1st Prize: $100.... 2nd Prize: $50.... Third Prize:.... $25

Category Details

Up to 5,000 words. One story per entry. I am looking for well-crafted stories that are original and compelling. The story must demonstrate a mastery of and love for the English language. It must move, not wallow. The characters need to be vivid, the dialogue convincing. Above all, something must happen. This need not be a grand event, but some change must take place: an event, a revelation, or perhaps an insight. Please do not submit your story until you have polished and revised it multiple times. A great short story changes the reader. I look forward to being changed.

About Judge/Sponsor

MARY MACKEY, Ph. D. (Berkeley/Sacramento, CA). Novelist, poet. Her published works consist of thirteen novels, including The Year the Horses Came, The Notorious Mrs. Winston, and The Village of Bones; and seven books of poetry including Sugar Zone, winner of the 2012 PEN Oakland Josephine Award. Mary’s books have sold over a million and a half copies and been translated into twelve foreign languages including Japanese, Hebrew and Finnish. Garrison Keillor has featured her poetry several times on Writer’s Almanac. A screenwriter as well as a novelist and poet, Mary also occasionally writes comedy under the pen name “Kate Clemens.” Contact her at to subscribe to her quarterly newsletter and read her interview series People Who Make Books Happen which is designed to help writers and teachers of writing.



First Prize: Brenda Liebling-Goldberg of Houston, TX for “Letters to Annie Ernaux”

Second Prize: Caroline Sposto of Memphis, TB for “The Last Battle”

Third Prize: Denise Fern Arnold of Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil for “Something Sweet”

Honorable Mentions: Jennifer Sullivan of Pope Valley, CA for “Frost”; Dorothy Buhrman of Cambria, CA for “The Bell Tower”; Dorothy Buhrman of Cambria, CA for “Taps”; Teresa Burns Murphy of Fairfax, VA for “Fresh Start”; Garrett Bauman of Ninda, NY for “The Star Counter”