Swipe Write FAQ

The Official Rules govern the rules of the Swipe Right Contest. If this FAQ or other materials contradict the Official Rules, the Official Rules take priority.

Key Points:

  • Eligibility: Canada (excluding Quebec) and US, aged 18 and up
  • Stories must be original work, previously unpublished, and in English
  • Stories posted in the Public Forum track give us first world rights, may publish elsewhere 90 days after the contest ends
  • Stories posted only to the Grand Prize track retain ownership/copyright and publications rights UNLESS you win or opt into the Public Forum Prize track
  • Winner's story will be published on the StoryBilder website. Winner must give us first world publishing rights, may publish elsewhere 90 days after the contest ends.

Things to know

Judging for the Grand Prize is at the discretion of the StoryBilder team. We're looking for stories that amaze and surprise us. Make us laugh. Make us cry. Make us feel. Writing style, grammar and technical matters will be factored into our final decision, but you're not going to get eliminated for some missed punctuation or some bad grammar. 

For the Public Forum Prize, stories will be open to public likes as soon as they're submitted and approved. Popularity will influence the top 25 stories we select for public voting, but it will not be the only factor. Once we announce the top 25 stories, public voting will decide the winner.

All stories must be reviewed and approved before appearing in the public gallery. Please read the rules and FAQ to learn about topics, language and themes that are not permitted in the public forum. If your story isn't accepted for the public gallery for any reason, it will still be considered for the Grand Prize. 

Important Dates:

Submissions start Feb 14, 2022
Submissions close March 14, 2022
Public Forum Top 25 Announcement April 13, 2022
Public Forum Top 25 Voting: April 13-27, 2022
Public Forum Top 10 Announcement April 28, 2022
Public Forum Top 10 Voting :  April 28-May 16, 2022
Winners (Grand Prize and Public Forum) Announcement May 17, 2022

[Correction: the above dates were briefly incorrect. They have been updated to reflect the official rules, which continue to take priority. Our apologies for any confusion.]

Contest FAQ

Can I submit fanfiction?

Sorry, not for this contest. Your story is being considered for a cash prize and it will be published on the site if it wins. Copyright and intellectual property rights are important to us (and to our legal team).

Can I submit more than one story?

No. It's one story per person only. Setting up multiple accounts to submit more than one story will get you disqualified.  

Can I win both prizes?

Theoretically, yes! Our Grand Prize judging is happening separately, and we have no control over the public vote once the semi-finalists are announced.

How do I vote?

To vote for a story click the grey heart on the right side next to the story's name. If the heart is red, you have already voted!

How often can I vote?

You may vote once per story per voting round. That means once in the preliminary voting round, once in the Top 25 and once in the Top 10.

How will you ensure stories are judged fairly?

All internal judging will be BLIND (no names, no personal identifying information) to ensure fairness.

You may choose to post your story with your real name or with an alias for the Public Forum Prize, but our internal judges won't see your name or your personal details when they rate your story. 

I didn't make the Top 25 Public Semi-Finals. Does that mean I'm out of the running for the Grand Prize too?

Not necessarily. The Top 25 will be picked based on popularity and style, while the Grand Prize criteria include writing quality and theme. Also, not everyone will include their story in the public vote, so the Grand Prize winner won't even be in the Top 25 if they opted out.

Is there anything I can't write about?

While we encourage you to write about mature topics, we cannot publish stories that describe violent, non-consensual or pornographic sex, gratuitous torture and abuse, gratuitous acts of violence based on race, gender or sexual orientation, disability or physical appearance. 

Consider our audience to be somewhere between the equivalent of a PG-13 and an R-rated movie. If you want to submit to the Public Forum track, but you're not sure whether your story crosses the line, submit anyway. We'll let you know if you've crossed the line, and you'll still be in the running for the Grand Prize.

To learn more about our community guidelines and philosophy, read our Code of Conduct.

What about my publication rights and copyright?

Submissions entered into the Public Forum track will be published on our website as soon as they're approved. This means we take first world publication rights, but you own the copyright to your story, and you're free to publish it elsewhere starting 90 days after the contest winners are announced. 

Submissions entered ONLY into the Grand Prize track (and not in the Public Forum) will not be published on the site unless you win. If you are trying to place your story in professional magazines or anthologies, this may be the better choice for you, since you will retain full publication rights and ownership of your story and can submit elsewhere if you don't win. If you do win, we'll take first world publication rights, but you'll still own the copyright to your story. 

Please read our contest rules and regulations for further details.  

What are First World Publishing Rights?

First World Publishing Rights go to whoever publishes your story first, by definition. If you participate in the Public Forum track, your story will be published on our site. If you win either award, we'll publish your story on our site. Both of those acts mean we automatically get first world publishing rights for your story.

Professional publishers and magazines will generally want first world publishing rights for themselves. If you are thinking about submitting your story to professional publishers after the contest is over (assuming you don't win), you should NOT enter the Public Forum track.

If you plan to publish your story on a blog or a public publishing site like Wattpad or Archive of Our Own, publishing in the Public Forum won't matter. 

What genre should I write in?

Any genre you like! This is a contest about love, so write what you like (or not, it's totally up to you!)

What's the difference between the two judging tracks?

The Grand Prize track is for everyone. Your story will be judged privately, and it will only be published on our website if you win. 

The Public Forum Prize track is optional. If you choose to include your story in this track, your story will be published on our website immediately (after it has been checked to make sure it follows the rules), where the general public can read and like it. Our judges will select the top 25 eligible stories for public voting.

Why a short story contest? Isn't StoryBilder for novels?

Yes, but we wanted to make it easier for people to participate. 

Why are there two different prize tracks? Isn't that unnecessarily complicated?

We know that everyone is different. Some writers want the world to read their work. Some writers prefer to submit their stories in private. So we set things up so you can participate in whatever way makes you most comfortable.

In addition, some writers are more concerned about retaining their publication rights than others. The private track allows these writers to resubmit their stories to agents and other publications if they don't win.

The public track is for writers who write for the pleasure of sharing. If you publish on fanfiction and similar social publishing sites, this track gives you a chance to showcase your work and share with your friends.

Why do I have to register to submit or vote?

Registration helps keep our contest clean and makes it harder for bots to rig the votes, and it helps us verify the winners when the contest ends.

We won't sell or share your information, and you won't hear from us outside the contest UNLESS you opt into our newsletter when you register. We hope that you do. We'd love to stay in touch. 

Will my story be critiqued?

No. We're a tiny team, and we already have our hands full making StoryBilder amazing.