June Writing Challenge!


Join us in our #JuneChallenge! Write a short story beginning with the first line of The Maze Runner by James Dashner in celebration of our first author Q&A with him on June 23rd.

You will have exactly one week to submit your short story. GOOD LUCK!


In 250 words or fewer, write a short story beginning with the line, “He began his new life standing up, surrounded by cold darkness and stale dusty air.” Your story does NOT have to be about The Maze Runner, let your imagination create a whole new story beginning with this line. Tag it #JuneChallenge. You have until 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, June 20th to enter your story.


Five winners will be chosen to have their stories featured in our weekly Newsletter, the Figment homepage and across our social media channels on the day of our author Q&A with James Dashner! Make sure you’re following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr for the latest updates and good luck!

How to enter

1. Read the full rules.
2. Create an account on Figment.com.
3. Start a new writing of 250 words or less.
4. Tag your writing JuneChallenge on the Details tab.
5. Begin your story with the above quote.
6. Enter your response by the deadline listed in the prompt.
7. Press “Publish Now.”
8. You should receive a pop-up confirmation of your entry, and in about two hours or so, your piece should appear among the submissions.

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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127 thoughts on “June Writing Challenge!

  1. hello! eh, in the explanation it said I would receive a pop-up after entering? I didn’t get any… I just wanna make sure my story got in…? thanks!

  2. Hi Admin. Lol. Look, I published one late last night, and there’s one word I’d like to edit. Since the deadline hasn’t past yet can I still make the change?

  3. So does it have to be 250 because mine is 260 words? Is it part of the contest if it’s a little over?

    • Hi Hayley! We will only be reading and judging the stories that are 250 and below. Good luck on finding a way to bring it down 10 words. You can do it!

  4. 250 words or less… You people are mean! I had to cut and cram to make it work. Though I like a good challenge.

    Thank you for the opportunity.


    • I’m glad you accepted the challenge of creating such a short story. We’re excited to read the submissions! Good luck!

  5. I have a question- The first sentence, does it have to be a sentence, or am I allowed to add a comma to the end and elaborate if I don’t change any of the beginning? For example, “He began his new life standing up, surrounded by cold darkness and stale dusty air, blah blah etc.”

  6. So my first entry was too long. I “destroyed” that I re-entered today, with a shorter edited version. Did that work?

  7. How many judges are there? Would take quite a while to get through all of those stories…will all of them actually be read?

  8. Holy crap, that’s quite a lot of entries. I hope you don’t judge a book by its “cover” because I just figured that out… But didn’t perfect it. Actually, I also just learned how to “edit” instead of “destroying” because the tabs at the top aren’t exactly clear. “Details” doesn’t let me change the text, but now I see the other “content” tab. Oh well, the new entry should meet your judgement criteria. May the best fig win.

    • Hi Ayah! Unfortunately, we will only be reading and judging those that are 250 so challenge yourself to remove a few words! Good luck!

  9. Hello! Hope you having a good evening (or day or morning). I was wondering, are we allowed to change something like the tense in the quote (i.e., “he HAD begun his new life…” instead of “he begun”)?

    Thanks so much!


    • Hi Penelope! The first line will need to be written exactly as shown – however you’re welcome to take different spins after the sentence. Good luck!

  10. Hello! I’ve looked through all the enteries twice, and my story was not among them…when can I expect it to show up?

    • I’ve been consistantly checking since yesterday, but my entry is still not there…I tagged it with junechallenge, what else should I do?

  11. Hi again…I entered my story into the challenge on Thursday night, and it still did not show up in the contest entries, even though I tagged the story correctly. I know it’s past the deadline now but I really did submit my story long before it was due. Will this disqualify me? I really have no idea why it didn’t show up.

  12. Would we be disqualified if we edited our entry before 11:59 pm but on Pacific Time? I did but didn’t read where it said eastern. You are three hours ahead of me. I entered a few days ago but had to correct some grammar and I corrected it at about 11:45 pm pacific which was 2:45 eastern. Would I be disqualified?

  13. Where you supposed to tag it #JuneChallenge or JuneChallenge? Because mine kept changing automatically to junechallenge. And I submitted it last night about an hour before the due date and aren’t sure if it got submitted because I never got the pop up notice.

  14. I would just like to make it clear that some people misspelled challenge, and instead typed “challange”. Some people are searching for their name, but it won’t appear because it is misspelled.

    • Five of the winners were featured on the website today! However, we will be featuring more winners throughout the week and adding them to one blog / Newsletter!

  15. I’m kind of upset and confused. Did my piece not get entered? I published it with a junechallenge tag at least five hours before the deadline, and have STILL not received a confirmation pop-up, or seen my writing among the submissions. Is mine being judged? I am disappointed because I want to make sure I have a fair chance at winning like the rest of the entries.
    – Audrey

    • Hi James! There is a ‘Sign up for the Newsletter’ link on the homepage under the start writing/reading/talking buttons. I hope that helps!

  16. Where’s the announcement of the winners? I mean, I’ve checked everyday since the 20th to see I’d the winners were posted. Is it possible that you could post them today?

    • 5 winners were featured yesterday and 5 more today. We’ll be adding them all to a blog and Newsletter by the end of the week. Thanks!

  17. How do we know if we have won? Are the names up yet, or? Do you contact the winners personally? The waiting is killing me! :p

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