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Vera Hinckley Mayhew Student Creative Arts Contests

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Short Story (General) Contest Rules

  1. The short story contest has two divisions: "General" and "Specialty." A story may be entered in either division but not in both. This contest provides a total award this year of $1,200 for the winners and any outside judges. Judges will generally divide award money among eight winners (four in each division), or among more or fewer than eight depending on the number and quality of the stories submitted in each division. If the quality of submissions is low, the judges may withhold some or all of the awards.
  2. Stories entered in this contest are to be marked (either "General" or "Specialty") according to the division the author selects. Stories entered in the "Specialty" division are to be further designated according to their particular type: science fiction, fantasy, western, mystery, etc. Regardless of the division selected, the stories should conform to standards of taste appropriate for an L.D.S. community. Stories submitted in the "General" division may treat any theme and be of any type within, broadly, the form of the short story. The judges will select the winning stories primarily on the basis of literary merit. Stories submitted in the "Specialty" division are limited in subject matter and method of treatment--but only to the degree that such limitation is conventional for the type of story being written (a time machine, for example, would be acceptable in a science fiction story but not in a western). If the story is intended to be a blend of two or more types, the author should label it accordingly (science fiction/mystery, western/fantasy, etc.). Nonfiction is not considered a genre suitable for the Short Story-Specialty contest. Stories in the "Specialty" division will also be judged according to their literary merit, but special consideration will be given to depth and breadth of imagination and to the author's awareness of whatever conventions exist for that type of story.
  3. The stories should be no longer than 6,000 words and should be typed (double spaced) on regular white typing paper with adequate margins.
  4. All entries are to be uploaded between February 1 and February 6, 2017 before 5:00 p.m to the Mayhew website. No hard copies will be accepted in the College of Humanities office.
  5. The chairmen of the two short story divisions will appoint judges for their divisions. These judges will typically be drawn from published writers, editors, creative writing teachers, and critics.
  6. Each student submitting an entry will upload a PDF file of their entry and fill out the appropriate information giving name, address, and telephone number and certifying (a) that he or she is eligible by proper enrollment at BYU to enter the contest, and (b) that the entry submitted is the student's own creative work. The student's real name will appear only to the Mayhew contest organizers.

Important note: In addition to the specific rules above for the Short Story (General) Contest, see the "General Regulations" giving information on all Mayhew Student Creative Contests. Both the general regulations and the specific rules for each contest should be followed by every student who enters one or more of the contests.

All submissions require a cover sheet (filled out online) and must be submitted online. Online submissions will open on February 1st, 2016.

Contest Contact Information

Stephen Tuttle
General Division Chairman
4139 JSFB, Telephone 422-4425