If I Weren’t Me: One Read Flash Fiction Contest

Issues of identity permeate this year’s One Read selection, “Await Your Reply,” with characters seeking new starts and trying on others’ lives. If you’ve ever wanted to become someone else—and who hasn’t?—this is your chance to dream big, in 250 words or less. Tell a tale of self transformation. Spin a yarn about a secret identity. Slip into someone else’s skin and write a short “flash fiction” piece about an imagined fresh start.  Submit your story now through September 20.

Ages 16 and older. Participants must be residents of Boone or Callaway Counties. Winning entries and honorable mentions will be published on the One Read web site and winners will get a book store gift card.

Contest Rules


  • The contest is open to participants 16 years of age and older.
  • Participants must reside within the DBRL Service area (Boone or Callaway County).

Contest Deadline

  • Entries will be accepted through Monday, September 20, 2010. (Mailed entries must be postmarked by that date.)

Submission Requirements and Guidelines

  • One entry per individual.
  • Submissions must be 250 words or less in length.
  • Submissions must be in English.
  • Submissions must include writer’s name, age, address, and e-mail address or phone number for eligibility verification and contact purposes.
  • Entries must be in text format and typed.
  • Entries may be submitted through the One Read website (oneread.dbrl.org), by e-mail, by mail (DBRL, ATTN: One Read Writing Contest, PO Box 1267, Columbia, MO 65205), or dropped off at a DBRL library.
  • Submissions must be original, unpublished works.
  • Each participant must be the sole author and exclusive owner of all right, title and interest in and to his or her submission.
  • DBRL’s publication and use of the submission in accordance with the terms set out herein will not infringe or violate the rights of any third party (including copyright), or require any payment to or consent/permission from any third party.

Content Restrictions

  • The submission must not contain any material that is inappropriate, indecent, profane, obscene hateful, tortious, defamatory, slanderous or libelous.
  • The submission must not contain any material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age.
  • The submission must not contain any material that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations in any jurisdiction where the submission is created;
  • The submission must not contain any commercial content that promotes any product or service of the sponsor or any third party.


  • Entries will be evaluated and the winners chosen based on creativity, grammar and emotion evoked by the writing.
  • Two winners – one from Boone County and one from Callaway County – will be announced by October 1.
  • Winning entries and those receiving honorable mentions will appear on the One Read website.
  • Winners will be notified by phone or e-mail and will each receive a $20 bookstore gift certificate.

6 thoughts on “If I Weren’t Me: One Read Flash Fiction Contest”

  1. I’m sorry we had to limit entries to those in our service area! We hope you will participate in the program in other ways, including attending a book discussion, art and music programs, or the author’s visit. Please watch this site and http://www.dbrl.org for our full schedule of One Read programs happening in September.

  2. I was excited when I read the contest, but then I saw the age requirments…do you have any writing contests for the age of 13?

  3. Thank you for your question. Our One Read program is geared towards adults, and this year’s One Read writing contest is limited to those 16 and older due to some adult themes and situations in this year’s One Read selection. We periodically run contests (photo, art, etc.) for teens of all ages, and announcements for these will appear on our teen blog: http://teens.dbrl.org/.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.