Hampshire Life Editor’s Note: The return of the short fiction competition

Published: 12/13/2019 9:16:42 AM
Modified: 12/13/2019 9:16:29 AM

The Valley is teeming with writers. I have the privilege to be surrounded by them at work — the reporters of this newspaper — and also to highlight other working writers through our pages here. A prime example of the wealth of writers nearby is Steve Pfarrer’s cover story this week on local authors who have created works of historical fiction.

This coming year, Hampshire Life is returning to a role it previously held in this writer-rich region — publishing short fiction. The Hampshire Life short fiction competition begins now. We will be accepting entries of fictional works of at most 1,500 words (please don’t go over), and will publish the top winners in Hampshire Life this spring and awarded prizes.

Entries must adhere to the length requirement as well as be original works by the author, and must also be appropriate for publication in this family newspaper. Apart from that, the choice of subject matter is yours. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. on March 2, and entries must be emailed to

Something new is that the competition is being cosponsored by WHMP, and winners will get the opportunity to read their works on the air. Bob Flaherty, a host of WHMP Morning News with Bob & Denise and a three-time winner of the Hampshire Life short fiction contest, will be one of the judges.

We look forward to reading your submissions! In the meantime, feel free to draw inspiration from the successful authors featured in Pfarrer’s cover story this week. They are Amherst author David Gillham, who imagines an alternate reality where diarist Anne Frank survives the Holocaust, and Susanne Dunlap of Northampton, who incorporates music history into her adult and young adult fiction covering medeival France and early 20th century Russia. Pfarrer also interviews Deerfield author Gita Trelease and Greenfield author Serena Burdick, who write about young women in the past.

— Dave Eisenstadter


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