Contest with Gayle Forman!

As we announced last week, April is AASL contest month! Each week in April, we’ll announce a new contest prompt in a different genre of creative fiction (including romance, sci-fi, and paranormal), and this week it’s contemporary fiction.

Gayle Forman is the bestselling author of the wildly popular If I Stay, a novel in which Mia, a musician, must spend a day deciding whether to live or die. The sequel to If I Stay, Where She Went, will be released tomorrow.

Here’s your prompt: Write a story or poem in fewer than 750 words (short and sweet!) that takes place in the course of one day; somewhere in the story you must include original lyrics. This means that you must include lyrics that you’ve written.

Instructions on how to enter:

-Create a new writing
-Tag it contemporarycontest
-Be sure to press “Publish Now”
-Wait the hour or so it sometimes takes for entries to show up BELOW.

The deadline is Sunday, April 10 at 9PM EST. Then YOU decide the finalists by voting on your favorite entries; you can vote until Friday, April 15th at 6pm EST. The top hearted entries will become finalists. The winner will receive signed copies of Gayle Forman’s books, get highlighted on our blog and newsletter and AASL’s blog and newsletter, and be entered (along with the winners of all four contests) to win a Kindle. Good luck, Figs!

1. One entry per person, please.
2. The promotion of your contest entry is not allowed on Figment. This includes self-promotion and the promotion of other users’ contest entries in the Figment forums, the comments and reviews of stories, and the Figment Facebook page. Independent promotion on sites unrelated to Figment, like personal Facebook or Twitter accounts, is fine.
3. Works must be published between the announcement of the contest and the closure of the contest. Entries created before the start date or after the end date will not be included in the pages of contest entries and will be ineligible to win. This means a new story must be created for the contest; adapting an old story published before the start of the contest will make the entry ineligible to win.
4. The rules of the contest are both strict and open to interpretation by a moderator.
5. It is the user’s responsibility to properly tag the story so that the story appears within the contest submissions. Untagged or improperly tagged stories will not be shown with the submissions and will not be eligible to win.
6. The creation of multiple accounts to heart or otherwise vote for your contest entry on Figment is prohibited, and may result in the disqualification of that entry, the deletion of your Figment account, and/or the blocking of your IP address permanently from the site, at the moderator’s discretion.

55 thoughts on “Contest with Gayle Forman!

  1. The lyrics we include-how many lines? By lyrics do you simply mean a couple lines of verse? Does it need to be from a whole original song?

    • It can be as many lines as you like, and it does not need to be part of a whole original song. Hope this helps!

  2. Pingback: April Writing Contests from Figment | The Teen Spot @ the CPL

  3. Hey! A writer who I have read stuff by! I read her book for english class. I might not enter, but I will vote

    • When you’re looking at the text box on Figment, at the bottom will be “publish now” and “save draft.” If you’re not ready to publish it yet, then just click “save draft.” If you’re ready to share your masterpiece, click on “publish now.” Remember that you have to click on this for EVERY chapter you want to publish. Also, make sure to tag your writing “contemporarycontest,” or whichever tag is announced with the new prompt.

    • Hey Diane-
      If you’ve already made your story public, you published it! The “publish now” button is the red button that you seen when editing a new story or a chapter you’ve got saved as a draft. Let me know if you still have questions:

    • Hey Valentina-
      Unfortunately, we have to be strict about the word count to make it fair to everyone. In order for your entry to be eligible to win, try and edit it to within the word count. Good luck!

  4. Hi, I have a couple of questions.
    1) How many top-hearted entries will be accepted as the finalists?
    2) Out of the top-hearted finalists, who choses who wins?
    Thanks! 🙂

  5. So are we just supposed to make a new chapter for each new prompt, or a new publication all together?
    And are each of the prompts their own contest, or is it based on the overall vote for all the prompts you choose to participate in?

    • A new book for each contest. It is a different contest for each even if it is the same idea. Each prompt is basically a new contest.

  6. As far as self-promoting goes, does that count swaps? Like if I were to go to someone else’s forum and ask if they’d read my newest piece of writing, does that count? Because, I’ve seen others doing it too, and I was just wandering.

    • I have seen others ask this and a moderator replied this essentially: You can do swaps but you can’t narrow it down to exactly the entry. If you have 8 poems and 9 short stories and say don’t read poems, that would be okay. You can say newer but not newest. You have to make sure that the person swapping with you actually could potentially choose at least a few writings to swap from if it may include your entry.

    • Fiona has it covered. You can’t single out your contest entry either by name or by any other action. You can’t request reads on your newest work if that is a contest entry. You can’t request reads on your longest/shortest piece if it is the entry. You can’t request reads on your short story if your only one is a contest entry. I think you get the general idea, the “spirit of the law” if you will. Let me know if that incredibly rambling response clears things up:
      And good luck!

    • As long as you include some, you’re good. You get into the finalists by having other people heart your story. Hope this helps!

  7. Is it possible for me to win more than one section of the contest? I’m not saying I will, but since four winners are being entered to win a Kindle, I was wondering if it could be: Joe Bob, Joe Bob, Joe Bob and Tom Thomas all in the running for the Kindle.

    • Hey Sydney-
      It is possible, though unlikely, that the same person could win more than one week of the contest, in which case they will be entered as many times as they win. In the example you gave, even though the winner would still be chosen randomly, Joe Bob would have a 3/4 chance of winning.

  8. I published my story but forgot to add the tag until a few minutes later. I think that has stopped my entry from going into the above section. Could it please be added?

  9. Okay, so this is like the 5th contest I’ve entered, and my entry has always shown up on th elist no problem. However, I posted (and published) my entry “When Surgery Isn’t Enoungh” over 24 hrs ago, but I don’t see it on the list of the contest entries. I don’t think it’s the tag though since I copied and pasted it (like I always do) :/ I know it’s figment though since one person has already commented/hearted. What did I do wrong? :'(

    Thanks so much!

  10. Does the story have to center around the “one day” thing or can it just take place in one day? I already published mine but I might need to redo it if it is supposed to center around one day. And also, does the story have to be the whole day or just a part of it?

    • You don’t have to keep mentioning it in your work, but it should be clear that it’s taking place in one day. Also, it can either be the whole day or just part of it – as long as it’s one day.

      Hope this helps!

  11. I didn’t realize that “promoting-cheating” included asked people to comment on your contest entry, which I did on my poem “What Earth, Baby?”. Someone pointed that out to me, and now i don’t see my poem showing up in the list of contemporary contest submissions. I am wondering if you disqualified it? I understand if you did, but I just want you to know that I didn’t realize that I was cheating.

    • I have also started a new thread in the forum telling everyone to take their heart off of my poem “What Earth Baby?”. Once again, sorry!

  12. Hey, I noticed that a figmenter was promoting her entry for this on self-promotion. She said that it was okay because she only asked people to look at it and comment, but I thought you should know.

    • Hey Fiona!
      Yep, that was me! I have emailed and posted the moderators to let them know about my mix-up! I’m so sorry about it, didn’t know, won’t do it again in the future. I just want to let you know that I am not some evil cheating mean person! To prove it, I’ll follow you, and then you can keep an eye on me and see that i never do this whole thing again!
      Thanks and sorry,

  13. I posted my entry over 24 hours ago, and it still has not shown up. I have checked several times to see if I tagged it correctly, and I did. Why is it not showing up? Thanks for the help!

  14. Hey umm… what does rule #2 mean??? Sorry I’m kinda tired and, well stupid at the moment! 😛 Haha!!! Please help!

    -Jorden R.

    • Hi Jorden

      Rule #2 simply means that you can’t post in the forums (or on books) asking people to read your contest entry. You can’t refer to it in any way. This includes asking people to read your latest or newest book if that book is your contest entry; asking them to read your only poem/short story if that is a contest entry; asking them to read your least hearted work if that is a contest entry; asking them to read your shortest/longest piece if that is a contest entry. Basically, you can’t refer to your contest entry in any way, not only in the forums, but also in comments/reviews on books by other Figment users. Feel free to promote your entry on your personal social media accounts, though (i.e. Facebook and Twitter).

      These rules do not apply to contests run by users in the forums.

      Hope this helps! And if you have any other questions, feel free to email me at

  15. How do you define the deadline? I kinda whipped out something in an hour (I hadn’t checked the website in a while and had a piece that kind of fit this so I just changed it up…my fault for not coming here more often or I would have seen this before the deadline) and published it before the deadline at 9 but it might take a little longer to show up since you said it can take up to an hour…is that okay?

  16. I love this contest, but I still don’t like this setup- i like the semifinalists/polls one a lot better. 🙂

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