Short Story Contest

Writers take on the short story — and win

This year's winning short stories show just how versatile the form can be

The short story is a peculiarly delightful form — it's longer than a poem, shorter than a novel and rebelliously shirks the parameters and conventions other forms might impose. It feels free to dip its toes into poetic lyricism, plays with the structures of "story" as it pleases, but — in the end — is beholden to neither. And so, in its unwillingness to conform, it's a form that has the potential to capture many writers and readers of all ages.

From the poetic musings of a mysterious man, to a whimsical world where the forgotten characters of unfinished stories go to live, to a kid's quiet observations on the daily bike ride to school — these short stories may be part of the same genre, but they offer vastly varying takes on topics like memory, life, love and growing up. They are the winners of this year's annual short story contest, and they offer a glimpse into the creativity that abounds in this community.

The Palo Alto Weekly would like to thank the 95 writers who submitted work to this year's contest; the readers, Danielle Truppi and Sharon Levin, who selected the top entries in each category for the judges to consider; the judges for the adult categories, Mike Nagler, Nancy Packer and Nick Taylor; and the Teen category judges, Caryn Huberman Yacowitz, Marjorie Sayer and Debbie Duncan. The Weekly also would like to thank the contest co-sponsors, Bell's Books of Palo Alto, Kepler's Books of Menlo Park and Linden Tree Books of Los Altos.



Adult Winners

First Place

David Pablo Cohn

Second Place
Margaret Young
Small Change

Third Place
Owen B. Greenwald
Her Heart's Desire

Youth Winners

Teen 12-14

First Place

Benjamin Stein
The Walking Man

Second Place
Sienna Larney-Badani
The Blood Among Shifting Wolves

Third Place
Alice Lee

Third Place
Sydney Lee
Sea Glass Memories

Young Adult 15-17

First Place

Christina Hung
The Forgotten

Second Place
Celeste Levy
Cicada Summers

Third Place
Amrita Bhasin
The Golden Disk

Short Story Contest judges



Kepler's Books and Magazines, Palo Alto Linden Tree, Palo AltoBell's Books, Palo Alto


Past winners:

2022 winners | 2021 winners | 2020 winners | 2019 winners | 2018 winners | 2017 winners | 2016 winners | 2015 winners
2014 winners | 2012-2013 winners | 2011 winners | 2010 winners
2009 winners | 2008 winners | 2007 winners | 2006 winners | 2005 winners
2004 winners | 2003 winners | 2002 winners | 2001 winners | 2000 winners
1999 winners | 1998 winners | 1997 winners | 1996 winners

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