one — I don’t see an option in converter to make this eBook readable by Kindle. Does Lulu also provide Kindle conversion service? I know there are some differences in requirements.
    Thanks again!!

  110. Hi, I wrote my short story and uploaded it to LuLu into the ebook creator last week. I also put the link into the MonkySurvey as instructed to. However, when I go to the distribution link of my file and click manage, it shows that the ibookstore and Nook is still pending. How long does it take to be accepted? And do I need to put the link into the MonkeySurvey again once the pending staus is updated? Also, I have it listed for general access and the instructions state to list it as Public Availability. Is general access and public availability the same thing? Because I do not see a public availability choice.

  111. AJ


    Sorry, that should read general access. You did it right. And since we’re receiving such an influx of submissions, turnaround time for your story to be live on the iBookstore and Nook store may take a little longer than usual.


    You do need to create a cover, which you’ll be prompted to do as you complete the publishing wizard. No worries about doing a back cover. Currently we provide distribution to the iBookstore and Nook, stay tuned on the Kindle. Also, you can use a Lulu ISBN or one of your own.

  112. Tom Hudson

    Hmmmm? I have tried to submit a second story only to be returned to the THANK YOU, HERE’S YOUR COUPON CODE page at SurveyMonkey. Emptying my browser cache doesn’t help. Same with quitting and restarting. Ideas? Is there a cookie I need to clear to do more submissions? What????

    Other than this, love the idea.



  114. Jenny

    So I tried to go back and search for some of the other entries to read them and leave comments, but they are not showing up in the site search. What’s up with that? I can only get to the stories by scrolling down through the Facebook page and clicking on posted links. The stories aren’t even showing up in a Google search of the Lulu site.

  115. Jenny

    Hm, clarification to what I just posted: some of the stories can be found by searching and others cannot. Very strange…

  116. Sounds like fun! Will there be a list of stories entered? This could be a good way for authors to get and give advice and leave comments.

    My 590 word story is:

  117. Glen

    I have a different problem from everyone else here. I am using Linux and Open Office software. Your Template is a .doc. Will it work in my system?

  118. Leocade

    I’m new to this, how do I submit my short-story?

  119. I know how to create a correct ePub. Do I really need “a new eBook project using Lulu’s DOC to EPUB conversion tool”?
    I ask it again because when I upload the DOC file lulu transforms it into PDF and not in ePub. Do I have to buy the ePub service for $ 99? The steps into this article confuse me.

  120. I just entered 5 stories:

  121. Now I’ve gotten notice that I didn’t include a Table of Contents in my ebook. Does there need to be a Title Page, and a Table of Contents for a 600-word short story? Does this mean I need to add additional pages to my original Word document? This is proving to be more complicated than it needs to be.

  122. AJ


    No! Please don’t add extra pages, a table of contents, or page numbers to your short story. If you use the template we’ve provided, you can just replace the text with your own words, save and upload. It is designed to take the headache out of conversion because we’ve done all the work for you. Let me know if you still have trouble.


    You’re awesome.


    It is worth a shot. Our converter can accept open office files. As long as you can open the template it should work. Let us know!


    Folks have been posting their submissions to our Facebook page (linked above) and commenting there. Please feel free!


    Just follow the links in the post and yes, you can write whatever you want.


    We have fixed the Survey Monkey page so you can submit multiple times. Keep em coming!

  123. Stephen Sposato

    As other readers, survey monkey will not let me post another story . Now I’m stuck having submitted the less intriguing, to me at least of my stories.

  124. AJ


    We’ve fixed the SurveyMonkey page so you can submit multiple times now. Keep em comin’!

  125. Sharna

    I have been trying to upload the Short Story for two days, My computer dosent like either of the websites that you want for uploading… it shuts down when ever I go there; so I was trying to figure out how to upload the Short Story (NOT a book) and I get nowhere (except totally frustrated) Any workable suggestions

  126. AJ


    That sounds bizarre, what internet browser are you using just out of curiosity?

  127. I am desperately trying to enter a 600 word story in your contest. However, I am so completely confused by the directions that I am at the point of giving up. Can you supply me with “SIMPLE” directions on how to submit my story? (It follows your template and type size.)

  128. AJ

    Also, if you need a little extra help, don’t hesitate to reach out to our support team at

    They are glad to help!

  129. Hi again,

    I received the following email from Lulu regarding my short story entry:
    Your eBook has been rejected for missing, incomplete, unreadable, or inaccurate Table of Contents. The NCX must be accurate.

    I used the entry template when I uploaded my short story so I’m not sure what I did wrong. Please advise.

  130. Steven Kristofferson

    May I suggest that this significant USA restriction be made clear at the top of the page so other lulu people don’t waste time going through the instructions and link? (Also there are plenty of other competitions that are global so I really doubt that it’s as difficult as all that…)

  131. Peter

    You’re kidding, of course. Downloading the template showed a bunch of gibberish followed by two other bunches of gibberish. Great!

  132. Joe

    Hi everyone! Just thought I’d add my short story entry here as well –

    “The Morning After”

  133. Katie

    Does the story need a beginning, middle, and end or can it simply be a beginning? Or ending…?

  134. Hi! I’m not from U.S. , can I still participate with a short english story ?

    In case I win I have a friend in U.S. (Houston) who could receive the prize for me.

  135. AJ


    Your friend would need to register to Lulu and enter the contest for you.


    It’s your tale to tell, start wherever you want!


    Nope, we’re not kidding. The template does have gibberish in it as a place holder. Just replace the text with your own.


    We’d like to extend this competition internationally in the future. Sorry for any inconvenience.


    Did you add a table of contents or anything? Your short story should avoid that and may be what is causing the error.


    Once you’ve published your eBook, just follow the blue underlined link to Survey Monkey in the directions above, fill out the form, and click submit. The most important part is copying and pasting your eBook’s web address into question 4 so we can track your submission and give you your coupon.

  136. Mariska

    Did I read correctly, Is it only for those resident in the US. – why? after all if we have a LuLu account you can pay the prize money into the account as you do the sales…… why the discrimination

  137. Donovan Sotam

    hello, couple of questions! 1)Can we use the “identation -> first line” instead of “block paragraph” you have in the template?
    2) Is there a minimum word count.. 400/500 words would be ok?
    3) Did i understand correctly, can one “cut” sections of previously published short-stories?

    Thanks a lot!

  138. AJ


    1. Please adhere to the template we’ve provided, it will ensure that your eBook makes it through the converter ok. 2. No minimum word count, just a max of 600. 400/500 would be fine. 3. You can also cut out sections of other stories as your submission too if you’d like. Lots of authors are uploading teasers for other works.


    Sorry, we’d like to extend this contest internationally but the terms and conditions get fuzzy internationally.

  139. Here my short story:

  140. Dee Smith

    I entered your short story contest just fine.
    I downloaded Adobe Digital Editions, but when I tried to download my story, the cover I had designed did not download with my story. Any suggestions?

  141. AJ


    Often the cover will be treated as a separate piece of work all together that is paired to your work. So you’ll see your cover on an eBook store like the iBookstore, but won’t see it once you actually open it to read.

  142. I published my very first one…

    Thanks and good luck to all!

  143. 600 words is really short! The shortest one I have laying around is 627! Would love it if you guys considered something like 1200.

  144. Lucianne

    I tried pricing my short at 0.00 but when I hit save it comes up as 1.24.

    Anyway, here’s my short:
    It’s kind of old and I’m not a short writer, so I’ll have to try something else. I wish the max was 5000-6000, but I accept your challenge.

  145. Madison Aline

    How do I actually submit my works!! I’ve looked all over the site, and no instructions. Please answer my question because I really want to enter my works.

  146. AJ


    Once published, submit a link to your eBook’s product page, along with your name and registered Lulu email address to SurveyMonkey (the blue underlined link in the blog post) to help us track submissions and claim your 20% off coupon.


    Hmmm, there aren’t any restrictions on the coupon so you should be ok. I’ll double check with our coupon creator.

  147. Ninamaste

    How do you make the short story free? I keep getting the message that the minimum amount is $1.24 when I try to enter zero.

  148. Osazee Osifo

    Storiy title when life look hadder.
    when life look hader i crey no one seem to her me, then i remmeber that i have a father of light in heaven. as i look unto him he gives me joy of salvation. he give me much love than i ask of him. i said to him all this for me he said yes all for you: because many will need it from you. So it was to me when i crey to God of all creation he give me more than i ask of he:
    whom is this father is name is Jesus Christ Matthew 25. Isaiah 29:25:26.
    God bless you.

  149. Osazee Osifo

    Storiy title when life look hadder.
    when life look hader i crey no one seem to hear me, then i remmeber that i have a father of light in heaven. as i look unto him he gives me joy of salvation. he give me much love than i ask of him. i said to him all this for me he said yes all for you: because many will need it from you. So it was to me when i crey to God of all creation he give me more than i ask of he:
    whom is this father is name is Jesus Christ Matthew 25. Isaiah 29:25:26.
    God bless you.

  150. is so Cool! I love it! I just hope my story gets first place…

  151. Gabrielle

    Black Pearls and Swine

  152. Ina

    How come my short stories haven’t shown up in the list yet? How can I confirm that it is officially entered.

  153. Becca

    Can it be over 600 words?

  154. Thao

    Are we allowed to submit more than one short story?

  155. Jae A Eberheart

    I did a cover for my short story poem, but the width of it went over the requirement, but it was still uploaded. I have no idea to edit the width as someone did for me months ago. Is this okay?

    Thanks, I’m looking forward to being more active on here.

  156. AJ


    As long as it went through the converter and you’re happy with it then you’re ok. Otherwise, you can just revise it for free by clicking your short story in your project list and upload a cover that is 8 1/2 x 11″


    You sure can submit more than one story!


    600 words is the max. You can do it!


    As long as you submitted a link to your story on the Survey Monkey page – you’re good. You’ll see a confirmation page once you do with your 20% off coupon on it.


    Enter $0.00 as the price and you’ll be good to go.

  157. Michael

    I can’t seem to figure out how to go from my short story of 600 words to entering it in the contest. I have gone to the contest blog, and I seem to have am epub file. How do I enter it in the contest? I can figure it out. Help.

  158. Thanks for a fun competition!!

    3 Questions:

    1. Can we include a link to our blog at the end of our short story if it counts as our 600 words?

    2. Does the story have to have an official ending, or can it say “to be continued” as a teaser for a larger story?

    3. Are there written parameters anywhere about the cover art (i.e. size, pixels, etc.)?

    Thanks in advance!!

    Angela DiGiovanni

  159. Hema


    I would like to know if a 9 year old submits a story would the winner be selected depending on age group?


  160. AJ


    Any age can participate – but winner goes to the best story picked by our panel of judges.


    1. I would highly recommend avoiding any links, they have been known to cause books to bounce back from distribution.

    2. Its your story! Let the creativity flow however you feel it should.

    3. You’d be good with an 8 1/2 x 11″ cover. You can used one of our provided covers in the cover creator, or upload an image of one you’ve already designed.


    Once you have published, go to your “My Lulu” tab. This will show you a list of your projects. Click the title of your short story, and it’ll provide you a link to your work. Follow the link provided in the blog to Survey Monkey and copy and paste the link you got from clicking on the title of your short story. Click submit and you’ll receive a 20% off coupon.

  161. I went through the process yesterday and was impressed by how easy it was, really, to create a short piece with the epub wizard. Here is my entry

    I priced it as FREE, so feel free to read it anyone.

    Will there be some sort of way to find a list of all the entries so we can read them? I love flash fiction. This was fun.

  162. I posted my story, and went to survery monkey. It said it was entered…hope the judges see it.

  163. JoAnn

    My son is interested in participating. Is there an age requirement for the short story contest?

  164. JoAnn

    Oops, I just found the answer to the question I asked about age. 🙂

  165. Earl Chessher

    Well, six 600-word short stories submitted to the contest so far: Fat Black and Ugly, The Love Letter, A Warm Rain, Body It Be Rising, Bad Dreams and Jody Learned to Shoot … Earl Chessher. Lots of fun Lulu, thanks for having the contest and the prizes sound great.

  166. will it get cut off if its more than 600 words? mines like 650

  167. To secure the rights to our work, must we first register our entry with the U.S. copyright office? If not, how then do we obtain such legal ownership and protection?

    Thanks for answering all our many questions!

  168. AJ

    Adventure Writer,

    All creators on Lulu maintain complete creative and copyright control. Your work is literally copyrighted as soon as you publish it through our site.

  169. (seems my previous comment may have not been properly submitted, though I may be mistaken)

    In order to secure the rights and protection of our work, should we first register the entry with the U.S. Copyright Office? If not, how do we otherwise secure such protection of our work?

  170. sef

    Hi there,

    Just to make sure, is submitting the link to your published work on lulu through Survey Monkey at the contest page the only submission we need to make?

    Also, the confirmation page at SM currently reads:

    “Thank you for participating in the Lulu Short Story Contest. Your story has successfully be submitted. ”

    I think that should be “been submitted” 🙂

    Thanks! Cool contest.

  171. Kendy Ward


    How is the winner determined?


  172. Thao Pham

    I know it says Nov 1-Dec 1, but does that mean that the last day to turn in the story is Dec 1? Thanks!

  173. AJ


    Yes, Dec. 1st is the last day to submit. Hurry! 🙂


    The winner will be selected by our panel of judges and announced mid-December.


    You got it! Thanks for the catch too! We all need editors.

    Adventure Writer,

    All creators on Lulu maintain complete creative and copyright control. Your work is copyrighted as soon as it is made public on our site.

  174. Iviiria Vari

    Honestly, I think 600 words is too short… I’ve written three short stories and each of them come out to about 1200 words… and cutting them in half would simply butcher the story… I dunno what to do. Sad face.

  175. John

    Does Lulu get the rights to any stories submitted?

  176. I sent my short 600 word story in to the contest but never received a notification that it was received. It was on time too. ACK! 🙂

  177. John

    How do I sign up for Lulu in order to enter this contest?

  178. Lynn Heckman

    I posted my ebook, however I’m not sure if it was uploaded to the contest. I was instructed to price it, it’s very short to do that, so should I just add another short story? will I need a second ISBN for that?

  179. AJ


    You can price your work at $0.00 and most folks are doing that. If you submitted to survey monkey, you’ll be taken to a confirmation page with a coupon code on it.


    To sign up for lulu, visit and then the “sign-up” button in the top right hand corner.


    If you submitted to survey monkey, you’ll be taken to a confirmation page with a coupon code on it. You won’t get an email.


    If you submitted to survey monkey, you’ll be taken to a confirmation page with a coupon code on it. You won’t get an email.


    It might be challenge, but you can do it! Don’t let the word count stop you though, we’re being kinda lenient.


    No, Lulu does not keep the rights to any works submitted. All creators on Lulu maintain complete creative and copyright control.

  180. Asher Guttmann

    is there an age preference of any quality?

  181. grandma neki

    my short story is all written and i can’t understand the computer lingo. what is a url? when i pushed download template something in spanish came up….i’m an older generation folk. help help help

  182. I followed all the steps for entering the lulu short story contest but I dont quite understand how your registered for the contest. It seems that I am just trying to sell a book? Am I automatically in the contest or do I need to do something else to make sure that I am registered. Please reply as soon as possible. Im running out of time 😕

  183. Fiona P.

    I lost my old comment… So I’m posting again.
    I can’t edit my story once its published and it says to be submitted to the iBookstore and all, it needs to have a table of contents. Now, I figure I need to edit and put it in, but your format for the contest doesn’t have a table of contents part. Do I need this to be eligible? And also, how do I edit my story once I’ve posted it? I’m having trouble and the like question mark on th revise page next to the uploaded document part just tells me how to change the price…

  184. AJ


    We actually recommend against a table of contents for these. Since all you submitted to Survey Monkey was a link to your story – if you go onto Lulu, click “My Lulu,” click your story’s title, then “make revision,” you can make any edits for free. The link you gave us will stay the same, so when we go to read it, we’ll see your updated version. Thanks!


    Once you submit on Survey Monkey, you’ll be taken to a confirmation page with a coupon code on it. As long as you saw this -you’re in.

    Grandma Neki,

    A URL is the same thing as a web address. It is the looking thing with your book info after it, typically found at the top of your Internet browser.

  185. Allen Jones

    Why would you recommend $0.00 as a price? If the winner enter that he or she could end up short a few dollars. I know I would want to purchase the winning short story. I think I got an extra $2 or $3.

  186. Just wondering does (and, a, the) count as words?

  187. Pete Scari

    Looking forward to trying my luck.

  188. Judy

    Short story is finished. Adobe Digital Editions for Mac has been installed. Have saved doc as both pages and word, but am not able to add to Adobe Library. Can see the documents, but add button is not active.

  189. I followed the guidelines for submitting and everything seemed to work. However, I got a notice in My Lulu that said that the distribution failed because “Your project did not meet our eBook distribution guidelines.” Is this something I need to worry about? I looked and the only thing that I didn’t include, that I can tell, was a table of contents (it is only 600 words after all). Just wanted to make sure I didn’t need to revise it at the last minute.

  190. kim

    hey ive gotten everyhting uploaded-and i can even upload the picture, but i cant click accpet, its glitching or something. not sure if you can fix it, should i keep trying or just pick the default cover?

  191. ken

    I submitted a short story back on Nov. 22. I’d like to edit it slightly — how can I do this easily? Specifics, please, because I have been bamboozled by the instructions on the site.

  192. Cw Alexander

    Where are the official contest rules? I can’t seem to find them anywhere.

  193. AJ


    The contest rules are in the blog post above under “How to play.” Good luck!


    Since all you submitted to Survey Monkey was a link to your story – if you go onto Lulu, click “My Lulu,” click your story’s title, then “make revision,” you can make any edits for free. The link you gave us will stay the same, so when we go to read it, we’ll see your updated version.


    What Internet browser are you using just out of curiosity?

    M. Andrew,

    As long as you sent us a link on Survey Monkey – we’ll still be able to see it. We actually recommend against a table of contents for these. Thanks!


    They sure do. Don’t let that be what stops you from submitting though.

  194. kim

    Aj, i am using just normal internet explorer…augh id hate that to be the problem

  195. Amanda

    I just published one, it’s 591 words long

  196. Alice

    wow! just found out about this today! almost finished the book too! 🙂

  197. Henk de Kruyff


    I like writing contests like this! They challenge me. So I entered and followed the prescribed steps. However now I received an email that my ebook needs a table of contents (for one story of 600 words?) and another remark I could make head nor tail of: “Please rename your NCX link as the name of your story. Thanks”. So now I am wondering if my entry has even arrived at its cyber destination?

    Has anyone else had this problem?

    Kind regards,
    Henk de Kruyff

  198. sef

    Hi again,

    I received an email saying my table of contents is missing and that it cannot be distributed. Is this something I should worry about, since you’ve said you advise against adding one?

  199. Stephen

    Got mine done just in time!

  200. Pamela Rhoades

    Is the deadline past or is it midnight Dec. 1?

  201. Brooke Thorpe

    Hi AJ,

    When will the winner be determined? And how will he/she be determined?

    Thank you for this wonderful opportunity!
    -Brooke Thorpe

  202. Kira4Inu

    So when will the winners be announced? Will there be a new blog post for the announcement?

  203. Ray Fuller

    Will we ever find out who won? 🙂

  204. Michael Healy

    Has a winner been announced yet? And where will the winner be announced anyway?

  205. Who won (the 600 word short story contest)? Winners should have been anounced by now (12/21/2011), but I can’t find any notice. I’d like to download the winning stories. I read most of the free entries, and I have my favorites.

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20 Trackbacks

  1. […] is even getting in the spirit of NaNo. They are sponsoring a short story contest on their website (for those who prefer writing shorter works). Participants write a 600 word short […]

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  5. By National (Novel) Writing Month 2011 « Erth2Ethn on November 4, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    […] – has kicked off a short-story writing contest in honor of NaNoWriMo, which can be found here. It only requires a 600 word essay (in fact, that’s the max word count) and there are even […]

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  9. […] The self-publishing platform, Lulu, is holding a short story contest. Publish your 600 word story for free on Lulu between November 1 and December 1 and you could win $500, a Barnes and Noble Nook, gift cards and more. Find all the details here. […]

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  12. […] A couple of contests: for you NaNoWriMoers, there’s a contest for your first chapter – and you must send it out now, unedited! Yep, they want it raw. Small cash prizes. Also, Lulu has launched a short story competition which might make you win a Nook or something. If you can write 600 words (I know I can’t! ) go check the contest page. […]

  13. By Swim | Kid-Free Living on November 22, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    […] like to bring the room down for a second…. Below is my 600 word essay to the Lulu Short Story Contest also available for free download from […]

  14. […] started the short story competition because many writers fail to write 50,000 words during the course of a month even though they start […]

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