2017 Short Story Award

Announcing the

Bethlehem Writers Roundtable

2017 Short Story Award

On January 1, 2017 

we will begin accepting submissions of 

short fiction or memoir 

(2000 words or fewer) 


Paranormal Stories

for our 

2017 Short Story Award

Our 2017 Guest Judge 

Carrie Vaughn
is best known for her New York Times bestselling series of novels about a werewolf 
named Kitty who hosts a talk radio show for the supernaturally disadvantaged, the fourteenth installment of which is Kitty Saves the World.  Her forthcoming novels include a near-Earth space opera, Martians Abroad, from Tor Books, and a post-apocalyptic murder mystery, Bannerless, from John Joseph Adams Books.  She has written several other contemporary fantasy and young adult novels, as well as upwards of 80 short stories.  She's a contributor to the Wild Cards series of shared world superhero books edited by George R. R. Martin and  a graduate of the Odyssey Fantasy Writing Workshop. An Air Force brat, she survived her nomadic childhood and managed to put down roots in Boulder, Colorado.  Visit her at http://www.carrievaughn.com.

2017 Competition Rules:

First Place winner story will receive a $200 cash award and publication of the winning story either in the Bethlehem Writers Group's upcoming anthology of children's stories, Untethered: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Tales of the Paranormal, or as a featured story in Bethlehem Writers Roundtable. (Publication anticipated in 2018).

Our first anthology, 
A Christmas Sampler: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Holiday Tales (2009), won two Next Generation Indie Book Awards: Best 
Anthology and Best Short Fiction.  

Our second anthology, Once Around the Sun: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Tales for All Seasons came out on November 5, 2013, and was a Finalist for Best Anthology in the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. 

Our third anthology, A Readable Feast: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Tales for Every Taste (2015) was a Finalist  in the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

And our latest book, Once Upon a  Time: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Tales for All Ages
(October, 2016) 
contains a story from our 2016 contest winner, Eleanor Ingbretson. Your story could be next!

Second Place and Third Place winners will receive a cash award ($100 and $50 respectively) and publication in Bethlehem Writers Roundtable.

Entry Requirements:
  • Stories must be submitted using the form below (available on January 1, 2017)
  • Entries must be no more than 2000 words
  • All entries must be previously unpublished, and adhere to our Terms and Conditions set out below
  • Submissions open at 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 2017 and must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST, March 31, 2017.
  • Payments are requested within 24 hours of submissions. All payments must be received through PayPal no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on April 1, 2017.
Entry Fee:
  • $10 per story. 
  • First prize: $200 and consideration for inclusion in the upcoming BWG anthology tentatively entitled, Untethered: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Tales of the Paranormal. If it is not accepted for publication in the print anthology, it will be featured in an upcoming edition of the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable. (While there is no guarantee of print publication, all previous contest winners have been accepted to be published in print.)
  • Second prize: $100 and publication in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable.
  • Third prize: $50 and publication in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable.
  • Honorable Mentions: Stories may be selected for Honorable Mention and offered publication in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable. 

  • Initial blind judging will be performed by members of the Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC. Finalists will be notified by May 31, 2017. 
  • Final selection of winners will be done by New York Times best-selling author Carrie Vaughn. 
  • Contest winners will be announced on the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable website and on the Bethlehem Writers Group website (www.bethlehemwritersgroup.com) by June 30, 2017.

Terms and  Conditions:

1. Each story must fall within the paranormal genre, loosely interpreted.
2. All submissions must be made using the 2017 Short Story Award Entry Form on this page during the contest open period.
3. Each story must be the original and unpublished work of the author. Work is considered published if it has appeared in whole or in part anywhere in print or online.
4. Authors must be 18 years of age or older. Proof of eligibility will be required for all prize winners.
5. All entries must be in the English language.
6. Submissions are limited to 2000 words or fewer. Submissions of over 2000 words will be disqualified and entry fees will not be refunded. The title and author's name do not count toward the word limit.
7. Stories are judged anonymously. The author's name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript(s). Please include your story's title in the subject line of the submission form. Your name, address, phone and email address must appear in the appropriate blocks on the submission form.
8. Multiple entries by the same author are permitted. There is a $10 fee required for each entry.
9. All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on March 31, 2017. Submissions received after the deadline will not be opened.
10. An entry fee of $10 is required for each entry. This fee is payable using the PayPal "Buy Now" link below. Your name, email address, and story title must be included with your payment to ensure proper credit. You do not need a PayPal account to use PayPal for this purpose. Payment must be received by midnight (EST) on April 1, 2017. Payments received after the deadline will be returned minus PayPal fees.
11. Simultaneous submissions are permitted, but immediate notification is required if your work is accepted elsewhere for publication. Entry fees are not refundable.
12. By entering this competition, the author agrees to abide by these Terms and Conditions. Any violation of these rules will result in disqualification.
13. Members of the Bethlehem Writers Group, the celebrity judge, and members of any of their immediate families (in the same household) are not eligible to enter. 
14. By submitting to the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable, you certify that the work is solely your own, original work, is unpublished in any other electronic or print format, does not encroach on any trademark or copyright, and does not libel or defame any entity living or dead. You will indemnify and hold Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC harmless from any claims, causes of action, damages, or judgments arising out of publishing your submission.
15. Awards are as follows: FIRST PLACE AWARD: $200 and consideration for publication in BWG's upcoming print anthology. If the story that wins the First Place Award is not selected for inclusion in that anthology, it will be published in Bethlehem Writers Roundtable, the magazine of the Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC.  SECOND PLACE AWARD: $100 and publication in Bethlehem Writers Roundtable. THIRD PLACE AWARD: $50 and publication in Bethlehem Writers Roundtable. HONORABLE MENTIONS (if any) will be listed on the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable website and may be offered publication in Bethlehem Writers Roundtable
16. Award winners, including Honorable Mentions, grant the Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC, first serial publication rights to the winning work. The copyright of the work remains the property of the author, who, two months following publication of the work by the Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC, is free to publish the work elsewhere. Upon any subsequent publication, the author will ensure that work is accompanied by a statement indicating that the work was originally published by the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable or by the Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC, along with the date of such publication. If it was originally published in a print anthology, the name of the anthology will also appear in said statement.
17. Award winners will be notified at the email address provided with the entry. The winners must respond to this notification, with the author's certification that he/she meets all eligibility requirements and agrees to the terms of the award, within ten (10) days of the notification. Failure to respond to the email notification will cause the author to lose his/her place in the contest and the prize will be offered to the next highest scoring submission.
18. The decisions of the judges are final.
19. This offer is void where prohibited by law.

Best of luck!