Libraries Short Stories spring contest asks writers to consider 'The Other Side'

March 13, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Now open for submissions through April 12, Penn State University Libraries Short Stories’ third writing contest challenges all Penn State students, faculty and staff University-wide to unleash their creativity to submit original creative writing on the theme "The Other Side." 

“We want you to consider the ‘other side’ with stories that explore what hasn’t been told before or hasn't gotten a chance to shine. The other side could be a new world we’ve never heard of, a new place with new inhabitants, a new perspective on the typically mundane. Let your mind run wild and tell us a story we haven’t heard before!”

— Libraries Short Stories Editorial Board

“We want you to consider the ‘other side’ with stories that explore what hasn’t been told before or hasn't gotten a chance to shine,” the writing prompt from the Libraries Short Stories editorial board states. “The other side could be a new world we’ve never heard of, a new place with new inhabitants, a new perspective on the typically mundane. Let your mind run wild and tell us a story we haven’t heard before!”

Whether in verse or in prose, submissions may fall into six genres: humor, children’s stories, suspense and crime, science fiction and fantasy, fiction and drama, and romance. Stories also are sorted by reading length based on total character count, including spaces. Each submission totaling up to 2,600 characters is considered a one-minute read, while content 2,601 to 4,800 characters in length is a three-minute read, and writing from 4,801 to the maximum limit of 8,500 characters is considered a five-minute read. 

Community voting will take a slightly different form from previous contests. While voting is open through the submission deadline of Friday, April 12, a new round of voting will occur the week after the deadline. The second round of voting will be held April 15-19, enabling all submissions to be voted upon equally, regardless of submission date.

Five winners will be selected, each receiving $100, and honorable mentions also will be chosen. These selected titles and authors will be announced by Wednesday, April 24. As in past contests, their submissions will be added to all of Penn State University Libraries’ Short Edition short story dispensers, which as of spring 2019, now total 10 among six Penn State campuses

Penn State Libraries short story dispensers at the University Park campus can be found at: 

  • Paterno Library entrance;
  • Pattee Library mall entrance;
  • Grange Building entrance at Pollock Road; and
  • Physical and Mathematical Sciences Library, 201 Davey Lab, across Pollock Road from the HUB-Robeson Center.

In addition, Penn State Libraries short story dispensers also are at, or near:

  • Schlow Centre Region Library, downtown State College, Pennsylvania;
  • Penn State Abington College Library; 
  • John M. Lilley Library at Penn State Behrend;
  • Berks Thun Library at Penn State Berks;
  • John D. Vairo Library at Penn State Brandywine; and
  • Penn State Harrisburg Library. 

For more information about "The Other Side" writing contest, visit psu.short-edition.com.

Questions about the Libraries Short Stories spring 2019 “The Other Side” writing contest, the Libraries Short Stories online platform, or short story dispensers’ curricular or co-curricular use can be directed to Student Engagement Librarian Hailley Fargo at hmf14@psu.edu.

Last Updated March 20, 2019