In celebration of BART’s 50th anniversary this September, BART is proud to announce our first-ever Short Fiction contest for authors (18+) living across BART’s five counties (San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, and Santa Clara).

With BART Lines, BART shines a light on the literary voices that make the Bay Area the unique, diverse place that it is. Our riders keep BART moving, and we want to highlight the best writers that the region has to offer and showcase it in our stations on our popular Short Story Dispensers.


Starting June 1, we are seeking (very) short stories of 7,500 characters or less (spaces included) that revolve around the theme of:



“Everything is in motion. Everything flows. Everything is vibrating.” -- William Hazlitt (1778-1830).

What does “motion” mean to you? How does it change you? Impact narrative? Transform? Whether it’s a BART ride that made a lasting impact or an (e)motion(al) tale of struggle and triumph, we want to read your interpretation of “motion” across genres, themes, and settings.

BART trips famously offer all kinds of visuals worth pondering, rooted in nature, neighborhood, commerce, and art.



Thirty finalists will be selected, and each will receive a $200 honorarium. The finalists’ stories will live in BART’s Short Story Dispensers, currently located at Balboa Park, Richmond, Pleasant Hill, and Fruitvale stations. The finalists will be selected by our panel of Bay Area literary icons: J. K. Fowler, Daniel Handler, Annalee Newitz, Ishmael Reed, and Ingrid Rojas Contreras.

Our riders have shaped BART over these past five decades. Help us kickstart our anniversary celebrations by sharing your polished storytelling with our thousands of patrons.

Contest Timeline

Submissions open on June 1 2022 at 12:00 am PDT and close on or before June 30 2022 at 11:59 pm PDT, or until 400 eligible applications have been received, whichever occurs first.

Only 400 submissions will be read, so get your work in early. The jurors will select up to 30 finalists.

September 22nd: finalists announcement.

Winners and Prizes

Each finalist will receive a $200 honorarium. All finalists’ work will be published in BART’s Short Story Dispensers, as well as on the Short Édition website.

Selected finalists will be invited to participate in a reading at a BART station with Litquake in October.

Short Édition will also be considering all submissions for international publication in their 300+ Dispensers worldwide.



June 1st 2022 to June 30th 2022
September 22nd 202
  • Submit your short story of maximum 7,500 characters (spaces included)
  • Only 400 submissions will be read, so get your work in early
  • Announcement of up to 30 finalists
  • Each finalist will receive a $200 honorarium
  • All finalists' work will be published in BART's Short Story Dispensers, as well as on the Short Édition website