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Gaithersburg Book Festival Launches Eighth Annual Short Story Contest with Bigger Prize Pot

Gaithersburg Book Festival logo.jpgFor the second year in a row, the Gaithersburg Book Festival is giving high school students the freedom to explore their writing creativity for its short story contest with no opening lines or artwork to serve as inspiration.

The festival is also giving winners more money. The first-place winner will receive $250 (up from $100). The second-place winner will receive $100 (up from $75). The third-place winner will receive $50, as in years past, and the fan favorite will again receive $25.

Prizes are provided courtesy of the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus, which also sponsors the festival.

"Last year’s decision to remove all limits and constraints on topic paid off," said Jud Ashman, festival chair and Mayor of the City of Gaithersburg. "The breadth of submissions and quality of work was impressive."

To participate in the short story contest, students must be enrolled in grades 9-12 at a public or private school, or be in a homeschool program, for the 2017-18 school year. Entrants must reside in Maryland, Virginia or the District of Columbia.

Stories cannot exceed 1,000 words and must be submitted electronically at by midnight ET  Thursday, Feb. 22.

Up to 12 stories will be selected as finalists and posted on the Gaithersburg Book Festival website prior to the Book Festival. The first-, second- and third-place winners and the fan favorite will be announced at the festival on Saturday, May 19.

Complete rules and regulations can be found online at




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