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Third Annual Short Story Contest


Denali: photo by Dianne Roberson Hendrix

The Smoking Poet Third Annual Short Story Contest

The Smoking Poet is a literary ezine, established in 2006, and published online on a quarterly basis. TSP’s first annual short story contest is open to all writers, whether they have been past contributors to TSP or not, and in any genre.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three stories: first prize, $300; second prize, $100; third prize, $50. All of the winners will be published in the summer issue of The Smoking Poet, online in mid June 2010.

An entry fee of $10 per submission is required, payment to be made through PayPal. Once you have sent in your submission and we determine it meets our contest guidelines, we will send you the PayPal link for payment with an invoice for your records.

Entries must be submitted as a Word doc file, one per e-mail, in Times New Roman, 12-point font, and double-spaced. The author’s name, address, and telephone number must appear in the upper right hand corner. Word count must not exceed 4,000. Please include a short bio statement, not to exceed 100 words, in the body of your e-mail.

The judges for the contest are Zinta Aistars, editor-in-chief of The Smoking Poet; Lorena Audra Rutens, “A Good Cause” editor at The Smoking Poet; and honorary judge of TSP's Third Annual Short Story Contest is Kevin Morgan Watson, founding publisher and editor of Press 53, a small literary publishing company in Winston-Salem, NC. Literate Yourself!

Submission deadline for the contest is May 31, 2010. Please send your submission with the subject line stating CONTEST/Last Name to If the subject line does not state CONTEST, then we will assume it is a submission for the ezine.

We look forward to reading your best work! See also general submission guidelines for the upcoming summer issue.


Our Honorary Judge: Kevin Morgan Watson


Kevin Morgan Watson, our honorary judge for The Smoking Poet’s Third Annual Short Story contest, is founding publisher and editor of Press 53, a small literary publishing company in Winston-Salem, NC. Literate Yourself! Kevin has been dropping hints that he may be on the lookout for writers to publish at Press 53 among those winning entries coming in to our contest ...


Press 53 is a small independent publisher of literary fiction, poetry, and nonfiction that was founded in October 2005. Kevin Morgan Watson is the founder, owner and fiction editor. Tom Lombardo is poetry editor. Press 53 is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and publishes full-length books by both new and established writers. In addition to finding and showcasing new writers and new books, Press 53 also has a fondness for bringing back great books that are out of print, which are re-issued under the Press 53 Classics imprint.

Photo by Dianne Roberson Hendrix

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