Adult Short Story Judges
Carrie Callaghan is the author of the historical novels Salt the Snow and A Light of Her Own (both with Amberjack Publishing). She lives in Silver Spring with her family.
Will Pittman is a multimedia artist who could have been found as a poet (D. Selby Fing) and writer (Y.S. Fing) working with such organizations as The Washington Biography Group, the Washington Independent Review of Books and the Washington Writers Conference before taking up collage (Bugs Pacino) and music (Y.S. Fing and the Microcosmic Examples). He teaches academic writing at a local university and lives in Silver Spring with his wife.
Adam Schwartz’s debut collection of stories, The Rest of the World, won the Washington Writers’ Publishing House 2020 prize for fiction. His stories have won prizes sponsored by Poets & Writers, Philadelphia Stories and Baltimore City Paper and have appeared in Mississippi Review, December, Raritan, Popshot, J Journal, Gargoyle and elsewhere. He lives in Elkridge, Maryland.
High School Short Story Judges
Myna Chang’s work has been selected for The Best Small Fictions, Fractured Lit and The Citron Review, among others. She has won the Lascaux Prize in Creative Nonfiction and the New Millennium Award in Flash Fiction. She lives in Potomac with her family. Read more at mynachang.com or @mynachang.
Ofelia Montelongo is a bilingual writer from Mexico. She has a Master of Arts in Latin American literature. Her work has been published in The Rumpus, Latino Book Review, The Acentos Review and elsewhere. She was a 2019 Writer’s Center fellow. She currently teaches at George Washington University and was a PEN/Faulkner writer in residence, a 2021 Macondista and a PEN America Emerging Voices fellow. Montelongo lives in Gaithersburg. Read more at ofeliamontelongo.com.
Alice Stephens’ debut novel, Famous Adopted People, was published in 2018 by Unnamed Press. A resident of Silver Spring, she is the editor of Bloom, a book reviewer, and writes a column, “Alice in Wordland,” for the Washington Independent Review of Books.
Adult and High School Essay Judges
Christine Koubek Flynn’s stories have appeared in many publications, including The Washington Post, Poets & Writers, Washingtonian and Chautauqua, and received several awards from the American Society of Journalists and Authors. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Fairfield University and is the recipient of a 2021 Elizabeth George Foundation grant for her novel in progress. In helping writers shape their stories, she has led workshops for The Writer’s Center, The Muse Writers Center and Armed Services Arts Partnership. A travel columnist for Bethesda Magazine, she lives in Gaithersburg.
GG Renee Hill is an author, workshop facilitator and creative coach who helps others discover and express their truths through writing. In her books and workshops, she advocates for self-discovery and emotional awareness through writing, as she creates safe spaces for others to own their voices and tell their stories. She’s the author of two guided journals: Self-Care Check-In and A Year of Self-Reflection Journal. Her personal essays and creative coaching articles can be found on Medium.com and Shondaland.com. She is currently working on a nonfiction book about the healing power of creativity. She lives in Silver Spring with her partner and three children.
Lisa Page is co-editor of We Wear the Mask: 15 True Stories of Passing in America (Beacon Press). Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, Lit Hub Weekly, The Crisis, Virginia Quarterly Review, American Short Fiction, Playboy, The Washington Post Book World and other publications. She is an assistant professor of English and the director of creative writing at George Washington University. She previously served as interim director of Africana studies. She is also a resident faculty member of the Yale Writers’ Workshop. She lives in Takoma Park.
Short Story Contest Organizer
Caroline Bock is the author of Carry Her Home, winner of the Fiction Prize from the Washington Writers’ Publishing House, and the young adult novels LIE and Before My Eyes, from St. Martin’s Press. She is also the winner of The Writer magazine short story award and the Adrift short story award from Driftwood Press. Her creative work has been published in SmokeLong, jmww, Brevity, Gargoyle, Vestal Review, Fiction Southeast, Delmarva Review, Little Patuxtent Review, Ploughshares, Bethesda Magazine and more. In 2022, she was named co-president of the Washington Writers’ Publishing House, a cooperative nonprofit press based in D.C. She lives in Potomac with her family. Find her on Twitter
Bethesda Magazine and the Bethesda Urban Partnership work together to honor local writers through the short story and essay contests. Short stories are limited to 4,000 words, and authors must be residents of Montgomery County or Upper Northwest D.C. (20015 and 20016 ZIP codes). Essays are limited to 500 words and writers in the adult contest must live in Washington, D.C., or select counties of Maryland (Montgomery, Prince George’s, Howard and Frederick) or Virginia (Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William); high school writers must be residents of or attend a school in Montgomery County or Washington, D.C.