Short story contest open for submissions

The Rehoboth Beach Reads Short Story Contest, which is in its seventh year, is now open for submissions. The contest, which is organized by Cat & Mouse Press and sponsored by Browseabout Books, invites writers to submit stories of 500 to 3,500 words that feature Rehoboth Beach and fit the year’s theme. The 2019 theme is “Beach Dreams.”

The first-place winner will receive $500, second-place $250 and third-place $100. The top 20 to 25 stories will appear in the anthology “Beach Dreams,” which will be published by Cat & Mouse Press in November.

“The theme ‘Beach Dreams’ should be an intriguing one,” said Nancy Sakaduski, owner of Cat & Mouse Press. “Writers could take it literally and write about a dream, but I’m hoping they will also consider creative interpretations.”

She pointed out that dreams can be aspirations, departures from reality, visions, wishes or fantasies. There are also different types of dreams, such as daydreams and nightmares, she noted.

“As in the past,” she said, “writers will put their own spin on the theme, knowing that the judges consider creativity when selecting the stories.”

The theme “Beach Dreams” was suggested and voted on by members of the Cat & Mouse Press Community, a private Facebook group made up of writers and illustrators published by Cat & Mouse Press, including those whose work appeared in previous anthologies.

Judges for the 2019 contest are: Tyler Antoine, program librarian at the Rehoboth Beach Public Library; Stephanie Fowler, writer and owner of Salt Water Media, a company that provides products and services to authors; Lois Hoffman, owner of The Happy Self-Publisher, and author of “Write a Book, Grow Your Business” and “The Self-Publishing Roadmap”; Laurel Marshfield, professional writer, ghostwriter, developmental editor and book coach; Mary Pauer, writer, developmental editor and national contest judge; and Hal Wilson, writer, fiction editor for the Delmarva Review, and host of “Delmarva Today: Writer’s Edition” for Delmarva Public Radio.

The deadline for entries to the Rehoboth Beach Reads Short Story Contest is July 1, 2019. The fee to enter is $10 per entry, and each writer can submit up to three stories. Entries are judged on creativity, quality of writing, suitability as a beach read and fit with the theme.

Potential entrants are being encouraged to read “How to Write Winning Short Stories” (available at local bookstores and online) and look at the previous books in the series to see the kinds of stories that were selected in previous years. Contest information and guidelines are posted on the Cat & Mouse Press website at and on the contest Facebook page at