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Adult Short Story Contest

Co-founder and president emeritus of the Hurston/Wright Foundation, Marita Golden is a writing teacher and the author of more than a dozen works of fiction and nonfiction, including After, The Edge of Heaven and Saving Our Sons. Her 2017 novel, The Wide Circumference of Love, was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. She lives in Mitchellville, Maryland, and has taught writing at George Mason University, Virginia Commonwealth University and Johns Hopkins University.

Margaret Hutton’s short fiction has appeared in several publications, including The Sun, Artful Dodge and Abundant Grace. She graduated with honors in creative writing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and earned a master of fine arts degree from George Mason University, where she was named the Heritage Writer for distinguished fiction. Hutton, who’s working on a novel, lives in Chevy Chase with her husband and teenage daughter.

Leeya Mehta’s poetry, fiction and nonfiction have been published in the U.S., U.K. and India. She is the author of The Towers of Silence and is an editor with Plume, a poetry publisher. Mehta, who grew up in Mumbai and has traveled through the Arctic borderlands and Japan, lives in Washington, D.C. She is currently finishing a novel set in Mumbai and D.C.


High School Short Story Contest

Joe Callahan is the senior director of development and communications at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. He served for a short time as executive director of The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, and for more than five years as executive director of 826DC, a nonprofit organization that teaches writing to students ages 6-18. Callahan, who lives in D.C., has also taught writing at American University and The George Washington University.

Sandie Angulo Chen is a feature writer, film critic and book reviewer. She’s been writing about movies, books and pop culture for more than 20 years, contributing to outlets such as The Washington Post, Common Sense Media, Entertainment Weekly and Variety. Chen publishes Teen Lit Rocks, a young-adult book blog, and The DC Moms, a local parenting lifestyle website. She lives in Silver Spring with her husband and three kids.

Morowa Yejidé’s novel Time of the Locust was a 2012 finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize, longlisted for the 2015 PEN/Bingham prize and was a 2015 NAACP Image Award nominee for Outstanding Literary Work. Her second novel, Creatures of Passage, will be published in 2019. Her short stories have appeared in the Adirondack Review, the Istanbul Review and others. Yejidé received her master of fine arts degree from Wilkes University in Pennsylvania and is a PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools author. She lives in Montgomery County with her husband and three sons.

Adult and High School Essay Contests

Cathy Alter’s articles and essays have appeared in The Washington Post, Washingtonian, O, The Oprah Magazine and on The Atlantic’s website. She is the author of Virgin Territory, Up for Renewal and CRUSH: Writers Reflect on Love, Longing, and the Lasting Power of Their First Celebrity Crush. A resident of Washington, D.C., she is an adjunct professor in the writing program at Johns Hopkins University and a teacher at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda.

Chelsea Leigh Horne writes fiction, poetry and essays. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Rumpus, Lit Hub, the Paterson Literary Review, the Washington Independent Review of Books and elsewhere. Horne is the world/travel editor at Ragazine, the global online magazine of arts, information and entertainment. She lives in Washington, D.C., and holds a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from American University, where she teaches writing.

Kathleen Seiler Neary lives in Kensington and is an associate editor at Bethesda Magazine. She has been a writer and editor for more than 20 years. She has worked for magazines including George and Ladies’ Home Journal, and her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Parenting and other publications.

Leading Professionals »

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