The purpose of the Adventure Bound Writing Contest is to encourage creative writing in our local community and beyond by supporting the efforts of aspiring writers.  The Contest aims to challenge writers and present them with opportunities to practice skills that could be an integral part in taking their writing pursuits to the next level.  Our inaugural year was 2019 for the Adventure Bound and as we move into the contest's third year, the prizes and opportunities are even more exciting thanks to this year's (2021) contest sponsor, Redhawk Publications!


1st Place - Lora Hawn, NC

2nd Place - Nancy Rolen, TN

3rd Place - Elizabeth Fisher, NC


The winners of our Inaugural Adventure Bound Writing Contest are:

Competitive Category

1st Place - Gregory Knight, NC

2nd Place-  Elizabeth Fisher, NC

3rd Place-  Dorian Miller, NC

The Adventure Bound Writing Contest (herein referred to as “The Contest” or “Contest”) is powered by Adventure Bound Books, an Independent Bookstore in Western North Carolina.  The contest runs from January to April each year and is one of two writing contests hosted by Adventure Bound Books (ABB).  The entry fee to participate in the contest is $35.00 (Early Bird Discount is $25 during January only) and all registration is completed online.  All registered writers will write in Round 1.  Writers will be assigned randomly to groups and will receive a prompt, via email, from which to write a short story in the genre of their choosing.  Round 1 short stories will be no more than 2,000 words and writers will have two weeks to write and submit their story.  All entries will be submitted through Submittable.  The top 3 stories from each group will advance to Round 2.  Round 2 writers will receive a second prompt, via email, from which they will write a short story of no more than 1,200 words; they will have 1 week to write and submit.  Final judging will select the top three writers from Round 2 as contest winners.  Prompts will be an image/photograph and a significant component of judging will include how well the writer incorporates the image prompt into his/her story.  Image prompts may include a location, an item, or a scene.  Writers are challenged to write their story around the location, item, or scene in the prompt.

**A minimum of 40 registrants is required for the contest to proceed.  If less than 40 individuals are registered by February 25th, registration fees will be refunded and the contest will be canceled for 2021.

WHITE RABBIT’S POCKET WATCH (Also known as the Contest Timeline)


Registration Open: January 5th – February 28th  

Round One Prompt Announced to Writers: March 2nd

Round One Writing: March 2nd – 16th

Round One Submission Deadline: 11:59pm March 16th

Round One Judging: March 17th – 31st


Announcement of Writers Advancing: April 2nd

Round Two Prompt Announced to Writers: April 5th

Round Two Writing: April 5th - 12th

Round Two Submission Deadline: 11:59pm April 12th

Round Two Judging: April 13th - 20th

Winners Announced: Independent Bookstore Day - April 24, 2021


THE TREASURE CHEST (Also known as Prizes)
The top three writers selected by the contest judges after two rounds of writing will receive the following prizes based on place:

1st Place Winner - $250 cash* prize, short story inclusion in the Adventure Bound Anthology, and a published Chapbook**

2nd Place Winner - $175 cash* prize and short story inclusion in the Adventure Bound Anthology

3rd Place Winner - $100 cash* prize and short story inclusion in the Adventure Bound Anthology


Honorable Mention - Gift Card to Wordsmith Workshops

*Cash prizes will be awarded in the form of a check made out to the winning writer and mailed to the address given during event registration.

Prizes are mailed out to recipients approximately 2-6 weeks following announcement of winners.

** Publisher will provide a limited number of copies to the winner at no charge, with additional copies being available for purchase from the publisher.

CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER (Also known as Rules & FAQs)
The contest is open to individuals over the age of 18 years.  Using the prompt assigned, writers will create an original short story, in the genre of their choice, minding the word count maximum and by the stated deadline.  Stories will be judged on how well the story responds to the prompt, as well as strength of plot, character development, and overall story.  

Q: Do I have to live in the United States?
A: Yes.  At this time, the contest is currently only open to US residents.


Q: Do I have to live in Morganton, NC?

A: No.  This is an online contest and thus, you can register and participate from anywhere in the United States.

Q: Can I submit a story I’ve written previously?
A: No; stories submitted for the Contest should be original works and should be written in response to the provided/assigned prompt.

Q: I am under the age of 18 years; how can I enter the contest?
A: This contest is open only to individuals who are over the age of 18 years old.  We offer a youth writing contest in the summer for writers under the age of 18 years old. 

Q: Who has the rights to the short stories created as part of/during the contest?
A: The writer/author of the story always maintains rights to the story as they are his/her work/intellectual property.  Adventure Bound Books reserves the right to publish a synopsis of the story or contest, and name of any writer that enters the competition for publicity purposes.  In some cases Adventure Bound Books will reach out to writers to publish their stories on our website or in our newsletter, but a separate agreement is made for the story.

Q: Is there a specific format requirement for my submission?
A: There are no margin or spacing requirements but stories must be typed in 12 point Courier or Times New Roman typeface.  Submissions should be written in standard American English.

Q: What are the file requirements for my submission?
A: Files must be submitted as .rtf or .doc (or .docx) files.  

Q: Can I submit more than one short story?
A: Each entrant may submit only one short story.  

Q: Can I enter under a pen name?
A: Yes, but you must also provide your legal name for the purposes of any prizes won.

Q: I notice the deadlines for the contest rounds are Eastern Time/Eastern Standard Time.  What if I’m writing from a different timezone?
A: You will need to be aware of the time difference (ahead or behind) the stated ET/EST deadlines based on the timezone you are writing from in order to submit by the stated ET/EST time.  

Q: I live near the bookstore; can I stop by the bookstore and register?
A: No.  All registrations must be completed and fees paid online through Submittable.

Q: I live near the bookstore; can I stop by the bookstore and submit my short story?
A: No.  All submissions must be made online through Submittable.


Q: I don't do online purchases.  Can I mail in my entry fee as a check and also mail in my short story submission?

A: No.  All aspects of the contest take place online.

Q: I registered, and paid my entry fee, but I’ve decided I don’t want to participate.  Can I get a refund?
A: There are no refunds (unless the contestant minimum is not reached).  

Q: Can I get help with my writing from a friend, family member, or teammate?
A: Sure, but only the registered individual is eligible for prizes.

Q: I accidentally missed submitting my short story by the deadline; can I get an extension?
A: No.  There are no extensions past the stated deadlines for registration or each writing round.

The Adventure Bound Writing Contest is currently only open to residents of the United States.  Entrants must be at least 18 years old (we offer a youth writing contest in the summer for writers under the age of 18 years old).  Registration and entry fee payment, as well as submissions are managed through Submittable.  Individuals interested in participating in the Contest will need to set up a free account with Submittable in order to be able to submit their stories for judging.  There are no refunds (unless the contest does not reach the required minimum number of participants).  Writers maintain full rights to their stories. 

WHAT KEEPS YOU UP AT NIGHT (Also known as Unanswered Questions)
If you have questions about the contest that are not answered herein, please feel free to email us at with the subject line 2020 Adventure Bound Writing Contest Question. 

© 2018 by Adventure Bound Books, LLC