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Selected Shorts

The Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize

Lit Writing Contest

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 2019 contest:

"Eugenie Is Anointed" by Jackie Thomas-Kennedy

Read the winning story!

We are also happy to share our two semi-finalists:

"Straight to Video" by Caitlin Chappell

"Equations for a Falling Body" by Kimberly Glanzman

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, Kelly Link, had an incredible time reading all of the stories, and an incredibly difficult time selecting just one winner. As she herself said, it was an "embarrassment of riches."

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

Check back later this summer for news about the 2020 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.

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, 2019.
  • 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 May 2019.

2018 Contest Winner

“Joan of Arc Sits Naked in her Dorm Room” by Rachel Engelman