Announcing the Open Mic Writer's Contest

Hello Episode Authors,

It’s time to start the next Writer’s Contest!

The theme is Open Mic!

Contest Intro

For the first time, we are letting YOU choose what you’d like to write about without a guiding prompt!

As always, there are requirements that your entry will need to follow, but the content and genre is up to you. With this contest, we will also be offering a new prize to qualified winners! Keep reading for more info about that prize.

Story Guidelines

  1. Your story must have “Open Mic” in the title. Stories without “Open Mic” in the title will be disqualified. While not required for entry it is strongly recommended that you format your title like this - “OM: TITLE HERE” This will help readers search for your story and identify it as a contest entry.

  2. Your story can be in any genre, and it can explore whatever story idea you’ve been mulling over.

  3. The main character must be introduced in the first episode.

  4. You may write in either Cinematic (full-body, animated) or Spotlight (animated upper bodies) Styles or a combo of the two.

  5. We love to see diverse characters in your stories! For example, characters who are people of color, non-heteronormative, or are of varying religions and socioeconomic backgrounds, just to name a few!

  6. You may NOT use or re-title a previously published story. This must be a new, original work not previously been published to Episode or other platforms. Sequels, prequels, spin-offs, etc. are also not allowed.

  7. If you are an official Episode Director or Writer you may enter the contest, but only with original work outside the scope of your contract with us.

  8. Be sure that your story follows our content guidelines. Stories that do not follow or which violate our Content Guidelines may be disqualified and/or have their story removed from the app. If you have any doubts or questions about whether elements or themes of your story fit with our Content Guidelines please contact the Episode Review team here.

Please be aware that our team will not answer any questions regarding specific plot points and whether they meet the requirements of the contest.

Story Requirements

  1. There is a length requirement for this contest. You need to have 4 completed chapters published by the entry deadline. Your story may be a complete short story or can be continued after the contest is over. You CAN publish new chapters during the judging period. However, you may not substantially alter or change your 4 published chapters after the deadline (other than to make minor corrections).
  2. Gem choices are not required unless you are going for the new prize as detailed below. Please see the New Contest Prize section for more information.

Entering the Contest

  1. You must completely fill out this Google form to enter. In the event that you send the wrong link or make a mistake on your entry form, please send your story title, email address and the correct link in a support ticket so we can update your entry.
  2. The submission window is 8 weeks. Your story must be published no later than 11:59 pm Pacific Time on Friday, October 7th, 2022. To find out what time that is in your time zone, go here!
  3. Remember to allow at least 3 business days prior to the contest deadline for your backgrounds, overlays and story cards to be reviewed. This means you should plan on submitting them no later than Tuesday, October 4th, 2022. You may not add, change or modify story cards, backgrounds, or overlays after the entry deadline until the winner’s shelf is announced.

Editing During the Contest Period

  1. Fixing typos and errors are allowed after the deadline for contest entries. This includes things like character or speech bubble placement, spelling / grammatical errors or typos. You may not: add options to your CC, change or update your cover art, change your story’s genre, add to, edit or change your story description, add additional scenes, choices, dialogue, backgrounds or overlays. When in doubt, ask Support before making any changes. Once the winner’s shelf has been made public you are free to make changes or updates to your story.

Determining Winners

  1. Winners are determined based on the highest levels of reader engagement, rubric score and fit to contest theme. Check out our Episode Explained articles on Creator’s Contests, the Grading Rubric and Reader Retention for more info on how they all work. As well, we recommend using keywords to your advantage, to help interested readers find your story quickly! For more information on how best to use Episode keywords, check this article out!

Winners of this contest will still be featured on the Winners’ Shelf in the app. New for this contest, we will be offering authors on the winner’s shelf who meet the gem choice requirement the opportunity to enter our Commissions Program!

This new prize does come with a separate requirement that will affect your eligibility to win.

To be eligible: You must have at least 2 story-related gem choices in each of your first 4 chapters, for a total of 8. The gem choices included should be narrative driven and make sense based on the story.

Gem choices that meet the requirements include:

  • Bonus Content/Scenes
  • Outfits
  • Dialogue choices

Gem choices that will NOT meet the requirements include:

  • Support the Author
  • Skip the Wait
  • Topping up Points

Contest Winners

Winners from this contest will be showcased in a special event shelf in the Episode app and get a shoutout on our social media account! Winners will be announced 3-6 weeks after the submission deadlines pass as the stories need time to gain reads in the app and for our staff to review them.

Our special prize winners will be contacted separately by the Episode team to discuss further details of their win!

Gem Choice Guides and Checklist Links

Gem Choice Guide

Sample Gem Choices Slides

Gem Choice Checklist

Happy writing!

The Episode Team


Are we getting Own Voices winners soon then? This was so unexpected today!


omg this is such an interesting idea. definitely entering :eyes:


I’ve never entered any contest, and this sounds interesting and I’m already working on my 2nd story so that’s perfect!! :yay:


When you currently have three more WIP’s that aren’t yet published, all of which would be perfect… but you currently have too many ongoing stories to finish first.

My brain: “Do it… do it anyway!”
Me trying not to die from stress and absolute exhaustion: :tired_face: :sob:

Tempted to enter… so very tempted! Somebody stop me, please!


you should do it!!! you are most likely gonna win a OV spot too




You’re supposed to tell me not to! :tired_face: :sob:

You know why that won’t happen…

You’ll gain a spot on the OV winners shelf, though. I have no doubts about that. :blush:


You guys are the worst! :weary:

I think I’m gonna do it.
And regret it…


Anyone would LOVE another story from you, do it!! life is too short :joy: :heart_eyes:


if anyone wants to join a group chat on instagram for this contest please lmk!


Absolutely entering this! Good luck and much success to everyone else! :purple_heart:


You’re too sweet! :pleading_face:


Woah, something different and cool. Hm. I like it.


Can you guys imagine how many entries there’s gonna be?!

There’s literally no restrictions here… we can literally let our imaginations run wild. :scream:

I predict at least 100 entries. [But it’ll probably be about a thousand. :rofl: :joy:]


more than the OV contest for sure.


Yes, lol. But depends on the author’s life/schedule. But I know there’s going to be a few quite good entries.

1 Like

Definitely… because this time there’s no limitations. Anything goes!


Wow. Uh, if anyone was going to ask questions. Here’s your answer. XD


I thought about the numbers. There will be tons, probably, but it’s also fun to see all different ideas. :smirk: