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The Short Version

As Island Books moves closer to its 40th anniversary, we wondered how to celebrate so many years of bookselling. How many volumes, how many stories, how many words have crossed our counters? No idea. But it's never enough.

So we're calling for more by hosting a fiction contest. Here are the details:

  • No thematic or topical restrictions. Whatever you want to write about is fine by us.
  • We're looking for flash fiction, sudden fiction, short-short fiction, call it what you will. Your limit is 1000 words. One submission per person, please.
  • We'll choose three winners, one in each of three age categories: Adult (18 and over), Teen (13 to 17), and Kid (12 and below). Winners will each receive a $50 Island Books gift certificate.
  • You can submit stories via email (send to with the subject line THE SHORT VERSION) or in person. Please include your contact information (phone number and/or email address) and your age (if you're not submitting in the adult category). In-person submissions will not be returned.
  • Your deadline is close of business (5:00pm PST) Sunday, March 17, 2013.
  • Winners will be announced on or before March 31, 2013 on the Island Books blog, Message in a Bottle. Winning stories will be published there subsequently.
  • No previously published material, please. Island Books reserves the right of first publication on our blog and/or our store website for all submitted material in entirety or in excerpt. After that, your story's all yours.
  • Current employees of Island Books and their immediate families are ineligible.  

Clear enough? We're excited to start reading your miniature epics, so send 'em our way soon!