Gaithersburg Book Festival Opens Short Story Contest

Homeless girls, vanishing brothers and forced trips to the moon will be the themes for the Gaithersburg Book Festival’s third-annual short story writing contest.

Calling all high school writers in the DC-metropolitan area, the Gaithersburg Book Festival's third annual short story contest is officially open.

According to organizers, young authors can choose one of three themes: "homeless girls," "vanishing brothers" and "forced trips to the moon."

The stories also must start with one of three sentences provided by New York Times bestselling writer Caroline Leavitt, author of “Pictures of You,” “Girls in Trouble” and “Is it Tomorrow,” which will be released in May 2013.

The sentences are:

  • The first time he saw her, she was homeless, sitting in Union Station eating crackers from a paper bag….
  • I was 16 the year my brother vanished….
  • Every summer, whether he or she wanted to or not, one person was chosen to go to the moon….

In order to participate, individuals must be enrolled in grades 9-12 at a public or private school, or in a homeschool program for the 2012-13 school year, and reside in Maryland, Virginia or Washington, DC. 

Stories must be no longer than 1,000 words and must be submitted as a Word document to writingcontest@gaithersburgbookfestival.org by midnight ET on Feb. 15, according to the city.

Up to 15 stories will be selected as finalists and posted on the Gaithersburg Book Festival website prior to the festival on May 18, the city said. The first, second and third-place winners will be announced at the festival and will be awarded $100, $50 and $25 gift certificates, respectively.

In 2012, the short story contest garnered 141 entries written by students from 13 counties in Maryland and Virginia, as well as the D.C.

For more information about the Gaithersburg Book Festival short story contest, visit the official GBF website.


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