Submissions for the Janus Literary Story Prize are currently CLOSED and will not reopen until October 2021. PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT ANY WORK TO US FOR THE STORY PRIZE AT THIS TIME. IT WILL GO UNREAD AND BE DELETED.

Judged by Janus Literary editors, entries for the Janus Literary Spring Story Prize will open Wednesday, October 13, 2021. Submission deadline will be 11:59PM EST, December 15, 2021. Prize winners will be announced in the spring of 2022.

Theme: deep freeze

Word Limit: Stories should be between 750 and 1,000 words (story title is not included in word count). PLEASE INCLUDE A WORD COUNT ON YOUR ENTRY.


1st prize – $400 and publication in the online anthology

2nd prize – $200 and publication in the online anthology

3rd prize – $100 and publication in the online anthology

Entry Fee: $4 (USD) per entry. ONE ENTRY PER WRITER.



Regarding the theme, we are open to most possibilities. The judges have a wide variety of tastes and affinities. We like dirty realism, magic realism, genre fiction, literary fiction, etc. Snow, freezing cold, blizzards, the Arctic, icebergs, other aspects of the harshness of winter weather and frozen locales should factor heavily in the story. Sorry, no children’s lit or erotica.

We are open to literary stories, genre stories, tragic stories, scary stories, sci-fi stories, dark-humored stories, historical fictions, etc. We are open to stories featuring people trapped in blizzards, or featuring Yeti, abominable snowmen, the Wendigo, haunted snowbound mansions, ill-fated Arctic expeditions, mountain climbers or explorers, winter survival, apocalyptic storms, ice fishing, reindeer, the Alaskan wilderness, Siberia, etc. They can even take place on other worlds or in outer space. Your story can be about the uncanny, the ironic, the inexplicable, the mournful, the historical, or Nature’s fury.

The most important thing is that your piece shows mastery of craft, that there is a story. How you, the writer, manage to do that, in a way that sets your story apart from so many others, is what matters.

Submissions should be previously unpublished (never published in print or online, including a personal blog) and in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format.

Submissions should be in a common, legible 12pt font, such as Times New Roman or Arial. PLEASE DOUBLE-SPACE YOUR DOCUMENT.

Entries will be read blind. Your name SHOULD NOT appear anywhere on the document or in your file name or your story will be disqualified.

The competition is open to all writers of all identities, 18 years of age and older. You need not have been previously published. You must have a Paypal account to receive any prize money earned.

We don’t mind gritty literature, but PLEASE no racism, sexism, homophobia or religious hatred. If sex factors into your story in any way, it must be relevant to the story. No rape, incest, pedophilia, bestiality, or necrophilia glorification. We’d hope this all goes without saying, but here it is anyway, in writing.

Authors will retain all rights and copyright to their works. Janus Literary requests one-time, non-exclusive rights to publish your work.

The top three winners will receive cash prizes (USD) and publication in the Janus Literary online anthology. Longlisted stories will also have the option of being published in the online anthology.

Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but please notify us immediately if your story has been accepted elsewhere. Your entry fee will be forfeited.

International entries welcome. All entries must be in English.

Thank you for your interest in our Story Prize. If you submit your work to us, we will treat it with care.



Following payment using the button below, PayPal will email you your receipt. To enter, ‘Forward’ that Paypal receipt email – and also ‘Attach’ to it your story – to this email address: januslitsubmission at gmail dot com. (This email address is different from our PayPal address. DO NOT send your entry to the PayPal email, as your entry will not be blind. It will be disqualified.)

This page uses SSL encryption and payments are securely handled by PayPal. Alternatively, you may prefer to pay for your entry with your Credit/Debit card by selecting the appropriate payment method on the PayPal page. All currencies accepted.

Before entering, please familiarize yourself with all guidelines/rules and the privacy policy. Entering the Janus Literary Story Prize is taken as your full agreement.

1) Have your entry file on your computer and ready for submission. Acceptable file types are doc, docx, and pdf. The file name must be the title of your piece. DO NOT include your first name/surname in the file name, as we will be reading blind. If you include your name anywhere on your entry file or in your file name, your entry will be disqualifed.

2) Click on the PayPal button above.

3) Pay using your PayPal account. Please take care when entering your email address, as this is the address we will use to contact you. Following payment verification, you are returned to this site.

4) Check your email for your PayPal receipt. Click on ‘Forward’ to forward the email.

5) Attach your entry file to the email. (Make sure your name is not anywhere on your entry or in your file name.)

6) Send your entry to the following address: januslitsubmission at gmail dot com. This email address is different from the PayPal email address. Do not send your submission to the PayPal email address. If you do, it will not be blind and therefore will be disqualified. Cover letters are not necessary.