GBF Short Story Contest

Psychics, fish-eyeball pizzas and pirates will be the themes for the Gaithersburg Book Festival’s fourth annual short story writing contest for Washington, D.C. metropolitan area high school students which officially launched on August 19.

To participate, individuals must be enrolled in grades 9-12 at public or private school, or in a homeschool program for the 2013-2014 school year, and reside in Maryland, Virginia or the District of Columbia. Stories must be no longer than 1,000 words and start with one of the following three lines, which were provided by Jon Methven, author of “This Is Your Captain Speaking”:

  • I’ve seen some odd things delivering food for Ned’s Pizza, but nothing beat the lady that ordered a half-mushroom, half fish-eyeball pie, then hit me with this request at the door…
  • The trouble began since my cell number is one digit off from Madam O’Wiggy’s, the psychic, which is how I came to be answering questions about the future to begin with…
  • The main thing to know, if pirates commandeer the cruise ship you’re on during family vacation, is that they do much less dancing and singing than in movies…

Stories must be submitted as a Word document to by midnight ET on February 21, 2014.

Up to 12 stories will be selected as finalists and posted on the Gaithersburg Book Festival website prior to the Book Festival. The first-, second-, and third-place winners will be announced at the Festival on Saturday, May 17, 2014, and will be awarded $100, $50 and $25 gift certificates, respectively, courtesy of the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus.

Complete rules and regulations for the contest can be found online at Gaithersburg Book Festival.


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