Summer Story Contest 2013: Choose Your Adventure!

HEATHER MCELHATTON | Updated 6/12/2013

Choose an adventure. Read it on Union's rooftop. Get published in Win $1,000 in prizes.

Will you end up in a lawn chair, soaring above the earth?
Joe Kline, Associated Press's fifth annual Summer Story Contest is here, boasting $1,000 in prizes for Minnesota’s most talented writers. Last year the theme was Seven Deadly Sins, and this year we went even wider and picked the adventurous theme of: Choose Your Adventure!

Winners will receive a $1,000 cash prize, a $250 literary prize pack, may have their story published in and/or be invited to read their story at the Summer Story Contest party atop the Union rooftop in downtown Minneapolis. Stories can be about any topic. Just keep in mind that the structure of your story is just as important as the story itself. Your story must have one beginning -- but at least two different endings.

Popular in the '80s and '90s, the original Bantam series was called "Choose Your Own Adventure" and written primarily for kids. The books allowed young readers to decide which way the story went, but never how it ultimately ended. Every choice you made ... (If you open the hidden door, turn to page 6 ... If you don’t, go to page 7...) led to a different story. Some choices ended very well (You’ve discovered the buried treasure!) or slightly ... not so well (You’ve fallen down a well and are eaten by mutant leeches!). The reader never knew how the story would end, and it ended differently every time. It was the ultimate reading adventure.

If you’re prepared to take on such a literary adventure, enter the contest by writing an original story with a Choose Your Adventure structure. Your story should have a beginning section of 500 words or less and at least two endings -- with a total word count of 750 or less for all parts.  Email your story to [email protected] by July 1. Finalists will be invited to read their story at our special July 24 event on the Union rooftop in downtown Minneapolis, where one fan-favorite story will win a $250 literary prize pack and the grand-prize story will win $1,000 in cold cash. All finalists will have their stories printed in's July 25 Summer Story Contest issue.

The following caveats apply to your story: You can enter more than once, but each story must be unique. Only one of your stories can qualify for the finalist round. For complete contest rules, click here. Here's to having some serious adventures between now and the deadline. Choose to have fun!