Short Story Contest Rules

Submission Requirements:

  • Each submitted story must be no more than 1750 words, excluding title. Stories longer than 1750 words will be disqualified.
  • Stories must be original and authored by the submitter.
  • Stories may be on any topic.
  • Up to two submissions by the same author are allowed, but they must be submitted separately, and a separate submission fee must be paid for each.
  • Submissions should be double-spaced and typed in a 12-point, sans-serif font (eg. Arial, Calibri, Helvetica).
  • Submissions should be in Word, PDF, or RTF format.
  • All submissions must be made via the online form and must include the required submission fee. Submission fees are non-refundable.
  • Submitters must be available to read their work aloud before an audience on Sunday, November 10, 2019, between 1:00 pm and 3:30 pm EST at the Rochester Spoken Word Speak Easy event at Solera Wine Bar (647 South Ave, Rochester, NY) in order to claim any cash prizes. First-, Second-, and Third-Place winners who do not participate at said event will not lose their First-, Second-, or Third-Place Winner designation, but will forfeit their prize money.

Submission Window:

  • Submissions will only be accepted between May 1, 2019 and Midnight (EDT), August 31, 2019.

Eligibility:

  • This contest is open to residents of the United States and Canada.
  • Submitters must be at least 16 years of age on or before November 10, 2019.
  • Current and past employees of Rochester Spoken Word or Solera Wine Bar are not eligible to participate in this contest.
  • Contest judges are not eligible to participate in this contest.
  • Previously published stories are not eligible for submission.
  • Stories which have previously won awards are not eligible for submission.

Ownership and Grant of Permission:

  • Submitters will retain ownership and the rights to their submissions.
  • Submitters agree to grant Rochester Spoken Word the rights to publish their submissions as part of a collection of contest entries. This grant of rights extends to both printed and digital versions.
  • Submitters agree to grant Rochester Spoken Word the permission to make technical edits, adjust formatting, and correct typographical errors prior to publication in order to present a technically cohesive collection of stories. Rochester Spoken Word will not edit story content.
  • Submitters agree to allow Rochester Spoken Word to edit their bios to make technical edits, adjust formatting, correct typographical errors, and adjust the length as necessary to meet space requirements prior to publication.
  • Monies collected in relation to this contest, the accompanying live reading event, and the sale of the published collection of entries belong solely to Rochester Spoken Word and its affiliates.

Notification of Winners:

  • Winning entries will be selected on or about October 1, 2019, and winners will be notified by email.

Prizes:

  • Winning entries will be selected by Rochester Spoken Word and its team of judges.
  • Prizes will be award as follows:
    • First Place: $150
    • Second Place: $100
    • Third Place: $50
  • The top twenty submissions, as selected by the judges, will be published in a collection of this year’s top entries. All authors whose work is published in the collection will receive a free copy.
  • The submitters of the top eight entries, as selected by the judges, will be invited to read their entries aloud to the assembled audience at the Rochester Spoken Word Speak Easy event at Solera Wine Bar on November 10, 2019, between 1:00 pm and 3:30 pm EDT.
  • Winners of cash prizes need to participate in the live reading on Sunday, November 10, 2019, to claim their prizes. Non-participating winners will forfeit their cash prizes.
  • Rochester Spoken Word and its judges have the final say in awarding prizes.

Violations of Rules:

  • Submitters/Submissions found to be in violation of these rules will be disqualified from this contest and no submission fees will be refunded.

Indemnification:

  • Rochester Spoken Word will not be held responsible for errors made on the submission form by the submitter, errors contained in the submissions, and errors that may occur during the publication process of selected works.