The 2015 Texas Observer Short Story Contest is now open for submissions. The winner receives a $1,000 cash prize and publication in print and online in The Texas Observer.
This year’s guest judge is Stephen Graham Jones, author of 15 novels and six story collections.
What does Mr. Jones look for in a short story? "A fast start and a real ending,” he tells us, “and a voice that makes me want to hear more, keep turning the pages."
GRAND PRIZE: $1,000 and publication in the Observer’s October 2015 Books Issue
GUEST JUDGE: Stephen Graham Jones
DEADLINE: Sunday, August 16, 11:59 p.m.
1. The winning author will receive $1,000 and publication in the 2015 Books Issue of The Texas Observer. Finalists may be eligible for publication online at texasobserver.org.
2. Contest is open to any and all participants regardless of location.
3. No restrictions on genre; entries with a Texas setting or theme are encouraged.
4. Stories must not exceed 2,500 words.
5. Entry fee is $25 per submission.
6. All stories must be submitted via email (instructions below). No hard copies, please.
RULES AND REGULATIONS
1. All entries must be unpublished. Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but stories must be withdrawn from the contest immediately upon acceptance elsewhere. The entry fee will not be refunded. (Note: If your story is posted on a personal blog, please remove it before submitting.)
2. While multiple entries are welcome, each story requires the entry fee. There is no limit on the number of times you may enter.
3. After paying the entry fee (see form below), please email your story to [email protected]. The body of your email must contain your name, address, phone number and the story title. Please attach your story in Microsoft Word format (PDF also acceptable, but not preferred). Your name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript itself, as the contest is judged anonymously.
4. Entries exceeding 2,500 words will be disqualified. The entry fee will not be refunded.
5. Students, former students and current professional colleagues of guest judge Stephen Graham Jones are ineligible.
6. Previous contest winners and finalists are not eligible; current and former employees of The Texas Observer and their family members are not eligible. Freelancers who have contributed more than one bylined article to The Texas Observer since June 2014 are not eligible. Previous contest honorable mention authors are free to submit.
7. Address all stories and questions to Observer Books and Fiction editor David Duhr: [email protected]. No phone calls, please.
Stephen Graham Jones is the author of 15 novels and six collections. His most recent is the story collection After the People Lights Have Gone Off (Dark House). Next up is Mongrels (William Morrow). Stephen has been an NEA fellow and has won the Texas Institute of Letters Jesse Jones Award for Fiction.