Enter “The Forsaken” Contest!

“Don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time.”

But what if you didn’t do the crime . . . yet?

In Lisa M. Stasse’s The Forsaken, it doesn’t matter.

Alenna is an orphan living in the authoritarian United Northern Alliance (formerly Canada, Mexico, and the U.S.A.). At 16, she’s forced to take a government-mandated personality test that determines she has a “high capacity for rebellious behavior and brutal violence.” Alenna is exiled to The Wheel—an island where the worst of the worst potential criminals are sent—even though she’s been nothing but obedient her entire life.

The Wheel is a place of violence and chaos. An open civil war is raging, and government machines called Feelers snatch kids from their self-made homes. Alenna and her fellow prisoners eventually come up with a dangerous plan for escape. Will Alenna manage to break free, or will she remain forsaken?

Inspired by The Forsaken, we’ve got a new short story contest for you! Your challenge: In 1,200 words or less, write a story from the perspective of one the following:

1. Someone who committed a crime.
2. Someone accused of a crime they didn’t commit.
3. Someone in prison.

 How to Enter:

1. Read the full rules.
2. Create an account on Figment.com.
3. Start a new writing of 1,200 words or fewer.
4. Tag your writing with ForsakenContest 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 Friday, July 27, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. ET to enter your story. Voting will run until Thursday, August 2 at 5:00 p.m. ET. The top ten most-hearted finalists will be sent to Lisa M. Stasse herself for judging!

First prize winner will get a signed copy of The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse, Changeling (with a signed bookplate!) by Philippa Gregory, Advanced Reader Copies of Tilt by Ellen Hopkins and 34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues, and a copy of Blood Red Road by Moira Young.

Second prize winner will get a signed copy of The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse, Changeling (with a signed bookplate!) by Philippa Gregory, an Advanced Reader Copy of The Blessed by Tonya Hurley, and a copy of This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel.

Third prize winner will get The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse and Changeling (with a signed bookplate!) by Philippa Gregory.

Contest Entries

  • Prisons
    • 275
    • 53

    Mama

    Mama always said I was her special boy. [SILVER KEY SCHOLASTIC ARTS&WRITING AWARD WINNER] [2nd place winner in the Forsaken Contest]

    View Entry »
  • Rsz_11389572_37346001
    • 1
    • 0

    Loved Forever

    Can you love someone so much that you are willing to kill?

    View Entry »
  • O
    • 11
    • 2

    Murder is a shallow thing

    View Entry »
  • Red_abstract
    • 19
    • 3

    The Boy Who Made Me Promise

    With the third of our team defeated, I flew into hysteria, clawing at the unforgiving walls and throwing my whole force into the bars …

    View Entry »
  • Cavecanem
    • 137
    • 15

    Cave Canem

    Cera, a seventeen-year-old girl, contemplates her actions from prison.

    View Entry »
  • Erase
    • 43
    • 12

    Erase

    PLEASE READ. Goal: 350 hearts. I am willing to swap just post it in a comment :) For the forsaken contest. It is unforgivable, what I…

    View Entry »
  • Solitary-confinement
    • 48
    • 10

    Maybes

    For the Forsaken Contest. Under 1,200 words and about being in prison, the dark undertone of the mind. Trying to get at least 100 hea…

    View Entry »
  • Paris
    • 24
    • 2

    Forever on The Run

    Was it her? She can't remember. It couldn't have been her if she didn't remember anything...Right? My entry for the "Forsaken Contest"…

    View Entry »
  • Through his eyes
    • 106
    • 12

    Through His Eyes

    ---GOAL OF 200 HEARTS!--- I haven't updated this story in about two years, but I have added a new chapter and I hope it takes you on a…

    View Entry »
  • Girl-in-corner
    • 12
    • 2

    Captive

    Molly Pion is now considered the worst criminal in her country because she attempted to murder the Imperial Leader. She is also being …

    View Entry »
  • 424949_371024029584612_415501428_n12
    • 1
    • 1

    Voice.

    They told her she would never be found. They told her she had been doing the right thing. Gadia was imprisoned after listening to a …

    View Entry »
  • The rejects cover
    • 1
    • 2

    Rejects

    FORSAKEN CONTEST ENTRY/SOON TO BE NOVEL: Lyra Monroe lives in the Community which is mainly a city where you can't become a legal citi…

    View Entry »
Show all entries »

106 thoughts on “Enter “The Forsaken” Contest!

  1. If we uploaded a story previously to Figment that one of the above prompts implied as a background story/behind the scenes kind of thing, is it okay if our entry is a more detailed look at that one event?

    • Hey Danon-

      The entry must have been created as a new work on Figment. Tagging an old story will not constitute a valid entry. Let me know if I can help with anything else.

    • It can be a special prison, but it should be a building to which people are legally committed as a punishment for crimes. So asylums for the criminally insane could count.

  2. What if the person did do it on accident, but is accused of purposely doing it? Is that the same as the 2nd prompt.

    • The character needs to be in prison, the place, in A prison. It should be literal. As long as it answers one of the prompts, it can be a poem, sure!

  3. Hi! I entered mine with the tag in it, but I don’t remember seeing a pop up saying it was entered in the contest. How do I know if it went through correctly?

    • As long as:
      -The story is published and not saved as a draft
      -The story is tagged correctly
      -The story was created on Figment after the announcement of the contest

      You’re all set! 🙂

  4. Can we write the story from the perspective of someone who is committing the crime as the story continues, or does the person have to already have done it?

  5. [I don’t think my other comment went through] Does the crime already have to be done, or can it happen in the story?

  6. Hi!! I uploaded my entry 7 hours ago, but I haven’t gotten a confirmation yet. Will it pop-up on my book or on my comments? An what do I do now,enter it again?

    • As long as:
      -The story is published and not saved as a draft
      -The story is tagged correctly
      -The story was created on Figment after the announcement of the contest

      You’re all set!

  7. 1) I didn’t get a pop up either (first contest, so I know like nothing)
    2)Double checking- we can’t have multiple entries?

    • There are three reasons you might not have gotten the pop-up:
      -The entry is saved as a draft, not published.
      -The tag is incorrect
      -The story was created on Figment before the announcement of this contest.

      If you check all these, and you’re fine? You’re good to go! And only one entry per person per contest.

        • Only one entry per person. If you go to the “edit” page for your story (or for each chapter of your story), make sure there aren’t two buttons, “save as draft” and “publish now.”

  8. As I’ve read in previous comments, the prison must be a physical prison where the prisoner is placed due to legal action. My question, though, focuses on the crime. Does it have to be a crime that is punishable by the law or can it be a crime of morality?

    • Hey Kateira-

      According to Google, the definition of crime is “An action or omission that constitutes an offense that may be prosecuted by the state and is punishable by law.” Your story should reflect that!

    • If you choose prompt three, the character should be in prison, according to Google: a building to which people are legally committed as a punishment for crimes they have committed or while awaiting trial.

      • i dont know if mines okay or not, messing with genetics is illegal, i just hadnt given any thought to who it was that had her… would you please tell me if it’s okay or not? I’ll take the tag for the contest off and write something else if it’s not okay…

    • As long as someone is in prison at one point in the story, they could break out during the course of the tale, sure!

  9. So… “crime…” Can it be like a hate crime against the person? So like, they’re wanted because of who they are?

    • Hate crimes are legally crimes, so if someone committed a hate crime or is accused of committing a hate crime, that would fulfill the first and second prompts.

  10. I was wondering if you could make or ask the figment people to lower the age to twelve for contests and such. I have a friend who is twelve and is a great writer, but cannot enter many contests because she is not thirteen.

    • Hey Maddy-

      To be on Figment.com–not just to enter contests–you must be 13 years old. This is a legal issue and we are unable to lower the age of entry without completely changing Figment.com. Your friend is free to sign up when she turns 13; we’d love to have her join!

  11. What if no ACTUAL crime is committed? What if the person in the story only FEELS like they’ve committed a crime? Or, they are the one accusing themselves of committing a crime, even though no actual crime took place? Would something along those lines still qualify for the contest?

    • Prompt number 1 means they should have committed a crime. Prompt 2 means they should be innocent, but accused. As long as one of those two prompts is fulfilled, you’re set!

  12. I was wondering if one could have friends on other websites ead their story and heart it if they like it, or must those doing the hearting only be on Figment?
    Thanks!

    • In order to heart a story, one must have a Figment account, but you can ask people from other websites to make accounts and heart your story, sure!

    • Yes, but only once and from the same account you’ve posted it on. The creation of alternate accounts to heart your own story will result in your disqualification.

  13. I am very frustrated. These are all amazing contests that I would LOVE to win, but I feel that even if my story was the best story I would not win. Why? Because the voting system is unfair. This is very disappointing. I was really getting my hopes up until I saw ‘The ten most hearted entries…’
    Well, forget it.

    • Awww, I feel the same way. I entered way too late in this contest and i fear i won’t win. I have 3 hearts. The top is 180. I agree. Just because it has more hearts doesn’t mean that the person can actually write…

  14. (This is my first contest) How exactly will voting work? Will the entries get extra attention or will it still be like this- people look and see you wrote something and read it (like randomly).

    • Hey Maria-

      People can find the entries here or through traditional routes on Figment. It’s a mix of random and intentional, but all hearts received before the voting deadline count!

  15. Can the story be from someone’s point of view who is learning about a crime committed in the past by someone else? Like I learn my best friend committed murder and it’s from my point of view. Thanks!

  16. The Forsaken. Billy is a young man, who lives in South Africa. He is so anxious, tomorrow he will be leaving for Mauritius. A long awaited vacation will finally begin. After he packed his bags, he goes to bed early, because tomorrow, he needs to be at the airport early.

    Billy wakes up, it is a beautiful day, sunny, and no wind. He eats breakfast, say goodbye to his mom and then goes to the curb where he awaits his cab. When the cab comes, he jumps in and says “D F Malan Airport please”. “Okay Sir” He arrives at the Airport, pays the cab rider and checks in. The plane ride was not too long. Finally he arrives in Port Louis. As he is going through customs, he gets called aside by a man “Come with us”! “Why, what is going on?” He gets pushed into a cubicle and ordered to take off his clothes. An officer comes and examines him, and he leaves again. Seconds later, an officer comes in again and tells him “You are a drug smuggler, get dressed” cuffed him and put him in a police car. What is going on? I did nothing wrong, why me? I am thousands of miles away from home in a foreign country what is going to happen to me?

    The police officer, tells me to admit to the crime and he beats me, for hours on end, I am forced to sign a statement. Then I was moved to a prison.

    I was told today while I am awaiting my trial, it does not count. I was told that they found drugs in my sandals, so I had the intention of selling it, so I am a drug mule. Will I ever see South Africa again, will I ever see my mom, my dad, my sisters and brothers? I feel sick to my stomach, is it just a dream? Will I wake up and be back at home in my bed?

    It is work out time, the guard is shouting, “go, go” I am wearing a track pants and a sleeveless t-shirt. Suddenly, he looks at me and says “Come Here”. I go towards him, he starts kicking me and hitting me and orders “put him in the dungeon”. “Why what have I done?” I get no answer, I get thrown into the dungeon, again I get beaten up by the two guards who took me there, I loose conciousness. When I wake up, I am in a cold cell, no windows, it is completely dark. It felt like days, when someone pushes a plate into the cell through an opening in the door. A polonie sandwich and a cup of water. I eat it so fast I almost choked. I wondered what day is and what time is it? My neck hurts so much, I can hardly get up, my legs, my arms, my head, they beat me up really bad. And I still do not know why! It felt like weeks, when finally the door opened and I was let out of solitary confinement. My eyes can hardly see, the light is too bright. I ask my inmates, why did they beat me up like that? “You are supposed to wear a t-shirt, not a sleeveless t-shirt for work outs”. I wish I knew. There are so many South African young men and women here, I cannot believe it! How is it possible? Sometimes we get to talk to the female prisoners, they tell me that they get molested by the male guards and they are kept in a dungeon at the prison. Why does the world out there not know about these brutal attacks, we are people, we are not animals! No none cares! God has forsaken us! Everybody has forsaken us!

    As times goes on, I realize that I will be here for long, my country is not going to try to help me get back, I am forsaken. I start playing guitar, someone sent me a guitar. I love music and I start composing songs, I teach other people to play the guitar. In my music I escape from this prison, I dream of being back in Africa. One day soon, I will be home. After three days I get my trial. Quickly it is over, I plead “not guilty”. They find me guilty of smuggling, 13 years in prison and the three years I was waiting, does not count. I was 21 when I was arrested at the airport, now I am 24 years old, another 13 years, I will be 37 years old when I am released! I wish I was dead!

    The days turn into months, the months turn into years. I have a friend, a lady called Lucinda. When I was a baby, through some unfortunate incident, myself and my siblings had to go to a children’s home for a while. In this time, she used to come to the home and take some of the children, including me, to her home to spend week ends and vacations. All this time that I am confined she still writes to me and encourage me to be brave. She is an inspiration to me.

    Finally, a little over two years left of my sentence. I cannot wait to go back to South Africa, I cannot wait to see my family. I will pursue a career in music and another dream I have is to be a long distance truck driver in Canada. I am dying to see Canada and also the United States.

    • Hey! This is great! To be eligible to win, you need to post this as a story and tag it. Follow the step-by-step guide above.

  17. I published my story for the forsaken contest, but it did not appear that I could find anyway. It was called ‘Cyanide? That’s me’

  18. Can the story be from someone’s point of view who is learning about a crime committed in the past by someone else? Thanks!

  19. I have complied to all the rules and have the right tag, but it’s been nearly a week and I have no confirmation! I don’t know where to look if it doesn’t popup either. I am a brand new user and this is my first contest.

    • Hey Grace!

      As long as you followed all the rules, you’re golden! The confirmation is a pop-up and sometimes gets blocked for users.

  20. Does it have to be complete? Because I’m working on one right now, and all I have is the first chapter. It fits the requirements

    • Hey Brandon-

      The entry will be judged as a stand-alone story, so it should have some kind of conclusion. If you plan on expanding your story during the contest entry period, you should do so in a different work on Figment so your entry is still within the word limit.

    • Hey Alaa-

      As long as:
      -The story is published (not saved as a draft)
      -The tag is correct
      -The story was created as a work on Figment after the announcement of the contest (not pasted into an existing or blank story)

      You’re set! So check these three things and if they’re all square, you’re golden!

    • Hey Bailie-

      As long as you tagged the story correctly, published the story, and created a new writing for your story instead of posting it in an old one, you’re all set! Pop-up or not.

  21. Can our story be about a Supper Villan? Maybe a super villan that comited a crime and is fighting the city’s local hero or something?

  22. Can the story be from the perspective of someone learning that someone else committed a crime, and then another crime being committed, except not by the main character?

  23. For the 1st, it doesn’t necessarily have to be something bad jail-wise but something related to school…right?

  24. Can it be about a person who USED to be a criminal, and he’s thinking about the time when he was? (sorry if that doesn’t make any sense…)

    • This contest can only legally be entered by residents of the US and parts of Canada, but we hope to expand our contests in the future!

  25. To be honest, I worked really hard to write for this contest. I don’t think it is exactly fair to everyone who enters that it’s based off popularity. I’m a fairly new writer and for me it’s really hard to get hearts on my story because no one knows me. I’m trying really hard, but still. I have no followers, unlike most people who at least have a few. I just really think that the next contests you guys start you should judge each piece. And yeah, it might take time but we put in time to write it. That’s only fair.

  26. I can’t even sign in because the screen tells me I have to confirm something everytime I try to write my entry or sign in. Help…?

  27. Hello,
    I was just wondering, I see that there are 3 different possibilities for storylines, but is it ok to combine either 2 or all 3 of them? As in, make it all in the one character’s perspective but make all 3 ideas listed fit the one character?
    If that made any sense at all…

  28. Just checking, but I’m not seeing my entry in the submissions! I’m not trying to be a nag, but since the contest closes tonight I want to make sure my entry has been received before it closes.
    It was mentioned in a comment somewhere above that as long as it’s published, tagged correctly & written after the contest began it’ll be ok, but I’ve had problems with my other story not publishing like I thought it had. Is there any way to check this?

    • Check to see if the edit page for your story has “save as draft” and “publish now” as options. That means it’s still a draft. If it says “save update,” you’re all set!

      • It’s published! I’ve gotten tons of comments & hearts on it, I’m just not seeing it here on the entries page.

  29. 1. Are we allowed to edit entries after we’ve entered them? Not dramatically, of course, but fixing punctuation or a few sentences?

    2. Why do all the contest entries have to be the top ten most hearted to be considered? It’s more of a popularity contest then.

    • 1. Entries for this contest could be edited as long as the entry period was open, but should not be edited now that the contest has gone into the voting only period.

      2. The judge (while fabulous) is unable to read the hundreds of entries posted. In order to let Figment.com users decide whose entries should be seen, we use the heart system!

  30. *Sigh* I tried the best that I could 🙁 I know the contest isn’t over yet but I don’t think that I’ll catch up. I really wanted my story to be read by a published author and I loved this prompt. But my grandmother just suddanly passed away and I had to send 19 hours, onbe way, in a car to get to Vancouver. Too bad it wasn’t top 15 or top 20. 🙁 Well good luck everyone.

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