Short Story

Mary Mackey Short Story Prize Category

1st Prize: $100…. 2nd Prize: $50…. Third Prize:…. $25

Category Details

Up to 4,000 words. One story per entry. I am looking for well-crafted stories that are original and compelling. The story must demonstrate a mastery of and love for the English language. It must move, not wallow. The characters need to be vivid, the dialogue convincing. Above all, something must happen. This need not be a grand event, but some change must take place: an event, a revelation, or perhaps an insight. Please do not submit your story until you have polished and revised it multiple times. A great short story changes the reader. I look forward to being changed.

About Judge/Sponsor

MARY MACKEY (Berkeley/Sacramento, CA) Her published works consist of fourteen novels, including The Village of Bones, The Year the Horses Came, and The Widow’s War (San Francisco Chronicle bestseller); and seven books of poetry including Sugar Zone, which won the 2012 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Literary Excellence. Mackey’s books have sold over a million and a half copies and been translated into twelve foreign languages including Japanese, Hebrew, Russian, and Finnish. Four times her poetry has been featured on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. A screenwriter as well as a novelist and part of the Mackey/DePalma script writing team, she has sold feature scripts to Warner Brothers as well as to various independent film companies. She occasionally writes comedy under the pen name Kate Clemens.


Last Year’s Winners (2016)

First Prize: Anita Zachary of Claremont, CA for “Moochy”
Second Prize: Gail A. Kenna of Wicomico Chur, VA for “El Amor no Correspondido (Unrequited Love)”
Third Prize: Rebecca Redshaw of Mount Vernon, WA for “Mrs. ‘C’”

Honorable Mentions: Teresa Burns Murphy of Fairfax, VA for “Hooks”; Cynthia Gordon Kaye of Palo Alto, CA for “Snow Day”; Lyndsey Ellis of Oakland, CA for “Chitlins in Mid-July”; Louise Kantro of Modesto, CA for “The Copy, the Lawyer, the Kids, and Love in a Complicated World”