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Annual Short Story Contest

Enter Bookshop Santa Cruz's 18th annual Short Story Contest! 

Bookshop Santa Cruz is looking for original fiction of no more than 1,200 words. We are not looking for any particular theme or style—just some great writing. This is our chance to help showcase local talent! FIRST PRIZE: $250 gift certificate and publication in Readers (with a circulation of 12,000) and on our website: www.bookshopsantacruz.com SECOND PRIZE: $100 gift certificate THIRD PRIZE: $50 gift certificate 

Bookshop is now accepting entries to this year's contest. The deadline for submissions is February 15, 2021. Entries must be previously unpublished and may be dropped off, mailed in, or submitted online via this web page (beginning October 9th). There is a $6 entry fee per story. For complete contest rules, pick up an entry form at our information desk or download one from our website. All stories must include a completed entry form. Judges will read the stories blind, without author names. Winning entries will be announced on March 30, 2021. The first-prize winner will be published in our summer 2021 newsletter.

SUBMIT YOUR STORY AND INFORMATION HERE.

Prefer to download and print a submission form? Download here.

You can read our winning stories from previous years' contests below.

2020 Winners

FIRST PLACE: $250 gift certificate, plus publication in our 2020 summer newsletter. 
Joanne Wright, "Outer Banks"
Read it online

SECOND PLACE: $100 gift certificate
Logan Egan, "Fall"
Read it online

THIRD PLACE: $50 gift certificate
Ryan Masters, "Puzzle Box"
Read it online

2019 Winners

FIRST PLACE:  $250 gift certificate, plus publication in our 2019 summer newsletter.
Lauren Michelle Finkle, "The Octopus"
Read it online!

SECOND PLACE:  $100 gift certificate
Anna Montgomery Patton, "Laps"
Read it online!

THIRD PLACE: $50 gift certificate
Ryan Masters, "No Whispering, No Secrets"
Read it online!


2018 Winners

FIRST PLACE: $250 gift certificate, plus publication in our summer 2018 newsletter.
Nancy Hofman, "Maria's Grandfather"
Read it online!

SECOND PLACE: $100 gift certificate
Joanne Wright, "Escape"
Read it online!

THIRD PLACE: $50 gift certificate
Rose K. Murphy, "Something to Chew On"
Read it online!

2017 Winners

FIRST PLACE: $250 gift certificate, plus publication in our summer 2017 newsletter.
Ross Clifford, "Walking"
Read it online!

SECOND PLACE: $100 gift certificate
Joanne Wright, "Nice"
Read it online!

THIRD PLACE: $50 gift certificate
Paul Skenazy, "Self-Help"
Read it online!

2016 WINNERS

FIRST PLACE: $250 cash, $100 gift certificate, plus publication in our summer 2016 newsletter.
Lisa Ortiz, "The Future is a Silver Lake"
Read it online!

SECOND PLACE: $75 gift certificate
Barbara Gorson, "Crazy"
Read it online!

THIRD PLACE: $50 gift certificate"
Mary Keil, "Knit 1, Purl 1"
Read it online!

2015 WINNERS

FIRST PLACE: $250 cash, $100 gift certificate, plus publication in our summer 2015 newsletter.
Meera Collier, "Leo on the Train"
Read it online!

SECOND PLACE: $75 gift certificate
Thomas Wetzel, "Four Roses With Father"
Read it online!

THIRD PLACE: $50 gift certificate"
Jeff Masuda, "Five Mile Radius"
Read it online!

2014 WINNERS

FIRST PLACE: $250 cash, $100 gift certificate, plus publication in our summer 2014 newsletter.
Clifford Henderson, "Pink"
Read it online!

SECOND PLACE: $75 gift certificate
Katariina Alongi, "Secret Formula"
Read it online!

THIRD PLACE: $50 gift certificate"
Elisa Fernandes-McDade, "The Quiet Began with a Panic"
Read it online!

2013 WINNERS

FIRST PLACE: $250 cash, $100 gift certificate, plus publication in our summer 2013 newsletter.
Katariina Alongi, "The Gardener"
Read it online!  

SECOND PLACE: $75 gift certificate
Breanna Eddy, "Among the Trees"
Read it online!
 
THIRD PLACE: $50 gift certificate"
Edward Weingold, "Trinity"
Read it online!

2012 WINNERS

FIRST PLACE: $250 cash, $100 gift certificate, plus publication in our summer 2012 newsletter.
Dee Kohanna Davis, "Green Dolphy"
Read it online!  

SECOND PLACE: $75 gift certificate
Cooper Gallegos, "The Scent of Lemons"
Read it online!
 
THIRD PLACE: $50 gift certificate"
Jeff Burt, "Marcellus Babineaux, Street Musician"
Read it online!

2011 WINNERS 

FIRST PLACE: $250 cash, $100 gift certificate, plus publication in our summer 2011 newsletter.
Jeff Burt, "Mrs. Linares’ Daughter" 
Read it online! 
 
SECOND PLACE: $75 gift certificate
Paul Skenazy, "Windmills"
Read it online!
 
THIRD PLACE: $50 gift certificate"
Vinnie Hansen, "Chinchillas"
Read it online! 

2010 WINNERS

FIRST PLACE: $250 cash, $100 gift certificate, plus publication
Nissa Cannon, "Roadside"
Read it online!

SECOND PLACE: $75 gift certificate
Erik Svehaug, "Bull-headed"
Read it online!

THIRD PLACE: $50 gift certificate
Vanessa Hemingway, "El Bar"
Read it online!  

2009 WINNERS

FIRST PLACE: SuRaa Fiction Award
Sandy Raney, "Basements Are For Dancing"
Read it online!

SECOND PLACE:
Lorrie Klosterman, "Shelter"
Read it online!

THIRD PLACE:
Molly Prentiss, "Big Dreams"
Read it online!

The winning story from 2007/2008, "January" by Katherine Bailey, was published in Bookshop's Summer 2008 Newsletter.

The winning story from 2006/2007, "On How To Abandon Your Toddler at 7-11" by Cathy Warner, was published in Bookshop's Summer 2007 Newsletter.