The Perception Contest

“I’m kind of psychic. I have a fifth sense…It’s like I have ESPN or something.” Mean Girls (2004)

Oh, Karen. I see what you’re trying to do, there. And you’re close! You’re so close. But we’re looking for someone with a sixth sense, someone with a nose for uncovering a mystery, someone like Clarity Fern.

Clarity (Clare, to her friends), is gifted. When she touches an object, she gets visions–visions of harsh words, lost love, and oh-so-many secrets. Usually, Clare shies away from the fame her visions bring her–fame that includes notes from a secret admirer. But when those notes turn threatening and a girl goes missing, Clare can no longer afford to be shy. Want to know more? Read the beginning of Perception here on Figment.

Your challenge: In no more than 1200 words, write a story in which a character can see or hear things that no one else can. It can be magical, paranormal, or realistic. 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 PerceptionContest 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 March 19, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. EST to post and tag your story. Voting will run until March 27, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. EST, at which point the 10 most-hearted entries will be sent to author Kim Harrington. The first-place winner will receive a copy of Clarity, a copy of Perception, and a $20 Amazon gift card. The second-place winner will receive a copy of Clarity, a copy of Perception and a set of Fortune-Telling Fish. The third-place winner will receive a copy of Perception and a Figment tote.

Contest Entries

Show all entries »

62 thoughts on “The Perception Contest

  1. I was wondering, will these contests ever be opened internationally?
    Because I’d love to participate – but I live in the Uk.
    Thanks a bunch.

    • Hey Lauren-

      While we definitely hope to open contests to international citizens in the future, at this time we are unable to do so.


    • Yeah. It sounds like so much fun, and I have a great idea, but I can’t enter it. 🙁 I can’t wait until we crazy aliens from these foreign countries can submit.

    • Hey Mackenzie-
      I found the book on your profile. It appears that book was created before today. Even if it existed as a blank page on your profile, only books created on Figment during the entry period count as valid entries. Let me know if I can help with anything else!

    • Hey Fairlight-

      Do you mean that the change hasn’t shown up on the description of your story or that it hasn’t shown up in the description of your story as seen on the contest page? Want to email with more details about your issue?

    • Here you go!
      For future reference, if you scroll to the bottom of the contest entries on the announcement page, there is a link to show all of the entries. Let me know if I can help you with anything else!

  2. Do the character have to have the power “to see or hear thing others can’t”? What about telekinessis or something like it?

    • Hey Haley-
      Your character could have telekinesis in addition to being able to see or hear something others can’t, but he or she should be able to see or hear something special in order to fulfill the prompt. Let me know if I can help you with anything else!


  3. I have a question.

    Is it okay if my character sees things because he/she has a mental disorder? Or does he/she need to be “gifted” or have special powers?


  4. Wow OK I’ve been needing to get my creative juices flowing. I’m getting started now! Can I have more than one entry?

    • Hey Epiphany!

      So glad you’re excited. Unfortunately, only one entry per person. Let me know if you need anything else!


  5. I started writing a short story on figment earlier today. I’ve been checking out contests for the last few days and I just realized the short story I’m writing could fit in the contest. Am I allowed to enter it?

  6. Totally sucks that you can’t open contests to international people. I live in Australia and am totally disappointed.

    • Hey Georgia-

      While we hope to change this in the future, unfortunately, yes. We can’t open contests to international users yet.


  7. How does the judging work. I mean like do you look at how many harts someone gets or is it more like what the comments say?

    • Hey Alamora-

      The top-hearted entries make it to the finalist round. Then those stories will be read and judged by Kim Harrington, who will decide the winner!

  8. Ouch. It’s kinda unfair. I want to enter but I live in the Philippines…and so I am not qualified to enter. Buhuhuhu. *Sighs*

  9. I’ve been wondering why I haven’t gotten a lot of reads for my story. I’ve been reading other’s work, but it’s not enough. Are we allowed to do swaps or make a book trailer for our story to get it out there? Or is that against the rules?

    • Hey Tia-

      Promotion or swaps on Figment is against the rules, but promotion on sites outside of Figment is totally acceptable. Let me know if you have any further questions!


  10. Wow, figment’s community has truly grown o_O. A few days after the start of the contest, and there are already over 100 stories published. A very different story a few months ago. The competition is overbearing, haha. Random rant.

  11. if the people who get the most harts go to the second round then doesn’t that give the people who posted their books first an unfair advantage over the people who posted theirs later on? In other words why would i put my story up if I’m already at a disadvantage in this competition?

  12. I already wrote a story, called Footprints, that’d be perfect for this, it only needs a little editing, and I was wondering, even though I have 13 hearts already, if I can enter that?

  13. hey, I clicked list all entries and I can;t find mine on any of the pages to confirm my entry. i followed the rules and tagged it perception contest days ago and it told me i was entered…but still nothing. Can you help me pls?

  14. Hi there. So I created a new story and saved the tag in the details. Then, after tagging it, I published it. I received no pop up confirmation of my entry. Later I went to modify my description in the details, and received the confirmation. It had already been hearted after tagging but pre-confirmation pop up. Will it still count as an entry since it was tagged upon creation? Thanks 🙂

  15. Does it have to be sight or hearing? Or is it the *perceiving* that’s important, no matter what sense is utilized?

  16. I have two questions.
    One, my character sees and hears things, but is it okay if she can also smell and feel things, in addition to seeing and hearing?
    And number two, is it okay if somebody outside of Figment helps edit my story? (They wouldn’t be writing it all.)


    • One- As long as she can see or hear something that other’s can’t, she can have any other powers you’d like!
      Two- Sure!

  17. I was just wondering if, I could have one story entered in more than one contest? Because the story I’m writing will fit into the prompt of this contest and the criteria for the vampries diaries and secret circle contest as well.

  18. Hey there, just thought I’d say that I love the way you started this post. That is by far my FAVORITE quote from Mean Girls! xD
    I don’t know if I’m going to enter this contest, I might think about it. But I don’t know yet. 🙂 Just wanted to comment on the quote, because it made me laugh. 😀

  19. I had a few questions about the entry: there was something i think about it can’t have been previously published; i don’t exactly understand that… (i’m pretty sure it said that.)Also, the thing about not being able to promote on figment, does that mean you can’t ask others to read it or something? (i’m sorry, i’ve only started entering contests recently and i keep getting scared that i’m breaking the rules or something) and finally… actually, i can’t remember my last one… but could i get some answers to these questions? i don’t want to be worrying about ridiculous things all the time…

    • Hey Sam-
      If it was posted on Figment before the start of the contest, our system doesn’t recognize it. It also must be original work, so nothing you have already posted on a different website or in print. The rules about contest promotion have now changed, and you’re allowed to ask for reads on contest entries. The only thing to watch out for would be spam rules (aka, don’t copy and paste the same message on one hundred people’s walls). If you have any further questions, feel free to email!

    • Hey Shaz-

      Yeah! By hearting an entry, you are casting a vote in its favor. You may heart as many entries as you like, but you can only heart an entry once. Your hearts are what pushes a story into the finals!

  20. Pingback: Vote in the Perception Contest | The Daily Fig

  21. I somehow don’t think it’s fair to judge by hearts. Everyone’s entries should be read and judged by the author, not just the ones that got promoted the most, or were posted first. I’ve been promoting mine, but, since I’m new to Figment and transferred from inkpop, I’m not very well known, whereas there are others who have hundreds of followers.

    • Hey Kat-

      Unfortunately, due to the volume of entries, it is impossible for the author to read all of the stories. Let me know if I can help you with anything else!

  22. I’m just wondering, why use ‘hearts’ as votes? Isn’t there another way to analyze the entries? I feel like this way, those who have more followers have an unfair advantage of those of us who have less followers.

    • Hey Mel-
      Hearts are the system Figment is built on, and we think they’re a great way for people to read and support multiple entries. In order to level the playing field between new-comers and old-hats, we’ve recently made contest promotion allowable on Figment. Let me know if I can help you with anything else!

  23. Pingback: Perception by Kim Harrington contest winners | The Daily Fig

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