Short Story Contest, Writer’s Workshops at Champaign Library


cup, pencil, pad & Short Story Contest title
Love to write? Hone your skills and connect with other writers at our Writer’s Workshops. We launched the series in spring 2019, combining hands-on workshops taught by experts and an annual Short Story Contest for community members.

Writer’s Workshops | Fall 2022

Wednesdays, 7 pm
Meets at Main Library

Sep 7, Where to BeginMolly MacRae
Sep 21, Story Elements: Setting and Suspense – Andrea Sielicki

Oct 5, Story Elements: Pacing and Point of View Ekta Garg
Oct 19, Story Elements: Conflict and Resolution    

Nov 2, Finishing Your Story Julian Parrott
• Nov 30, Short Story Awards Ceremony & Reading 

2022 Short Story Contest

Enter to win! Stories can be up to 2500 words. Entries due November 11, 2022. Guidelines + entry form »

Grand Prize One-on-one consultation with Ted Sanders, Director of Creative Writing in the Department of English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Professional headshot for   your author’s portfolio. An annual membership to MasterClass for access to online writing courses. Opportunity to read your story, or have an actor read it for you, at the Short Story Awards Ceremony, and have your story published on our website for the community to read.

2nd + 3rd Place – Opportunity to read your story, or have an actor read it for you, at the Short Story Awards Ceremony, and have your story published on our website for the community to read. One-year subscription to Writer’s Digest Magazine.

Short Story Contest Winners

Our 2021 Short Story Contest included entries from community members who participated in the Writer’s Workshops series. The top three stories were read  publicly and the awards were announced at a ceremony in November 2021. The judges were Ashanti Files, John Milas, and Molly Thornton. Congratulations to the winners!

• 1st Place Winner – James F. Smith, “A Portrait of Entropy” | Read story »
• 2nd Place Winner – J.L. Barr, “Good Things” | Read story »
• 3rd Place Winner – Louise Audrieth, “An Unkindness of Ravens” | Read story »

winner smiling, library lobby holding certificates

First place winner of the 2021 Short Story Contest, James F. Smith.

2020 Winners

• 1st Place Winner – Andrea Alghalith, “Lulu” | Read story »
• 2nd Place Winner – Bethan Owen, “Seashell Bones” | Read story »
• 3rd Place Winner – Louise Audrieth, “Sarah and Me” | Read story »

winner smiling, standing in front of library holding certificates

First place winner of the 2020 Short Story Contest, Andrea Alghalith.

2019 Winners

• 1st Place Winner – Jessica Launius, “To the West” | Read story »
• 2nd Place Winner – Murillo Soranso, “Questions” | Read story »
• 3rd Place Winner – Julie Wagner, “First Haunt” | Read story »

3 winners standing together holding certificates

Winners of the 2019 Short Story Contest (from left): Murillo Soranso, second place; Julie Wagner, third place; and Jessica Launius, first place.

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