The Crystal Crown -- A Winter Writing Contest ❄

As the nights grow longer and the days turn colder, Wacky Writers is here to spice up your winter! No, your eyes are not deceiving you – we’ve brewed up a brand-new contest to help keep your writing muscles in shape! :muscle:

This time, we’ve broadened our horizons: there are ten picture prompts for you to choose from just below and, since a picture is supposed to be worth a thousand words, we’re giving you a full month to tell a 1000-word long story about the winter wonderland of your dreams. Be it ice dragons or Santa on the beach, a romance under the mistletoe or New Year’s Eve 2099, we are here for it :raised_hands: :raised_hands:

Even though many of us will be stuck inside (for the greater good!) during this holiday season, there is one gift we all have that can still make winter magical: a writer’s imagination :snowflake: Do what you do best and snuggle with a hot drink in your cozy corner. Power up your computer or grab your notebook and just let the words snow :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

You have until December 30th at 8pm UTC to submit your short stories for a chance to win a very Wacky care package. Free graphics, custom emoji and tailored blog features are up for grabs, in addition to our very own wizardly regalia.

The Crystal Crown, crafted from courage and creativity, will reward the winning wordsmith.
The Quartz Quill, dipped in wit and wonder, will be granted to one or two runners-up.

The investiture will take place mid-winter, on January 31st 2021. Good luck, everyone! Let us welcome the new year with Wacky cheer!

Picture Prompt 1:


Picture Prompt 2:


Picture Prompt 3:


Picture Prompt 4:


Picture Prompt 5:


Picture Prompt 6:


Picture Prompt 7:


Picture Prompt 8:


Picture Prompt 9:


Picture Prompt 10:




  • We accept English manuscripts of any genre (with the exceptions of erotica, poetry, plays, and screenplays) up to 1000 words long (minimum wordcount: 500). Titles are not included in the word count. Submissions must abide by our Code of Conduct.
  • One (1) submission per person.
  • The submission must be an original work that follows one of the given prompts and that has not been published previously.
  • Your submission has to be entered through this form by December 30th, 8PM UTC. Submissions cannot be altered after entry. Submissions after the deadline or submitted in other ways are not eligible.
  • The short stories will be judged by the judges on grammar/spelling, vocabulary, writing technique/style, plot & originality, and how well the chosen prompt was followed.
  • The winners will be announced on Sunday, January 31st 2021.
  • You must be a member of the Wacky Writers forum to join. Making an account is free.
  • Wacky Writers moderators are not eligible to enter the contest.
  • By entering this contest, you grant Wacky Writers the right to publish the short story under your name on the official site. All rights are otherwise yours.


One Grand Winner will receive:

  • A solo feature of your winning entry on the Wacky Writers blog & social media
  • An author interview on the Wacky Writers blog
  • Positive feedback from all the judges on your winning entry
  • An ad-free forums experience for 30 days
  • A free conceptual* cover + chapter banners by @shinrili for your published story on any writing platform OR for your winning entry
  • Our exclusive Crystal Crown badge
  • A custom emoji on the forums
  • A free critique of the first few chapters for one of your stories**
`*`A conceptual cover means that Shin will be taking the time to go through your story in addition to working closely with you, in order to tailor a professional cover for your book
`**`The maximum wordcount that will be critiqued is 5000. Whether published or not, the chapters you want critiqued will have to be made available to us via a Google doc.

Up to two* runners-up will receive:

  • A joint feature on the Wacky Writers blog and social media
  • Our exclusive Quartz Quill badge
  • A custom emoji (each) on the forums
  • Positive feedback on each winning entry from one of the judges
  • A free cover (each) for your published story on any writing platform OR for your winning entry
`*`We reserve the right to select a single runner-up, depending on the number and quality of the entries received.



1. Can I use multiple pictures for my story? If yes, how many?
- You can mix and match however many pictures you’d like, but when you submit your entry, you will have to choose a single one which best displays the main theme of your story. Remember, one of the judging criteria is how well/creatively the chosen prompt was followed.

2. Do you accept submissions that aren’t prose?
- If you want to experiment with, say, some poetry or script elements, you are free to do so, as long as the end result is a short story – with a clear narrative structure and compelling characters. Whatever you submit will be judged as a short story.

3. How strict is the word count?
- The form will not allow you to submit a story longer than 1000. As for the minimum limit – we’ve set it at 500 to ensure the story can have a proper narrative structure and room for character development.

4. Can I write a mature story? Or how mature can my story be?
- Our rule of thumb is generally to keep it PG-13 – and within the Code of Conduct. We’re unfortunately unable to feature mature stories on our blog and forums at this time.

5. When and where can I submit my story?
- You can submit your story via this form here until December 30th.

6. Does the story have to be newly written for this contest?
- Yes, the story has to be new and original content following one of the picture prompts provided.

7.Can I rework an old short story?
- As long as it’s your own original content which hasn’t been published before and it can be made to follow one of the prompts provided, yes.

8. Can the short story feature characters from one of our works, as long as it follows one of the prompts and is newly written for this contest?
- Yes, as long as the resulting short story makes sense on its own, so the judges can understand it without having to read any previous works.

9. How merry or bright does the short story have to be?
- Your story doesn’t have to be merry or bright, but it does have to follow one of the prompts provided and adhere to our content guidelines (PG-13, in line with the CoC etc).


Omg it’s here:0

Good luck to all!


It isssss!! :snowflake: Woop woop :partying_face:


Ooooh this is exciting!!


asdfghjkl It’s here! goes to produce another incoherent string of thoughts instead of a sentence in an attempt to start writing



Have y’all been stalking the badge page or something? :eyes: :joy:

Best of luck!! Can’t wait to read all the entries :heart_eyes: That being said - do take your time, you have a full month ahead of you!!


ah, yes, I’ve been waiting.

never say that to a procrastinator :joy:


Oops, I take that back, then :joy:


Well, you guys gave us hints about more writing events and it wasn’t that hard to guess about a winter themed one:)


It wasn’t?! Damn, we gotta work on our suspense skills :joy:



Detective mode activated


All those pictures are so beautiful! :heart_eyes:


I’m excited, I already have a few ideas!

i have no hope of winning but this’ll be fun motivation lol


me now: pshhhhh a month will be plenty of time
me trying to write: i’m never gonna finish this what was i thinking


Packing a whole story into 1000 words would be hard :open_mouth:


Oooh another contest! I’ll try this time evn tho ik i won’t actually win


Yay! We hope they’ll inspire y’all plenty! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Woohoo :partying_face: And remember – the most important thing is to have fun!!

Haha, take it easy, you got this!! :muscle:

Wanna try? :wink:

Yessss, give it your best shot!! :raised_hands: As long as you have fun, you’ve won :wink:


Awww, that’s true. I was planning on writing a short story anyway, so this came up at the right time. :sparkles: