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The Public Library Association (PLA), a division of the American Library Association, is inviting writers to submit original works of short fiction for a National Writing Contest taking place this fall.

Only original works of short fiction written by the submitter will qualify. Submissions must be in English and fit within the contest theme of “courage.” Submissions may not exceed 8,000 characters, including spaces, and must be submitted electronically; paper manuscripts will not be accepted.

The submission portal will open at 12 a.m. Central Time on Tuesday, Sept. 25. All entries must be submitted prior to 11:59 p.m. Central Time on Tuesday, Oct. 30. The winners will be notified in early December.

The jury’s top selection will receive $1,000, and $500 prizes will be awarded to up to two additional submissions. Full contest details, including the submission portal, are available at

The contest is part of the Fostering Creative Community Connections (FCCC) project, which seeks to promote reading and literary joy through public libraries. The project is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and managed by the PLA, in partnership with community publisher Short Edition.

 About the Public Library Association

The Public Library Association (PLA) is the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. Founded in 1944, PLA serves nearly 10,000 members in public libraries large and small in communities across the United States and Canada, with a growing presence around the world. PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders. For more information about PLA, contact the PLA office at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext.5PLA, or

Need help formatting your entry? Try Pressbooks, one of the newest tools for writers and publishers available through the library. Visit our self-publishing resources page for details.

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