2017 Short Story Contest

Short Story Contest Logo

The 2017 Texas Observer Short Story Contest is now open for submissions. The winner receives a $1,000 cash prize and publication in print and online in The Texas Observer.

This year's guest judge is Deb Olin Unferth. She is the author of four books, most recently the story collection Wait Till You See Me Dance. Her fiction and nonfiction has appeared in Harper’s, The Paris Review, Granta, Vice, Tin House, the New York Times and McSweeney’s. She received four Pushcart Prizes, a Creative Capital grant and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. An associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin, she also runs a prison creative writing program at the John B. Connally Unit.  

Portrait of Deb Olin Unferth

GRAND PRIZE: $1,000 and publication in the Observer’s October 2017 Issue
GUEST JUDGE: Deb Olin Unferth
DEADLINE: Monday, August 21, 1:00 pm (CST)


  • Finalists may be eligible for publication online at texasobserver.org. 
  • Contest is open to any and all participants regardless of location.
  • No restrictions on genre or theme; Texas settings encouraged but not required.
  • Stories must not exceed 2,500 words.
  • Entry fee is $25 per submission.
  • All stories must be submitted via this online form. No hard copies, please.

Rules and regulations

  • Accepted file types: pdf, doc, docx.
    Make sure the file does not include your name.
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  • $0.00
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