Endangered Short-Story Contest

Endangered by Eliot Schrefer is a story of survival.

Sophie has grown up in two totally different worlds. She spends the school year living comfortably with her dad in the U.S. and her summers in the Congo, where her mom runs a sanctuary for bonobos. On a trip to visit her mom, she rescues a baby bonobo from a poacher. Sophie names the baby Otto and the two develop a deep bond. As Sophie settles into life at the sanctuary, she feels connected with the animals in a whole new way.

But the Congo is politically unstable, and when an armed revolution breaks out the sanctuary is attacked. Sophie and the bonobos escape into the jungle, where they struggle to to find food and stay alive.

Inspired by the harrowing adventures of Sophie and Otto, we have a short-story contest for you! Your challenge: In 1,200 words or less, write a story about someone who has to survive in the wilderness.

The grand-prize winner will receive a $15 Amazon gift card, a signed copy of Endangered by Eliot Schrefer, and copies of The Deadly Sister and The School for Dangerous Girls (also by Eliot).

The second-place winner will receive a $10 Amazon gift card and copies of Endangered and The Deadly Sister.

The third-place winner will receive a copy of Endangered.

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 less.
4. Tag your writing with EndangeredContest 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 Sunday, October 14 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 10 most-hearted entries will be named finalists. Figment editors will choose three winners from the finalists.

Contest Entries

  • 040
    • 0
    • 0

    I Survived

    PLEASE READ! A young doctor who works in a clinic in the African nation has to survive a rebel attack and the wild jungles of Africa i…

    View Entry »
  • Run
    • 38
    • 15


    What would you do to survive? Endangered Short-Story Contest

    View Entry »
  • Pizap.com10.32960600173100831397083526980
    • 145
    • 10

    The Wild Will Not Be Tamed

    Grand Prize Winner in the Endangered Short Story Competition! The forest, she's alive. And, in this story, she won't let the humans …

    View Entry »
  • Fire
    • 1
    • 0

    The Fire

    Jazz is a tomboy who has lived in the wilderness for 2 months after running from her parents. But when a wildfire happens, it changes …

    View Entry »
  • Download
    • 22
    • 7

    In the wilderness

    The forests contain the essence of life........and death. How long will you survive?

    View Entry »
  • Cover-normal
    • 0
    • 0

    The Submission

    Savannah is forced between family, or survival. Which will she choose?

    View Entry »
  • Whisper of the wild
    • 58
    • 14

    Whisper of the Wild

    Finalist in the Endangered Contest!!! Vera lives in a the outskirts of the Catskill mountain range, in a small quiet town. When the to…

    View Entry »
  • Down
    • 46
    • 5

    Down, Down, Down

    My entry for the Endangered Short-Writing Contest. Kalista and Daniel ran from their home in a small village when the enemy forces …

    View Entry »
  • Newcoverboom
    • 4
    • 1

    The Bone Claws

    Most awesome cover made by Lily Greenstone! - Alone in the mountains, a girl awakens with no memories of who she is or how she got the…

    View Entry »
  • Smokerising1(2)
    • 65
    • 9

    Holding Out Hope

    ~3rd Place Winner of the Endangered Contest!~ Kale and Heather are the only two people who survived the plane crash that left them …

    View Entry »
  • Hypersleep cover
    • 9
    • 0


    Surviving in the wilderness hard as it is. Surviving in the wilderness on another planet... well, that's another story.

    View Entry »
  • Untitled
    • 144
    • 28


    {SHORT-STORY} Second place in the Endangered Contest.

    View Entry »
Show all entries »

38 thoughts on “Endangered Short-Story Contest

  1. Let me be the first to exclaim “Noooooooooooooooo, not another heart contest!” >.< *flails around and falls over*

    Alright, I'm done. *stands back up and walks away*

  2. Comon guys, be understanding. If they didn’t do it by hearts everyone would enter and it would take forever to read through all the entries. Plus its not like the competitors have an easy time soaring to the top, you have to put in a lot of effort to get enough hearts.

    • that’s seriously what i was thinking too!!!everytime theres a heart based contest, everyone whines about it being a popularity contest…i’ve done these contest before, and let me just say that it is definatly not a popularity contest.i’ve spent countless hours reading other people’s stories just to get to the top ten!

      • I kinda think it is though because not everyone has the TIME to ask people to read their stuff, so even if it’s good but nobody got enough people to try to read it, then what’s gonna happen? :O

    • Hm… I’m not sure I agree. I think everyone swarms to the non-heart contests because they are so rare and they want a chance to win at least ONE. If they started doing them more often, the thrill would die down and people would only enter them because they had great muse for said contest, not because it’s their only chance so they might as well pump something out.
      Wow, I’m tired. That’s one hell of a run on sentence…

  3. I was considering entering,
    Then I saw that it was heart-based.
    *punches laptop screen*
    NO. Writing should not be a popularity contest. Ugh! So fed up with all of these voting ones…

  4. I’ll enter these contests to help with my writing, but it’s downright frustrating when the winners are based off hearts. First off, people just ask for hearts and they’ll get it. It doesn’t even have to be the best story. It could be downright lame and get into the top ten just because they groveled for other people to like their story. Some of the better stories, I’ve noticed have been left at the bottom of the pile because no one bothers looking them up unless they’re looking for a swap.
    Another thing about the hearts. If you’re not well known, if you have only so many followers, you don’t have much of a chance. No one knows you, and so they don’t know about your entry and it’s not going to show up in even in the top hundred.
    These aren’t contests to see who’s got the best writing; these are contests to see who’s more popular and who can advertise the best. It feels rather unfair.
    Am I ranting? Maybe I am, but still, these heart-based contests are getting on my nerves. Some contests offer big prizes and it doesn’t always go to one who deserves it; most of the time it goes to the one who put more effort in convincing people to like it than in writing it.
    Sincerely, I-Wish-There-Was-A-Better-Way

    • I agree with you! This seems completely unfair to everyone who doesn’t swap and grovel for attention. It’s more like a popularity contest!!

    • Yes, a better way, but what? 🙁 I understand why they do heart based, its really the easiest way of voting. But people take advantage of it and don’t really earn hearts. I really liked how they got an author to read all the entries in one contest and choose from them, but I’m sure those kind of authors are not easy to find.

  5. I feel like this needs said:

    Every contest I check out, tons of people post about the hearts and about how “it isn’t fair.” I disagree.

    I’ve entered two heart-based contests so far, and both of those contests I have made to judging. You know how I did it?

    Not because I had a lot of followers (because during the first one I was new to this site and had none.). Not because I was popular (literally 7 hearts, out of the 450 or so I had by the end, were votes from people that I physically knew.). Not because I entered early. My first one I actually didn’t start writing until the top person already had 300 hearts!

    So you wanna know how? Because I worked my a** off. That’s how.

    Guess what? If you ever get published, you think you won’t be doing the same? Trying to figure out how to go to signings and (gasp!) PROMOTIONS, while still balancing your writing on the side. That’s right. This heart stuff is simply practice for your future as a writer.

    Now, some people do heart swaps and don’t even look at the thing or read it, and that’s their own loss. I get some feedback that’s good, I get some that’s bad. I get tons of people saying stuff like, “great job!” but at the end of the day, I realize my writing *HAS* improved from all of this contest business. I look at the first draft of the novel I finished pre-contest and laugh at how novice it is compared to what I can crock up now. So what am I going to do? Re-write it.

    The other aspect of this, is with swaps, *I* read a lot that I wouldn’t normally read. Reading is the key to writing.? Plus, then you can help others progress in their writing. Everyone on this site needs each other’s help, otherwise we would just hide our stories and poems in a box under our bed. Isn’t swapping and reading people’s stuff really in the spirit of this site?

    So, though the heart thing is hard work and frustrating, I do think anyone can work hard to be in the top, I do think your work will improve from it, and I think it does closely minick writting in the real world.

    It’s just promoting your work, and if you believe and love your work (which you should!) then you should have no problem sharing it with the world.

    If you’ve managed to say with me for this long, I thank you for hearing me out! Give it a chance people, honestly, there can be a lot to be learned from this heart contest business.

    • Been there. Done that. It doesn’t work honey. The system is flawed no matter how much you try to sugar coat it. I get the point your trying to make. But it’s all about swaps. The number of hearts you get doesn’t mean anyone took the time to read your piece.

    • You make a good point, but it’s still flawed. When promoting yourself in real life, bad grammar and horrible story lines aren’t going to get you anywhere, no matter how much your story is promoted. Word travels around by mouth how bad the story is and people won’t read it.
      Not really the case here. It’s get on your knees and beg people to “read” your story and heart it. In real life, they’re actually going to read the writing, and then give you their opinion. Here? People just glance through to get a general idea of it and then heart it because they were asked.
      Yeah, I use these contests to improve my writing. But I can’t sit here all day begging people to come see my writing. I’m not a published writer yet, so my life isn’t revolved around it.
      I’ve got a problem with flash-fiction and newsletter contests. 1. Their prizes don’t entice me as much as the short story, and 2., I hate having to cram my writing in such a small box. I prefer writing stories, letting me take my time in my writing.
      Fine, whatever, I’m close-minded. Sorry for not ever wanting to write something that short.
      And another thing. LOOK for things that you wouldn’t normally read. Seriously, swaps are just kind of lazy when it comes to that. I have been told to broaden my reading horizon so I don’t restrict myself to one thing. It helps with your writing, broadening your reading. Seriously, the swaps shouldn’t be the only way you’re reading new stuff.
      Thanks for staying with me this long.

      • I completely agree with you. If you really care about your contest entry and really want to win, then you’ll put in the time and effort to get people to read it. And if you really want to win but don’t have the time, then make time. It’s not that hard. Wake up a few extre minutes, go to sleep a tiny bit later, etc. It’s nowhere near as hard as your making out to be.

    • People with garbage stories may be able to get through to the finals, but the judges never allow them to win. The good stories always win. I totally agree with you 🙂

  6. These contests are why I all out stopped using Figment for a while…still refuse to enter ’em. But there used to be other contests-submit via email, anonymous voting. I haven’t seen any of those since my return…

    • Hey Sharrona-

      The number of entries made email contests unmanageable to judge, but we’ve increased the number of newsletter and flash fiction contests that we hold. Most newsletter and flash contests are judged by members of Figment staff without heart-voting!

      • Could you provide better prizes though? It seems unfair for heart-contests to have FABULOUS prizes while as flashfiction and newsletter contests you can only win a book or a t-shirt -_____-

  7. This is by how many hearts you receive?
    Okay. That’s ridiculous.
    It should be judged by how well the story is written, not by how many hearts you get on it.
    Obviously, the person that’s well known on here the best is going to win everything.
    Do you guys not realize people Heart swap? Like seriously. Open your eyes.
    Inkpop was so much better.

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