Contests: Stories 2023

Status: Accepting Submissions

Introduction > Agreement > Information > Submission > Entry Fee > Complete

Guest Judge: Jamil Jan Kochai, finalist both for the 2020 PEN/Hemingway Award and for the 2022 National Book Award

First prize: $1,000
Second prize: $500
Third prize: $250

The three prizewinners and seven honorable mentions will be considered for representation by William Morris Endeavor; ICM; the Wylie Agency; Aragi, Inc.; Regal Literary; Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency; Markson Thoma Literary Agency; Inkwell Management; Sterling Lord Literistic; Aitken Alexander Associates; Barer Literary; the Gernert Company; Janklow & Nesbit Associates; and the Georges Borchardt Literary Agency.

Entries must be complete by October 10, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. PDT. Results will be announced at the website December 15 and in the Spring 2024 edition of Zoetrope: All-Story; and the winning story will be published as a special online supplement to that Spring 2024 edition.

We accept all genres of literary fiction. Entries must be: unpublished at the time of submission; strictly 5,000 words or fewer; and accompanied by an entry fee of $30 per story. There are no formatting restrictions; please ensure only that the story is legible. Please omit all personal information from the manuscript itself (i.e., name, address, email address, phone number), as all stories are read blindly.

We welcome multiple entries ($30/story), simultaneous submissions, and entrants from outside the United States. We will email contest updates and results to anyone who provides an active email address. Entrants retain all rights to their stories. Once a story is submitted, we cannot accept an updated draft. (However, an entrant is welcome to submit an updated draft as a new entry.) Entry fees will not be returned or adjusted. Entrants retain all rights to their work.

Please email us at [email protected] with further questions. Thank you for your interest, and good luck!

2022 Competition:
The winning story from the 2022 Short Fiction Competition, "Egg" by Emily Crossen, was published as a special online supplement to the Winter 2022/2023 edition of Zoetrope: All-Story.

Submit Entry

Your Submission

Story Title*
First Name*
Last Name*
E-mail Address*
State, Province or Country*


By selecting the Accept box beside each of the statements below, and then the I Agree button at the bottom of the page, you indicate that you (and all co-entrants, if applicable) agree with the following statements.

I/We agree to the accuracy of the information submitted.
I/We have read all of the Official Rules, understand, have complied and will continue to comply with these rules.
I/We understand that failure to adhere to the Official Rules and/or this Agreement will result in disqualification and forfeiture of entry fee.
I/We agree that the material submitted is my/our original work and that there are no disputes regarding the ownership of the submission.
I/We acknowledge that my/our submission to the American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest vests no rights in the submission in American Zoetrope.
I/We agree to hold American Zoetrope, its affiliates and their employees, agents, owners, directors and/or shareholders (the "Indemnified Parties") harmless from and defend them against all claims, demands, losses, costs, damages, judgments, liabilities and expenses (including attorney's fees) arising out of or in connection with any and all claims of third parties, whether or not groundless, based on any stories submitted to the American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest or on any screenplay developed out of such stories.
I/We acknowledge and agree that the relationship between me/us, as a contestant, on the one hand, and American Zoetrope, on the other hand, is not a confidential, fiduciary, or other special relationship, and that my/our decision to provide my/our screenplay submission to American Zoetrope for purposes of the contest does not place American Zoetrope in a position that is any different from the position held by members of the general public with regard to elements of my/our screenplay submission or other material that are not legally protectable.
I/We understand and acknowledge that American Zoetrope and its affiliated companies have wide access to ideas, stories, screenplays, and other literary materials, and that new ideas are constantly being submitted to it. I/We also acknowledge that many ideas or stories are similar to each other and different ideas and stories often relate to one or more underlying themes. I/We further agree that American Zoetrope and its affiliated companies do not now and shall not have in the future any duty or liability, direct or indirect, vicarious, contributory, or otherwise, with respect to the infringement or protection of my/our copyright in and to the screenplay submission.
I/We agree that the burden of obtaining U.S. copyright or otherwise protecting any proprietary interests in the material, if I/we wish to do so, rests entirely with me/us.
I/We understand that, if my/our screenplay places in the top ten, American Zoetrope will send the screenplay to the agencies listed in the Official Rules and that American Zoetrope shall bear no responsibility with respect to the copyright protection of my/our screenplay at such agencies.
I/We understand that, if my/our screenplay places in the top ten, American Zoetrope will request my/our permission to send my/our screenplay to the agencies listed in the Offical Rules.
I/We agree, if my/our screenplay is ranked in the top ten, to let American Zoetrope use my/our name/s in press or other materials related to the Contest.
I/We agree that I am/we are eligible for the American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest, and that I/we will notify American Zoetrope if I/we become ineligible prior to the conclusion of the Contest.
I/We agree that, to the best of my/our knowledge, all of the statements herein are true and correct.
I Agree
I Do Not Agree
Date Entry Fee Time Remaining
Submission Deadline Tuesday, October 10 $30
Winners Announced Friday, December 15