Tag Archives: News

NEWS: “Spring Stories” Contest

In many parts of the northern hemisphere it’s probably been spring for a few weeks, but here in Edmonton it’s just starting to feel like winter is truly over.

Let’s celebrate with a spring-themed 50WS contest and give away some gift cards for Amazon!

The Spring Stories contest will be open to your entries from April 14, 2014, until May 2, 2014. All submitted stories must be related to the spring season in some way. They can be funny, sad, artistic, adventurous… It’s up to you!


The best submitted stories will be posted to the site during the week of May 5 to 9, 2014, at the rate of two stories per day.

Grand Prize

The best story from all of the entries will be posted as the second story of the day on Friday, May 9. The author of this story will receive a $15 Amazon gift card!

Draw Prize

A draw will also be held for a $10 Amazon gift card.

There will be two ways to enter the draw. First, everyone who submits a story will automatically receive one entry into the draw. Second, another entry into the draw can be earned by either a) sharing a link to this contest announcement using the #50WordSpringStories hashtag on Twitter, b) retweeting the contest announcement tweet from @50WordStories, or c) sharing the contest announcement post on Facebook.

The winner of the grand prize will not be eligible for the draw. The draw prize winner will be selected using a random number generator, and will be announced on the day the grand prize-winning story is posted.


  • To be eligible for this contest, stories must be received between April 14, 2014, and May 2, 2014.
  • Stories must be related to the theme of “spring”. Stories not related to this theme will not be considered for a prize, but may be considered for later publication on the site.
  • Submit your entry or entries to tim@fiftywordstories.com. (Limit two story submissions per writer. Please send each story in a separate email. Story should be pasted into the body of the email.)
  • The subject line of your email must start with “SPRING STORIES ENTRY” and include the title of the story.
  • Stories must be exactly 50 words long, not counting title and author biography.
  • Any stories received for the contest but not published during the week of May 5 to 9, 2014, will still be held eligible for later publication on the site. Entry into the contest does not guarantee publication on the site.
  • All stories must follow all guidelines specified on the Submissions page. Please read this page before sending in your entry.

I look forward to seeing all of your entries! Let’s make this the best 50WS contest yet.

NEWS: Christmas Break

Sorry for the radio silence this week, everyone. It’s been hard to spare a moment of my vacation time to think about the site. But we’ll be back to regularly scheduled updates next week (hopefully)!

Your News at Nine

“In today’s headlines,” said the news anchor on TV, “civil unrest rages on throughout the Middle East. Also, Hugh and Bob Mungus need to stop playing so much XBox and do their homework.”

“Huh?” said Hugh and Bob.

Mom grinned. She hadn’t told her sons about her new boyfriend yet.

This story was based on the TypeTrigger prompt, “in today’s headlines.”

NEWS: Pirate Week, and a Contest

I’ve teased a “Pirate Week” a couple of times over the past few months, and now I’m announcing that it is Officially On.

For the week of February 20 to 24, 2012, every story posted to 50WS will be pirate-themed. I’ll be looking for as many submissions as I can get. Forget one story per day, or even two stories per day: I’m going to post as many stories each day during that week as seems appropriate, so get writing and send your work in!

And guess what: there will be prizes! Here is the updated full prize list:

Fine print re: t-shirts: Shirts with stories on the back are only available up to size Large right now, but shirts with blank backs are available in more sizes. Shipping inside North America is included with your prize; if the winner lives outside North America I’d appreciate $5 to help cover the additional postage costs.

Contest Rules:

  • Each entrant is free to submit up to 5 separate stories.
  • Each story must be exactly 50 words long, not including the title.
  • Every story must have a pirate theme to be considered for publication and/or a prize.
  • If any runner-up winner already possesses an ebook copy of Fifty-Word Stories: Volume Two, the prize may be exchanged for a different ebook.
  • All entries must be received by February 17, 2012.

I’m looking forward to seeing what lands in my inbox. Arr, maties!

NEWS: New Store; Bundle Deals Ending

I’ve set up a new store for selling my writing, 50WS products included. Until the end of the month, you’ll still be able to buy books and t-shirts using the existing 50WS Store, but once January rolls around I’ll be shutting down the store on this site and running all sales through the new TScom store.

When I transfer things over to the new store, I’ll be discontinuing the bundle deals, so if you want to save money by buying both books, getting a shirt and book together, or picking up both books and a shirt, do it before the end of December!

NEWS: Special Guest Week in Review

I want to extend a big thank you to my special guest writers this week. They are all great, creative people, and their own work deserves your support!

Alex Steacy and Jeremy Petter both work with Loading Ready Run, though Jer has just taken a leave to go back to school. Alex just released a collaborative graphic novel project called Shards. It costs $20 + shipping; send him a message on Twitter to find out more. I’m hoping to convince my wife to let me pick one up, myself!

Greg X. Graves just released a new book called Codex Necromantia. Learn more and buy it on Kindle here. I’m looking forward to reading my copy.

Justin Boyd has two webcomics going, and has dabbled with others in the past. I’ve been reading both Left-Handed Toons and Invisible Bread for quite a while, and they’re both hilarious. Plus, LHT just reduced the price of their book to $6, which is an amazing deal. Go pick it up! My copy keeps my toilet very good company.

Nathaniel Towers runs Bartleby Snopes, an online literary magazine. I haven’t had anything accepted there yet, but I’ll be doing some more submitting, I’m sure! Nate’s first novel, A Reason to Kill, can be purchased here.

Thanks again to all of these guest writers for contributing over the past week.

And don’t forget, Fifty-Word Stories: Volume Two will be released on Monday, September 12! It’ll be in the Kindle Store for $2.99, and print orders will be shipping out as soon as I get the books and shirts from their respective printers. If you haven’t ordered yet, go ahead and grab your copy!

NEWS: “Popular Stories” Tweak

I’ve changed the settings for the “Popular Settings” widget in the sidebar so it only shows stories from the past three months (90 days) now.

Previously, it showed stories posted within the last year. I want to see a bit more turnover, so people get exposed to more recent stories and don’t just see the same high-rated stories in the sidebar constantly. Those stories will still be at the top of the lists on the Top Stories page, which is not time-limited, so this doesn’t make your ratings any less meaningful.

Thank you to everyone who rates stories. It’s a great way to get feedback from you, and I really appreciate it. The Top Stories page is the second-most popular page on the site, after the home page, of course, so your ratings really count on helping new and old readers alike find the best stories to read from FiftyWordStories.com’s large archive.

NEWS: Year Three Starts Tomorrow

FiftyWordStories.com Year Three starts tomorrow. I’ll be kicking off the year with a week of stories written by myself, and following that we’ll go back to Monday guest stories and my writing on Tuesday to Friday.

I’m really looking forward to this year. I felt like last year’s schedule, where I was writing four stories a week instead of seven, really brought up the average quality of my writing. More overall practice with the format helped too, of course!

There are a couple of small site tweaks I want to point out. First is that there’s a new Stories page that you can use to browse through the kinds of stories you want to read. I’ve gone back through the entire archives of the site and separated the stories into thematic categories, like I do with the books, so hopefully that will make it easier to find what you’re looking for. You can also just read Guest stories, or use the Search tool in the sidebar.

On another topic, I’m hoping to have Volume Two ready for ordering by the end of August. I still have work to do on the layout, the cover, and the bonus content. More details will be forthcoming over the next few weeks. I’m hoping to have a few other things available, too; there’s been talk of story-based t-shirts and fridge magnets going around “the office.” Those things will depend on cost, practicality, and interest levels, so if there’s something you’d really like to see, let me know with a comment or an email (tim@fiftywordstories.com).

Due to the improvements in story quality, I actually have almost 130 stories picked out for inclusion in Fifty-Word Stories: Volume Two, compared to the 100 in Volume One. That means that even though I wrote fewer stories, more of them were good enough to put in the book, which is pretty cool, in my opinion.

Let’s have a bigger year than ever, and kick things off with a really fun August. Read, rate, comment, and submit!

NEWS: Year Two Drawing to a Close

This coming Tuesday, July 5, marks the completion of a second full year of daily stories for FiftyWordStories.com. Join me in a big “Yay!”

So much great stuff has happened over the past year. It’s been a ton of fun. But what you want to know is what this means for the site, of course. At the end of Year One I took a bit of a hiatus to get started on putting together Fifty-Word Stories: Volume One, to recharge my creative batteries, and to make some adjustments to the website. I’m going to be doing something similar this time.

Year Two will end on Tuesday, July 5, 2011, with a final story written by me. The plan for Year Three is that it will start on Monday, August 1, 2011, though that could possibly change, depending on if I need more time to prepare. I’m going to do my best to fill the time in between with as many guest stories as possible. To that end, I have over two weeks’ worth of stories from King Kool lined up already, as well as some submissions from other writers. I’m always interested in receiving more submissions, of course!

During the hiatus, I’m going to be working hard on writing my Master’s thesis, as well as preparing Fifty-Word Stories: Volume Two for a release sometime this fall. More news on that front will become available as I continue to make progress on it.

I’m really looking forward to continuing to entertain people with my writing and the writing of all the talented people out there who have submitted guest stories over the past two years. I hope you share my enthusiasm for where the site’s been and where it’s headed!