SFR Contests


We're seeking community submissions of short stories and essays for our annual contest. A grand prize winner in each category gets $100 cash. Additional prize packages include home and personal care items from Soap Refill Station.



n. a shaft or pin on which something turns; a person, thing or factor having a major central role, function or effect.
v. to turn on or as if on a pivot

The theme for SFR’s annual short story contest is a single word we’ve been hearing frequently in 2020: pivot. The pandemic has required changes in direction and outcomes in our jobs, schools and leisure activities—as well as our perspectives. Consider the pivot as a locus for your story. You don’t need to include the word pivot, but each fiction entry must contain the following three words: mask, pinnacle and distance.


For the nonfiction category, we invite essays that reflect on fear and anxiety—feel free to focus on both specific and vague senses of dread and unease—as well as the coping mechanisms/activities you've found to help you through.

  • Entries are open until midnight Oct. 31, 2020.
  • $10 fee per entry supports SFR’s journalism mission.
  • First place winners in each category receive a $100 cash prize.
  • Entries should not exceed 1,800 words, must be submitted digitally and previously unpublished.