Summer 2019 Short Fiction Contest

Short Story Contest
June 1, 2019 to August 15, 2019
Get creative, Steamboat! The Library is seeking new local fiction to add to our Short Story Dispenser.

Summer reading? How about summer writing!

Bud Werner Memorial Library is looking to add local writers to the author lineup in our Short Story Dispenser. Spend the summer months crafting your finest short fiction for submission...and the winners will be rewarded with inclusion in the community's short story machine.

Write on!

About Bud's short fiction contest

The writing contest is open to everyone.

Submitted work must be entirely your own. The genre is fiction, which means the plot, settings and characters are created from your imagination.

The story submission window is June 1-August 15, 2019.

Take your time to write, rewrite and polish: one (1) short story submission is allowed per writer.

As you write, make sure to select your "button target." This is the length of your short fiction, and the "button" readers would push on the dispenser to receive your story.

  • 1 minute button : up to 2,600 characters, including spaces
  • 3 minute button : 2,500-4,800 characters, including spaces
  • Children's story button: up to 4,800 characters, including spaces

Short fiction will be evaluated by a literary panel of judges who will consider the storytelling prowess, grammar and craft. Judges will select the top new stories for publication in the Short Story Dispenser.

Winners will be notified by September 15, 2019. Stories will appear in Bud's Short Story Dispenser soon after.

What's the prize?

If the jury selects your story as a're getting published!
Winning stories will be loaded in Steamboat's Short Story Dispenser. These stories will appear with a special LOCAL WRITER designation on each free printed scroll that emerges with your story printed on it.

How to submit your short fiction

  • Deadline for story submissions is 12 p.m. MIDNIGHT on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019.
  • Submit your short fiction electronically, formatted as a Word document, to
  • At the top of your story submission, please include: story title, name, email address, phone number and "button target" as a 1-minute, 3-minute or children's story.

What is the Short Story Dispenser?

Bud Werner Memorial Library is proud to present Short Edition in Steamboat Springs Colorado's first short story dispenser. This simple-to-use machine is designed to elevate the role of story in our everyday lives, giving everyone the opportunity for a serendipitous literary experience, free of charge. The Short Story Dispense lives by the Circulation Desk at the Library. Visit often. Just press a button, retrieve your paper scroll, and enjoy a short, sweet read designed to entertain, engage and momentarily sweep you away. The dispenser is full of an ever-changing cache of short stories...some of which will soon reflect the work of local authors! These unexpected moments of literary escape are provided to the Steamboat community in memory of Wayne E. Swanson — a lover of stories.


Contact Adult Programs Coordinator Jennie Lay at