The Darkest Minds: Short-Story Contest

The Darkest Minds book coverAlexandra Bracken’s new novel, The Darkest Minds is set in a bleak future, where an epidemic has ravaged the U.S., killing most of the country’s children. Ruby is one of the few to survive, but she—and others like her—have emerged with mysterious powers. She’s sent to a brutal government “rehabilitation camp,” where she struggles to hide her powers from the authorities. At 16, Ruby escapes and sets out to find East River, a safe haven. But when she gets there, she discovers it isn’t exactly a haven—and she’s forced to decide how she should use her powers. Will she help the resistance take down the government? Will she ever get to live a normal life?

Your challenge:

Inspired by The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken, we’ve got a new short-story contest for you! In 1,200 words or fewer, write a story about a reluctant hero.


One grand-prize winner will receive The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken, Shadowlands by Kate Brian, The Archived by Victoria Schwab, The Lives We Lost by Megan Crewe.

Two runners-up will each receive ebook copies of The Darkest Minds 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 fewer.
4. Tag your writing with DarkestMindsContest 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, January 17 at 11:59 p.m. ET to enter your story. Voting will run until Thursday, January 24 at 5:00 p.m. ET. Author Alexandra Braken will choose the winners from the top 10 most-hearted entries.


Contest Entries

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2 thoughts on “The Darkest Minds: Short-Story Contest

  1. Is it OK if I ask what you mean by a reluctant hero? Do you mean a hero that’s seems highly disqualified or one that just doesn’t want to be a hero?

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