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: Barbara Ridley of Albany, CA for  “The Ring” 

Second Prize: Elizabeth Qually of San Francisco, CA for “Cubeland” 

Third Prize: Jenni Wiltz of Pilot Hill, CA for “Swampland” 


Honorable Mentions:  Linda M. Barnhart of Womelsdorf, PA for “Heirloom”; Michele Strider of Albany, CA for “Last Summer” ; Lucie Ogilvie of Kinsale, VA for “Bridges” ; Lynn Knight of Kenmore, WA for “Another England” ; Jonathan Segol of Saratoga Springs, NY for “Livewire”