14th Annual Short Story Contest
The contest draws entries from around the country as well as internationally. The Ventura County Star newspaper will publish the first-place adult entry in a January 2014 Sunday edition. The paper will publish first, second, and third-place winning entries from both categories in their online edition. The top three adult winners will receive a cash prize: first place $500; second place $250; and third place $125. In the youth category, winners will also receive cash prizes: first place $100; second place $75; and third place $50.
“We received a good response last year to the youth category,” said Kate Sexton, club president. “The club’s motto ‘to encourage the craft’ begins with mentoring the youth of the community on creative writing. Stories are the groundwork of societies and we need to keep a focus on producing the next generation of great American writers.”
All stories are logged in and assigned a number for the sake of anonymity. VCWC employs a scored, tiered process of judging, with editors at the newspaper judging the final third tier.
“In years past, the Club has received many stories from across the nation, and even from abroad, a mark of the prestige our contest is gaining,” said Shelba Cole Robison, Short Story Committee Chair. “The contest provides an opportunity for many writers to be published for the first time, and to see their writing enjoyed by a wide reading audience.”
There are additional perks for the winners. The 2014 VCWC Anthology will publish winning entries. The vcstar.com website will post the top finalists. VCWC will host a reception at the January 14, 2014 meeting, for the winners and will invite them to read highlights from their stories.
The contest rules are as follows:
- All submitted stories must be original and may not have been previously published in any newspaper, magazine, or book, whether or not the author received compensation. Self-published and electronically published works are considered to be previously published.
- Submissions may be in any genre. All stories must be appropriate for a family publication, no erotica or offensive content. You may enter as many stories as you like as long as the correct entry fee is attached.
- Those who have won first place in our contest in the last three years are not eligible.
- If entering via postal mail, include three copies of each short story being submitted. This year, entries will also be accepted online.
- Make sure your name does not appear on any page of your story. Only put your name on the entry form.
- Each submitted short story must be typed and double spaced using 12-point type, in Courier or Times New Roman font, on white 8½ x 11 inch paper, with left and right margins 1.25-inch and top and bottom margins 1-inch. Indent the first line of each paragraph and number all pages at top or bottom. Story must be 10 pages or fewer. Put the story title at the top of each page. Do not put the author’s name on any pages of the submitted stories.
- Be sure to include your entry fee: $15 per short story for Adult VCWC members, $25.00 per short story for Adult non-members. Each Youth entry is $10.
- All story submissions may be paid with a single check. Please note the number of submissions on the reference line of the check. Mail entry form, story submissions and check (payable to VCWC) to: VCWC Short Story Contest, P.O. Box 3373, Thousand Oaks, CA 91359. Do not mail submissions prior to September 1, 2013.
- Online entries may be paid through PayPal and submitted directly through the club’s website as of September 1, 2013.
- Deadline for submissions is October 15, 2013.
- No person may win more than one prize.