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The Runaway Train

Write a fiction story set aboard a runaway train.

Prizes

Grand Prize:
$10,000
Second Place:
$2,500
25 Runners-up:
$50

Status

Closed

Timeline

Submissions opened

Jul 12, 2022

Submissions closed

Aug 03, 2022 3:59 AM CUT

Results

Aug 16, 2022

Prizes

Grand Prize:
$10,000
Second Place:
$2,500
25 Runners-up:
$50

Status

Closed

Timeline

Submissions opened

Jul 12, 2022

Submissions closed

Aug 03, 2022 3:59 AM CUT

Results

Aug 16, 2022

About this challenge

Do you dream about being a fiction writer? Want to prove you have what it takes to write an action-packed adventure story? Here's your chance.

From Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express to E. Nesbit's The Railway Children to Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, the ironclad power and imagery of trains has inspired storytellers for hundreds of years. Now it’s your turn. Join these masters of locomotion and write the next great adventure story. 🚂

The Prompt:

Write a story about someone who wakes up on a train. They have no ticket and no memory of how they got there. Oh, and one more thing: the train shows no signs of slowing down.

You have the prompt, now the rest is up to you. What’s the genre? What’s the time period? Who are the characters? What’s the story? We can’t wait to find out. Enter the Challenge today; we'd hate for you to miss this train.

The Prizes:

  • Grand Prize: $10,000
  • Second Place: $2,500
  • 25 Runners-up: $50

How to enter

For your story to be eligible, it should be between 600 and 5,000 words and adhere to our Community Guidelines. Stories published on Vocal and entered into the contest up until August 2, 2022, at 11:59 PM EST will be entered for consideration. Official Rules for the Challenge can be found here.

The Runaway Train Challenge is exclusive to Vocal+ members. To learn more and upgrade to Vocal+ visit https://vocal.media/vocal-plus.

To be eligible to win the grand prize, second place, or runners-up prizes, you must be over the age of 13 and residing in a country where Stripe is available at the time of entry. A complete list of countries where Stripe is available can be found here—winners will need to have a Stripe account created and connected in order to receive the prizes. For this reason, entrants located outside of any of these countries will not be eligible to win.

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