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Selected Shorts

The Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize

Stella Memorial 2020

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.

We are excited to announce the winner of the 2020 contest:

"Prayer for the Ides of February" by Caitlin Campbell

Watch Tony-nominated actor Emily Skeggs reading the winning story!

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

Katy Sewall: “The Entomologist's Girlfriend”

Jennifer Jacobson: "Trouble and Bones"

Thank you to everyone who entered. We feel so lucky that you chose to submit your work to us. We know how much goes into the creative writing process, and are honored when authors like you choose to share what you have crafted. This year's judge, Nicole Chung, had an incredible time reading all of the stories, and an incredibly difficult time selecting just one winner.

We wish you the best of luck with your writing and hope you will consider submitting again next year.

Check back in September for news about the 2021 Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize. The winning work will be performed and recorded live at a Selected Shorts performance at Symphony Space, and published on Electric Literature. The winning writer will receive $1000 and a free 10-week course with Gotham Writers.

Event partner:

Media partner:

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 1, 2020.
  • 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 2020.

2019 Contest Winner

“Eugenie Is Anointed” by Jackie Thomas-Kennedy

Read