If You Find Me Short-Story Contest

If You Find Me by Emily MurdochCarey Blackburn has spent most of her childhood hidden away deep in a national forest, living with her little sister, Jenessa, in a broken down camper. Her mentally-ill mother comes and goes, disappearing for days or weeks at a time. There’s no electricity or running water, and very little food.

But their lives drastically change when Carey and Jenessa are discovered by their father and taken from their forest home to live with him and his family. For the first time, they have plenty of food to eat, a warm place to sleep, and clean clothes to wear. It’s not so easy for Carey to adjust to this new bright and shiny life, especially when she has to attend high school (with all its highs and lows) for the first time.

Inspired by If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch, we’ve got a new short-story contest for you.


In 1,200 words or fewer, write a story about someone who feels like a fish out of water.


One grand-prize winner will receive a signed copy of If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch, along with copies of Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams, This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers, and Born At Midnight by C.C. Hunter. The grand-prize winner will also have the opportunity to choose the Figment homepage stories for one day.

Five runners-up will each receive a copy of If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch.

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 fewer.
4. Tag your writing with FishContest 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 Monday, April 8 at 11:59 p.m. ET to enter your story. Voting will run until Monday, April 15 at 5:00 p.m. ET. Figment editors will choose the winners from the top 10 most-hearted entries.


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

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32 thoughts on “If You Find Me Short-Story Contest

  1. I just thought you should know, that the book is If You Find Me. And when you repeated it in the contest prizes and rules, you put If YOUR Find Me. Just wanted you to know(:

  2. There is a typo. In the sentence just above the “Prompt” and the first line of “Prizes”, the book’s title is “If You Find Me”, not “If Your Find Me”.

  3. I always typo it myself, If You FINE Me! : ) Like I didn’t pick up after my dog at the park, or like I littered. : )

    What an awesome contest! Good luck everyone! Write well! Write true!

    “What comes from the heart, goes to the heart.” ~Beethoven

  4. Hi, quick question, because I didn’t see it mentioned in the official rules. The submission must be a piece created on figment AFTER the announcement of the contest, correct? Or can it have been on the site, hearted for months or weeks, etc, and THEN tagged fishcontest?

    • The piece must be original and created after the announcement of the contest (look at step 2 on the contest post). Anything old will not be counted as a valid entry by our system.

  5. “A fish out of water.” Someone who feels out of place. Just curious, but am I allowed to do fan fiction for this, or does it have to be an original character and/or plot? Sorry if someone already asked. Thanks!! (:

  6. I tagged my piece fish contest, but it hasn’t shown up in the ‘recently updated’ section of writings tagged fish contest for 2 days. Is that normal?


    • Hey!

      Double check that your:
      -tag is correct
      -story was created after the announcement of the contest
      -story is published and not saved as a draft

      If everything is in shape, you’re set!

  7. Just one simple question, it said I would receive a “pop-up notification” when my writing gets in, will I also receive an email, because I rarely have internet.

    • No, there are no confirmation emails. But as long as your entry is-
      -tagged correctly
      -published (not saved as a draft)
      -created on Figment after the announcement of the contest

      -you’re set!

  8. My name is Janissa, and I have an aunt named Kerri Blackburn, so the description of that short story really caught my attention!
    It’s so strange to see those two names in one paragraph.

  9. So, I submitted my story and it may have too many words, because when I kept trying to go back and read it, and chec word count, it showed up as ‘zero’. Why is this?

  10. Okay, so it’s now 5:28 ET, and I just got 2 more hearts on my submission. Will those count towards the contest or not?

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