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Selected Shorts

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 Carmen Maria Machado:

Congratulations to Esther Hayes, whose story “What I Could Have Given” is our 2024 winner! Read the winning story on Electric Literature.

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

Sophie Gauthier: “Sockets”

Sarah Lotfi: "Ann Tordatt Will Eye Me from Across the Table"

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

Esther Hayes is a writer from Nevada whose work has appeared in Guernica Magazine, The Threepenny Review, and Puerto del Sol. She received her MFA from Colorado State University where she was an associate editor at Colorado Review. She served as the Olive B. O’Connor Fiction Fellow at Colgate University and has been granted fellowships from the Community of Writers and the Ucross Foundation. She is currently working on a collection of short stories and a novel.

Carmen Maria Machado is the author of the National Book Award finalist short story collection Her Body and Other Parties; the bestselling memoir In the Dream House; and the limited-run comic series The Low, Low Woods. Her fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, The Believer, McSweeney’s,Guernica, and elsewhere

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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.

2023 Contest Winner

“Carapace” by Matthew Ryan Frankel