42-Word Stories Anthology

No Fee

An anthology of 42 categories of 42 selected works of 42-word microfiction stories, and 42 art pieces, one per chapter. It's a book compiled of 1,764 stories from different authors, because our goal is to publish as many authors as possible in one place.  


The byline needs 42Subs_Category_Author Initials (Example: 42Subs_SciFi_DNA)

42-character title including spaces (between 40 and 44 is okay)

42-word story (exact count)

42-word third-person bio

Use wordcounter.net to match our counts.

The above is required. There is an example submission at the bottom.  [Something not required, but will really help us compile the anthology faster is if you format your story the same way as the example shown below: capitalizing your 42-character title, lowering casing "by" before your name, clicking enter twice at the end of the story and writing the word "Bio" on the third line, and only capitalizing the b in Bio. It is much appreciated when submissions look this way, but again, not required]. 


 No simultaneous submissions. Do not submit your story elsewhere.

 No multiple submissions (kind of). The goal is to publish 1,764 different writers. If you must send more than one story, use a pen name for each piece. The same bio is okay. We will accept a maximum of 4 stories, one at a time. Do not submit more than one until we have replied to you. The goal is to publish 1,764 different writers and an onslaught of submissions from one person can be overwhelming. Lastly, please submit to different categories if you go this route. A max of four stories from one person, one at a time, will be accepted. The one at a time policy was just added. DO NOT withdraw if you have already submitted more than one story at a time. We will get back with you and grandfather your submissions in. 

There is a Story of Excellence Award per category, meaning one published work in each chapter can win. Each winner will either receive $.42 or have the option of adding the winnings to a pot that goes to one special charity. Winners will be announced in the newsletter, blog, and be notified by email.  

Important Notes:


Categories with few submissions are subject to alterations.

By submitting a story, you agree that we can reformat and make punctuation changes without your prior consent. 

If the story is formatted a specific way that you prefer, let us know in your cover letter. However, we will contact you if we want to change any of the words. 

Do not withdraw or re-submit your submission if you made a mistake. Rather message us what you need changed. 

See the example story under clown if you're confused about what to do.


1. Alternate Reality 

We've received many stories about alternate presidents. Please be creative. This category was inspired by the show "Sliders."

2. Apocalyptic 

3. Clown  

4. Craft of Writing  …INVITATION ONLY. NO UNSOLICITED SUBMISSIONS. Stories sent to this category will be automatically rejected unless you're name happens to be one of the writers we intend to query for a story.   

5. Culture  

...you've probably got a great story idea about homeless people in America, but this is a culture category. As in for the world, not just for America. Please think bigger and be original. Stories that fall under identity/LGBT fit this category too.

6. Crime Fiction   

7. Dystopia & Utopia 

…share your Black Mirror story in 42 words   

8. Escape 

...lived through a car crash;  hunted and survived; escaping a really good sales pitch   

9. Fairy Tale   

10. Fantasy   

11. Fight  

...arenas, gladiators, blood in the sand;  fighting cancer; fighting the system;  fighting against spousal abuse   

12. Historical Fiction

…based on non-fiction is okay   

13. Horror   

14. Humor   

15. Impairment  

...including all handicaps;  drug issues and depression;  non-fic based;  any form applies.   

16. Indigenous  

...Sherman Alexie anyone?  His dynamic writing style inspired this chapter.   

17. Macabre & Morbid 

18. Monster    

19. Mystery   

20. Mythopoeia                


21. Noir    

22. Oddball - Filled

No more submissions for this category

23. Outer space   

24. Paranormal   

25. Parent Story  

...non-fiction in fiction form's okay;  good or bad parent's okay   

26. Poetic Prose 

...music related is okay   

27. Romance     

…is your romance about two cats in love?  


Your protagonist is in love with a ghost?  

That goes here.  

Normal romance is okay too.   

28. Satire   

29. Science fiction  

...aliens, robots, you name it goes here   

30. Siblings  

...evil twin, wonderful brother, misunderstood sinister sister   

31. Sports  

...non-fiction based is okay   

32. Steampunk  

...example: Fullmetal Alchemist   

33. Sword & Sorcery  

...sword story without the sorcery is okay and vice versa 

34. Thriller & Suspense   

35. Tragedy - Filled

No more submissions for this category

36. Trapped 

...there's a spider outside on my windshield and I can't leave the car;  trapped in a nightmare;  job;  actual nightmare;  under a rock   

37. Travel story 

...non-fiction based is okay   

38. Vampire   

39. War    

40. Werewolves   

41. Western  

...write about a gunslinger, bank robber, a cowboy that hates guns;  take a shot   

42. Zombie 


Example submission:

  Byline: 42Subs_CLOWN_EAJ

  Hello. My email is eaj@eaj.com. This story would fit into your clown or monster categories. Thank you. 


                         by Eval Allan Jaeger

         I was seven years old when the clown attacked. 

     Right in my face, zany. Scary white hands. 

     Aggressive smile. “Hi, little boy," he exclaimed. "Do you       like balloo—ugh.” 

     Bozo never saw my fist coming. 

     Blood slid down from his squeaky red nose.


   Eval Allan Jaeger was a blogger who went by Devilsthrill back in the Myspace days. He had the number one read blog then vanished from the Internet until the Project 42 Stories Anthology launched. He looks like Don Quixote and is fictitious.

 If you receive a rejection from one category, try writing a new story and submitting to another category. There are different readers in all of them. However, do not submit the same story after it's rejected.

Detailed guidelines here in the blog.

More questions? Email Bam, but read the detailed guidelines first. Good luck.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.