Historical & Mythological Short Fiction

Ink of Ages Fiction Prize

World History Encyclopedia's international historical and mythological short story contest

Contest Rules

Welcome to the Ink of Ages Fiction Prize. Before submitting your work through our secure form, please carefully review the contest rules. Best of luck to our history and mythology writers worldwide!

This contest is free to enter.

Genre Guidelines

This contest accepts historical and mythological short stories. Submissions that follow the guidelines below will be read.

Historical Fiction

A story set at least fifty years ago, which takes the social, political, and cultural atmosphere of that past time into consideration during the writing process. Alternative history and events that could have happened are allowed, but no time travel.

Mythological Fiction

A story set in the past, at least fifty years ago for this contest, but which does not have to be set in the time or place of the original myth. Authors must indicate which myth or mythological character they are basing their submission on, e.g., Circe from Greek Mythology, or Ravana from Southeast Asia. Fantasy elements are allowed.

Excluded Topics

No time travel or stories set in the present day that discuss events or people in the past. No content that is religiously, politically, or otherwise offensive.

Eligibility Criteria

Submissions must meet the following criteria to be considered.

The story must follow our definitions for historical fiction or mythological fiction
Only previously unpublished stories are eligible
Entrant must be 18 or older
Submissions must be in English
No creative or academic nonfiction or poetry
The story must be the author's sole work; no plagiarism or AI such as ChatGPT
Simultaneous submissions are allowed as long as the author informs us when the story is published elsewhere
Each author may submit one story between 1,500 and 2,000 words
Submissions must be accompanied by a third-person author biography (less than 100 words)

Formatting Rules

Sounds picky, but we read a LOT of submissions and like to avoid eye strain! Several of our guest judges like to print out the shortlist so readability will help you out:

  • 12-point font, Times New Roman (or Calibri), double line spacing (or 1.5)
  • Numbered pages
  • Word.doc / Google Docs preferred
  • Do put the story title at the top of your story file, but NOT your name
  • Name your file with your story title followed by word count; this must be without hyphens e.g., The Last Days of Atlantis 1938, or Surpanakha's Lament 1843

Your story file should be submitted without identifying data as the contest will be judged anonymously. Again, do not put your name anywhere in the file.

If you have any questions about the contest, please contact WHE's editorial team at editor@worldhistory.org