Story zone: Big writing contest strikes again

It's time for you to take your seat in front of the keyboard and begin to cast your magic spell. Tell your story. The Hook Fiction Contest is back.

Prizes and such

The grand-prize winner receives $700. There's $200 each for two or other winners– who will be published in the spring. Bonus prizes for all winners: a year's subscription to UVA literary mag Meridian, and a dinner certificate for fine dining at Oxo restaurant.

The winners will also be officially saluted at the opening event of this year's Virginia Festival of the Book ( on Wednesday, March 16. This year's Festival hotshots (besides you, of course) include Alexander McCall Smith, Linda Fairstein, and former NPR icon Bob Edwards.

Three special celebrity judges will make the final decision:

* last year's winner Sarah C. Honenberger,

* Meridian editor and past winner Jeb Livingood,

* well-known globe-trotting author Don Webster


The Rules

All manuscripts must be typed in 12 pt. or larger font, double-spaced, on 8 1/2" x 11" paper.

All manuscripts must be stapled, and with the author's name, address, phone, and email (if any) clumped within a match-book-size area on the cover sheet (so we can temporarily hide the name during the judging). Entries with your name in a header or footer on each page will be discarded.

We're looking for short stories of no more than 3,500 words that have not been published either in print or electronically.

By entering, you give The Hook permission to use your name, story, and even your smiling face in our pages and on our website.

We usually get more than 100 submissions, so, in keeping with our name, make sure your story "hooks" us from the first page, and please make sure it has conflict, dialogue, action, and resolution. Essays are not stories.

Anyone– professionals and amateur– can win, and everyone retains rights to re-publish their story in other places after it has run in The Hook.

Please check your manuscript for errors; we can't accept hand-corrected copies. No emailed or faxed entries!

Those whose stories withstand the scorching heat of our judges' scrutiny will win and will be notified by the end of the day Wednesday, March 2.

There is a limit of two (2) manuscripts per author. Please enclose your entry fee of $5 for one story or $10 for two stories.

Deadline: 5pm, Tuesday, February 1. We don't care about postmarks; the manuscript must be in the Hook newsroom by deadline.


Mail or carry your entry and fee to:

Fiction Contest

The Hook

100 Second St. NW

Charlottesville, VA 22902