The Results Are In!

We're proud to announce the winners and runners-up of the Creative Writing Contest for summer 2020. Congratulations to the following authors!

Juried Winner

  • "Bar Lines" by Kristen Loughlin. Kristen, from Downingtown, PA, is a senior undergraduate student at West Chester University and a prospective graduate student at Temple University.

Juried Runners-up

  • "Coif" by Misty Sol. Tara Pearson, artist name Misty Sol, is from Bucks County PA and currently resides in Philadelphia.
  • "To my father" by Jessie Doble. Jessie, from Fairbanks, AK, graduated from Temple in May 2020 with a degree in English and a double minor in sociology and music.

Public Winner

  • "An ode to your last breath" by Nha Nguyen. Nha, who is an aspiring high school student, recently found her passion in poetry and literature. She enjoys writing about morbid and cryptic elements.
Temple University Short Story Dispenser

Temple University Libraries is excited to host its second creative writing contest in partnership with Short Édition, French publisher and creator of the Short Story Dispenser. This summer, things look a little different on campus. The Dispenser has gone quiet, no longer spinning out stories and poetry into everyday life, and a lot of us have been at home, experiencing a "new normal." But that's precisely why this is a time to stay connected, to express ourselves, to spark conversation and listen to one another.

From June 8th to July 24th, Temple Libraries invites all students, faculty, staff, and members of the community, to submit a short story or poem speaking to the theme of this summer's contest: Interruption.

people watching tv interrupted

“Have you ever noticed that life consists mostly of interruptions, with occasional spells of rush work in between?“
- Buwei Yang Chao, in Yuen Ren Chao, trans., Autobiography of a Chinese Woman (1947)

What does "interruption" mean to you? How can it send a character down an unforeseen path? Challenge us in new ways? Lead to better or to worse? Scramble those best-laid plans...

Whether you choose to write directly about coronavirus, about the nationwide movement against racism, or you decide to build an entirely new world, to illustrate the unexpected, a welcome or not-so-welcome pause, or perhaps lost anticipation, in a new way — we want to read your take on "interruption" across all genres, topics and worlds.

Contest Timeline

Submissions open on June 8th at 12:00 a.m. and close on July 24th at 11:59 p.m. The editorial board will select 15 finalists, and the public will select 5 finalists by voting for their favorite submissions online.

All 20 finalists will be announced on August 10th. Once the finalists have been announced, the online community votes will be reset to zero and the public will again be invited to participate in the selection of the public winner by voting for their favorite finalist(s) through August 24th. During this time the final jury will also read the final submissions and select one juried winner and two runners-up.

The final results will be announced on September 8th!

dropped icecream cone

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


June 8th to July 24th
August 10th to August 24th
September 8th
  • Submit your short story and/or poem of maximum 8,000 characters (spaces included)
  • All qualifying submissions will be published on the contest webpage shortly after receipt
  • August 10th: Announcement of finalists
  • 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
  • All finalists are set back to zero votes
  • One winner and 2 runners-up selected by the final jury
  • The public winner selected by the online community
  • September 8th: Announcement of winners

Contact us

For any and all questions, please feel free to contact Temple Libraries at

Read the submissions »