What If: The Unbreakable Short-Story Contest

Unbreakable by Elizabeth NorrisUnbreakableby Elizabeth Norris, is the fast-paced follow-up to Unraveling. Janelle has teamed up with Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay to find the mastermind responsible for a human trafficking ring. Someone in an alternate universe is kidnapping people and selling them on different Earths. Everyone blames Ben, the boy who once saved Janelle’s life—and stole her heart.

Janelle can’t believe Ben could be behind such a thing. But when one of her best friends goes missing, she knows she must find the real criminal. Janelle and Agent Barclay have just five days to solve the crime and save Ben’s life.

Inspired by Unbreakable, we’ve got a new short-story contest for you!


Write a short story in which you imagine the “What if?” of a situation, such as: What if the world ended tomorrow? or What if the person you love disappeared forever?


One grand prize winner will receive a one-page review of their story written by Elizabeth Norris, along with a chance to ask Elizabeth questions via email. The winner will also receive a library of ten (!) Balzer + Bray novels, including: Unraveling and Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris; Defiance by C.J. Redwine; Everneath by Brodi Ashton; The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd; The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth; The Other Normals by Ned Vizzini; Partials by Dan Wells; Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer; Ten by Gretchen McNeil.

Two runners-up will each receive signed copies of Unraveling and Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris.

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 WhatIfContest 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 Friday, May 24 at 11:59 p.m. ET to enter a story. Voting will run until Friday, May 31 at 5:00 p.m. ET. Elizabeth Norris will choose the winner from the top ten most-hearted entries.

Contest Entries

Show all entries »

29 thoughts on “What If: The Unbreakable Short-Story Contest

  1. So do we make the characters imagine if the world ended/someone they loved disappeared or do we actually make it reality in the story?

    • The official rules say “The public voting will take place between on or about May 9, 2013 at 12:00:01 AM EST, and May 31, 2013 at 5:00PM EST. Public voting will determine the ten (10) finalists (the “Finalists”). Each registered visitor is able to vote for (heart) their favorite Submissions”

  2. Since this is a heart-based contest, does that mean we can’t swap for hearts for that story?It doesn’t say it clearly in the rules… Is that cheating?

  3. Can you edit an entry or once you submit is it considered a final? I seem to recall something like that but I am not sure.

  4. Are we allowed to edit out typos from the text of our stories even after we publish them so long as we don’t change the content in any way? Or is the rule cut-and-dry no editing of text after publication?

    • If entries cannot be edited after the entry period, there is no editing at all. MOST CONTESTS, however, allow editing until the entry period is closed. Check the rules of each contest you enter!

        • We do not recognize the team. The person who owns the email address associated with the Figment account is the sole individual who will be declared as the winner. Since the entry must be entirely the winner’s creative property, it is inadvisable to enter from a joint account.

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