Second Annual Dickens Christmas Contest

Dickens Christmas Contest Full Size

A humorous image of Charles Dickens with a Santa hat photoshopped onto his head

The Fly Came Near It is proud to announce Michiganders Post’s second annual Dickens-themed Christmas writing contest.


  1. All submissions must begin, in some variation, with the following sentence: Once upon a time–of all the good days in the year, on Christmas Eve–[insert name] sat busy in his house.
  2. The rest is up to you.
  3. Fiction, nonfiction, and poetry submissions will be judged together.
  4. Submissions should be 500 words or less.
  5. Multiple submissions are welcome.
  6. Send your submissions to

Contest Timeline:

  • Submissions are due to on or before Monday, December 15, 2014, by 11:59 p.m.
  • Look for the winner and honorable mentions to be announced on Michiganders Post between Thursday, December 18, and Tuesday, December 23, 2014.
  • In the meantime, enjoy non-qualifying example entries from The Fly Came Near It because (1) we want to entertain you and (2) we can’t resist participating in the festivities.

A very special, personalized Christmas present will be awarded to the winner!

Note on Rights and Permissions: Upon submission, should your entry be selected as the winner or for honorable mention, FCNI reserves the right to publish the entire submission on Any further use of the material will be done so with written consent from the author.

Past Winner and Example Entries
2013 Winner: “The Best of Christmas, the Worst of Christmas” by Stephanie Wildey
2013 Non-qualifying Example Entries:

A Note on This Year’s Beginning Sentence
Charles Dickens’ actual sentence reads as follows: “Once upon a time–of all the good days in the year, on Christmas Eve–old Scrooge sat busy in his counting-house.” The sentence begins the tenth paragraph of Dickens’ beloved classic, A Christmas Carol.

2014 Announcement Updates:


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