In the spirit of excellence in teaching and fine writing Our Stories is proud to offer the Richard Bausch Short Story Prize. Enter our contest from now until January 15th and receive a customized review with your submission fee. It's the conest where everyone wins.
Richard Bausch is one of the finest professors in the creative writing field, author of eleven novels, numerous awards and countless short stories. He currently holds the Moss Chair at the University of Memphis. He is known for his tireless support of his students and his honest and open feedback, which has helped some of the finest writers achieve their greatness.
2009 Winner - Pigs On the Levee
THE RAINS BEGAN TOWARD THE MIDDLE OF MAY. Not constant, intermittent yet persistent, rain the way early comers arrive to a sporting event. And the river kept rising. Not alarmingly, just subtly higher at the end of each week. Certainly Harlan Winslow was not concerned that his one hundred acres of prime river bottom had become too muddy to work. He already had his crop in. The dry days of late June, July and August were just ahead. He had other work to suck up his time.
I’VE BEEN BACK HOME TWO WEEKS, AND AS I LOOK OUT A CORNER WINDOW I STILL CAN’T GET OVER HOW MUCH THE MOUNTAINS EAST OF TOWN MIRROR THE CRACKING PEAKS CIRCLING KABUL. It’s early summer warm in the carpeted chapel. My youngest daughter Hailey moans frustration, and I bend over Elsa and forcefully whisper, “Don’t make me.” She eyes me like I’m a stranger. She slants into Elsa’s red dress, my favorite, and quiets down.
LET ME START AT THE BEGINNING I am Dani's aunt. Dani is prelingually deaf, born to two hearing parents: my sister Tracey, a hippie with rings on every digit and hair down to her butt; and her husband Sam, an independent contractor who left Tracey shortly after the birth for reasons Tracey has never revealed to me. I moved into Tracey's guest bedroom to help take care of Dani. It was easy for me to take on this responsibility: no husband, no kids of my own, unemployed. But Dani frightens me sometimes – her need for goodnight kisses, the way she snuggles up to me when we watch television, her constant “I love you”s – almost as though she thinks of me as her mother when Tracey is away. much as her affections warm me, I still feel like a visitor here. I cannot stay forever.
Jess Anthony, author of the forthcoming novel, The Convalescentfrom McSweeney's press had this to say about Bausch's guidance, "Dick Bausch taught me the essential rule of fiction writing, probably the only rule you cannot break: Every story is a war. I think of that great line from Master Bausch at least once a day." For more about Bausch read the interview we published with him in the fall of 2006. Editor in Chief of Our Stories, Alexis E. Santi, "Without the support and friendship of Richard Bausch not only would Our Stories never had been founded but it is likely that I would've never bothered to believe in my own talents as a reviewer and a writer."
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Quoted in an interview with French journalist Géraldine Chouard, in 2002 Bausch said the following about his relationship with his students: "... my job is to enable them to be themselves without feeling so much worry about it. Simply to write and be in the work, and to understand that it is all done in confusion and doubt, that it is always difficult to do well, and that one must learn to live in that difficulty. I like to say I don’t really teach writing—I teach patience, cunning, toughness, stubbornness, the willingness to fail in pursuit of something good." These principles are at the core of what Our Stories is about and what we strive to provide every single person who submits a short story to Our Stories.
The winner of either of our contests wins $400, $50 to second place and 3-5 runners up have their submission fees returned. Yet, unlike every other contest out there with Our Stories everyone wins. If you don't win you receive a professional review of your story (see examples below) 80% your contest entry goes directly to the staff member preparing your review, not to our swiss bank account.
At Our Stories, we believe it is better to give than receive. We don't buy into the idea that you should submit stories to a contest and not receive anything in return.
Short stories must be under 6000 Words
Microsoft Word (.doc) format
For our taste in stories check out our archives
If your story is not chosen for publication we give you a customized review. We point out things in the plot, the dialogue, the beginning, and the ending. You receive an MFA quality review for your story and all of that is at least worth the cost of your contest entry. The following YouTube video shows you the process of our page-by-page feedback.
Check out our What You Say page for comments from past submitters.
Submit using the PayPal links below, after payment is received you will be redirected to our submissions page.
Photo credit: Mark Weber
Our Stories is one of the best of the new online magazines, and Alexis Santi is among the more dynamic of our younger writers/editors. I'm proud to be associated with the journal and the prize they've instituted in my name.
Bausch is the author of eleven novels and seven collections of short stories, including Take Me Back (1981), which was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award; The Last Good Time (1984); Mr. Field’s Daughter (1989); Violence (1992); The Selected Stories of Richard Bausch (1996); In the Night Season (1998); Hello to the Cannibals (2003); Thanksgiving Night (2006) and Peace (2008). His short stories have appeared in numerous prize-winning anthologies, including Best American Short Stories, O. Henry, and Pushcart. He has received several awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Guggenheim fellowship, the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writer’s Award, and the Award in Literature from the Academy of Arts and Letters. Previously Professor of English and Heritage Chair of Creative Writing at George Mason University, Richard Bausch holds the Lillian and Morrie A. Moss Chair of Excellence at The University of Memphis.