Short Story Contest Judges
Judges for the Adult and Young Adult categories

Debbie Duncan
Debbie Duncan has been reviewing children's books for the Palo Alto Weekly since 1997. She is the author of the Benjamin Franklin Award-winning picture book "When Molly Was in the Hospital," as well as a book for parents, "Joy of Reading." She also contributes to the Perspectives series of commentaries on KQED radio. When she isn't reading books to find the best to share with Weekly readers, she's writing her own middle-grade novel or hanging out on Twitter, @debbieduncan.
Meg Waite Clayton
New York Times and USA Today bestseller and book club favorite Meg Waite Clayton is the author of seven novels. Her most recent, the Jewish Book Award finalist The Last Train to London, is a national bestseller in the U.S., Canada, and the Netherlands, and is published or forthcoming in 19 languages. Her screenplay for the novel was chosen for the prestigious Meryl Streep- and Nicole Kidman-sponsored The Writers Lab.
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 Cañada community colleges. His website is

Judges for the Teen category

Nancy Etchemendy
Nancy Etchemendy's novels, short fiction and poetry have appeared regularly for the past 40 years, both in the U.S. and abroad. Her work has earned a number of awards, including three Bram Stoker Awards and an International Horror Guild Award. "Cat in Glass and Other Tales of the Unnatural," her collection of short dark fantasy, was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Her most recent work is "Odd Company," an online publication about compassion and conversations between people who disagree, free to the public at She lives and works in Palo Alto, where she leads a somewhat schizophrenic life, alternating between unkempt, introverted writer and gracious (she prays) wife of a Stanford University professor.
Marjorie Sayer
Marjorie Sayer writes books with a multicultural and interdisciplinary perspective. Her middle-grade novel, "The Girl Mechanic of Wanzhou," is a winner of the Scholastic Asia Book Award. Her nonfiction for adults has appeared in O'Reilly Media, and her recreational math books have been used in clubs throughout the country. She enjoys bicycle travel, her family and the friendship of her cats. She blogs about her interests at
Caryn Huberman Yacowitz
Caryn Huberman Yacowitz is the author of children’s books and plays. Her picture books are widely anthologized and included in the Junior Great Books and Junior Library Guild Selections. "Baby Moses in a Basket" (Candlewick Press) is her newest picture book. During the pandemic she’s been recording her misadventures in Hebrew school and caring for a Norwegian Forest Cat. Her website is