fiction contest: St. Louis Writers Guild
- St. Louis Writers Guild Annual Short Story Contest
For decades, the St. Louis Writers Guild, has sponsored an annual short story
contest, which must be one of the longest running writing contests, if not
the longest running writing contest in the country. It is certainly one of the
most prestigious. Tennessee Williams won first place in this contest in 1935
for his story, "Stella for Star." (University of Delaware library; Special
Collections Department; Tennessee Williams Collection, 1939-1994;
The contest opens for submissions every October and prizes are awarded in
December. Historically, entries have come from all across the nation and Canada.
Stories are blind-judged by one or more expert(s) in the fields of writing
and/or publishing. Writers do not need to be a member of SLWG in order to
participate in this contest.
Contest Opens October 1, 2007. Do not submit entries prior to October!
Topic The work must meet the specific form requirements of a short story, be
a work of fiction
written in English, represent the author's original and unpublished work, and
for an audience composed of adult readers (as opposed to a story intended for
Any topic is allowed, but works that include pornography, extreme violence,
other content that is not appropriate for a mainstream literary audience are
Contest Opening 2007 contest opens for submissions on October 1.
Do not mail entries prior to October
as they will be disqualified and cannot be returned.
Deadline Entries must be postmarked on or before November 10, 2007.
Entry Fee $15 per manuscript; limit one entry per person.
Story must not exceed 5,000 words. Title does not count in word limit.
A typed cover page must be paper-clipped to the top page of the manuscript,
the story’s title, followed by the author’s name, address, telephone number,
(if available), and the total number of words in the story.
Manuscript must be typed in double-spaced format on standard white paper
(8-1/2 x 11)
in black ink using a standard typeface or font, such as Courier, Times New
Roman, or Arial.
All story pages must be stapled together in the upper left corner of the
must include a page number in the lower right corner of every page.
The story’s title must appear on the first page of the manuscript—about
midway down the
page. The story’s title must also be typed in the upper left corner of every
page of the
manuscript. The story’s text must begin two lines beneath the title on the fir
st page. DO
NOT INCLUDE THE AUTHOR’S NAME ON ANY PAGES OF THE MANUSCRIPT.
Announcement of Winners
Winners’ names and story titles will be posted on the St. Louis Writers Guild
the week of December 4 and announced in the SLWG free electronic newsletter,
News! that week. Entrants can subscribe to Here’s News! on the SLWG website’
Prizes Certificates and cash prizes will be awarded as follows to the top
1st Place $500
2nd Place $250
3rd Place $100
The top three finalist entries that do not place for cash prizes will receive
Provided that winners email an electronic file (in Word), the full text of
the top three
winning entries and all Honorable Mention stories will be published on the
Contest page for the enjoyment of website visitors. Additionally, the three
winners are invited to read excerpts of their winning entries before a live
audience at a
special SLWG open mic reading event on Tuesday, December 11 (See Calendar for
and details. Please register to attend).
St. Louis media will be contacted to publicize the contest’s outcomes and the
names and stories will be retained in the St. Louis Writers Guild archives at
Library in St. Louis for posterity.
2007 Judge The 2007 contest judge is Rick Skwiot, winner of the Hemingway
First Novel Award,
finalist for the Willa Cather Prize, and author of the critically praised
Christmas at Long Lake. Skwiot has published short stories, essays, book
feature articles in magazines and newspapers. He has taught creative writing
Washington University, Old Dominion University, the University of
the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he served s Distinguished
Visiting Writer for
2004. He is currently working on a novel set in Key West and Havana.
Submission Mailing Address
All submissions are required to be MAILED, using the United States Postal
must bear a postmark date on or before the Deadline (November 10, 2007).
Mail entry to:
St. Louis Writers Guild
Attention: 2006 Short Story Contest
P.O. Box 724
St. Louis, MO 63026-0724
IMPORTANT: Please note that “Signature Required” mail will not be accepted.
SLWG cannot respond to telephone and email inquiries concerning receipt of
MANUSCRIPTS WILL NOT BE RETURNED. DO NOT ENCLOSE A SELF-ADDRESSED
ENVELOPE. Entrants may enclose a SASE postcard which SLWG will mail back to
receipt (this is optional).
St. Louis Writers Guild is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a mission to
further literary arts by connecting,
encouraging, and promoting writers and literary organizations.
Best of luck with the contest!
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