Short Story Contest Judges

Young Adult Story Judges
Katy Obringer

Katy Obringer spent 22 years with the Palo Alto library system, which included serving as the supervisor of Palo Alto's Children's Library. Obringer also worked as an elementary school teacher for 10 years and an elementary school librarian for five years. Her love of introducing children to books continues in her retirement.

Nancy Etchemendy

Nancy Etchemendy's novels, short fiction and poetry have appeared regularly for the past 25 years, both in the United States and abroad. Her work has earned three Bram Stoker Awards (two for children's horror), a Golden Duck Award for excellence in children's science fiction, and most recently, an International Horror Guild Award for her YA horror story, "Honey in the Wound." She lives and works in Northern California, where she leads a somewhat schizophrenic life, alternating between unkempt, introverted writer of weird tales and requisite gracious wife of Stanford University's Provost.

Caryn Huberman Yacowitz

Caryn Huberman Yacowitz writes books, poetry and plays for young people and adults. Her newest play, "Bashert," based on real-life love stories, was produced last year. She is a member of the Pear Avenue Playwright Guild and Suburban Squirrel, a sketch comedy group. Her website is

Adult Story Judges
Tom Parker
A well-known, local fiction-writing teacher and coach, memoirist, co-author and developmental editor, Tom Parker is an O. Henry Prize-winning short-story writer and author of the novels, "Anna, Ann, Annie" and "Small Business." His work has appeared in Harper's and has been reviewed in The New Yorker. He has taught at Stanford, the University of California, Berkeley, and Foothill and Canada community colleges. His website is
Ellen Sussman

Ellen Sussman is the author of three critically acclaimed books, "Dirty Words: A Literary Encyclopedia of Sex," "Bad Girls: 26 Writers Misbehave" and "On a Night Like This." She teaches writing classes at her home in Los Altos Hills. Her website is

Meg Waite Clayton

Meg Waite Clayton is the author of "The Four Ms. Bradwells," "The Wednesday Sisters" and the Bellwether Prize finalist "The Language of Light," all published by Random House's Ballantine Books. Her fourth novel, "The Wednesday Daughters," will be released in 2013. Her essays and short stories have aired on public radio and appeared in newspapers, magazines and literary magazines. A graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, she lives with her family in Palo Alto. Her website is

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