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The Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize

The Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize is a writing competition sponsored by the stage and radio series Selected Shorts.

This long-running series at Symphony Space in New York City celebrates the art of the short story by having stars of stage and screen read aloud the works of established and emerging writers. Selected Shorts is recorded for Public Radio and heard nationally on both the radio and its weekly podcast.

We are thrilled to announce this year’s winner and runners-up, as chosen by our guest judge Anthony Doerr:

Congratulations to Matthew Ryan Frankel, whose story “Carapace” is our 2023 winner! Read the winning story on Electric Literature.

We are also happy to share our two runners-up:

Rachel Elam: “Seven Nights of Shiva”

Richard Rebel: "This Time Next Week"

We are delighted to feature “Carapace” in an upcoming episode of Selected Shorts. Subscribe to Selected Shorts wherever you get your podcasts so you don't miss it!

Matthew Ryan Frankel lives in Baltimore, Maryland. He would like to acknowledge his friends, his former teachers, and the staff of Enoch Pratt Central Library for their support, as well as the writers whose influence shaped the story printed here: Jean Genet, Yasunari Kawabata, and Kenzaburo Oë. His current projects include several short stories, a novel, and a philosophical work on radical freedom. “Carapace” is dedicated to his grandfather, Khye Weng Ng.

Anthony Doerr is the author of Cloud Cuckoo Land, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and All the Light We Cannot See, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Carnegie Medal, the Alex Award, and a #1 New York Times bestseller. He is also the author of the story collections Memory Wall and The Shell Collector, the novel About Grace, and the memoir Four Seasons in Rome. He has won five O. Henry Prizes, the Rome Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award, the National Magazine Award for fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Story Prize. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Doerr lives in Boise, Idaho, with his wife and two sons.

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Contest Details and Guidelines
  • Entries should be 750 words or less.
  • Stories can be on any theme.
  • There is a fee of $25 to enter.
  • Submissions must be entered by 11:59 PM EST on March 10, 2023.
  • Writers of all ages and nationalities are eligible.
  • The story must have a title.
  • We do not accept work that has been previously published in print, online, or any other medium.
  • We do not accept works in translation.
  • Once entered, we do not accept revisions for any stories. Your $25 is nonrefundable.
  • You may enter as many stories as you like, but a $25 fee is required for each story.
  • We no longer accept mailed, paper submissions. Stories received in the mail will be returned unread with your uncashed check. If you have problems with the online form or are unable to submit online for some extenuating circumstance, please contact Selected Shorts directly at [email protected] and we will make sure your work reaches us.
  • The winner will be announced in spring 2023.

2022 Contest Winner

“Make Yourself into a House” by Grace Shuyi Liew