Who, What, When, and Where?

From January 14th to March 8th, Temple University Libraries invites all students, faculty and staff to participate in a creative writing contest to commemorate the new Charles Library, publish selected works in the Short Story Dispenser, and celebrate short fiction across campus. Submissions must be short stories or poems of less than 8,000 characters, spaces included.

The theme of this contest is: transformation

French novelist, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, wrote, “A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.”

Transformation can take all shapes and sizes within our lives, whether it’s an interior transformation or something you can see taking place in the world around you.

What transformation will take place in your story?

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Temple Short Story Dispenser

A transformation is happening at Temple University right now. Every day, the plans are more fully realized, another brick is laid, and the new Charles Library is slowly coming to life. This won’t be the only literary renewal on campus this year, however.
Beginning in April 2019, a mysterious machine will find its home at Temple, reeling out short stories, showcasing students’ work, and stirring up a creative writing awakening across campus. What sort of curious machine will emerge and re-enchant students with daily doses of fiction? A Short Story Dispenser, created by French publisher, Short Édition.

Contest Timeline

Submissions open on January 14th at 12:00 a.m. and close on March 8th at 11:59 p.m. The editorial board will select 15 finalists and 5 stories with the highest amount of community votes will be selected as the public finalists.

All 20 finalists will be announced on March 8th. The final jury will then have two weeks to select one winner and two runners-up, and the public will also be invited to vote on their favorite stories during this time to participate in the selection of a public winner. Final results will be announced in April!

Winners and Prizes

The juried winner will be awarded $250 and each juried runner-up, $100. The public winner will be awarded $125. All winners and other selected works will be published on campus in the Short Story Dispenser. As well, Short Édition will be considering all submissions for international publication in their Dispensers worldwide.

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To sum up

January 14th to March 8th
March 8th to March 22nd
March 22nd to April 5th
  • Submit your short story or poem of maximum 8,000 characters (spaces included)
  • All qualifying submissions will be published on the contest webpage shortly after receipt
  • The public is invited to participate in the selection of 5 of the 20 finalists by voting for their favorite works
  • 15 works selected by the Editorial Team as finalists
  • 5 works selected as finalists based on the highest number of votes from the online community
  • March 22nd: Annoucement of finalists
  • One winner and 2 runners-up selected by the Jury
  • All finalists are set back to zero votes, and the public is again invited to participate in the selection of the public winner by voting for their favorite finalists during these two weeks

  • April: Annoucement of winners


For any question, contact us at libraries@temple.edu