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Monday, February 11, 2008

Oh Those Hemingways

I have a little warm spot in my heart for this competition. The people who run it just seem so nice...and a little long-winded, but really, really nice.

February 10, 2008


We really appreciate your past entry in the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition, and we hope your recent writing has brought you creative satisfaction and an increased knowledge of the unique, magnetically appealing (and sometimes maddening) craft of writing. Please consider this your invitation to submit your work to our 2008 competition.

Our final deadline remains May 15, as in past years, and our prizes remain the same as well: $1,000 cash to the first-place winner, $500 apiece to the second- and third-place winners, and honorable mentions to other promising writers.

You may have seen notices in literary publications about our 2007 winner. Bruce Overby, a part-time technical communications consultant and graduate student from Los Altos, California, earned the $1,000 first prize for "Bookmarks." Chosen from among 905 submissions, "Bookmarks" is about a well-educated alcoholic man whose love of poetry brings him solace and eventual redemption after his sister's death. The story impressed Lorian and her judges for its subtle power, tightly controlled phrasing and flawless prose.

This past year, Lorian has spoken about the competition and the quality of its entrants' work in numerous national and international print and television interviews. She continues to work on her new book and may even showcase a small portion of it during the July literary readings held in conjunction with the short story awards.

For more information about the competition, we encourage you to visit our website at There you'll find more information and some top stories from previous years. We rotate the stories regularly, so please keep checking back to the site.

To be eligible for our 2008 competition, stories must be original, unpublished, typed and double-spaced, and 3,000 words or less. There are no theme restrictions, but only works of fiction will be considered. Your name should not appear on the stories, manuscripts are not returned, and you retain all rights to your work. (Please note that we can't accept e-mailed entries.) Entries from non-U.S. writers are welcome.

Since the contest is dedicated to recognizing emerging writers, it is open only to those whose fiction hasn't appeared in a nationally distributed publication with a circulation of 5,000 or more. First-place winners from previous years are not eligible to enter.

Each story should be accompanied by a cover sheet with your name, complete address, e-mail address, phone number, title of the piece and word count.

For the first time since 1981, we have slightly increased our entry fee. The fee is now $12 for each story postmarked by May 1, 2008, and $17 for each story postmarked from May 2 through May 15. Entries postmarked after May 15 will not be accepted. All manuscripts and fees should be sent to the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition, P.O. Box 993, Key West, FL 33041.

Winners will be announced in late July in Key West, and all entrants will receive a letter from Lorian (via snail mail or e-mail) and a list of winners by October 1.

We hope to find a new piece from you among this year's entries. Most of all, we hope you continue to find joy in developing your voice as a writer.

We'll be contacting our writers now and then with e-mail updates. If you don't want to receive them, please reply to this e-mail with "LHSS remove" in your response's subject line, and we will remove your name from our e-mail list.

All the best,
Carol Shaughnessy and Joanne Denning
Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition


Anonymous said...

That's nice. 17 bucks though, forget about it.

Kate Evans said...

One of my former students (not in an MFA program, just a regular ol undergrad creative writing class at at state university) won this a couple years back for a wonderful story she wrote in the class.

She's now trying to get into MFA programs and isn't having much luck. That may be a good thing, though. She's a wonderful writer. I want her to just keep going.