The LSSU High School Short Story Prize is a regional literary competition run by the Lake Superior State University Creative Writing Program for high school writers with a cash award and scholarship. The 2017 contest is open to high school students residing in the United States and Canada. Entries to our third annual competition will be accepted January 1 through April 30, 2017 As last year, all entries will be read blind, with the identities of authors revealed only after judges’ final decisions are made. The winner of the competition will receive a $500 cash prize that can be increased to a $1000 cash scholarship if the winner chooses to attend LSSU. More details are available on our website.
The theme of the contest this year is realistic fiction. Any form of realistic fiction will be accepted as long as stories are set in the real world. Stories will be judged on literary merit. Our judges are looking for short stories written in a compelling voice with a well-developed story, character depth, a detailed setting, attention to language, and a deeper meaning. You can read the 2016 contest winner here and the 2015 contest winner here (the 2016 and 2015 themes were alt-history short stories and post-apocalyptic fiction, respectively).
To enter, submit a story that meets our guidelines using the below form. Enter your address and contact information in the form only; do not enter contact information on the story itself. Stories will be read blind. Entries must be previously unpublished at the time of entry. There is no need to notify us if the publication status changes during the contest. All finalists will be contacted to provide proof of Midwest or Ontario residency and high school student status. The winner's parent or guardian will be required to co-sign his or her publication contract before the winner is announced.
Contest theme: realistic fiction
Maximum story length: 5,000 words
Before you enter, be sure to read the detailed contest rules and entry guidelines:
1. Entrants must be high school students and residents of the United States or Canada. All entries will be read blind, with the identities of authors revealed only after judges’ final decisions are made; location will be checked after decisions are made.
2. Stories must qualify as realistic fiction. For the purposes of this contest, this will mean fiction that takes place in the real world. We are looking for stories written in a compelling voice with a well-developed story, character depth, a detailed setting, attention to language, and a deeper meaning.
3. Stories may be no longer than 5,000 words.
4. Students may enter only once, and stories must have individual authors.
5. Address and contact information should be entered in the form only; please do not enter contact information on the story itself. Stories will be read blind.
6. On the upload form, enter your grade, high school, and current English teacher’s name.
7. Entries must be previously unpublished, online or otherwise, at the time of submission. (There is no need to withdraw stories if they are selected for publication after submission.)
8. The winner will be asked to provide proof of residency and high school student status (homeschool status is acceptable as long as documentation can be provided).
9. The winner must sign a standard Border Crossing publication contract (for first-time North American serial rights only–all other rights remain with the author). For legal minors, the winner’s parent or guardian will co-sign.
10. Per Border Crossing editorial board policy, the winning story may be subject to editing. The judges reserve the right not to award the prize if no entry of winning quality is received.