Get Published with the Defy the Dark Contest!

What happens in the dark? Why are things different at night? Maybe it’s magic, or madness or both. A new anthology coming Summer 2013 from HarperTeen, Defy the Dark explores those questions and invites you to try your hand at answering them. What’s in it for you? A chance to be published in Defy the Dark, alongside some of your favorite YA authors (including Sarah Rees Brennan, Rachel Hawkins, and Beth Revis).

No sun-drenched, thousand-watt fables here—bring us your things that go bump in the night, bring us the things that hide in the shadows. Saundra Mitchell, the anthology’s editor, is excited to read your best YA fiction and choose one writer to be a part of the forces that will Defy the Dark.

The contest challenge: Write a story that takes place at night or in the dark. The story can be of any genre: contemporary, paranormal, horror, science fiction, romance, humor, fantasy, etc.

How to Enter:

1. Read the full rules.
2. Create an account on Figment.com.
3. Start a new writing of between 2,000 and 4,000 words.
4. Tag your writing with DefytheDark 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.

 

Submit your entry by Saturday, September 1, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Please note: Once your story is submitted, you may not make changes. As soon as you submit your story (by both publishing it and tagging it “DefytheDark”), it is considered your final, official entry. Any story that is changed after it is submitted may be subject to disqualification. The contest is only open to non-professional writers. (For more information, check out the full rules.)

Defy the Dark‘s editor, Saundra Mitchell, will be reading all the entries and will choose one grand-prize winner, whose story will be be included in the print edition of Defy the Dark. The winner will be noted in the book’s table of contents, on the copyright page, and have a byline on their story. They will also have an opportunity to give an acknowledgment and will be featured on the Defy the Dark website. The grand-prize winner will receive a $500 cash prize awarded by HarperCollins and five copies of Defy the Dark.

Two additional stories will be selected for publication on the Defy the Dark website. Each of those winners will receive a $250 cash prize and two copies of Defy the Dark.

 

Contest Entries

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791 thoughts on “Get Published with the Defy the Dark Contest!

  1. I’m definitely entering! No hearts, and no swaps. Most definitely entering.

    I have a question: is it just the content we aren’t allowed to edit, or will we be disqualified if we edit the cover or description after publishing it?

    • Hey so I posted my story at 11:29ish last night and it said story had been updated so I figured it would show up in two hours. But I can’t find it with the entries so how do I really know it was posted?

      • Hey Brittany-
        As long as your entry was-
        -published, not saved as a draft
        -created between the announcement and end of the contest
        -tagged correctly

        It is somewhere in the entries. You may not be able to find it since there are hundreds of entries, but it is there.

  2. Does the contest winner hinge on the number of hearts or comments on their piece? I don’t believe so because they rules stated that Saundra Mitchell will read and assess each piece, but I wanted to double check. Very excited about this contest!

  3. This is awesome! I’m really glad that they are going to read it!! I don’t really like the contests that rely on hearts:/

  4. It says no professional writers published or not with a pseudonym, who makes $2000 or more from sales. I have self-published a book, but have made no profits. Am I still eligible, or can i not enter it since I have self-published a novel?

    I was just confused on that.

    Sorry,
    Murryn

  5. I know many figmenters, such as myself, use a fake name while on Figment. Will the use of a fake name on Figment interfere with being published?

  6. Does the course of the story have to be during the night time
    through the whole thing? Or can it be the MAIN events in it that
    are based in the dark?

  7. One more question. Haha, Sorry. Not saying that I will do this but can “In the dark” be figurative instead of literal?

    • Ehh…scratch that question. My question is…what kind of stories are there going to be in that book exactly? I’m sort of concerned about the material that I’m going to try to be apart of and recieve copies of. If its going to be about demons, ghosts, or such, I might not want to enter anymore. :(

    • Hey Mary-
      While the prompt is open to interpretation, the anthology for which the winning story is being chosen will mostly revolve around literal instances of darkness.

  8. Hey!

    If I publish it, but don’t tag immediately (so I can get feedback from others) and tag it on a later date, is it still subject to disqualification because there might be changes after the publication date?

    Thanks!

  9. Ok, so, I want to enter VERY BADLY, but, umm, how exactly do I enter? I have tried to understand, but I don’t get it. What do you click to tag onto the Defythedark contest? And where would the publish button be? I am confused!!!! PLEASE HELP ME!!!! ANYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Hey Layrel-

      Follow the steps above. On your story’s details page is a section called “tags” where you may type in the contest tag. Make sure to hit “save.” On the content edit screen for your book there should be a button that says “save as draft” and one that says “publish now.” Publish now makes your story viewable on Figment and that, along with the tag, makes it an entry.

      • Oh, no. I think I messed up. My word doc. said I had 2k words, but upon putting in submission,there were less words. So I went in and stuck about ten more in–so i wouldn’t be disqualified for too short of a word count. Horrible, now I think I may have been published already–but never received a confirmation–And now I’ll probably be disqualified for editing my submission. Agghh!! If it’s within the submissions on this page, it is published? Correct? Thanks. -the nervous nilly.

  10. OH MY GOD!! I nearly fell out of my chair!! Is it weird that I’m almost sobbing with surprise and happiness???
    AAH! :D

    • It’s not weird, I’m ecstatic about this contest because of all the hassle I went through with another one I had entered.

  11. Can you use characters for other stories that you have written?
    Or the same story line or horror fiction.
    Thanks!

  12. What if the room is light but the person can’t see or has their eyes closed throughout the story? Does that still count as darkness?

    • Hey Darkwing-

      While the prompt is open to interpretation, the anthology for which the winning story is being chosen will mostly revolve around literal instances of darkness.

  13. I’m so pumped for this! :^D

    If we win, would we get our own page on the website like the other authors, with an excerpt of our story, a dedication, and biography? Also, are those three things featured in the actual book?

  14. Hey, um does it have to be like literal darkness? Or can it be like someone’s idea of darkness? Like being blind for instance?

    • Hey Shelby-
      While the prompt is open to interpretation, the anthology for which the winning story is being chosen will mostly revolve around literal instances of darkness.

  15. Can our stories be like… cliffhangers? Like maybe the ending of our short story can lead to another part that isn’t inlcuded. Is that OK?

  16. This might be a stupid question, but does the story have to take place entirely in the dark? Or can there be some sort of light like streetlamps? I just want to be entirely sure before I enter my story.

    Thank you!

  17. I’m so excited and happy that the contest is not heart-based *not a popularity contest, like some sites. It took me a second to figure out that the contest tag could be the only one, but now it is entered!

  18. When it says taking place at night or in the dark–does the whole story have to be, or can it be the key scenes/parts?

    • Hey Alex-

      While the prompt is open to interpretation, the anthology for which the winning story is being chosen will mostly revolve around literal instances of darkness.

  19. I am definitely entering in this contest:D (Even though I know I won’t win). It should challenge my creativity and help me be a better writer so thanks!

  20. So.. It can be any type of writing? Poetry included?
    Just confirming before I spend my days trying to write it out! :)

    • Poetry is acceptable, but this is a prose anthology and it would have to be an ABSOLUTELY AMAZING (not to mention long) poem in order to win. Good luck!

  21. Hi, I am definitely looking forward to the Defy the Dark contest. Just one question. Would we have the option of being published under a pen name as long as the biological name is provided?

  22. I have a question. There are a few non-American/Canadian Figment writers out there, like myself, that do not aim for the prize money, but aims to test and/or assess writing skills by entering this contest. Would that be okay?

  23. Question! Does the *entire* story have to take place at night/in darkness? Are we not allowed to have scenes during the day? (My story idea focuses more on night, but kind of hinges on daylight too…)

    Muchos gracias (in advance) for answering!

  24. If there are minor mistakes such as spelling or grammar, would that affect our chances of winning this contest?

    Because I go through and edit my books/stories/writing pieces and even if I go through hundreds of times I find mistakes. And this opportunity would mean the world to me. So I don’t want to mess it up.

  25. I was really looking forward to this contest, since it’s one of the first contests where you don’t need loads of hearts or anything.
    But I live in the UK.
    I wish all of the contests on Figment didn’t require so many hearts.

    • Hey Lucien-

      A great place to start is Figment’s terms and conditions and content guidelines. Anything that conforms to those rules should be fine.

  26. I been working in a story since I first saw this promotion, but I’m mexican and I was wondering if there is any change I can participate and have the oportunity to win, or it is definitely out of the question?

  27. Can we publish our story and get feedback on it, and then submit it in the contest? For help with editing purposes. (I’m not the best at self editing)!

  28. Does this entry have to be creepy? Because if it’s going to be in print, it might have to go along with the theme of the story…if the theme is creepiness in the book, does my story have to be creepy? I want to know exactly what I need to write to have a chance in this…

    • Poetry is acceptable, but this is a prose anthology and it would have to be an ABSOLUTELY AMAZING (not to mention long) poem in order to win.

  29. If you’ve been published in a poetry anthology for National Library of Poetry, does that count as being professional. All rights to the poem I think are still mine…

  30. Another question: By taking place at night or in the dark, would it be okay if the main character cannot see? Not necessarily meaning blindness, just meaning the main character only sees darkness. Would that count as taking place in the dark?

    • Hey Shawn-

      While the prompt is open to interpretation, the anthology for which the winning story is being chosen will mostly revolve around literal instances of darkness.

  31. Ohh goodness, have to enter this one.
    Speaking of anthologies I was wondering when the Why I Write one would be available?

  32. Does the story have to take place in the dark, literally speaking? Or can it take place in, say, a dark part of a person’s life (depression, loss of something, etc)?

    • It can take place in a metaphorical dark period, but to fit in with the rest of the stories in the anthology, it should include literal darkness.

    • Hey Sam-

      Collaborations are not recognized. The user whose account is attached to the winning story and the person in possession of the email address linked to that account will be the sole winner.

  33. Does the entry need to have some sort of paranormal aspect? I know that the rules state it can be any genre, but will it need to have some tangible sense of horror/paranormal activity/etc. in the plot?

  34. Yay! I’m glad she will read all the entries. I can never get enough hearts to be in the top. So excited! :)

  35. Some of my work has been published in a WITS anthology, and they sold the books, but I made no money from it whatsoever. Am I eligable?

  36. Does the story have to be completely in the dark, or can there be a point in the story where there is light, and it transitions to dark?

  37. Does the entry have to be a short story with a beginning a middle and an end? Or can it be a beginning left off with a cliffhanger?

    • Poetry is acceptable, but this is a prose anthology. It would have to be an ABSOLUTELY AMAZING (not to mention long) poem in order to win.

    • Poetry is acceptable, but it’s a prose anthology and it would have to be an ABSOLUTELY AMAZING (not to mention long) poem in order to win.

  38. Ok, so what if I want to reuse an idea I already used for a contest before? I can change it (I already have to make it longer) and post a new story, but can I reuse the idea?

  39. Hey figment,

    Just wanted to know where I can put my real name for the Defy the Dark contest. I use a pen name, so should I post my real name on the book cover or the description. Thanks!

  40. I have a few questions; 1. What is the age group of this book? Like is it more for adults or Y/A? 2. What’s more the stuff they’re looking for; like creepy, realistic stuff about killers or more about ghosts and goblins? Thanks!

    • Hey Rose-

      This is a YA anthology published by the teen imprint of HC. The anthology will encompass all kinds and genres of stories bound together by the common theme of darkness.

  41. Hi.
    So, I have a semi-hypothetical question about this.
    I know you’re not allowed to use preexisting and already published works for contests, usually, but if you had already published a story that you wanted to use for this, could you re-post it and enter it? Or, since the contest isn’t heart-based, could you just tag it even though it’s already published?
    Or does the story have to be completely new, and not be published before the contest starts?
    Thanks!

      • I meant published on Figment. Like, already posted here, not published in the actual world…
        I don’t know if that’s what you’re referring to, though. You mean it has to have been written/posted here within the time the contest was happening?

        • The story you enter must be posted on Figment after the announcement of the contest, but it may be reworked from an earlier story as long as it was not a previous contest entry.

          • Okay, yeah. So I could take a story I’ve already posted, rework and re-post it, and then enter it?

    • Hey Jaso-

      Poetry is acceptable, but this is a prose anthology and it would have to be an ABSOLUTELY AMAZING (not to mention long) poem in order to win.

  42. So…. it’s just has to be a story set in the nighttime? This seems like a stupid question but I’m kinda confused.

  43. does the story have to start and end in the dark, or can it start in the light, but have most of the story exist in the dark?

  44. You stated in the full rules that you are judged 70% on publishable quality of writing. I am not completely certain of what publishable entails, can you tell me? Does this mean you must have publishable grammar, or will your grammar be fixed if you are selected?

  45. Two questions: can we ask people to read our stories in the description before it is tagged? (I would like input on it before it’s final.)

    In the case of winning this contest, will we be considered “professional or semi-professional” and then prohibited from later contests of this nature?

    • Yup. You can make edits as long as the story is either 1.- not published (is saved as a draft) or 2.- is not tagged.

      Depending on the limitations of the contest, possibly yes. Always refer to the official rules of a contest, and not just on Figment!

  46. I know we aren’t allowed to change our content, but we can change the cover and description but I had to change my title after I submitted it because people thought I was copying another book title.

    I was wondering if I’d be disqualified for that, because I didn’t want people thinking I was trying to steal when it was just a mistake on my part? So am I okay?

  47. So it’s okay if you write something that has nothing to do with scariness or horror? Will you have a higher chance of winning if you do write a scary story?

  48. Hey, um, I posted my story and I think I tagged it wrong. Am I aloud to fix the tag in the details section. [Note: I'm not touching the content of the actually story, but the tag so I can actually be in the compition.]
    I want to make sure since I don’t want to be DQed.

  49. I was wondering,would it count if mostly all of it happens in the dark, but some of it takes place in the light. Not a lot, but some of it?

  50. Could we use characters from a different story of ours? Just, new idea and new story, completely apart from anything we have currently published, but the same characters?

    • The majority of your story should be set in darkness, but it doesn’t need to be absolute darkness. A dark night sky is fine.

  51. What’s the policy for the contest concerning swear words? Not too many, mind you, just a few sprinkled in for dramatic effect.

  52. Question: my friend has something, up on figment, but she hasn’t used it for any contests, and she wants to know if she would be able to use it for this.

  53. Hey, I submitted a work and was wondering why I can’t find it in the entries? Also, umm, does it have to be set at night, specifically, or any form of darkness?

    Keep Writing!
    *T*

    • Hey Taren–

      Check that your story:
      -Is published and not saved as a draft.
      -Is tagged properly.
      -Is created after the announcement of the contest and is not an old writing.

      If all three of those are correct, you’re all set! And it can be any kinds of darkness.

      • Thanks! It turns out I had it tagged wrong ^^; sorry bout that…

        Thank you for clarifying as well.

        Keep Writing!
        *T*

  54. Another quick (but not very important) question: The official rules say, “Submissions will be judged on a rolling basis.” Does that mean that the entries are read/judged in the order they’re submitted?

    • If it is a metaphorical dark, it should be underscored by literal darkness. The majority of your story should take place in literal darkness.

  55. I am so sorry I missed the part at the bottom where it said it was for non professional writers can I please have my story Encounters omitted. I didn’t realize and for that I apologize. Best of luck to all the contestants

  56. I read the terms and rules for the contest (SO PUMPED!!!) bu was just wondering … what exactly IS “Publishable Quality” in writing? I mean, the scores are very reliant on that…so what is it?!

  57. Hello,

    I have two essays published in two different anthologies of the Creative Communication: A Celebration of Today’s Writers books by Poetic Power. Does that disqualify me? I do not receive any profits because it is a sort of contest for children between Kindergarten and grade 12. Also, when entering the story into the contest should it be entered as one long chapter, or is it okay for the story to be divided into multiple chapters if wanted?

    • Hey Adriyanna-

      Check the legal rules for the definitions of professional and semi-professional writers. And yup! You can have multiple chapters.

  58. Okay, revising those two comments:
    Would it be alright to involve a climax consisting of stars? As long as the rest is in darkness. Because it says: write a story that takes place in darkness or AT NIGHT. So technically night isn’t pitch dark the entire time. Hum hum. Please elaborate on ‘at night’. The general idea is darkness, though, isn’t it?

    • The darkness does not have to be pitch black (a darkened theater is still dark and could make a great story). As long as most of your story is in darkness, you’re set!

    • Hey A-

      Yes! But remember that the story would need to blend well with others in the anthology, which focus around a very literal darkness. It’s a creative idea, though. Make it work!

  59. Wait, am I correct in thinking that this contest isn’t based on the number of hearts to find the finalists? In other words, is this a heart based contest?

    • As long as it was not written for or entered in another competition and as long as you post it in a new writing on Figment, that’s fine.

  60. Can I add some more info for you from my comment above…

    It’s published on here, but it’s never won anything… and I still need to add several hundred words so it wouldn’t be quite the same.

    • Hey Kiersten-

      You may not tag an old story. You can use an old story for inspiration or as a base, but make sure to create a new writing on Figment to be eligible.

  61. Hey! I have two questions..
    Can the story have chapters in it? And I was thinking of expanding a story of mine already on Figment. It won’t be the same(it’ll be longer, more detail, more stuff& different stuff occuring,etc.), but it will have the origial idea. Is that okay??

  62. So it HAS to be AT LEAST 2,000 words? Because I accidentally published my piece without knowing, and it’s only 299 words. Will I have to, and if so, can I, write a different piece?

    • Stories do have to be at least 2,000 words. I suggest you delete your current ineligible 299 word entry and submit a longer piece.

  63. Hey :)
    I just published my entry. It’s five chapters, though, so I had to publish each chapter separately. I hope that this is not seen as “editing.” I didn’t change the chapters, but I had to publish it separately because they’re different chapters. Will that be seen as an edit and get me disqualified?

  64. It’s okay if I edit my description, correct? Because it shows that I edited the story, but I didn’t change the actual content.

  65. I have a question: I want to enter, and I am pretty sure my entry won’t be chosen. I’m just not that good of a writer. But is there anyway to get the editors thoughts on our piece? Receiving feedback from an actual editor would be amazing.

    • Hey Spencer-

      All your characters must be originally yours or out of copyright, public domain characters (like Romeo and Juliet or Elizabeth Bennet).

  66. Am I allowed to post more than one entry? I have two equally good ideas, but I can’t choose which one to do…so can I write both?

  67. My username isn’t the same as my real name. Does that matter? In the book, which name will be used? Thanks!

  68. Okay, like EVERYONE ELSE who has commented, I’m super pumped for this no hearts, not popularity-based contest. So I just had to put it out there that I agree with y’all!

    Buuut, I have a question too – so, it says that “publishability” is going to play a part in who wins. Could you give me a hint as to what exactly makes something publishable?

  69. Okay, sorry to keep bugging you, but I have another question. I’m not really even sure I need to be asking this, but seriously, the only requirement is that the story has to take place in the dark? So, it can be a whole other story that has very little to do with darkness, as long as it takes place in the dark?
    Is it supposed to actually be about the darkness? Like, that should be a key component in the story?

  70. Oh, and also, sorry again, but does the little “beginning, middle and end” forum contest count as a contest? Like, could I revamp the story I entered in that and enter it here?
    It would require some pretty serious changes, as it’s only about a thousand words, so it would be significantly changed, but is that allowed?

  71. In the contest rules, it is stated that the story must take place during the night or in the dark. Could this be interpreted and woven in figuratively as well as literally?

  72. Hello!
    I was wondering if my story could be based on folklore? Like, one of those old tales that have never been written, but have been passed down?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Hey Jonna-

      As long as your story is set in the dark or mostly in the dark, that’s fine! so if it was from the perspective of someone blind, that could work. Just note that the winning entry will also have to blend well into the anthology, which is going to be mostly set in literal darkness!

  73. So if you edit the story after you’ve both published and tagged it, it is disqualified. Correct? But if you publish it, get some feedback, and THEN tag it, it is still good?

  74. I accidentally wrote a short story that was too short, under 2000 words. Is there anything I can do, like delete my entry and start again?

  75. Due to an error I had to change my contest entry name from ‘Among the Chosen’ to ‘Deadly Passions’

    I just wanted to let you guys know, because I had to change it after I published it as an entry. I didn’t change the content though so I didn’t break the rules. (hopefully)

    Sorry for the inconvenience, and I hope it won’t affect my chances in the competition.

    If you could reply back saying you got this that’d be cool.

    Thanks guys,
    Barbara. :)

  76. I have a question pertaining to the common theme of darkness… Does this darkness have to apply to everyone in the physical means, or just one certain individual? Say if the main character was blind… Would that apply as part of the darkness theme?

    • Hey Alana-

      You can get creative with the prompt, but for your best chance, your story should include an element of literal darkness that covers the majority of the story.

  77. Can this be something that I’ve already posted? What about something I’ve posted, just, expanded?
    Or does it have to be something new as of the start of this contest?

    Thanks

  78. Hi,
    I was wondering, if it’s alright if the story ends in a cliff-hanger or a To Be Continued?
    Is it alright if the story doesn’t necessarily have an ending?

  79. Now this is a contest I like. A free-for-all non-heart based contest to get your work recognized.
    I’ve wanted something like this for awhile. I’m ready to put my heart and soul into my story, and take all the time I need on it.

    P.S. When shall she be announcing winners? I want to free my schedule for it lol. But i understand if there is no set in stone. Who knows how many entries she’ll have to read.

    Thanks for your time!
    ~Cassidy~

    • Hey Cassidy-

      TOTALLY not set in stone. Depending on how many entries we get, judging could take a while. We’ll keep you posted!

      • Thanks Emily! Also another commonly asked question more than likely:

        Will the winners be e-mailed or something BEFORE or AFTER they are posted officially onto the wall???????????????????

        ~Thanks for ansewring my odd question lol~

  80. Can I publish it without tagging it just to see how many words it is, then once I add (or delete) a few more lines (if needed), re-publish it with the DefyTheDark tag?

  81. I was just wondering–I’ve seen the entries with pictures on the cover…how do I attach a picture when I submit my entry? Is it an option when you are in the process of submitting…? I have no idea. Thank you!

  82. Two questions:

    1. Can it have multiple chapters?
    2. Let’s say you aren’t the grand prize winner, but you’re a runner-up and you get published on their website. . .do you still get to call yourself a published author? :D (Stupid question, yes I know.)

  83. I’ve read the rules and in past contests I’ve seen comments about not containing certain things, no bad language, sex, violence, drugs, etc. This one I have noticed it didn’t say that.

    I’m wondering from that list what is acceptable and what isn’t?

    I won’t be the first or the last to say I’m very excited to see a non-heart based contest, even though I do believe in the heart ones (it’s promoting your story after all, just like in the real world!).

    Thanks!

    • All content is subject to Figment’s terms of service, but most content is allowable if it is not too graphic or explicit.

    • That’s fine, as long as they are all added at the same time (not tacked on a day or two after your first chapter) and as long as the word count is fine!

  84. I entered a story for the contest, tagged it and pressed publish. I didn’t receive any confirmation of my entry, though, and I don’t see mine among the entries. Being a citizen of the United States, I don’t think it’s because I’m ineligible…Is there a reason why this happened?

  85. Hey. It says somthing about taxes and stuff… can you please elaborate?? What taxes do we have to pay exactly?

    Also is the money prize, cash or check?

    • Hey Kandee-

      Taxes on prize winnings vary from state to state and often do not apply to amounts below a certain threshold. I’m not exactly sure how the prize money is awarded, but I very much doubt it is in cash.

    • Hey Frances-

      Nope! Unless the characters are public domain (Romeo and Juliet, Elizabeth Bennet or the like) they must be completely original.

  86. Jeez, I was actually excited about this contest and then found out it was only open to those living in the US. What a bummer.

  87. Since the story isn’t heart or comment/review based, I’d definitely like some feedback since it won’t hurt anyone else’s chances. My story is called “Word Limit”!

  88. I published my Defy the Dark entry, but now I have a completely different idea! Is it possible that I can untag the story I have now and publish a new one? Will it be eligible?

  89. Finally! Heart based contests are so unfair. I think the Figment Team should realize that :( thanks for mixing it up though!

  90. I have been published before for a prize and I bet the company who published me made over 2000 dollars. But I didn’t make anything at all. Am I still okay to enter?

  91. Really exciting contest – and not heart rated! I’m glad for the people in the US who can enter. And very sad for me that I cannot :(
    I think I’ve asked this in the comments page of every interesting contest in the past six months; is Figment ever going to do a decent international contest again? Or is it a waste of my time even reading the contest pages full of interesting things that I can’t enter purely because of geography? Can you recommend me a site with writing contests that I would be able to enter?

  92. Ouch. Got all hyped up for this, and turns out it’s only open to US and Canada…you should at least include EU next time! Oh well, good luck to all those who enter!

  93. Instead of it actually being a literal interpretation of being ‘in the dark’, could I have the character just be mentally ‘in the darkness’?
    Like: she’s been having some troubles and she’s really sad (very simplified example.

    • Hey!

      The rules say your entry should take place “at night or in the dark.” So your entry should include some literal darkness.

  94. Just wondering, can somebody tell me if I am entered in the competition? I tagged it with defy-the-dark or whatever, but I went to see if my entry was there and it wasn’t. Help?!

  95. So, I’m Swedish. I don’t care about the 250$ I just want to spread my work. Why must contest always have restrictions, like what country you live in. The entire world speaks English nowadays.

    • Hey Victor-

      We are legally only able to host contests for residents of the US and Canada. We hope to expand our reach in the future!

  96. I have a question. The rules say the contest is “open only to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States,” but do you have to be living in the US right now or hold a passport and a home address?

    • Hey Marisa-

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

      You’re set! Let me know if I can help with anything else.

    • Hey Raquel-

      For contests, we do not recognize collaborations. The sole winner will be the owner of the email address associated with the Figment account where the winning story has been posted.

  97. I’m not quite sure what the aim of my story should be?

    The contest rules state only the following… “Write a story that takes place at night or in the dark.” That could mean anything, and seems to indicate that the story could have either a ‘positive message’ or a ‘negative message.’

    However, the title of the anthology, “Defy The Darkness’ would seem to indicate that only a ‘positive message’ is being asked for. Afterall, the phrase, ‘defy the darkness’, would seem to imply a situation where someone struggles to succeed in overcoming some adversity that arose in the dark or during the night?

    Which is it? From my perspective, I hope your answer leans toward the greater flexibility offered by both positive and negative options.

    Thanks Saundra

    • I told my pro authors, “things happen in the dark or at night, easy on the F bomb, sex off screen, everything else is up to you.” So those are the parameters. Literally anything you want to write about that fits into those parameters is okay by me.

  98. What if we publish the story and tag it, then realize we made a mistake of some kind? Can we delete the entry, fix it, and republish/tag it?

  99. Hi! I’ve published a short story in England and another one for a comic book anthology here in the states…does that disqualify me? Not sure so I thought I’d ask. :)

    Would love to enter this contest.

  100. Hey I asked about if it has to be at night or in the dark and my question wasnt ever answered…so does it have to be at night or can it be just in the dark?

  101. Is it okay if we go one or two words over limit? Or would that disqualify us?
    And Saundra Mitchell, thank you for making the time to read all the entries for this, everyone really appreciates the fact that this is not going to be a voting contest, it gives a lot of people who don’t get a lot of votes but have a great way with writing a chance.

  102. Is it okay if it’s in the dark, but there’s candle light or flashlights or something so that the characters can see each other?

  103. Is Defy the Dark a YA novel? If so, is there a strict “rating” applied to it? PG-13 perhaps? I just want to know my limits. If it’s only PG that’s fine (albeit, a bit boring) I was just curious. :)

  104. Are we disqualified if we publish one chapter with defythedark in the tagging and added another chapter to the entry?

  105. I wrote an entry for the contest, and published it. But I’m worried my story didn’t take place in a area dark enough. Like, darkness is mentioned and a funeral viewing takes place at night.. Does that count as taking place in darkness. Does it still count? If I destroy the story and edit it and then republish it, adding more darkness will it still be disqualified? I am really worried. PLEASE HELP!!!

  106. Hi, I see at the middle of this page stories that were entered, but some of them have other tags, like saundra mitchell, short story contest, etc. Do we need those or is it just “defy the dark”?

    Also, sorry, is the tag “defy the dark” or “defythedark”? (I’ve seen both on the requirement page.)

    Thank you.

  107. Hmm…I heard I’m not allowed to use a pseudonym? Thing is, I read the rules, but I didn’t hear about the “no pseudonyms” thing until I read these comments. What if I can’t give out my real name online (parents’ rules and for security in the area)? Thanks…
    -V.

    • Hey!

      You shouldn’t need to give your real name online, but the winner will need to provide his or her legal name when filling out paper work involved in claiming the prize.

  108. Hi~
    I was wondering if my story could be multiple scenes/Chapters. I have a couple really good ideas, and I was just wondering if I could publish them all or if I have to choose.
    Thanks!
    ~Kikaru-san

  109. I wrote an entry for Defy the dark contest, and published it. But I’m worried my story didn’t take place in a area dark enough. Like, darkness is mentioned in the murder of one of my characters and a funeral viewing takes place at night.. Does that count as taking place in darkness. Does it still count? If I destroy the story and edit it and then republish it, adding more darkness will it still be disqualified? I am really worried. MODS PLEASE HELP!!!

  110. Does the story have to be written specifically for this contest, or can it be something that I have previously written but fits the contest? I’ve read the Official Rules, and all it says is that the story cannot have been previously published (which I take to mean officially published by a company/self published), but some of the answers to questions in the comments confused me on this matter.

    Thanks for your time,
    J. M. Z.

    • Hey J.M-

      The entry should be original, not previously published, and cannot have been created as a writing on Figment before the announcement of the contest. Say you have a story in a notebook at home that you wrote a year ago; we’d have no way of knowing it was an old story if you entered it in the contest now.

  111. My story is set in the dark, but my character has a flashlight the whole time. Is that okay? Because I haven’t tagged it yet, so I’d edit it out if it’s not. Thanks.

  112. Ok, so… I’m not sure how to say this, but, my entry is under 300 words. 215, to be exact, but I feel like it has a shot. A good shot. Can… I still enter? I hate to beg, but… :/
    -Ty

    • And, you know, just in my defense, it’s like, really good and all that *cough cough* ;P And if I can’t enter it, it’ll just mean you have to read a larger entry, right? And we all know how much authors just HATE reading. :D I mean, I know I do.

  113. I entered my contest entry with the wrong tag at first, and I thought it entered correctly? I have asked a few people to read only to get some feedback… Will this disqualify me? It is published with the right tag now. I just don’t want this to mess up my entry or disqualify me, this is my first contest and I wasnt sure how to tag it correctly…

    • Hey!

      If the tag was incorrect, you were never entered, so edits were fine. Now that the tag is fixed, though, you may not edit or alter your entry or you may be disqualified.

  114. Are we allowed to enter a piece that is in a different contest on this cite, or does it have to be completely new?

  115. I published my story, “Reeds”, and it’s just under 3k in my Word, but it says it’s only 1150 on the site. Could that be because it’s split into multiple chapters? Please help :)

  116. I know this probably a silly question but I feel i need to ask it. I know it says in the rules but is this anthology going to be full of dark, thriller, fantasy style stories or is it a diverse mix of genres?? I just feel anxiety about what to not enter and enter. Thanks (sorry if this makes zero sense)

  117. Sorry if you’ve already answered this, but I have a couple questions.

    1) Am I allowed to destroy a piece, revise it, publish it anew on here, then tag it as defythedark?

    2) Or am I allowed to publish a story without tagging it, get reviews on it, then tag it when all the edits are finished? Would that count?

    Thanks so much!

  118. I understand the differences between being professional and not. But I entered this contest. poetic power. And I have a few poems published. And the copies of their books do sell. Does that make me a professional author?
    Thank you!

    • Hey Katie-

      Check the official rules for what constitutes a professional or semi-professional writer. If those guidelines don’t apply to you, you’re set!

  119. This probably sounds stupid but if you put numbers like this 17 do they count as words or should they be spelled out like seventeen to be considered a word?

    • Hey Shania-

      I’m pretty sure that “17″ would count as a word. We go by the Figment word count, so double check when you post!

  120. How much cursing is allowed? Nothing “politically incorrect” or any obviously offensive, of course, but the odd damn or bastard?

  121. Hey,

    So quick question, in this case what do you mean by ‘DEFY’ because I searched up the definition of DEFY, and it had many… including ‘to challange, refuse to submit to or cooperate, to not listen to.’ so my question is, how do you go against the dark?

    I sort of formed a story, where my character hates the dark and has never seen the light, so she defy’s the dark… does that make sence? and does that go with the instruction… please make this a little clearer for me.

    • Things happen in the dark or at night, easy on the F bomb, sex off screen, everything else is up to you. Literally anything you want to write about that fits into those parameters is okay by me. I want you to do what you do best!

  122. Question for the author;

    I feel bad that you are going to have to read SO much, and have to choose… It would be impossible for me, because I tried reading a few of the entries… and failed.

    Anyways, my question is, are you expecting somthing of high quality? Like somthing that all the other authors have?

    • I absolutely am. I can’t go to HarperTeen and say, “I know this story isn’t ready, but let’s publish it anyway.” But that’s why Figment’s running the contest for us all you Figs and former Inkies are fantastic writers!

  123. Are there any rules against the use of vulgar language and graphic descriptions of death in the short story we submit? The site only says that inappropriate content is based upon the sponsor’s judgement. I only use vulgar language twice in the story, to represent how humans actually do speak in the real world, especially in times of disaster and ruin.

    • Straight from the editor of the anthology! “It must be a YA story, so easy on the F bomb, sex off screen, everything else is fair game. Any genre, any tone, whatever makes you happy.”

    • Straight from Saundra! “It must be a YA story, so easy on the F bomb, sex off screen, everything else is fair game. Any genre, any tone, whatever makes you happy.”

  124. Are we allowed to publish our story but not tag it immediately? Then tag it closer to the end date? Or is that against the rules?

  125. Does it necessarily have to be at night or in a dark place? Or can it take place in the perspective of say, a blind person talking about their inability to see the light?

    • Things happen in the dark or at night, easy on the F bomb, sex off screen, everything else is up to you. So you can have a blind character, but you definitely need some literal dark or night.

  126. Sorry I’ve got so many questions!

    Ok so one more question then I’m done lol:

    1) My piece is called “Shadows”. There is more than one piece called that. I just want to clarify that that’s okay and also one of them won’t get read by accident.

    Thanks again for your time!

  127. what if you dont get anything saying that your writing is going to be put in the contest because this is my first time doing one of these contest. thank you and have a nice day

  128. Hi. I was wondering if the entire story had to take place in the dark or just most of it, meaning, if they enter a lighted area at some point in the story will it be disqualified? Also, if we don’t tag it right away, can we still edit it until it is tagged? Thanks.

  129. How do we know our story is read? I look at the contest entries every day and the order of the stories always change, so what if one is missed?

    • I’m not reading the storylines online. The smart cookies at Figment collect all the entries as they come in. They put them in a file and e-mail them to me at the end of the week. Even though the order changes on the website, they don’t change in my files. I see them all, I promise!

    • I just read a question similar to yours, with a response. Basically, the author is reading each and every submission, as they are submitted. We won’t know exactly when ours are read.

      To address the concern of the possibility of one being missed, this is all I can say: Let’s hope and trust none will be overlooked! :)

      If anyone else has a different answer, feel free to reply!

  130. Hi,

    This may seem like a stupid question, but I don’t believe it’s been asked before. Does it matter what point of view the story is written? I mean, like, does it matter if it’s written in first, second, or third-person narrative or not?

    Sorry for the dumb question; I’m REALLY looking forward to this contest, and I’m eligible!!! Best of luck to other competitors. :)

  131. I have already asked this but you didn’t post my question. How do we know it has been read? I have gone through other contests and the order changes a lot so what if one is missed?

    • Hey Shania-

      She is definitely reading every single story, although there will be no way to know when she reads your entry.

  132. Quick question about the contest if you don’t mind. OK so i originally put my story up with two chapters. I tagged it and published it without realizing that i had to actual click on chapter 2 and hit publish in order for that to be public. Since I already had it tagged, would that count as editing even if that’s what i originally had???
    Please say I won’t be disqualified for that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  133. Could the person be experiencing darkness, like troubling time or something, or does it have to be a literal representation of darkness?

    I didn’t get my question answered before so please answer this one.

  134. i love this contest because it doesn’t involve hearts! just wondering, does she read them ASAP after you submit you entry, or does she wait until Sept. 1 to read them all?

  135. I published my book and put DefytheDark on it but then I read I had to tag it. So I put it on the tag does that get my disqualified just to put that on the detail?

  136. I didn’t feel like reading through all of the questions/comments, so I’m sorry if this has already been asked…
    But the winner will receive credit in the book, correct? As in, the author of the short story will be named?

  137. I didn’t edit my content, but seconds after I ‘published’ I realized my chapters were all messed up. I took out the three chapters and just made it all one ‘chapter’.(but it says chapter 3 at top- I’m new, still learning) Am I still entered in the contest of do I need to delete it and republish?

    Thanks

    • The rules of the contest state that your entry cannot ‘infringe upon any third-party copyrights or other intellectual property rights.’ You are responsible for making sure that your entry respects the songwriters’ copyright. If you’re worried about whether your entry does not meet these criteria, your safest bet is probably to avoid using a song as the basis for your piece.

  138. I suppose this is a question for Miss Saundra: Are the excerpts on the Defy the Dark website the first paragraph(s) of the stories? I’m just curious. ^_^

  139. hEY fIGMENT…
    so I am writing for this contest and accidentally published my story. I haven’t tagged it yet or anything but I was not ready for it to be published. Am I exempt from the contest now….Please say no:( HELP!

  140. I was so excited when I saw this contest, and then I noticed that you had to be in the US or Canada to enter. I find this incredibly disappointing as it was one of the concerns raised by me and many other ex-Inkpop members who moved to Figment, as Inkpop contests could be entered wherever you lived. This seems incredibly unfair to me and is one of the things that puts me off using this website. There are other writing websites where everyone can enter. More and more I’m getting the impression that this is an American orientated website that has no interest in opening its arms to the rest of the world. Furthermore I believe one of the ex-Inkpop members I talked to asked about contests for everyone and being published by HarperCollins and you said that you would look into both of those. I was greatly hoping that this contest would be available to the rest of the world but yet again Figment has disappointed me greatly.

    • Just another member here, but I say with a lot of certainty that ANY contest that is limited to the US and Canada was not decided on the basis of excluding anyone, but rather, it’s a matter of legality. As fun as contests are, the key to any contest is those pesky rules and regulations and the legal side of things is a MAJOR player in all of this. It’s not ideal, but it’s not Figment’s fault.

    • I agree with Kate. I read on the forums that it has to do with export laws. They can’t open contests with tangible prizes to many places without violating a law. I think they’d have to open up offices in other countries or something. And that’s not their fault. I suppose to get around it they’d have to offer contests with intangible prizes, like badges or something. Or have a lot of money. But there’s not really anything Figment can do and I don’t think they’re trying to alienate people by not breaking the law.

  141. Hi,

    I submitted my entry for the contest and it says I updated it but I definitely didn’t. I didn’t get the automatic pop up that said i was entered in the contest so i tried to submit it again. Will I be disqualified =(

    -Jasmine

  142. Would Saundra prefer our entries in Americanized spelling, or will it matter if it’s in Canadian? ex. Color or Colour?

  143. If there are multiple sections to our story, may we seperate it into chapters? Or should it be one full chapter? I am so excited about this contest!

  144. Okay here’s my question: if by some chance I win something (knock on wood) then will you contact me to get my REAL name to go into the book/website, and not just publish my screen name? Because honestly I do not want to tell my friends I got published as “Karly aka Fire-Girl”.
    PS: Thank you all so much for this excellent opportunity. :)

  145. So i first published my story but when i went to my writing i found it still a draft and everything completely blank so i went back and published it again until it actually saved it. Does that count as editing? Will my entry be disqualified?

  146. Can the moderators/admin/whoever actually figure out if you edited your piece after tagging it? Not saying that I will, but is this a trust basis?

    • Hey A.M-

      You would need to create an entirely new writing on Figment. Untagging and retagging will still trigger the same entry.

  147. If some grammar is incorrect, but it’s on purpose because of the character’s way of talking (if the story is in 1st person), will it still be marked down?

  148. So I published my work for the contest, but I forgot to make it 2000 words. :P I deleted it and added more. Can I submit it back into the contest with the same title? Or do I have to change the title?

  149. I’m aware that we’re supposed to be writing about literal darkness, but would magical darkness count as being literal? Like, if the darkness appears as a result of a supernatural force and blocks the light of the sun, or something like that? I’m not sure if that’s in the same category as night darkness and in-a-cave darkness, so I’d like to know if this alternate form of darkness will potentially hurt my chances at winning.

    • Hey Lynna-

      Please refer to the official rules for the prompt. That’s your best bet at making sure you have a valid entry. If you’re afraid you’re straying too far from the prompt, your safest bet is to stick closely to the legal prompt.

  150. I have a question. There is a typo in my title! Does that count as altering the content, or may I fix it? Or would that be fixed after winning? Also, what email address should we all add to our email contacts so that we do not miss any emails from the Figment site regarding the contest? I wouldn’t want any of those emails going to my spam, causing me to not get them. Thanks!

    • Hey Olivia-

      Emails will most likely come from an @figment.com address, so make sure all figment.com emails are allowed! Altering your title may be considered altering the content and result in your disqualification.

      • Emily-
        That doesn’t really answer the question… so I guess the new question is does living on a military base qualify as being a legal resident of the US?

        Just wondering because this question made me curious too…

        • Hey Madison-

          “Resident” is a legal term and I am unable to determine whether or not you are a legal resident. I’m not a lawyer and I wouldn’t want to give you incorrect information, so the best I can do is refer you to the official rules!

          • I wasn’t asking for me, I live in the US as a legal resident (I was born here), but I was wondering because it seemed like a valid question, and I wanted to know. Thanks for answering as best as you can.

        • If you’re a legal resident living on an American base, then you have an American APO/IOP address and are subject to American laws. Therefore, you’re eligible.

  151. when i edited the details section (not the story itself) of my story it gave me the confirmation window again. will that effect my entry?

  152. Hi there…
    I have a quick question about the contest topic…you see, my story is about the last 7 minutes of a persons life when their body has died but their brain is still alive… in my story the girl is lost inside the darkness of her mind as she explores her past and discovers why her life was full of so much darkness and death…

    Would this qualify or is it too much of a stretch?

  153. Hi I just had a quick question…Is mild cursing allowed in this contest? All I want to use is the d word as is Hoover Dammed and also h-e-double hockey sticks. I tried to find different words to use but the story just requires a stronger word. So would I be disqualified for using those words?

  154. I published and tagged my story, then clicked edit so I could check if the tag was correct. The directions say DefytheDark but it was in as defythedark. Will this get me removed from the contest? I didn’t edit any of the actual story.

  155. Thank you, Saundra! So glad that this contest will actually be based on ability and plot, not how much time you spend advertising your writing. Truly appreciate the time she’s spending to review our work.

  156. Please tell me I didn’t just disqualify myself. I edited two words, (spelling) before my friend made me remember the no editing rule.

    It was literally just two words though, will I still be in the running?

  157. I already submitted my entry. Could I post it again as a new story- with an extension for people who want to read the whole thing- or do I have to wait to post it until after the contest is over? (I’m not going to tag it as a contest entry; this is purely for non-contest reading.)

    • To be safe, you should probably wait until the contest is over, though anything not tagged as a contest entry won’t show up in the entries.

  158. Hi! So I published my entry a couple of days ago. I just realized that I had only published a few chapters of it, so I went and published the rest. When I did, I accidently hit, “Save Edit” on the chapter I had already published, even though I hadn’t changed anything. Should I delete it and publish it again to be sure that I am not disqualified?

  159. I have just signed up to figment and want to submit a story to the Defy the Dark contest. Just to clarify, do I write DefytheDark in the tags box within the writing details section in my profile, then press publish? Do I have to write anything in the Description box?
    Any help would be great. Thanks.

  160. Really dumb question but I just posted my short and was double checking, trying to scroll down to make sure all the pages were there but it won’t let me. I’ve even tried scrolling on other entries and can’t. I must be doing something wrong.Anybody?

  161. I posted another question here but I don’t see it….nor did it tell me it was under moderation. I was having a hard time reading my entry and the others. How do I scroll down the story? A friend had the same trouble. I know it’s got to be something simple.

    Also, as I read all the replies, I edited only the desrip and tags–that is A okay, right? Just quad-triple checking :-)

    THANK YOU for this opportunity!

  162. Egads, I accidentally gave myself a heart! I guess it doesn’t matter since this contest isn’t based on hearts. But I’m new here and thought if I clicked on top of the word “heart” – not in the box you’d check – it would tell me about them, lol!
    Really – I’m not that vain!!! Yeesh…

  163. Hi,I think I’m doing something wrong. I don’t see my entry for The Defy the Dark contest showing. It is listed in my writings and I put defy the dark as a tag but I don’t think I sent it to the contest. It’s title is Alone In the Dark. Did I do something wrong?

    • Hey Maribeth –
      As long as your story is:
      -tagged properly
      -published (not saved as a draft)
      -created after the announcement of the contest
      You’re entered!

  164. Hi, I don’t think I entered by submission for the Defy the Dark contest properly. I don’t see it listed as one of the entries. I titled it Alone in The Dark and put the defy the dark in the tag line. It is showing on my page but nowhere else. Can someone please verify if it has been entered?

    Thank you so much,

    Maribeth

    • Hey Maribeth-
      As long as your story is:
      -tagged properly
      -published (not saved as a draft)
      -created after the announcement of the contest
      You’re entered!

  165. I just submitted this morning. It said there would be a pop up confirmation of my entry, which I never got. I checked back a few hours later and couldn’t find it with the other submissions. I followed the instructions, tagged it with “defythedark” just want to make sure I didn’t do something wrong. My short story name is Light-kissed, if that helps. Thanks.

    • Hey!

      As long as your story is:
      -tagged properly
      -published (not saved as a draft)
      -created after the announcement of the contest
      You’re entered!

  166. I correctly tagged my entry as defytehdark (just double-checked), but I haven’t received the pop-up window and I don’t see it in the entries (it’s been more than two hours). How do I fix this? I want to enter.

    • As long as your story is:
      -tagged properly
      -published (not saved as a draft)
      -created after the announcement of the contest
      You’re entered! Good luck.

  167. Hey, I finished my story and I’m ready to submit it, but I just have a question: are quotes from published books allowed at the beginning? (I only have two short ones, but if there are some copyright laws I can remove them. One is from East of Eden by John Steinbeck and the other is from the Bible) It’s not a big deal, I just wanted to know if that was OK.

    Cheers!

    • Sarah-
      The official rules say your “Submission must be an original work created solely by you, has not been previously published, and does not infringe upon any third-party copyrights or other intellectual property rights.” If you’re uncertain whether or not your entry complies, your best bet is to remove the quotes.

  168. I’m wondering if maybe we non-US residents can write an entry and tag it, but explicitly mention in the description that this isn’t an official entry? because more than getting published, I would like to have a professional author read my work so that I might get a little recognition for my efforts. It is so frustrating to have all these perks denied through no fault of ours.

    • Unfortunately not. Legally, we are only allowed to accept entries from US residents and Canadian residents. We hope to expand our contests’ reach in the future.

  169. Oops! I found a mistake in my book description, and clicked edit before I realized. I had already tagged it as DefytheDark. Will this cause an issue with my entry? I clicked back, and didn’t do anything.

    Now I’m stressing out lol :(

  170. Could Figment please consider running more (preferably many more!) contests that are not judged by ‘hearts’? If you do, please note that early and boldly in the description of the contest. Thanks!!

    • i agree wholeheartedly! =D excuse the pun! i like contests that have to do with the writing quality and not the most popular swapper out there.

  171. I tagged my entry as ‘defythedark’ instead of ‘DefytheDark’ and I didn’t get the pop up that was mentioned. Did I tag it wrong? How do I see if my entry is entered?

    • As long as it is-
      published and not saved as a draft
      tagged correctly (and defythedark works)
      created after the announcement of the contest

      Your entry should be listed!

  172. hey um i sent in a short story to this contest but it didn’t show up as a entry. i tagged it to the contest like in the directions did i do something wrong?
    ~starfish~

  173. hey figs it has been over seven hours and my short story still hasn’t been posted as an entry even though i tagged it. did i mess up? please tell me!
    ~starfish~

    • As long as your story is:
      tagged correctly
      published and not saved as a draft
      created after the announcement of the contest
      It should appear under entries. It might be burried, though: there are a lot of entries entered!

  174. After the contest, win or lose, can we use the entry and develop it into a novel if we want to?

    I’m kinda falling in love with the story line and character I made… haha

    • If you win, then we’ll have the right to use your story exclusively for two years. After two years, the rights revert to you completely, and you can do whatever you want with the story.

      If your story’s not selected, the rights remain yours and you can do whatever you like with it, whenever you like!

  175. When I type in DefytheDark and press save edit I’m not getting a pop upnotification like I should. What should i do?

    • Hey Tiffany-

      As long as your entry was-
      -published, not saved as a draft
      -created between the announcement and end of the contest
      -tagged correctly

      It is somewhere in the entries. You may not be able to find it since there are hundreds of entries, but it is there.

  176. How would the potential winner be contacted? In the rules, it says “The potential winner will be notified by email, telephone, or registered mail after the date of the judging.”

    However, none of us (or at least me) were asked to give our email, phone number, or mailing address upon submission.

  177. Will it still count as one entry if we split the content into chapters? It’s still under 4000 words, just spread out.

  178. I just finished my story!(August 31, 3:22 am) I love non heart stories becasue I feel like I can edit it enough instead of publishing it right away since I need enough hearts.
    Go Figment, I love this contest!!! :)

  179. So, if we publish a story on Figment to get feedback and it’s original (written FOR the contest), can we tag it after to submit it? Or does it have to be saved as a draft and published WHEN you tag it? Because I was reading through the questions and in one place, you said it wasn’t allowed to be published before submitting, only saved as a draft. Then, in another, you said it could be published on Figment and then tagged after. So I’m a bit confused, and I don’t want to break any rules…

    • As long as it was created as a work on Figment after the announcement of the contest, you can tag it at any point during the contest to enter it.

  180. 4000 words by the wordcount on Figment or on a particular word processor? Cause there’s about a fifty-word discrepancy between Open Office (the word processor I use) and the one displayed beside my story on here on Figment. I know other programs have an even wider gap.

    • Hey Erica-

      As long as your entry was-
      -published, not saved as a draft
      -created between the announcement and end of the contest
      -tagged correctly

      It is somewhere in the entries. You may not be able to find it since there are hundreds of entries, but it is there.

  181. i taged my story with “defythedark” but it isn’t listed in the entries and it’s ben over a day. is my story entered or not?
    the name of my story is “overcoming”

    • Hey Tiffany–

      As long as your entry was-
      -published, not saved as a draft
      -created between the announcement and end of the contest
      -tagged correctly

      It is somewhere in the entries. You may not be able to find it since there are hundreds of entries, but it is there.

  182. Hi Emily!
    Thanks so much for hosting this! I just posted my story but it’s not showing up…I did tag it with the “defythedark” tag. Any ideas as to what might be wrong?

    Thanks again!

    • Hey Lydia-

      As long as your entry was-
      -published, not saved as a draft
      -created between the announcement and end of the contest
      -tagged correctly

      It is somewhere in the entries. You may not be able to find it since there are hundreds of entries, but it is there.

    • Hey Skittles-

      As long as your entry was-
      -published, not saved as a draft
      -created between the announcement and end of the contest
      -tagged correctly

      It is somewhere in the entries. You may not be able to find it since there are hundreds of entries, but it is there.

  183. Just finished my story, and I’m publishing it tomorrow morning (I always do things last minute). Best of luck to everyone!

    • Hey Lunette-

      As long as your entry was-
      -published, not saved as a draft
      -created between the announcement and end of the contest
      -tagged correctly

      It is somewhere in the entries. You may not be able to find it since there are hundreds of entries, but it is there.

  184. How do I know if I’ve been entered or not. You’re supposed to get a pop up thing saying you’ve been entered, after I tagged it, but didn’t get a message or any confirmation, and it isn’t showing up yet. Starting to wonder if I did something wrong.

    • Hey KBJ-

      As long as your entry was-
      -published, not saved as a draft
      -created between the announcement and end of the contest
      -tagged correctly

      It is somewhere in the entries. You may not be able to find it since there are hundreds of entries, but it is there.

    • Hey Nivan-

      As long as your entry was-
      -published, not saved as a draft
      -created between the announcement and end of the contest
      -tagged correctly

      It is somewhere in the entries. You may not be able to find it since there are hundreds of entries, but it is there.

  185. Hi Emily,

    I’ve tagged my story about 12 hours ago, and I received the pop-up confirmation that it was entered–but it’s not showing up in the entries. Is this a problem? It says 2 hours is normal; I’m just curious if something went wrong.

    Thanks a ton.

    • Hey Carroll

      As long as your entry was-
      -published, not saved as a draft
      -created between the announcement and end of the contest
      -tagged correctly

      It is somewhere in the entries. You may not be able to find it since there are hundreds of entries, but it is there.

  186. Are we allowed to change our cover and title after entering? Because I’m planning on finishing and entering my story this afternoon, but I probably won’t have time to finish the cover until tomorrow (after the entry time is over).

  187. I just wanted to thank figment team and Saundra Mitchell for this opportunity.

    Saundra Mitchell, I think it’s very generous of you to take the time to read every single entry and decide that one in a million.

    I can’t thank you enough, but I hope you know I am not the only one who appreciates this opportunity.

    Good luck, and may the best one win.

    Disclaimer; I am not in any way trying to encourage the judge; Saundra Mitchell to choose my work. That’s why I left my name out-just wanted to let her know how much we appreciate this

  188. I still have till midnight tonight, right?

    “Submit your entry by Saturday, September 1, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. ET.”

    I’m pretty sure I have that right.

  189. I published and tag with, “defythedark” and the only pop-up was the one to say it had been published. But there was no pop-up indicating I had been entered into the contest.

    Hopefully I am?

    • Hey Maureen-

      As long as your entry was-
      -published, not saved as a draft
      -created between the announcement and end of the contest
      -tagged correctly

      It is somewhere in the entries. You may not be able to find it since there are hundreds of entries, but it is there.

    • Hey Abigail-

      As long as your entry was-
      -published, not saved as a draft
      -created between the announcement and end of the contest
      -tagged correctly

      It is somewhere in the entries. You may not be able to find it since there are hundreds of entries, but it is there.

  190. Hi,

    I put in my submission earlier this afternoon as the rules said to…but I can’t find my story in the contest entries. Anywhere. Can you help me? Thank you. God bless!

    • Hey Ezra-

      As long as your entry was-
      -published, not saved as a draft
      -created between the announcement and end of the contest
      -tagged correctly

      It is somewhere in the entries. You may not be able to find it since there are hundreds of entries, but it is there.

  191. I tagged my entry properly, but there was no pop up! It isn’t showing up in the entries, either. This is the third time I tried it…

    • Hey Ayesha-

      As long as your entry was-
      -published, not saved as a draft
      -created between the announcement and end of the contest
      -tagged correctly

      It is somewhere in the entries. You may not be able to find it since there are hundreds of entries, but it is there.

  192. I published a story tagged with “defythedark,” as stated in the above article, but never recieved a pop-up confirmation. Is my submission still being considered?

    • Hey Kathryn-

      As long as your entry was-
      -published, not saved as a draft
      -created between the announcement and end of the contest
      -tagged correctly

      It is somewhere in the entries. You may not be able to find it since there are hundreds of entries, but it is there.

  193. Hello All, I am new at Figment, having started the account in order to enter this contest. I had some last minute trouble figuring out how to publish the text I pasted into “My Writings” and I’m not sure if it actually published by midnight ET or if it was a draft. I just republished it (no idea what I’m doing on this site yet! The learning curve! Gah.) Good luck to all the rest of you.

    • Hey Rowan-

      As long as your entry was-
      -published, not saved as a draft
      -created between the announcement and end of the contest
      -tagged correctly

      It is somewhere in the entries. You may not be able to find it since there are hundreds of entries, but it is there.

  194. Hey guys! Hey Saundra!

    I loaded up my story, tagged it and published it. It’s called “Dark Perturbations” and I hope my attempt to enter it into the “Defy The Dark” Writing Contest has succeeded.

    Thanks for running this cool writing contest.

    Best wishes,

    Stephen

  195. I didn’t get a pop-up confirmation of my entry “Turn Your Back.” I tagged it after it was published, because I couldn’t find the place to put the tags for a while. Does this mean my entry won’t be considered?

    • Hey Elena-

      As long as your entry was-
      -published, not saved as a draft
      -created between the announcement and end of the contest
      -tagged correctly

      It is somewhere in the entries. You may not be able to find it since there are hundreds of entries, but it is there.

  196. Okay so, I entered about ten minutes before midnight but I couldn’t find my entry so I went back and checked, and it says I entered at like twelve o one or something. I guess it’s some kid of system malfunction like when it says the wrong word count on a story, but I don’t know if my entry can still be entered. Please let me know,
    -Page

    • Hey Shauna-
      As long as your entry was-
      -published, not saved as a draft
      -created between the announcement and end of the contest
      -tagged correctly

      It is somewhere in the entries. You may not be able to find it since there are hundreds of entries, but it is there.

  197. Hey there I was wondering if we still qualify when our stories don’t ‘show up’ after one-two hours, because I published mine three minutes before nine PST, which is two minutes before 11:59 ET :D thanks a bunch!

    • Hey Kaitlynn-
      As long as your entry was-
      -published, not saved as a draft
      -created between the announcement and end of the contest
      -tagged correctly

      It is somewhere in the entries. You may not be able to find it since there are hundreds of entries, but it is there.

  198. I have a question. Does the winner have to delete their story off of Figment when they win, due to them possibly getting published? Or are they allowed to keep it up? I didn’t see anything about this in the official rules and I’ve been curious about it for a while now.

  199. Are we going to be judged on our paragraphing? Because I accidentallly submitted it before I could make my corrections, and I’m kind of freaking out now…

  200. So I tagged my story about half an hour before the deadline, but it hasn’t showed up on the submissions. Am I in the contest?

    Oh, and good luck everyone!

    • Hey Kira-
      As long as your entry was-
      -published, not saved as a draft
      -created between the announcement and end of the contest
      -tagged correctly

      It is somewhere in the entries. You may not be able to find it since there are hundreds of entries, but it is there.

  201. Hi Fig,

    I published my story late last night and received a pop-up confirmation window. This morning, after polishing off a strong cup of coffee, I thoroughly scanned the entries without finding my story “A Twist of Conscience” among the submissions. I tagged it “defythedark contest”, intending for “contest” to be a separate string. Is this tag debacle the reason for my missing entry? Because, I gotta tell ya, that would be disappointing. I appreciate any reply:) Cheers!

  202. I know that the contest only just ended and there are over a thousand entries (WOW!), but do you have any idea of when the winner will be announced?

  203. Hi Emily (or whichever other mod will reply :)),
    I submitted my entry last night before the deadline, tagged it defythedark, didn’t make any changes to it after publishing, etc., but I still don’t see it among the other submissions. I’ll admit, I haven’t actually raked EVERY page of submissions looking for it, but I’m a little worried. Sorry to bother you with my nonsense, but if you could reply soon that would be great. Thank you! :)

    • Hey A.R.K-
      As long as your entry was-
      -published, not saved as a draft
      -created between the announcement and end of the contest
      -tagged correctly

      It is somewhere in the entries. You may not be able to find it since there are hundreds of entries, but it is there.

  204. I assumed this contest would be closed since its the 2nd, but it seems to still be open. Does that mean there’s still time to enter?

  205. this contest isn’t open anymore right? I missed the deadline or I thought I did but the website still shows the contest as open?

  206. Hi I had a question about the title of my entry, I made a mistake by titling it DefytheDark is there any way I can edit just the title. I would appreciate a response thanks so much :))))

    • Do not edit your title now; it may result in your entry being disqualified. You will probably have the opportunity to alter your title if you win.

    • Hey Laura-

      As long as your entry was-
      -published, not saved as a draft
      -created between the announcement and end of the contest
      -tagged correctly

      It is somewhere in the entries. You may not be able to find it since there are hundreds of entries, but it is there.

    • Hey Angia-

      As long as your entry was-
      -published, not saved as a draft
      -created between the announcement and end of the contest
      -tagged correctly

      It is somewhere in the entries. You may not be able to find it since there are hundreds of entries, but it is there.

  207. My comment doesn’t seem to have been posted, so I’m posting again.
    My friend and I accidentally tagged our entries for the contest first, and only published the first chapter, not realizing that it didn’t publish the whole story. I realized after a few seconds and quickly added the others, but it took my friend a couple of hours to notice. We were wondering if we would be disqualified for that?
    Thanks. :)

  208. I keep posting this. I looked at my story and it says it only has 546 words even though I counted it and know that I have way more is it possibly saying I have 546 words in the first chapter or is my account messed up? This contest i really important to me.

  209. Will we get any feedback from Saundra? Even a single line stating her general impression will go a long way towards improving ourselves.

  210. I know a date for finding out who won isn’t set, but do you have any idea how many more stories she has to read? (I know there are about 1200 entries, but they’ve been accumulating since the contest started, so I was wondering how many are left.)

  211. I’m super excited for the winners to be announced but I’m so anxious as well! The rules said the winner will be decided on or about September 12th! Any idea if Saundra is close to being done? :P

    • Hey Nara-

      Your entry had to conform to all the other requirements, like word count and prompt. You also must be an eligible entrant for your entry to be eligible. Getting it up among the entries is only the first step.