30 Below Story Contest—2011
The submission period is now closed. You can find active submission categories on the Submit Your Work page.
Narrative is calling on writers, visual artists, photographers, performers, and filmmakers, between eighteen and thirty years old, to tell us a story. We are interested in narrative in the many forms it takes: the word and the image, the traditional and the innovative, the true and the imaginary.
Awards: First Prize is $1,500, Second Prize is $750, Third Prize is $300, and ten finalists will receive $100 each. The prize winners and finalists will be announced in Narrative.
All N30B entries are eligible for the $5,000 Narrative Prize for 2012 and for acceptance as a Story of the Week.
We accept submissions in the following media:
Written: Works of fiction and nonfiction, including short stories, novel excerpts, essays, memoirs, and excerpts from book-length nonfiction. Submissions must not exceed 15,000 words, and should be double-spaced, with 12-point type, at least one-inch margins, and sequentially numbered pages. Please provide your name, address, telephone number, and email address at the top of the first page. Submit your document as a .doc, .docx, .pdf, or .rtf file.
Drawn: Graphic novel excerpts and comics of no more than thirty pages, in .pdf format. Please include your full name in the title of the file name.
Photographed: Photo essays of between five and twenty images, previously unpublished (including on Flickr, your personal website, stock photography sites, etc.). Images should be submitted in a low-resolution .pdf or .jpg format; however, upon acceptance, images need to be provided with a resolution of at least 300 dpi, as a .tif, .jpg, or raw format that can be reproduced at 750 pixels wide. Captions or text should be included, either with the file containing the images or as a separate document in a .doc or .pdf format, with numbered captions corresponding to the similarly numbered photographs. Please provide your name, address, telephone number, and email address on the first page of the essay.
Spoken: Original works of fiction and nonfiction in audio theater, including performance, radio journalism, and stories read aloud. Submissions may run up to ten minutes, in .mp3 format, with a bit rate of at least 128 kbit/s. Please include your full name in the file name.
Filmed: Short films and documentaries of up to fifteen minutes. Submissions must be in .mp4 format. Please include your full name in the file name.
Timing: Entries will be accepted through October 29, 2011. (The contest will close to entries at midnight, Pacific daylight time, on October 29.)
Entry Fee: There is a $20 fee for each entry. And with your entry, you’ll receive three months of complimentary access to Narrative Backstage.
Judging: The contest will be judged by the editors of the magazine. Winners and finalists will be announced to the public by December 1, 2011. All writers who enter will be notified by email of the judges’ decisions. The judges reserve the option to declare a tie in the selection of winners and to award only as many winners and finalists as are appropriate to the quality of work represented in the magazine.
Entries must be previously unpublished, though we do accept works that have appeared in college publications. Entries cannot have been the winner, finalist, or honorable mention in another contest. We accept online entries only. We do accept simultaneous submissions, but if your entry is accepted elsewhere, please let us know as soon as possible (and accept our congratulations!).