From the Director: Write, Vote, Win!

Are you ready to write, Michigan?

Kent District Library is partnering with Schuler Books & Music and the Grand Rapids Public Library to host the Write Michigan short story contest beginning September 4. The contest is aimed at showcasing budding writing talent across the state. We’re so excited to offer people this opportunity to share their work with Michigan and the world.

The popularity of television shows such as “American Idol,” which combine expert opinion with viewer voting, got us thinking about how this concept could be applied to a library contest. We also thought about West Michigan’s very own ArtPrize contest, which has sparked unprecedented public enthusiasm for visual art. Could the same be done in the literary arts? It’s time to find out.

While I encourage you to read the full contest details at, here’s a quick overview: writers of all ages are invited to submit an original, unpublished short story on any topic. A group of judges will determine a number of finalists in two categories: youth (age 17 and younger) and adult (age 18 and older). Then the public voting begins.

The stories with the most votes at the end will win cash prizes. But that’s not all: the stories from the top 10 to 12 finalists will be published by Schuler’s Chapbook Press. Additionally, the contest includes short story writing workshops and an awards ceremony.

To aid in your wordsmithery, KDL is offering a short story writing workshop with Ludington-area author George Dila from 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM on Saturday, September 15 at the East Grand Rapids branch. Come ready to write!

Libraries and bookstores love to get people excited about literature. Write Michigan is our way of taking that goal to the next level with the hope that one day soon it will be your stories flying off our shelves. So, get writing… and get discovered!


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Written by Lance Werner

Lance Werner

Lance Werner is the director of Kent District Library, the state’s second largest public library system. Before coming to KDL, he served as director of the Capital Area District Library in Lansing, and as Library Law Specialist at the Library of Michigan. He lives in Rockford, Michigan with his wife and four children.

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7 Responses to “From the Director: Write, Vote, Win!”

  1. David Jones Says:

    I have a question on this; where is the online registration form that you sign or whatever?

  2. Sheri Says:

    Hi David,

    Stories will be accepted from September 4 through November 30, so the entry form was just activated this morning. You can find it at

    KDL Webmaster

  3. Norma deVries Says:

    Can an adult entry be a chilren’s story, and how does nonfiction fit in?
    Thank you

  4. Lance Werner Says:

    Hi Norma,

    Thank you for taking the time to write us and great question! The rules are wide open with respect to fiction or nonfiction, as well as the nature of the stories themselves.

    It is perfectly fine for an adult to write a children’s story. In fact, I think it sounds terrific and encourage you to submit a story.

    Have a great day!

    Warm regards,

    KDL Director

  5. Writing Contest « Mrs. Vogel's 7th Grade Language Arts Says:

    […] Blog: […]

  6. kim rush Says:

    Can these submitted ‘short stories’ be an article about local history?

  7. Sheri Says:

    Hi Kim,

    We’re accepting both fiction and nonfiction, so as long as your article is less than 3000 words, it’s fine to submit.

    KDL Webmaster