Fostering Creative Community Connections

Promoting public library programs and services for readers and writers through Short Story Dispensers and a national short story contest!

The Public Library Association (PLA) is excited to announce a new initiative funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation: Fostering creative community connections with public libraries and the Short Story Dispenser. PLA is partnering with French startup Short Edition to support four libraries in Knight Foundation communities to bring more than 80,000 stories to unexpected places via the Short Story Dispenser and encourage diverse writers to share their work via its content creation platform. The libraries selected to participate were announced in March 2018.

This initiative builds on a tradition among U.S. public libraries of implementing programs and services related to community engagement and literacy. Public libraries have long been at the forefront of promoting and supporting literacy, literature and the joy of reading. Library staff understand that literacy and reading are foundational to civic participation, educational advancement and economic opportunity. More recently, public libraries have expanded programs and services that encourage and empower people to create and share their creativity through digital media labs, writing programs and 3D printing. This project contributes to increasing the range and creativity of programming and community engagement activities—including by reaching beyond a library’s physical location to deliver services in innovative ways.

National Writing Contest

The contest is now closed. Read our press release for the winner announcement and more information about the authors and their stories.

Even though the contest is over, there are still ways to get involved:

  1. Learn more about the Short Story Dispensers and inquire about purchasing one for your library or community.
  2. Encourage your patrons, students, friends and family to write and submit their short stories to the Short Édition platform during their ongoing contests.
  3. Host writing programs and activities at your library or on campus to help refine writers’ skills, boost confidence and offer Short Édition as a platform to publish their works.

Find programming ideas at Programming Librarian:

  1. WRITE Stuff Writing Club
  2. Cursive Writing Workshop
  3. Make NaNoWriMo Awesome
  4. Host a Write-In

If you have any questions about the Fostering Creative Community Connections initiative, please contact Leighann Wood at