Bucks County Short Fiction Contest For High School Students
Call for Entries - 2023
The sixth annual Bucks County Short Fiction Contest for High-School Students invites entries from high school students who are residents of Bucks County, PA, or who are enrolled in high schools within the county. Home-schooled students are also eligible.
Submit your story
All students who are residents of Bucks County, PA, or are enrolled in a high school (grades 9-12) in Bucks County, PA, are eligible. Home-schooled Bucks County, PA students are also eligible.
- Each entrant may submit one original short story. Stories must be previously unpublished, including in online blogs or publications. No fan fiction (based on existing books, movies or other media) is acceptable.
- Stories should be double-spaced, in Times New Roman 12, with standard margins. Stories may be five to ten pages, double spaced (about 1,450-2,400 words). DOC or DOCX.
- Please place the title of the story in the upper right-hand corner. Your name should not appear anywhere on the document.
- Please fill out the Entry Form completely and submit your story by 12 p.m. (noon) by Thurs. March 16, 2023. Entries must be submitted electronically. No paper submissions will be accepted. There is no cost to enter the contest.
- Entries that do not follow these rules may be disqualified.
Notification of Winners
Winners will be notified by the Director of the BCCC Short Fiction Contest. All contestants will be notified using the phone number or email address you provided. Note: It’s a good idea to check your phone and email in the week following the contest. If your submission cannot be accessed, this is how the contest director will attempt to reach you.
- First place: $200 Honorarium
- Second place: $100 Honorarium
- Third place: $50 Honorarium
A celebratory event will be held on Weds. April 19, at 7 p.m.
The Bucks County Community College is the sponsor of the Bucks Short Fiction Contests. The contest receives support from the Department of Language and Literature. The contest director is Bucks County Community College Professor Elizabeth Luciano. Faculty of the department will serve as judges.
Professor Elizabeth Luciano at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2023 Winners of the Short Fiction Contest for High School Students
The Bucks County Short Fiction Contest for High School Students is pleased to announce the winners for Spring 2023. There were 41 entries this year.
Henry Franklin, a senior at Pennsbury High School, was awarded first place for his story, “The Portraits of Randal Holmes.” Erin Hernandez, a senior at Neshaminy High School, won second place for “Do NOT Help Orphans You Find on the Street.” Emily Myers, also a senior at Neshaminy High School, captured third place for “I Did Something Bad.” Dr. Erangee Kumarage, a faculty member at Bucks County Community College, made the final selections.
A reception for the winners and their friends and family will be held on the Newtown campus later this month. The winners will receive certificates and gift cards of $200, $100, and $50, respectively.
For more information, contact the contest coordinator, Prof. Elizabeth Luciano, at Elizabeth.Luciano@bucks.edu.
"The Portraits of Randal Holmes"
First place winner
Kumarage cited Franklin’s’ story as “A sophisticated critique of corporate greed, capitalism, and the complicity of the church and state in the oppression of the workers. The protagonist, Randal Holmes, is a compelling figure who appears to be more a vessel for art than an artist and who can’t help but fulfill the prophecy in his art. The prose contains vivid imagery (“His mental servos collapsed; his cognitive cylinders silenced”). The story invites multiple readings, so intricate is its symbolism.”
"Do NOT Help Orphans You Find on the Street"
Second place winner
Of Hernandez’s entry, Kumarage said, is “a story that reminds you that if you’re going to wish for immortality, make sure you’re not a seven-year-old (“…do you know how hard it is living as a seven year old? I’ve been to kindergarten more times than I can count and no matter how fluent I am at reading they refuse to move an orphan up a grade”). The narrator skillfully changes our attitude towards Jeremy, from suspicion and fear to sympathy, and reminds the reader that the only weapon against unasked-for immortality is humor.”
"I Did Something Bad"
Third place winner
In Myers’s “I Did Something Bad,” Kumarage noted, “a high-school drama about Valentine’s Day plans gone awry turns into an unexpected thriller with a narrator who only reveals herself at the end of the story. The misdirection of the reader by the narrator as to who the real protagonist of the story is takes this tale from the predictable to the ‘Who saw that coming?’”