Welcome to the 6th Annual Short Story Contest, sponsored by the Friends of San Diego Central Library. The Short Story Contest, a part of the Local Author Program, continues the support that the Library provides to local writing, and shines a spotlight on local authors who craft short stories.
Registration closes after 75 submissions.
Rules & Guidelines
Submission guidelines - Any deviations from these instructions may result in the disqualification of the short story from the contest.
Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat is the SDPL Short Story Contest? The Short Story Contest is a short fiction competition open to all writers residing in San Diego County. All genres of fiction are acceptable: literary, mystery and crime, science fiction, fantasy, horror, mixed-genre, and experimental.
What is the goal of the Short Story Contest? The goal of the Short Story Contest is to nurture and foster local writing talent, and to provide a platform for the promotion and publication of short form fiction in the area.
Who’s eligible to enter the Short Story Contest? All writers in San Diego County age 16 and older are eligible to enter the Short Story Contest. San Diego Public Library staff and members of affiliated organizations such as the San Diego Public Library Foundation, Friends of San Diego Public Library, and the Board of Library Commissioners are not allowed to participate in the contest.
How many short stories will be allowed to participate in the contest? A maximum of 75 short stories will be accepted, based on a first come first served basis. Registration will automatically stop after the 75th author registers their manuscript.
Who will judge the Short Story Contest? A Committee of Librarians with subject expertise in fiction, writing, publishing and literary studies will judge the contest. Judging will be anonymous. When you enter the contest your story will be assigned a number. Judges will identify your story by title and number only.
Does it cost anything to enter the Short Story Contest? There’s no fee to participate in the Short Story Contest. However the public library is always in need of support from the community that it serves. To support the library please visit the website of the Friends of San Diego Public Library and the San Diego Public Library Foundation.
What is the deadline to enter the Short Story Contest? The Short Story Contest submission form will be available online by 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 6, 2023. Submissions will remain open until we receive 75 stories - registration and submission will shut down after we’ve received the 75th submitted story, whenever that occurs.
Who owns rhe rights to the submitted stories? Authors retain all rights to the stories they submit.
David J. Schmidt is an author, podcaster, multilingual translator, and homebrewer who splits his time between Mexico City and San Diego, California.
Schmidt has published a variety of books, short stories, and articles in both English and Spanish, including Three Nights in the Clown Motel, a book of “non-fiction horror,” as well as the series Gone Viral: Urban Legends of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Schmidt is the co-host of the podcast To Russia with Love. He speaks twelve languages and has been to 33 countries. He received his B.A. in psychology from Point Loma Nazarene University.
Sara Wilczyńska was born and raised in Warsaw, Poland. She graduated in computer science and works as a software engineer at Google. After living in Barcelona, Edinburgh, London, Zurich and New York, she settled in San Diego. She teaches yoga and meditation and is a sound healing practitioner. She explores sticking words together into sentences, and presently flirts with short forms. Her work was published in Helikopter literary magazine.
Kate Webster is a Polish-to-English literary translator living in London, UK. She has translated short stories and essays by Joanna Rudniańska, Marta Kisiel and Agnieszka Graff, among others. Examples of her work can be found on the websites of Przekrój, Switch on Paper and Eurozine. Her translation of Barbara Sadurska's novel The Map is due to be published in 2021.
For questions or further clarification regarding the rules and guidelines, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.