2020 Contest Winners
2019 Contest Winners
2018 Contest Winners
Rules & Guidelines
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
All writers in San Diego County 16 and over 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.
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.
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.
The Short Story Contest submission form will be available online on Monday, March 2 and must be completed and uploaded by Friday, April 3, 2020.
The manuscript must be double spaced and not exceed 3000 words. Stories over 3000 words will be rejected without review. The manuscript must not have the author’s name anywhere in it. Pages must be numbered. The manuscript title must appear on every page. The manuscript must be saved as "Story Title-Author Name" (Ex: “Librarians in Love - Elsee Dewey”). Standard fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, or Georgia in 12 point font size must be used.
All the stories submitted will be archived. By entering the Short Story Contest, participants permit the library to use the stories for current or future programs. Stories may be spotlighted on the library website, used for public programs, or made available for research.
For questions or further clarification regarding the rules and guidelines, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.