Submissions Due September 30
Enter your Short Story to the Fall into Fiction Short Story Contest!
Fall is here again! To celebrate, San José Public Library is hosting a short story contest for the month of September. The contest is open to writers of all ages. All genres and prose styles are welcome, including non-fiction. Authors are also invited to write on SJPL Community Collection theme (more information below). Entries will be published on our Short Édition Portal and available to print via Short Story dispensers. Prizes will be awarded to winners in each age category for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.
We look forward to reading your stories!
How to Enter
- Step 1: Complete the online registration form for Short Story Contest 2023 by September 30, 11:59 PM.
- Step 2: Submit your story online, via the Short Édition Portal or by email: email@example.com, by September 30, 11:59 PM.
- Please review our full list of Contest Guidelines before submitting.
Age Groups and Prizes
- Children (0-7): Prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.
- Children (8-9): Prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.
- Pre-Teens (10-12): Prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.
- Teens (13-17): Prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.
- Adults (18+): Prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.
Prizes will include a recently published book, a gift card to a local bookstore, and other goodies to keep the creativity and words flowing. All winners and other selected works will be published on SJPL's Short Édition portal and in the Short Édition Dispenser at select locations.
Library staff and volunteers will oversee the judging process. To understand what the judges will be looking for, you can view the detailed judging rubric.
Two Themes: Community Collections
Write a short story based on our Community Collection themes. Community Collections will be highlighted on our Short Édition portal.
While we're accepting short stories all year round, entries submitted during the Fall Short Story Contest (September 1–30, 2023) can be judged and may be eligible for awards! Be sure to complete the registration form when submitting your story.
The two Community Collections themes available during the 2023 Fall into Fiction Contest are the following:
- World on the Move
- National Coming Out Day
World on the Move Community Collection
San José Public Library is one of 15 nationwide libraries hosting The World on the Move: 250,000 Years of Human Migration interactive exhibit from September 11 – October 20, 2023. In honor of the exciting exhibit and to expand the conversation on migration, displacement, and human journeys, we are highlighting community stories on the theme of migration. Share your story of migration! This could be your story, a family or friend's story, or a fictional story. Authors may submit stories for the World on the Move collection outside of the Fall Short Story Contest.
National Coming Out Day Community Collection
National Coming Out Day is a day not only for people to share their stories, but to bring further awareness to LGBTQ+ struggle for rights to marriage equality, access to affirming health care, and simply to live without fear of violence. To commemorate this day, we’re inviting those in the local LGBTQ+ community to share their coming out story. You can also share the coming out story you hope to have or the one you wish you had. It could be true, or it could be fantasy – that's all up to you. Authors may submit stories for the National Coming Out Day collection outside of the Fall Short Story Contest.
Inspiration & Resources
Spring into Poetry Contest Winning Submissions
Searching for some local inspiration? How about reading the winning entries for the 2023 Spring into Poetry Contest? You can enjoy more local works from local writers by visiting Short Éditions and BiblioBoard, available through our eResource collections.