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Frequently Asked Questions

Printed From: NYC Midnight : Creative Writing & Screenwriting
Forum Name: Questions & Answers
Forum Description: Ask any questions you have regarding NYC Midnight competitions here. We will answer as quickly as possible.
Printed Date: 05 Jun 2023 at 5:01pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.05 -

Topic: Frequently Asked Questions
Posted By: NYC Midnight
Subject: Frequently Asked Questions
Date Posted: 26 Jan 2016 at 6:33pm
Here is a general list of frequently asked questions for anyone new to NYC Midnight:


Before the Competition Has Started
Registration, Confirmation Emails, & Refunds

I registered for a competition but never received a confirmation e-mail?

If you have checked your inbox and your junk-mail folder, please send us an e-mail at" rel="nofollow - so that we can look into it.


I received a confirmation e-mail, but when do I get my assignment?  How do I get you my submission?

If you have received your confirmation e-mail, it should state the date and time when you will receive the e-mail with your assignment information.  The assignment e-mail will have the links to the assignments as well as information on how to submit your story or screenplay.  We always recommend writers mark the date of the competition in their calendars so they know when the e-mail is coming, since e-mails can sometimes get lost in junk mail.  The assignments are also posted on and announced on our" rel="nofollow - facebook and" rel="nofollow - twitter pages.


I signed up, but something came up and I can’t participate.  Can I get a refund?

We do offer full refunds as long as you give us at least 24 hours notice before the start of the competition.  This is so that we can offer your position to another writer since many of our competitions reach the maximum number of entrants before registration ends.  We do not offer refunds once the competition begins.



During the Competition
Writing, Spelling & Grammar, Submitting

Can I mix genres?

We do allow writers to mix genres, as long as your assigned genre clearly stands out from the others.  If the story runs the risk of being interpreted as a genre other than the one you have been assigned, we recommend revising it so the story includes the predominant elements of your assigned genre. 


I've noticed a mistake in the story I've submitted.  The deadline hasn't been reached yet.  Can I resubmit?

Yes.  Writers may submit as many times as they like until the submission deadline.  We take the last submission before the deadline for judging.


Can we use “beta readers” on our entries?  What other kind of help can we receive on our entries from writers not listed on our registration form? 

Since we allow teams of writers to participate, it is acceptable to have “beta readers” provide input on the finished piece that is submitted for judging.  The only exception to this rule would be that any judges listed on the NYC Midnight website or NYC Midnight staff would not be allowed to offer helpful criticism before the submission is uploaded as it would be considered a conflict of interest. 

As long as the story is original, produced completely within the time frame of the competition, and follows the assigned elements, then it is fine to send out your story for critique wherever you like and implement changes based on that critique.
  Please keep in mind that only the writer that registers for the competition will receive the prizes and publicity for winning, unless the additional writers are specified on the submission form.


Can I use profanity?

Yes.  All the judges are adults and it is acceptable to include profanity.


How about sexual situations and violence? 

Yes, but use your best judgement.  We realize that adult sexual situations and violence are sometimes necessary sometimes depending on the genre you are assigned and the story you are trying to tell.  All the judges are adults, so it’s very rare for a story to be disqualified due to adult content.  That being said, a story viewed as pornographic will most likely not score well or be disqualified by the judges.


How much will I be penalized for spelling or grammatical errors?

Judges are instructed to only deduct points if there are excessive spelling and grammatical errors throughout the submission.  A submission with an error or two will most likely squeak by without any deductions.  But, keep in mind every judge is different and a while a spelling error to one judge may be minor, another judge may view it as unprofessional and could make the difference when they choose their final rankings.


I’m not from the United States.  Will I be penalized for using non-standard US terms or spellings?

No, but occasionally a writer may get feedback from a judge that offers “constructive” feedback on their spelling or terminology.  We realize this can be frustrating to a non-US participant who is using common spelling or terms from their home country and we do our best to make all judges aware of this issue.  We always instruct judges before each round of this issue by using the sentence below:

Please also remember that this is an international competition, so do not criticize or take points off for any non-standard US terms, spellings, or idiomatic expressions.



After Submitting

How long does it take to get email confirmation that my submission has been received?

We send out e-mail confirmations within 72 hours after the submission deadline (not the time you submitted).  So, if the submission deadline was on a Sunday, you should receive your e-mail confirmation by the following Wednesday afternoon.


I never received an e-mail confirmation that my story was received.  Who do I contact?

If the 72 hours after the submission deadline has passed and other writers have received their confirmation e-mails, please make sure to first check your junk mail folder.  If it is still not in your junk mail, contact us at" rel="nofollow - so that we can look into the issue.


How soon can I share my story with the rest of the forum after I've submitted it?  How about on my blog?

We always ask that writers wait until after they receive confirmation e-mails to share on the forums or on any personal sites including blogs.  Having said that, since you own the rights to the submission, you are free to do whatever you like with it.




When do we get the results?

We typically announce the results a few days before the next round begins.  We also specify an estimated date and time of when we will be announcing the results in submission confirmation e-mails and we always have a timeline of rounds on each of the competition pages.


I can’t see the results from my group!  Why are all the groups announced except mine!?

Please refresh the page in your browser to see the results.  It is the symbol that looks like an arrow going in a clockwise circle.



When do I get feedback from the judges on my submission?

We try to send out the feedback shortly after the results are announced.   Sometimes it can take as long as a week after the results announcement, but we have been trying to distribute the feedback within a few days if possible.  We hope to continue to shorten this process so participants receive their feedback before the next rounds begin.


Which forum do I post in to get peer feedback on my submission?

Special “Review Forums” are created for each competition under the appropriate general forum.  Creative writing competition review forums will be created as sub-forums in the Creative Writing Corner and screenwriting competition review forums will be created as sub-forums in the Screenwriting Bar & Lounge forum.  Review forums that are more than a year old are moved to the Review Archive forum.


Forum Related Questions


How do I put a link to my story thread/forum post in my signature?

Click on Member Control Panel (Upper Left Corner)

Click on Profile Information

Scroll Down to Signature

Paste the line below and follow these steps:

      Read my Round 1 story titled LINK" rel="nofollow - YOUR STORY TITLE

     LINK=the link to your story.  Every forum post has a link, all you need to do is copy it from the browser bar.  For example, the link to this post is

     Since there is a limit to the number of characters allowed in your signature, you will need to shorten your link.  You can go to" rel="nofollow - to create a shorter link.  For example, the version  of the above link is

     Post the shortened version to replace "LINK".

     Adjust the text as necessary.  The text you can edit is "Read my Round 1 story titled " and "YOUR STORY TITLE".  Please keep in mind that "YOUR STORY TITLE" will have the link attached to it.

     Save your profile details and you should now have a signature that reads "Read my Round 1 story titled" rel="nofollow - YOUR STORY TITLE "

That's it!



For any questions related to a specific competition format, please check the FAQ’s in the corresponding competition websites at the" rel="nofollow - Short Story Challenge ," rel="nofollow - Screenwriting Challenge ," rel="nofollow - Flash Fiction Challenge , or" rel="nofollow - Short Screenplay Challenge .

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Next up is the" rel="nofollow - 100-word Microfiction Challenge 2023 kicking off April 28th

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