Fiction Contest

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Best of the Day: Celebrate the winners of CL's Fiction Contest

Posted By on Wed, Dec 18, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Karen Brown
  • Karen Brown

CL Space will be the site of Wild celebration tonight.

"Wild" was the theme of this year's Creative Loafing Fiction Contest, and besides being the impetus for way too many bad editorial puns, it also yielded a bumper crop of terrific stories by Florida writers. Karen Brown, an award winner herself for such books as the wonderful story collection Pins & Needles, chose the Top 10 entries in the CL contest. Readers then got a chance to vote online, and tonight we'll announce both the Readers' Choice and Karen Brown's selection for the Judge's Prize. The winners and Brown will read from their work, and we'll honor everyone in the top 10, who are (in alphabetical order):

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Creative Loafing Fiction Contest: Have you voted yet?

Posted By on Wed, Dec 11, 2013 at 12:22 PM


There's a only a short time left to vote in CL's Fiction Contest, and if you haven't voted yet, better hurry — the tallies have been very close so far, and you might be able to send your favorite over the top.

The theme of this year's contest was "Wild," which writers were free to interpret any way they liked. The contest judge, award-winning writer Karen Brown, has made her pick for the #1 story. But readers can continue voting today, Dec. 11, until 5 p.m. at

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Go wild: Cast a vote in CL's 2013 Fiction Contest

Posted By on Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 2:59 PM


We received a truly wild assortment of entries to Creative Loafing's 2013 Fiction Contest, which makes sense because that was the theme: "Wild" — interpreted any way the authors saw fit.

Our contest judge — award-winning novelist and short story writer Karen Brown — has chosen the Top 10 stories in the competition, and readers now get to choose a favorite from that list. Voting continues at until Wed. Dec. 11 at 5 p.m.

The winners of the Judge's Prize and Readers' Choice will be announced at an awards reception and reading on Wed., Dec. 18, at 7:30 in CL Space, 1911 N. 13th, Tampa. The winning stories will be published in CL's Fiction and Books Issue on Dec. 19.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Creative Loafing Fiction Contest: Time's running out

The deadline for entering is Wed., Nov. 27, at 5 p.m.

Posted By on Tue, Nov 26, 2013 at 5:04 PM


If you've been procrastinating, or rewriting, or rewriting as a form of procrastinating, you need to take a look at the time. You've only got 24 hours till the final deadline for entering the 2013 Creative Loafing Fiction Contest.

If you know you've got a winning story but you just want to give it a few more tweaks — well, alright, but don't say we didn't warn you: Time is running out. The deadline for submitting your entry is Wednesday, Nov. 27 at 5 p.m.

Here are the contest basics:

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Go Wild: Enter the Creative Loafing Fiction Contest

Posted By on Thu, Oct 31, 2013 at 4:06 PM


Creative Loafing's 2013 Fiction Contest invites Florida writers to send us their wildest imaginings. The theme is "Wild" — and that's all we'll say. Entrants are free to interpret the theme any way they like, and incorporate it into their stories any way they like.

This year's judge is the prize-winning short story writer and novelist Karen Brown (Pins and Needles, The Longings of Wayward Girls). The judge's prize is $500, readers' choice wins $250, and entry dates are Oct. 31-Nov. 27.

Submit your stories at

Read more after the jump.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Creative Loafing Fiction Contest 2012: The Top 10

Posted By on Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 10:40 AM


It took longer than planned, but here's what the world has been waiting for (and I'm not talking about the apocalypse): the judges' selections for the top 10 stories in the 2012 Creative Loafing Fiction Contest.

They are (in alphabetical order): “Cigar City Angel Dust”; “Death Roll”; “Euquerio”; “Fifteen Is the Dog”; “Finders and Seekers”; “It Invariably Happens Right Down the Street”; “The Prodigal Cigar”; “The Tabaquero's Squirrel”; “The War Is Over”; and “Ybor Noir.”

One of these stories has already been selected as the winner of the judges' prize, to be announced in the CL issue of January 3, 2013. But the winner of the readers' prize? That's up to you, and you can vote right now at; voting ends on Thursday Dec. 27 at 9 a.m.

The readers' choice winner will also be published in the Jan. 3 issue, and both winners will be invited to read at a public event on Sat. Jan. 12 at CL Space, Creative Loafing's events venue.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Creative Loafing Fiction Contest deadline extended to Fri. Dec. 14

Posted By on Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 2:28 PM


We're getting lots of good Ybor stories, but with the holiday crush in full effect we thought it'd be a good idea to give writers a little more time.

So the deadline for Creative Loafing's Fiction Contest, which had originally been set for Wed. Dec. 12, has been extended to Fri. Dec. 14 at 5 p.m.

That means you have till the end of the week to send us your stories. The theme is Ybor, but that doesn't necessarily mean it has to be set in Ybor. Read the guidelines and submit your entry form here.

And remember, we're giving cash prizes to the judges' and readers' winners. Judges are Jeff Parker, head of the University of Tampa's MFA in Creative Writing program; Paul Guzzo, senior writer at Cigar City Magazine; and myself, CL editor in chief. The top stories will be posted for voting beginning Dec. 17; the winning stories will be printed in the Jan. 3 issue of Creative Loafing, and a reading will be held at CL Space on Sat. Jan. 12.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Got an Ybor story? Enter CL's Fiction Contest

Posted By on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 4:10 PM


The theme of this year's Creative Loafing Fiction Contest stays close to home: Ybor City.

We're accepting submissions from now through Dec. 12 at Entrants can incorporate Ybor in any way and in any era: as setting, as idea, as part of a character's biography, whatever works. You can base your story in Ybor's past, present or future, or conjure up an Ybor that is entirely imaginary. You don't even have to set your story in Ybor, but Ybor must inform the story's events in some way.

Stories can be no longer than 3,000 words. A team of judges will select a top 10, and readers will be able to vote on their favorites beginning Dec. 17. The judges' winner receives $500; the readers' choice wins $250. The winning story (or stories) will be published in the Jan. 3, 2013 issue of Creative Loafing, and winners will be invited to read their work at a public event in January in CL Space, Creative Loafing's events venue.

Submission deadline is Wed. Dec. 12 at 5 p.m. You'll find all the details at

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Friday, December 23, 2011

CL Fiction Contest: Vote for your favorite

The judges have made their choices; now it's the readers' turn to weigh in.

Posted By on Fri, Dec 23, 2011 at 12:44 PM


We received over 80 stories for this year's Creative Loafing Fiction Contest, all related directly or peripherally to the contest theme, "Heat." Thank you to all who entered; the judges (University of Tampa's Jeff Parker, CL columnist Catherine Durkin Robinson and myself) had to make some tough choices. Here are our selections for the top ten stories, listed in alphabetical order by title:

"Bag Boy"; "The Curling Iron"; "Death by Bebop"; "The Guns and Queens of Rocky Point"; "Hot Air Cadillac"; "Looking in the Wrong Direction"; "Reap What You Sow, or Sing"; "Teenage Wasteland"; "Twilight and Brimstone"; "Volcano Kicking."

Now it's the readers' turn to weigh in.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Creative Loafing Fiction Contest: It's your last chance to enter

Submission deadline is today at 5 p.m. Reader voting begins on Dec. 23.

Posted By on Thu, Dec 22, 2011 at 7:31 AM


This is it: your last day to enter the Creative Loafing Fiction Contest. The deadline for submissions is today, Thurs. Dec. 22, at 5 p.m. The theme is "Heat."

Once the judges have received all the entries, they'll choose a top 10 and post those stories on the contest site at 12 noon Fri. Dec. 23. Readers will then have until 12 noon Fri. Dec. 30 to vote for their favorites. We'll announce the winner of the judges' and the readers' top prizes in the issue of Jan. 5, followed by a public reading at CL Space on Sun. Jan. 8.

Write away!

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