Short stories judged in two age group categories: youths and adults

By Staff Report

Image result for Person writing on typewriterSilicon Valley fiction writers, let’s get creative during COVID.

Life Media Group, the publisher of Morgan Hill Life and Gilroy Life, is partnering with literary agent Elizabeth K. Kracht of Kimberley Cameron & Associates to sponsor a “Connect in the South Valley” short story writing contest to encourage Santa Clara County residents to ignite their imaginations — and possibly win a $1,000 prize for their literary efforts.

The contest reflects the “connecting” theme of this year’s Silicon Valley Reads, the annual program presented by the Santa Clara County Library District, Santa Clara County Office of Education, and the San Jose Public Library to encourage all residents to enjoy books around a specific theme. (None of these agencies are officially affiliated with the Life Media Group short story writing contest.)

Submitted stories must use the South Valley region (the part of the county south of Bernal Road) as a setting.

This can include placing the story in a county park or Henry W. Coe State Park, at one or the region’s many wineries, at a local restaurant, a specific school, or at a local event such as the Gilroy Garlic Festival or the Mushroom Mardi Gras.

Stories can also include real people such as the mayors of Morgan Hill or Gilroy or other local dignitaries.

A resident of Morgan Hill, Kracht has been a literary agents at Kimberley Cameron & Associates for more than a decade. She represents both literary and commercial fiction as well as nonfiction.

Kracht is excited about the contest because it gives county residents an opportunity to share in a fun way the wonders of southern Silicon Valley.

“South County is rich in setting detail. My hope is the contest will encourage writers to explore the area,” she said. “My favorite books and stories develop setting as if it were a character.”

Here are the contest rules:

  • Only one short story per author may be submitted. Include phone number and email address of author or author’s parents if a youth.

  • The maximum wordcount for a story is 2,000 words.

  • Stories must be based in the South Valley region of Santa Clara County (the region south of Bernal Road that includes the Morgan Hill, Gilroy and San Martin communities) and bring in the theme of “connecting” in this region.

  • Stories must follow the theme of “connection” in whatever way the writer might wish to explore including relationships, art, music, books, nature, food, or animals.

  • If a real person is used in the story’s plot, written signed permission from that person must be provided when submitting the story. All stories will be vetted for libelous information.

  • Short stories will be judged in two age groups – 18 and younger and 19 and older (the author’s birthday before April 1, 2021).

  • Three short stories from each age group will be awarded prizes of $25 gift certificates to downtown Morgan Hill restaurant Rosy’s at the Beach and $25 gift cards to BookSmart bookstore in Morgan Hill.

  • Out of these six winning contest entries, a first-place overall winner will be awarded a $1,000 prize.

  • Mail the story to Life Media Group’s office at 17485 Monterey Road #102, Morgan Hill, CA 95037. Or email the story as a Word document to [email protected].

  • The deadline is midnight March 31, 2021.

  • All six winning stories will be published on the websites of Morgan Hill Life and Gilroy Life newspapers.

  • If winning contestants wish to read their story for video or audio, they can submit that digital content for the story’s webpage.