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Annual Short Story Contest

Bookshop Santa Cruz's Annual Short Story Contest is Open for Submission!

Bookshop Santa Cruz sponsors an annual short story contest to showcase our local talent. 

The winning story will be published in our 2020 Summer Newsletter, with a circulation of more than 12,000 readers, and on our website. The second and third place stories will be posted in the store and on our website. In addition, the top three winning authors will be invited to read their stories on Bruce Bratton's Universal Grapevine radio program (Tuesdays 7:00-8:00 pm, KZSC 88.1 FM). First place will be awarded a $250 Bookshop gift certificate. Second- and third-place gift certificates will also be awarded. Please review the entry rules, and entry instruction below, or stop by Bookshop Santa Cruz to pick up an entry form.

ENTRY RULES

1. The contest is open to manuscripts of 1,200 words or fewer. Entries outside the word limitation will be disregarded.

2. The entry fee is $6.00 per manuscript. You may enter as many manuscripts as you wish.

3. All entries must be typewritten and double-spaced. To keep our judging free from favoring authors by name, DO NOT put your name on the pages of your manuscript. Instead, type a seven-digit number of your choice on the top right corner of each page of your manuscript. Make sure to write that same number on the entry form, along with your name, address, and phone number. 

4. All entries must be original and previously unpublished. Bookshop Santa Cruz reserves the right to publish the winning story in our Readers newsletter, one our website, and to post the second- and third-place winners in the store and on our website.

5. Employees of Bookshop Santa Cruz and their immediate families are not eligible to enter the contest.

6. All entries must be received no later than February 15th, 2020. Final judging will take place by March 30, 2020.

Entries may be submitted online or in person at Bookshop Santa Cruz. Original entries may not be returned. All entries must have a completed entry form attached. You may pick up an entry form at Bookshop Santa Cruz, or download one here. Please review the instructions for submitting online here.

FIRST PRIZE: $250 gift certificate, and publication in Readers (with a circulation of 12,000) and on our website.

SECOND PRIZE: $100 gift certificate

THIRD PRIZE: $50 gift certificate

The second- and third-place stories will be posted on Bookshop’s website. In addition, the top three winning authors will be invited to read their stories on Bruce Bratton’s Universal Grapevine radio program (Tuesdays 7:00–8:00pm, KZSC 88.1 FM).

 

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

2019 Winnters

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.