Owl Canyon Press Short Story Hackathon #3

Order your copy of 27 Stories, the collection of winning stories in the Winter 2018 Hackathon, today!

 To enter, please visit Submittable for the official entry form, rules and regulations.

The Submittable link will be active beginning on July1st, 2019.

Hackathon Contest Rules and Regulations


Writers are invited to create and submit a short story consisting of 50 paragraphs. The contest provides the 1st and 20th paragraphs, and the short story writer crafts the rest.   First prize is $3000, 2nd prize is $2000, and 3rd prize is $1000 with the winning short stories published in a short story anthology, as well as an invitation to give a public reading at Inkberry Books in Niwot, CO. The twenty-four (24) Finalists will also have their short stories included in this anthology.


Owl Canyon Press provides paragraphs #1 and  #20, and the writer creates the other 48 paragraphs (i.e., paragraphs 2-19 and 21-50) to complete the story.


  • There’s no cost to enter

  • Anyone can submit, including outside the USA, but the stories must be in English

  • 50 Paragraphs total – including the 1st and 20th provided in the submission form

  • No maximum word count, but each paragraph needs to be at least 40 words – this isn’t flash fiction so feel free to use as many words as you need to tell the story

  • Dialog is fine as long as it’s in a paragraph of at least 40 words

  • Authors retain all rights to their short stories

  • Winning authors agree to permit Owl Canyon Press to publish their stories in an Anthology

  • Winners receive up to $3000 in cash awards, publication in a short story anthology, and an invitation to give a public reading at Inkberry Books in Niwot, CO

  • Winners will be notified in December 2019

  • Failure to comply with any contest guidelines may result in disqualification 

 For additional information check the Owl Canyon Press Hackathon FAQ 




Order your copy of No Bars and a Dead Battery, the collection of winning stories in the Summer 2018 Hackathon, today!

Virginia Brackett

Virginia Brackett’s 15 books have been cited by the New York Public Library; the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association; Tristate Books of Note; the American Library Association, Amelia Bloomer Project; and Booklist (Editor’s Choice, Reference Sources, 2008). She has published more than 150 articles and stories for children and adults, and her electronic books include Angela and the Gray Mare (children) and Girl Murders, a time-travel mystery. Her picture book was among ten finalists in the 2019 William Penn Early Childhood Picture Book Challenge, and her memoir focusing on her father’s death in the Korean Conflict and its effect on her family, In the Company of Patriots, will be published by Sunbury Press in September, 2019. (https://www.virginiabrackett.com).

Rita Sommers-Flanagan

Rita Sommers-Flanagan is an irreverent clinical psychologist who recently escaped the confines of academia and has resumed pursuing her earlier callings--happily publishing poetry, essays, short stories, and so far, one novel. She’s a blogger and an activist, furious with the way the world is drifting, and determined to make her words matter.

Donald Ryan


Donald Ryan's words appear or are forthcoming in Cleaver, Hobart, Fiction Southeast, Soft Cartel, and elsewhere. He's a full-time part-time librarian in the GA Pines. (www.donaldryanswords.com)

Tom Strelich

Winner of the first Owl Canyon Press Short Story Challenge, Tom Strelich was born into a family of professional wrestlers and raised in Bakersfield, California. His  plays include BAFO (Best and Final Offer) which was commissioned by and had its world premiere at South Coast Repertory and its New York premiere at the American Place Theatre (APT); Dog Logic, which also had its world premiere at South Coast Repertory and went on to win a Kennedy Center Fund For New American Plays award for its New York premiere at the APT; and Neon Psalms, which won the Dramatists Guild/CBS New Play Award for its world premiere at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco and its New York premiere at the APT.  Tom's honors include a National Endowment for the Arts grant for playwrights, the Beverly Hills Theatre Guild Playwright Award, and commissions from South Coast Repertory and the Actors Theatre of Louisville.  Tom has one screen credit, Out There (Showtime).  For more information about Tom and his work, please visit his website at: https://www.tomstrelich.com

Gene Hayworth

Gene Hayworth is the publisher and chief editor of Owl Canyon Press. He is the author of Fever Vision: The Life and Works of Coleman Dowell (Dalkey Archive Press, (2007) and has translated several books from German into English, including A Journey Into Russia (Haus Publishing, 2015), Turkey Rediscovered: A Land between Tradition and Modernity, (Haus Publishing, 2016), The Gentlemen's Tailor (Owl Canyon Press, 2013).

Owl Canyon Press

Publishing Fine Books in Boulder, CO since 2011