The Other Normals Short-Story Contest

In Ned Vizzini’s new novel, The Other Normals, Peregrine “Perry” Eckert is obsessed with the epic role-playing game Creatures and Caverns. In fact, it was his original plan to spend his entire summer vacation playing the game. But his parents had other plans: summer camp. They’re convinced that a summer of fresh air and exercise at Camp Washiska Lake will turn Perry into a man.

Perry finds an upside to camp when he stumbles into the World of Other Normals. His new friends—who are suspiciously similar to the characters he created in Creatures and Caverns—need him to prevent mass violence and save their princess. Suddenly, Perry is the hero . . . and it turns out his nerdy childhood has prepared him to save the day.

Inspired by Perry’s heroism, we’ve got a new short-story contest for you! Your challenge: In 1,200 words or less, write a story about an apparent weakness that ends up working to someone’s advantage.

One grand-prize winner will receive a signed copy of The Other Normals, a copy of It’s Kind of a Funny Story (also by Ned), and a DVD of the film version of It’s Kind of a Funny Story (starring Zak Galifianakis).

Two runners-up will each receive a copy of The Other Normals.

How to Enter:

1. Read the full rules.
2. Create an account on
3. Start a new writing of 1,200 words or less.
4. Tag your writing with NormalContest 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 Thursday, October 11 at 11:59 p.m. ET to enter your story. Voting will run until Friday, October 19 at 5:00 p.m. ET. The top ten most-hearted finalists will be sent to Ned Vizzini for judging!

Contest Entries

  • Warmhandscover
    • 5
    • 0

    Warm Hands, Warmer Heart

    Can a man with a burning hot body become a hero in the coldest place on Earth? Bizarre medical science meets Antarctica in this heartw…

    View Entry »
  • Zilla
    • 0
    • 0

    Gym Class Zero

    Being athletic is all that counts at Normal High...that is, until the attack

    View Entry »
  • Red_abstract
    • 13
    • 3

    My Fear is my Ally

    When you're about to battle fear, it's scary. Especially when your fear is something frightening, like vampires. Me? Well, if you w…

    View Entry »
  • Battle scars cover
    • 26
    • 4

    Battle Scars

    This is a story about how one girl's apparent weakness of being cold hearted serves as a gift when her mother sends her to a boarding …

    View Entry »
  • Red_abstract
    • 7
    • 0

    A Different Sort of Dragon

    For the Other Normals Short Story Contest

    View Entry »
  • 6917soccer_ball
    • 0
    • 0

    Embrace Imperfections

    "Embrace your imperfections’ Has he not suffered through high school? It’s impossible!"

    View Entry »
  • Safe and sound
    • 6
    • 0

    Safe and Sound

    A story for the Normal Contest. Thyla is girl who's got no talent and is of no use to Nick of Time. All she has are her voice and hi…

    View Entry »
  • Bookscover1111
    • 3
    • 0


    There's something in the vegetables! A short story on how Elyse didn't like vegetables, and how that benefited her the day aliens tri…

    View Entry »
  • Come what may
    • 11
    • 3

    Come What May

    *Entry for the Other Normals contest* Singing is her passion; her weakness. Public performance is her nightmare. She's forced to rely …

    View Entry »
  • Wallpaper-red-eyed-monster-300x225
    • 0
    • 0

    The Anihilators

    the stories of monsters have been told throughout history, now with the modern era a new breed of monsters have come. this is the stor…

    View Entry »
  • Listen2
    • 63
    • 9


    Finalist in the Other Normals Short Story Contest

    View Entry »
  • Vase 1
    • 7
    • 2


    Ten-year-old Todd is used to being ridiculed for believing the bus drivers and faculty at Humdrum Elementary are monsters. He has bee…

    View Entry »
Show all entries »

9 thoughts on “The Other Normals Short-Story Contest

  1. Why more hearts? You know, I was gonna do it too…and then I read the omnipresent “Voting will run until…”
    I don’t really have time to lobby for hearts right now, especially on a deadline. School’s in, you know.
    Yes I’m complaining. No, this might not stop me from entering something. Yes, I’m kinda angry and on a short schedule. AND Yes, I am simply venting. Please ignore completely- unless you agree, of course.

  2. Hey, for all those out there (like me) who dislike heart contests, why don’t you check out my story Star This? Yes, I’m shamelessly promoting my story, but only because I think you’ll like it.

  3. Dear Admin,
    I have tried tagging my sory with NormalContest, and it is not working i waited two and a half hours and it never showed up i spent a lot of time and effort writing this piece and the dead line is today… can you please help me? Maybe something is wrong? I do know how to tag books because i have done several other contests before this one so i know thats not the case. My Accoung user name is Jay Bird.
    Thank You,

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

      You’re all set!

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