Our 30 favourite 30-word stories

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Creative challenges are a great way to unblock your imagination and just switch gears to help focus on other tasks. So that’s why we recently decided to give you a simple enough one – to use the image above as your prompt to write a story containing no more than 30 words!

With a deadline of less than 24 hours, we had hundreds of people give this little story challenge a go. And in selecting our favourites, we were looking for stories that stood out for originality.

  • If YOUR story is one of the 30 listed below, congrats!
  • If you entered but didn’t make the list, also congrats for simply submitting a story (it might seem like a tiny thing, but putting even 30 words out there is great!).
  • Remember, this is a subjective process, so not being in the top 30 should definitely not squash your writing dreams!
  • Be sure to take a look at the stories listed and pick up anything that might be useful for your own writing.
  • AND if you love creative story challenges, our Furious Fiction competition takes place on the first Friday of every month – giving you the opportunity to win $500 from your 500-word story!

Okay, that’s enough chat. Enjoy!


Zero six hundred hours. Straighten sheet and pillow. Percolate. Iron uniforms with military precision. Caffeinate. Prepare to issue orders. Estimate. Zero six nineteen precisely. ‘Daddy!’ Duty calls.
– Kelly Hibbert

“Yes.”
“It’s not for our gallery thank you Mr, err, Mr?”
“Warhol.”
With that Andy walked out muttering, “I’ll have my 15 minutes.”
– William Pickering

6am. The morning of Halloween. Tommy was excited. He hoped, maybe this year, his mother would let him play with the kids outside. He rattled the basement door with enthusiasm.
– Dominic Mioni

Preaching peacocks put pants in public place.
Furry feathers fall fast and freeze my face.
Crabs caressing the clouds of cosmic cream.
The night is gone, but not my dream.
– Anna Bychkova

An incessant beeping. I jerk towards her cot. Her eyelids quiet as fallen petals. Her stillness betrays the scars on her chest. Seeping resin. Inside a seed; her remade heart.
– Finola Methven

And TIME!
With a grand total of 45 hotdogs our winner is Frankie! Those dogs do need to STAY DOWN for 1 hour or he will be disqualified…
– Belinda Williamson

6:00. 6:00? 6:00?!! Shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit. I’m late. Shit.
– Christine Brown

A boy turned off his buzzing alarm. He got out of bed and went outside and got his cloak on and became a superhero, saving people that were in trouble.
– Cody Tomes-Park (9 years old)

When the alarm went off at six in the morning, as it always did, he found himself looking for an arm, a shape, a kiss that would never be there.
– Faye Chang

Jason quieted the alarm with a forceful jab. Today would be different. Today he’d rise with the sun, complete his Headspace meditation, seize the… whoops. He’d hit snooze instead.
– Eloise Dempsey

Nan wanted the radio turned to his favourite channel. She said she wanted her soul to vibrate at the right frequency.
“So when I go, I can find him again.”
– Julia Roen

“Do not press the button!” shouts a tinny voice from within the machine. 600 people had already pressed it and discovered the consequences. And here comes number 601…
– Jeanette Stampone

Derek switched the alarm off. 6am. Derek always woke at 6am. They said Armageddon itself wouldn’t change him. And they were right. Shame they weren’t here to see it, really.
– Tegan Holmberg

Don’t do it, Donald. The North Koreans didn’t mean to cause offence; you’re still the one. Just think of it as an alarm clock and go back to sleep.
– Diana McConachy

Mr Magnificently Naked turned the alarm off. ‘Who are you?’ I asked, sleepily. ‘I’m your dream man,’ he grinned, ‘but hey, it’s a shame your dream is over’. He disappeared.
– Josephine Brick

New day, new mistakes. Rise, smile, fake, forever. The relentless alarm smothering, sucking the silence out of me. I don’t know when mornings started to remind me of the end.
– Karen Joy San Diego

I picked up the old clock. It goes the sad man said, his eyes told his life. Never missed a beat, not like me, to few beats to go now.
– Eve Harris

Among dreams,
The clock ticks,
Then screams,
Day begins at six!
Peaceful sleep,
The alarm sounds,
Continues to beep!
Noise astounds!
Relent,
Wretched box!
Lament,
Daylight knocks.
Yawning,
It’s morning!
– Dianne Wells

‘Marla? Marla? It’s Jim. The transmitter worked – I did it! I’m actually inside the radio! I’m a genius! Can you hear me? Marla?’
‘Finally,’ Marla muttered, switching the radio off.
– Helen Petrovic

Tim didn’t know today was his last. Otherwise he may have pressed snooze, and missed the speeding truck on Broadway. At the very least, he would have chosen better underpants.
– Jackie Sales

It was blocky, and resisted Dewan’s fingers when touched. The repetitive sound was like a trapped seabird. He gazed with wonder, then the conveyor moved him onto the next artifact.
– Alana Hadfield

Kevin Hoover didn’t realise that the clock radio he’d bought yesterday at the garage sale next door was actually an intergalactic transporter.
In hindsight, he wished they’d told him.
– Nin Estelle

A first date conversation;
“Can you hear ticking?”
“It’s me.”
“Oh. What is it?”
“Oh nothing, just my biological clock. Anyway, wanna come home with me?”
Dave backed away slowly.
– Brydee Martin

It worked once before. But I need it more now. Slight twist to the left, a swift turn to the right. Three taps. BEEP! And I’m back in the womb.
– Jenna Meade

As her hairdresser turned off the alarm and reached for the towel, Linda took a deep breath.
Her new life was beginning with a shaggy bob cut and ‘vanilla’ tones.
– Laura Leshoele

The screech of the alarm clock. Last night’s argument. Two empty wine bottles, a single long dark hair on the crumpled pillow, a terse note on the table. She’d gone.
– Lyn Groves

Jax pressed snooze. The stench of stale alcohol made his stomach churn. Spotting his chicken suit on the floor, realised he was naked, bubble gum stuck in an inconvenient place.
– Jodi Frankland

The wizard regretted his decision. Turning himself into an alarm clock had seemed a good idea. It had been years since he had been touched; yet it was so violent.
– Ben Roberts

Nineteen, five, forty. Lotto balls. Don’t wake up! Seventeen, thirty-two. Blaring. Alarm! No, please, no. Lean over, silence. 6:00. Six! Pen. Pen! 6,19,5,14? 16? 23? Ah, fart.
– Geoff Fisher

I’m sorry. I know it’s abuse. You’re just doing your job. Yes, I keep hitting you every 5 minutes, every morning of your life from 5.40am. I’m so sorry.
– Christine Booth


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