New Writing Contest! #Molecules



In 816 words or fewer, write a short story where your main character does anything to be popular. You have until 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 16 to enter your story.


Ten winners will receive a free copy of We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen, a Figment notebook and will have their stories featured in our weekly Newsletter, the Figment homepage and across our social media channels! 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
3. Start a new writing of 816 words or less.
4. Tag your writing #molecules on the Details tab.
5. Enter your response by the deadline listed in the prompt.
6. Press “Publish Now.”
7. You should receive a pop-up confirmation of your entry, and in about two hours or so, your piece should appear among the submissions.

About the book:

“There’s so much to love about this story . . . but what grabbed me the most is the humor.” 9780553496864—Christopher Paul Curtis, winner of the Newbery Medal

Award-winning author Susin Nielsen has created two narrators who will steal your heart and make you laugh out loud.

Thirteen-year-old Stewart is academically brilliant but socially clueless.
Fourteen-year-old Ashley is the undisputed “It” girl in her class, but her grades stink.

Their worlds are about to collide when Stewart and his dad move in with Ashley and her mom. Stewart is trying to be 89.9 percent happy about it, but Ashley is 110 percent horrified. She already has to hide the real reason her dad moved out; “Spewart” could further threaten her position at the top of the social ladder.

They are complete opposites. And yet, they have one thing in common: they—like everyone else—are made of molecules.
Praise for Susin Nielsen
“Nielsen is a wonderful writer, smart, engaging, entertaining.” —CM magazine
“Nielsen has real talent for comedy, zoning in on just the right level of snark.” —Kirkus Reviews
What Other Authors Are Saying
“Susin Nielsen is one of the best writers working today. In We Are All Made of Molecules, her astonishing ability to combine insight, tenderness, poignancy, and uproarious humor is in full flower. Susin Nielsen is a genius, and kids and adults alike will adore this book.” —Susan Juby, author of The Truth Commission

“My, my, my what a skilled, gifted writer Susin is!… I was laughing so hard and unexpectedly that my wife asked if I was reading something I’d written. I’m embarrassed to think I’d laugh at my own stuff like that. Now, tell me: Who do I write to join the Susin Nielsen fan club?” —Christopher Paul Curtis, Newbery Medal–winning author of Bud, Not Buddy and The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963

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

  • Made up
    • 0
    • 1

    Made Up

    Hannah is a girl who loves being made up. Makeup, nice clothes, the works. So what do you do when everyone at your new school is the e…

    View Entry »
  • Full moon ship
    • 0
    • 0


    Lucille Jones is used to getting what she wants. She's a 17th century daughter of the elite. But when she meets first mate, Francis Ch…

    View Entry »
  • Black-rose-with-raindrops-yumi-johnson4
    • 4
    • 2

    Black Rose

    #molecules Uhm...I wrote this story for the molecules competition and it kinda scares me. Rose Dilbert wants to create a balance betw…

    View Entry »
  • Bokeh
    • 0
    • 0

    Popularity At What Risk?

    When Elizabeth Baker finally becomes the Popular she dreamt of being, she soon finds out that popularity isn't all there is to life.

    View Entry »
  • Cover-normal
    • 0
    • 1

    Plain Jane

    Short story for #molecules contest.

    View Entry »
  • Tumblr_m5f1nlwx651rw93m3o1_500
    • 5
    • 0

    Am I Popular Yet?

    It is in my deepest hopes that this piece spreads awareness on how horrid bullying is, and have people stop to rethink actions that ma…

    View Entry »
  • Radical_radial
    • 2
    • 0


    First-person short story centering around an unpopular schoolboy who goes to irreversible lengths for a chance to climb his school's e…

    View Entry »
  • Cover7
    • 0
    • 0


    Diverse and yet what differentiates us? Our molecular intelligence, perhaps :)

    View Entry »
  • Edited-3
    • 0
    • 0


    Mallory will do anything to be popular, She even might go as far as selling her own soul for it... Story for the #Molecules Contest!

    View Entry »
  • Red_abstract
    • 0
    • 1

    Lillia Willowbark

    Lillia Willowbark is a young fairy hopelessly in love and tries to gain popularity to draw attention to herself.

    View Entry »
  • Real
    • 0
    • 0

    The Formula

    Is there a formula for guaranteed popularity? Eliza thinks so and sets out to prove her theory.

    View Entry »
  • Lionsden
    • 0
    • 0

    The Lion's Den

    View Entry »
Show all entries »

43 thoughts on “New Writing Contest! #Molecules

    • Hi Hannah – unfortunately those who go over the 816 word limit are not eligible to win. However, you’re welcome to continue your story after our contest is over if you’d like to end it with a cliffhanger! GOOD LUCK!

  1. Does it have to be in the details itself or the Tag box? and how do we get this stuff if we win? Is it shipped or something? Are you alerted that you won? Do we have to give our address?

  2. I read all of the rules and such, but I didn’t really understand it all. Can someone please explain the entry instructions to me? Where would I enter my response?

    ~A Very Confused Sora Nightingale

    • Hi Sora – not a problem! When you create a new writing on Figment you’ll simply click the details tab and add the keyword for this contest which is “molecules”. Once you complete your story and tag it properly we’ll see it in the entries! Good luck!

  3. How are the winners being chosen? By random drawing, who has the most hearts or is someone going to read through the stories and pick the ten best?

    • We are no longer hosting heart-based contest due to popular demand. 😉 We’ll be reading each of the stories. GOOD LUCK!

  4. I had a couple of questions. Such as, how are contest winners notified, and when should we expect the winning stories to be announced? Thank you!

  5. Hello! I was reading through the quite immense set of rules and needed a summary of what exactly the contest is about, please do comment to help me simplify and make sure that I have completed all requirements!
    Thank you very much!

    I have stayed under the 816 word limit, included #molecules in my details tab, and have a short story that goes with the prompt for this contest.

    Is there any other things I need to do? Will they send me emails if I win?

  6. I am confused. Why haven’t the other contest winners been posted somewhere on Figment? I thought they would be posted by now since yet another amazing contest has started. Please answer my question, admin! I am still waiting for contest winners from past contests I have entered! Thanks!

  7. Hey admins,

    Why won’t you judge the other contests? It’s been months and frankly, I’m getting pissed off that you won’t judge any contest but the March Madness one. It’s as if you’ve forgotten about everything except the fact that it’s in your job description to create contests. Never mind the fact that you still have to judge them. I don’t know if I can really support you creating more contests if you won’t judge the ones that have already ended.

    Thank you for hearing me out!
    –Rachel Rauch

    • Hi Danielle – you are welcome to enter and win but unfortunately we are unable to send any physical prizes outside of the USA currently.

  8. Is not-so-moderate swearing ok? I wouldn’t exactly call my writing style PG…

    I feel that in the case of my story, profanity is needed to capture the essence of my crude characters.

    Will a story be penalized/disqualified for R-rated vulgar/sexual language?

  9. I submitted my story three days ago and whenever I type “molecules” in the search box my story does not come up in the results page. I tagged my story with both molecules and molecules contest. Did I do something wrong and that is why it won’t show up?

  10. Hello, I entered this contest before the deadline, and I went back and looked at the rules and it says there should have been a pop up confirmation? I never received one but I tagged my story with “molecules” and I also submitted before the deadline. Thanks!

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