Libraries’ short stories fiction contest submission deadline is April 20

April 12, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — To celebrate Penn State University Libraries new creative writing platform, the Libraries’ Short Stories website is currently hosting its first short fiction competition, titled “New Beginnings.” Winners’ works will be added to Penn State’s short story dispensers on the University Park campus and will be eligible to win $100 Visa gift cards.

The new website allows any university student, faculty or staff member to create an account to submit short works of original fiction. Stories’ reading lengths of approximately one, three or five minutes can be uploaded in six genres. Stories are publicly visible on the website for anyone to read, although only Penn State account holders can login to offer comments and “like” or vote for contest favorites.  

To be eligible for the contest, submissions must include the theme of new beginnings, be no longer in length than 8,500 characters, including spaces, and must be received by April 20. Multiple authors whose stories follow the online submission guidelines and are uploaded before the contest deadline will be eligible to win one of three $100 Visa gift cards, and will have their stories added to Penn State Libraries’ first set of short story dispensers for readers’ randomly selected printouts. Winners, chosen by a student-run editorial team who also will include fan favorites from website voting, will be announced on or before Friday, April 27.

Four of Penn State Libraries’ first five short story dispensers are on the University Park campus — two at Pattee Library and Paterno Library first floor entrances, plus one at the Physical and Mathematical Sciences Library, 201 Davey Lab, and one at the Division of Undergraduate Studies offices, first floor Grange Building. The fifth is inside Schlow Centre Region Library in downtown State College. With the help of donors, the Libraries hopes to expand the number of short story dispensers in strategic locations to include commonwealth campuses and increase the impact of the University-wide initiative.

For more information about the Short Stories “New Beginnings” contest, contact Hailley Fargo, student engagement and outreach librarian, at For other questions about Penn State Libraries’ short story dispensers and online initiative, email Joe Salem at

  • New Beginnings short story competition
    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated April 23, 2018