We proud to announce the first ever Page to Stage Short Story Writing Contest in partnership with The Mark Twain House & Museum. We invite you to submit your short story inspired by the prompt below. The top three submissions will receive a cash prize and the first prize submission will be performed as a staged reading. This is a great opportunity for anyone and everyone, so get writing today!
Prompt: "In the Audience"
Whether on a bus, at a crowded party, or in an audience at an event, being in a crowd affords a person a degree of anonymity. The choice to participate or observe. In that spirit, your short story should include a perspective of someone in the company of a number of people or spectators gathered for a known or unknown purpose.
Word count: No more than 3,000 words
Read complete contest details.
Submission deadline: March 15, 2021
JUDGING & PRIZES
Judge: Ransom Riggs
Ransom Riggs is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children novels. Riggs was born on a farm in Maryland and grew up in southern Florida. He studied literature at Kenyon College and film at the University of Southern California. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, bestselling author Tahereh Mafi, and their family.
First Prize | $500 plus a staged reading of the short story and one-on-one conversation with Ransom Riggs
Second Prize | $250
Third Prize | $125
HOW TO SUBMIT
Please include with your submissions:
Your name, contact information, and a brief bio in the body of your email submission
Attach your submission as a PDF (.pdf) or Word Document (.doc or .docx). Note: Please include your last name in your file name. (For example: John Smith could submit a file with the name ShortStory-Smith.pdf)
Submissions may not exceed PG-13 appropriate content
By submitting your short story, you agree to the terms in our Rules & Eligibility.
Submit stories and required information in an email to PageToStage@bushnell.org
6-Week Writing Course: The Depth and Breadth of the Short Story with Dana Meachen Rau
The course meets on Thursdays from February 11 through March 18 from 4 to 5:30 p.m.EST on the Zoom platform. You'll receive a link via e-mail before the first session.
Registration is $150 and is limited to 10 students.
A short story is not just a “short story.” It’s the distillation of character, setting, conflict, plot, and theme into a handful of pages, all with emotion at the core. Learn and practice your skills in focusing in on detail while also echoing a larger context to leave a lasting impression on a reader. The class will include assigned readings of mentor texts, creative exercises, and work-shopping each other’s texts. As George Saunders said, “When you read a short story, you come out a little more aware and a little more in love with the world around you.” Same is true of writing one, and we’ll explore that together.
Over her 25-year career as an author, artist, and editor, Dana Meachen Rau has written more than 300 books for children. She received her BA in Creative Writing and Art History from Trinity College, Hartford, her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, Vermont, and currently teaches writing and literature at the University of Hartford.