Winners of National Short Fiction Contest announced

For Immediate Release
Wed, 12/12/2018


Laurence Deutsch

Manager, Communications

Public Library Association (PLA)

CHICAGO  — Six outstanding writers are being recognized for their entries in the Public Library Association’s (PLA) National Short Fiction Contest. This fall, more than 600 writers across the U.S. entered the contest by submitting short stories on the theme of courage. The contest was hosted by PLA in collaboration with French publisher Short Édition and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The contest jury awarded the $1,000 USD first prize to Mim Eichmann, a professional folk musician, composer and choreographer from Wheaton, Illinois, for her story “Slomp.” The jury also awarded $500 USD Honorable Mentions to R.L. Burke, an author and playwright from Snellville, Ga., for “The Invitation” and Donald Ryan, a librarian with the Piedmont (Georgia) Regional Library System, for “Call It What You Will.” All three juried winners will also be given the opportunity to have their stories published in Short Édition’s Short Story Dispensers — ATM-like kiosks that print short stories in a range of genres—around the world.

The public also had a chance to select their favorites in the Readers’ Choice competition. Top vote-getters were “The Ship” by Jasmine Wheeler of Hudson, Ohio, “Bread Crumbs” by Jessica Normile of Tonawanda, New York, and “Quest” by Unoma Nguemo Azuah of Chicago. All 606 qualifying short story submissions can be viewed on the contest site.

The contest was part of the Fostering Creative Community Connections (FCCC) project, an ongoing effort to promote literary expression, community engagement, library programs and services, and creative expression. Through FCCC, PLA and Short Édition supported four libraries in Knight Foundation communities to bring short stories to unexpected places via the Short Story Dispenser. These Dispensers are connected to Short Édition’s digital platform consisting of more than 80,000 stories where diverse writers can share their work via an online community.


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

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit

About Short Édition
The French publishing house, Short Édition, was created in 2011. Since then, it has fostered a robust community of international authors, generated more than 25 million readings and has more than 250,000 subscribers on its collaborative platform. Short Édition’s aim is to adapt literature to the modern world by combining short fiction, community and technology. Their Short Story Dispensers, created in 2016, are elevating the role of story in everyday lives. For more information, visit