38th Annual Iris & Stanley Shalit Short Story Competition -- Food Glorious Food!

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Event Details

Grades 4-12
Public, Private, Parochial, Home School

Submission Deadline:
March 26, 2022 at 5:00pm

Email submissions to:

About the prompt
The idea of food is so common and ordinary that we don't think about it much.  You need it to survive as food is food, no more, no less.  In general, everybody loves it, everybody needs it.  But in particular, there are some foods you either love or hate.  Some foods scare you, confuse you, sicken you.  Some foods bring positive memories, others negative nightmares, some foods with crazy ingredients, some foods that bring us together, others that drive us apart.  Write a short story with some aspect of food - Recipes? Restaurant? Fast? Takeout? Delivery? Junk? Raw? Ethnic? Synthetic? Fight? Hunger? Grocery store? Celebration? Punishment? Broccoli cupcakes? Rainy with a chance of cheese-snail soup? Too much food? Not enough? - at the center of the characters' lives.  There once was a classic story where aliens landed and they had a wonderful book as a gift to us humans.  It was thoughtfully titled To Serve Man.  But turns out it was a cookbook!  Create your original story around some aspect of food that is central to the plot and conflict.

About the story
The story should revolve around an experience, setting, problem, challenge, tragedy, triumph, or any circumstance that will intrigue readers and bring characters to life.  Describe to readers what the characters look like, how they communicate, and how they act, feel and think.  Develop the main character(s) by including supporting characters.  Describe the place and time in which the story is set.  The prompt is not the title of your story but is meant to provide a creative focus.

Submission Guidelines
  • Stories should include a cover sheet identifying the TITLE, student's name, age, home address, home phone, home email, parent/guardian name and phone, school, grade, teacher's name, teacher's email
  • Stories should be typed, double-spaced, 12-point font, with numbered pages
  • Stories should be carefully edited and proofread, with attention paid to grammar and spelling
  • Stories should be 4-8 pages, no more.  Cover sheet information does not count toward total
  • Stories should be original, fiction, written by one writer
  • Do not attach drawings, photographs, or any other material
  • Stories will not be accepted by mail or drop-off, only PDF
  • Stories should be submitted in PDF format to libraryshortstorycompetition@gmail.com
  • Participation implies consent that these stories may be circulated to a panel of readers
Winners and Prizes
Elementary: 1st place-$100, 2nd place-$75, 3rd place-$50, Honorable Mentions-$25
Middle School: 1st place-$150, 2nd place-$100, 3rd place-$75, Honorable Mentions-$50
High School: 1st place-$250, 2nd place-$125, 3rd place-$100, Honorable Mentions-$50

Winners will be notified by phone and/or email.  Awards ceremony: Saturday, April 30, 2022

Email questions and submissions to: 
Ben Wiley, Short Story Competition Chair

Sponsored by the Friends of the Largo Library
The Friends of the Largo Library reserve the right to duplicate and distribute, in part or in whole, any submitted short story.

Event Type(s): Special Events
Age Group(s): Children, Teen (12-18)