Editor’s note: We initially listed the wrong email address for our new contest. Please send your Jewish fiction to firstname.lastname@example.org — and if you sent us a story on or before March 27, please send it again. We apologize (we’re just a 4-person nonprofit team, we make mistakes!!) and can’t wait to read your stories!
Here’s something new: The Hey Alma team is incredibly excited to announce our first ever short fiction contest, open now.
We’re looking for previously unpublished Jewish short stories (more on that in a bit) of any genre. Emerging and established writers are all welcome to submit. Finalists will be selected by the staff of Hey Alma, and the winner will be chosen by guest judge T Kira Madden (more on her in a bit).
So, what makes a short story a Jewish short story? We’re pretty much leaving that up to you. It can feature Jewish characters, delve into Jewish themes, or play off famous Jewish texts. It can take place in a bagel shop in New York City or somewhere out in space (the Jewniverse, if you will). It can be super Jewish, or subtly so. If it feels Jewish to you, chances are we’ll agree.
Above all, we’re looking for a compelling story, beautiful prose and an exciting voice. Guest judge T Kira Madden, author of the critically acclaimed memoir “Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls” and the forthcoming novel “Whidbey” from HarperCollins, shared this about what she’ll be looking for in the winning story:
“I never know what to say when asked what I’m reading for. Which is to say, I fall in love with any piece that shows me what I didn’t know I wanted, or needed, all along. I know I need sentences that feel destined for their arrangement, and work that radiates a blazing sincerity from the page. Always, I want to finish a piece with more questions than answers; questions for the world, for myself, for our collective selves. I can’t wait to read your stories!”
The winner will be published on Hey Alma this spring and awarded a $250 honorarium (and a Hey Alma sweatshirt for good measure). Submissions will be open until May 1, 2023. To submit, please follow these guidelines:
- Stories should be 3,000 words or less, and must be previously unpublished
- Send your story as a Word or Google doc to email@example.com
- In the body of the email, please provide your name and a brief bio that includes anything we might want to know about you
- We will only accept one story per submitter (so choose your favorite!)
- Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please notify us immediately if your piece has been accepted elsewhere
We cannot wait to read your stories! Good luck!