The Pure Contest

Not to start drama, but the world in Julianna Baggott’s Pure (which you can start reading on Figment) makes The Hunger Games Panem look like Disneyland. Oh? What’s that Katniss? You’re a little hungry? Pressia lives in a world that has been burned to ASH. She lost her hand as a child and the wound was cauterized with a DOLL’S HEAD to stop the bleeding. Oh? What’s that, Katniss? One youth in every district must enter an annual fight to the death? So that’s 24 people? In Pressia’s world, everyone is required to join the militia and, if they refuse (or are too damaged to be useful), they become living targets for practice. Not to play the one-upping game, but . . .

Really, these books have a common thread: Both of their main characters are survivors, focused on outlasting the horrible situations they find themselves in. It takes the right combination of grit, guts, and Pure luck (see what we did there?) to outlast the worst.

Your Challenge: In 1,200 words or fewer, write a story from the perspective of a survivor. Your survivor can be male or female, young or old. The event survived can be catastrophic or microscopic–it’s up to you!

How to Enter:
1. Read the full rules here.
2. Create an account on
3. Start a new writing of no more than 1,200 words.
4. Tag your writing with PureContest on the Details tab.
5. Press “Publish Now.”
6. You should receive a pop-up confirmation of your entry, and in about two hours or so, your piece should appear among the submissions.

You have until February 21, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. EST to post and tag your story. Voting will run until February 29, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. EST, at which point the 10 most-hearted entries will be sent to Julianna Baggott’s editor, Jaime Levine. The top three entries will receive copies of Pure. Second place will also receive a Figment tote, and first place will also receive a Figment t-shirt and a $15 Amazon gift card.

62 thoughts on “The Pure Contest

  1. Odd question: Can the person survive the bad thing that happened, but then die in the end because of something completely different?

  2. Whoops! I checked back again after shutting down my computer and coming back to the page and it is working now! So ignore my last comment, thanks! 😉

  3. Okay, I’m just wondering, because I know you aren’t supposed to advertise for your piece on figment. Can you still tell people to read the piece if you are swapping with them, or does that count as advertising for it?

  4. Can I write my entry in third person POV instead of first? And what do you mean by the “perspective of a survivor” exactly? I’m kind of confused.

    • Hi Kaitlyn,

      You may write it in either first person or a very close third person. It should be in the voice of (or closely following) the survivor.

    • Hi Julia,

      Thank you for letting us know. However, since the user is not asking people to read her contest entry in particular, this does not count as contest promotion.

  5. Hello!

    Does the story have to be a real life story, or can it be fictional? I saw that someone earlier asked if it has to be realistic, and they didn’t get a clear answer…

  6. I’d enter, because I have several “survivor” type characters, but I don’t think I could do it in less than 1200 words and still be satisfied with the result. I always try to shorten things for writing contests and end up with a great bit of story that’s too long 😛

  7. I entered this contest with a story I already wrote; I put the story into a new fig. so that way I could enter the contest. I titled it under the same thing as my previous one. I still ask for critique on it. Is it okay to keep the title; or should I not?

    • Hi Helana,

      Entries need to adhere to the prompts for the entire run of the contest (through the voting period) or else they are ineligable to win. After the contest has finished, however, you may do as you please.

  8. I was wondering if the surviver had to be the main character or if the main character could survive until the very end and pass the torch on the the second character?

  9. I was wondering if we are allowed to use the word “hell” in our submission, or if it would be seen as something obscene and disqualify our entry.

  10. Hi,
    I noticed that if you search for the tag in the library and sort by most-hearted, the stories do not usually come up entirely in the right order for most hearts. Do things like that impact which stories are finalists, or do mods go through the stories by hand to figd the ten most-hearted?

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