The Texas Observer Short Story Contest 2014

The 2014 Texas Observer Short Story Contest is now open for submissions. The winner receives a check for $1,000 and publication in the magazine and online.

This year’s guest judge is Elizabeth McCracken, author of the recent story collection Thunderstruck (Random House) and Fiction Chair at the University of Texas at Austin’s Michener Center for Writers.

What does Elizabeth look for in a short story? “I’ll steal a line from the great William Boyd,” she tells us, “who once wrote, ‘The great modern short stories possess a quality of mystery and beguiling resonance about them—a complexity of afterthought—that cannot be pinned down or analysed.’ That’s what I want in any short story, that complexity of afterthought: when I finish a short story I want to feel as though my brain has been struck like a gong.”

GRAND PRIZE $1,000 and publication in the Observer’s October 2014 Books Issue
GUEST JUDGE Elizabeth McCracken
DEADLINE August 11, 2014


1. The winning author will receive $1,000 and publication in the 2014 Books Issue of The Texas Observer. Finalists may be eligible for publication online at
2. Contest is open to any and all participants regardless of location.
3. No restrictions on genre; entries with a Texas setting or theme are encouraged.
4. Stories should be unpublished and not exceeding 2,500 words.
5. Entry fee is $25 per submission.

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