Runaway Contest

Huck Finn. Holden Caulfield. Mulan. Lydia Bennett. Ariel the Little Mermaid. Whether these characters were running from an awful situation or running towards something new, they made the choice to leave it all behind. What made them pack their bags? Did they find what they were looking for?

For this contest, write a story or poem in 1000 words or fewer that features a character (or characters) who has (have) run away in order to ___[fill in the blank]___.  You can chose what they’re running away from/to. This is the photograph that should help you get started:

Copyright The Hamster Factor

This contest is in honor of Family, by Micol Ostow, a story that features a character who runs away from her family and finds a new “family” with a cult. You can read an excerpt of it on Figment here.

How to enter:

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

The deadline is Sunday, May 15 at 9PM EST. Then YOU decide the finalists by voting on your favorite entries; you can vote until Friday, May 20th at 6pm EST. The top hearted entries will become finalists. The winner will receive signed copies of one of Micol’s books, get highlighted on our blog, and these adorable notebooks. 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.

65 thoughts on “Runaway Contest

  1. Notebooks from Etsy (I LOVE that sight, half my wardrobe is from there) and a free book! AWESOME! Added bonus: fits perfectly with a story I had in mind…

      • Are we allowed to submit something we’ve previously published on this site? I have a story about running away that I would like to submit, but I published it on here around a month ago.

        • Hi DJ

          The system does not accept entries into a contest unless they’ve been published after the announcement of the contest. Please feel free to email me at if you have any questions.

    • The picture is meant to inspire an idea. You can write about anything you like (as long as you follow the prompt), but that idea doesn’t have to be completely about the picture. Feel free to email me at if you have any other questions.

  2. Very disappointed. “You can chose what (they’re) running away from/to.” 😛 (haha, I’ll try my best!) 😀

  3. Hey, does it have to be set in modern day now, like the picture or can it be historical fiction? thanks!

    • Hi Alice

      The prompt doesn’t give any specification to the time period, so work with it any way you like.

  4. I prefer the judging that is done with voting for entries in groups so that every gets a chance, instead of the ones who finished early. The later finishers are buried in the “more entries” and are not looked at as often, or if at all. The “blind” judging is much more impartial and fair.

    • Hi A.

      We understand your frustration. We try to alternate between the two methods, as many users still prefer the hearting method. Feel free to email me at if you have any other comments, suggestions, questions or concerns about this. Thanks for the comment!

    • Hi Nicky

      The prompt suggests that the character(s) has (have) already run away, so try to stick as closely to the prompt as possible.

  5. So just about a few days ago i wrote a poem called: I’m sorry. It fit this prompt perfectly so i added the “runawaycontest” tag. Will it show up??? :/

    • Hi Karina

      The system only accepts entries that were created after the announcement of the contest. Sorry!

    • Hi James

      We usually post around ten finalists, unless there’s a tie for last place. In that case, there are usually one or two more. Feel free to email me at if you have any other questions.

    • Hi Jay

      You can use previous ideas, but we ask that Figmenters write new content for the contests. Also, the entry must be published after the announcement of the contest, as the system does not recognize entries published before. Feel free to email me at if you have any questions.

    • As long as that other person ran away (didn’t just move or something), and the story features the relationship between that person and the runaway. (Basically, you just have to feature the runaway prominently, whether absent or present.)

    • Hi Fiona

      You can certainly use older ideas for this entry, but the system doesn’t recognize entries that were created before the date of the contest announcement. Feel free to email me at if you have any questions.

  6. It makes me indescribably sad that whoever wrote the contest information misused ‘their’

    Still, sounds like fun 🙂

  7. Hi Maria,
    Please help cos I’m stupid. I want to enter, but where and how? Is there a form? Do you post your entry? How do you tag it? Thanks. Ivy

  8. Hi Maria,
    Please help cos I’m stupid. I want to enter, but where and how? Is there a form? Do you post your entry online? How do you tag it? Thanks. Ivy

    • Hi Ivy

      All you have to do is create a book on Figment. Go to “my writing” and click on “create something new.” Add your content, then tag it runawaycontest in the “details” section (the tags box is on the right). Feel free to email me if you have any questions at

  9. is it fair that people don’t specifically say on the self-promo boards to read their contest entries, but tell prospective readers to read that entry specifically in the story description?

  10. A question about the rules – I know we’re not allowed to ask for someone to read/heart our entry on the forums, but if I do a general swap where I read another Figmenter’s non-contest piece and tell them to read anything of mine, is that okay since they might not choose my contest piece?

    • Hi Kahini

      The system does not accept or include entries that were published before the date of the contest announcement, even if they are tagged properly. You would have to create a new entry to participate in the contest.

    • Go to “my writing” and click “edit” on the book you want to tag as the contest entry. You’ll be taken to the “details” section of your book, and on the top right will be a “tags” box. Enter runawaycontest and save the changes.

  11. I know this may be relatively obvious- but is Micol Ostow judging the contest? I figured it’s likely as the prize is her book- but just checking! 😛

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *