In 1986, Jerome Stern, the then-director of Florida State University’s Creative Writing Program and renowned author of Making Shapely Fiction among other books, founded this contest to celebrate what he called “micro fiction” (submissions at that time were required to be under 250 words, and the winner received a crate of oranges as well as a check). Stern passed away from cancer in 1996 and though the guidelines and prize have changed since then, we are grateful to have a modern master of the short-short story judge the entries annually, and continue to hold the contest in memory of Stern.
To enter the 2016 WBSSSC, send up to three short-short stories per submission, accompanied by the $16 reading fee. Each short-short story should be no more than 500 words. Include your name, contact information (email address preferred), and the title of each of your short-short stories in a very brief cover letter. Do not include personal identification information on the short-shorts themselves. Only previously unpublished work will be considered. If you want to withdraw any individual pieces from consideration, please log in and add a
note to your submission telling us which pieces you wish to withdraw. Robert Olen Butler
will judge. One winner (awarded $1,000
) and up to five finalists will be announced in spring/summer 2018 and will appear in Volume 37.1 (Spring 2019).
Important note: Please send up to three short-short stories in each submission. In this case, you need only pay the submission fee once! However, if you wish to submit another group of three short-short stories, you will need to pay an additional $16 entry fee.