After Short-Story Contest

After is a collection 19 stories about dystopia and the apocalypse by an amazing group of best-selling and award-winning authors (including Sarah Rees Brennan, Gregory Maguire, and Carrie Ryan). Each story explores a future world that has been drastically altered by an apocalyptic event.

The anthology’s editors Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling wrote in their introduction, “In the worlds conjured by the stories that follow, you’ll find floods, famine, and pestilence; you’ll find monsters, horrors, despair and devastation. And also, in the darkness, bright sparks of courage and resistance.”

Kinda piques your interest, huh?

Inspired by the apocalyptic and dystopian tales in After, we’re hosting a new short-story contest! Your challenge: In 1,200 words or fewer, write your own version of the anthology’s prompt: What happens after the end of the world?

One grand prize winner will receive copies of After edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, Beta by Rachel Cohn, Jepp, Who Defied the Stars by Katherine Marsh, False Memory by Dan Krokos, and The Fear by Charlie Higson.

One second prize winner will receive an eBook copy of After from the iBookstore and a $10 Amazon gift card.

One third prize winner will receive an eBook copy of After from the iBookstore.

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 AfterContest 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 25 at 11:59 p.m. ET to enter your story. Voting will run until Thursday, November 1 at 5:00 p.m. ET. The top ten most-hearted finalists will be sent to Ellen and Terri for judging!

Please note: The comment box below is only for questions about how to enter this contest or other logistical issues.

For comments, thoughts, suggestions, complaints about the contest system, please visit our Contest Input forum. To find someone to read your story, try the Contest Promotion forum.

Contest Entries

  • Guerra atómica
    • 0
    • 0

    I live with the stars

    A short flash of the future, what I imagine will happen (along with a little exageration). Please heart! First-ever entry, hope you wi…

    View Entry »
  • Wakeupcover1
    • 92
    • 21

    Wake Up

    *My entry for the After Contest so please Heart if you enjoy. Also I have trouble with grammar so anyone who can leave me a detailed r…

    View Entry »
  • Imagescalullo9
    • 38
    • 2

    Sparks of Hope

    For the After short story contest; Megan and her brother need to survive after the end of the world.

    View Entry »
  • Imgres
    • 0
    • 0


    After the sun exploded only a few lucky souls were left, and now they're struggling to survive in a lightless world. Is there any hope…

    View Entry »
  • Beck
    • 17
    • 2


    Nightmares are born from reality... {My entry for the After Contest} *Previously titled 'Radioactive'. Planning on extending this into…

    View Entry »
  • Man-and-woman-bathroom-signs
    • 0
    • 0

    The Last Two People

    This is my entry into the After Contest. I hope you enjoy reading this.

    View Entry »
  • Sun
    • 1
    • 0

    Eternal Sunshine?

    Her family and herself are the only humans left. The sun has burnt out, and the human race is everything but extinct. Now the end …

    View Entry »
  • Trek
    • 1
    • 0

    We Were Already Dead

    A distant space crew discover something terrible on the third planet in the Sol system (an entry for the After short story contest).

    View Entry »
  • Flood
    • 6
    • 1

    Drowning in the Flood

    An invisible disaster threatens to destroy all civilization. Can love and compassion really hold it all together?

    View Entry »
  • Proto
    • 4
    • 0



    View Entry »
  • 63108main_brazil_burn
    • 26
    • 3

    Truly Alone...

    Connor's view after his world ends...

    View Entry »
  • Pureinheart
    • 6
    • 0

    Pure in Heart

    A young man must try to save the world by leading a dog to her mother, who is an alien. I must warn you, it is very, very fast paced.

    View Entry »
Show all entries »

12 thoughts on “After Short-Story Contest

  1. x_x I saw the word “anthology” and freaked.

    And then I saw that the winner wouldn’t be published. Still a cool contest prompt. I’d do it if I didn’t already have a buttload of schoolwork and stuff.

  2. I was wondering if there is a maximum number of contests you can enter at one time? Because I’d like to do this one, but I’m in another one… so I guess I was just wondering.

  3. Wait, I’m confused: so when does the contest OFFICIALLY end? What is the exact date for when the winner will be announced?

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