Deadline nears for Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest

30th annual competition seeks entries by April 11

The deadline for entries for the Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is fast approaching. Submissions are due no later than 5 p.m. on April 11 and can be delivered or mailed to the Weekly's office, at 450 Cambridge Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94306.

Now in its 30th year, the annual Short Story Contest celebrates and recognizes the best fiction penned by the news organization's readers. The contest is open to adults and young adults who live, work or attend school full-time in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, Stanford, Portola Valley, Woodside, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and East Palo Alto.

Young adults will compete in two age categories: 12-14 years and 15-17 years.

Prizes are first-place adult winner, $500; second-place adult, $300; third-place adult, $200; first-place young adult and teen winners, $100 gift certificate each; second-place young adult and teen, $75 gift certificates; and third-place young adult and teen, $50 gift certificates.

There is a $20 entry fee for adult writers and a $10 entry fee for young writers under age 18. All entries will be screened by experienced local writers. Semi-finalists will be scored by contest judges, including Katy Obringer, former supervisor of Palo Alto's Children's Library branch; Nancy Etchemendy, who writes novels, short fiction and poetry; Caryn Huberman Yacowitz, who writes fiction and nonfiction books for children and plays for both children and adults; and Tom Parker, a fiction-writing teacher and coach, memoirist, co-author and developmental editor.

For a list of rules and to download an entry form, visit For more information, email

The competition is co-sponsored by Bell's Books of Palo Alto, Kepler's Books of Menlo Park and Linden Tree Books of Los Altos.

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Short story writers wanted!

The 33rd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 29. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

Contest Details