To honor Nebraska author Bess Streeter Aldrich and recognize outstanding writing, the Bess Streeter Aldrich Foundation announces its 2018 short story contest.

Authors are encouraged to write a fictional short story in the wholesome spirit displayed by Bess Streeter Aldrich in her works, while incorporating a theme that focuses on Nebraska’s economy, history, cultural diversity, and/or geography (past, present, and/or future).

The story length should be 1,000-2,000 words (there is no minimum word requirement for the intermediate category).

A list of books by the author that entrants can read to become familiar with her work is available on the foundation’s website,

Exceptional examples include A Lantern in Her Hand, (a Nebraska 150 book) and The Rim of the Prairie, the foundation’s featured book for 2018.

No essays, please.

Prizes will be awarded at the annual spring banquet of the Bess Streeter Aldrich Foundation on April 7.

Cash prize amounts are adult: 1st prize, $100; 2nd prize, $50; 3rd prize, $25.

High school (grades 9-12) and middle school (grades 6-8) awards include 1st prize, $50; 2nd prize, $25; 3rd prize, $15.

Intermediate school (grades 3-5) premiums include1st prize, $25; 2nd prize, $15; 3rd prize, $10.

Family members of the Bess Streeter Aldrich Foundation board members are not eligible.

The due date for submissions is the author’s birthday, Feb. 17, 2018.

A submission link and a complete list of rules can be found at Questions about the contest or an alternative paper submission can be directed to Kurk Shrader, Executive Director (email or call 402-994-3855).

Publicity for this event is funded in part by Cass County Tourism.