Book Cel­lar opens short story con­test based on in­tegrity to all

The Palm Beach Post - - IN YOUR COMMUNITY -

Since July, Ta­mara Ayraud, Book Cel­lar co-owner in Lake Worth, has been work­ing with a Del­ray Beach au­thor on the first Palm Beach County Short Story Con­test to be held at her store.

“This will help with lit­er­acy and the knowl­edge of books and writ­ing,” Ayraud said. “We have to bring more writ­ers out wher­ever they are in Palm Beach County.”

“In Search of In­tegrity” is the con­test’s main theme and sto­ries en­tered must be true and based on a per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence.

“In­tegrity is so im­por­tant in to­day’s great po­lit­i­cal drive where the truth is up for grabs,” said G. Spencer My­ers, who came up with the idea for the con­test. “Maybe we need to get peo­ple writ­ing and think­ing and ex­press­ing how im­por­tant the truth is.”

The con­test, which started Oct. 1, is for pro­fes­sional and non-pro­fes­sional writ­ers. Sto­ries must be from 500 to 1,000 words. The deadline for en­try is Oct. 31 and man­u­script sub­mis­sions must be in by Nov. 30. Writ­ers must be county res­i­dents.

The en­try fee is based on your age. Prices are $30 for pro­fes­sion­als over 21; $25 for non-pro­fes­sion­als over 21; $15 for those aged 13-21 and $10 for any­one else.

All en­trants will re­ceive a copy of My­ers’ book, “A Let­ter to My Grand­son.”

There will be five judges — Win­ston Aarons, a writ­ing in­struc­tor, poet and artist; Sta­cie Ramey, a young adult au­thor; Molly Sel­met, a mem­ber of the Lit­er­acy Coun­cil; Vicki Joslin, head li­brar­ian in Lake Worth and Frank Cer­abino, a Palm Beach Post colum­nist.

Ayraud said she wanted a judge for each cat­e­gory — there are four — and an ex­tra judge to be a sec­ond eye in each cat­e­gory.

“We sent out fly­ers to all the col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties about the con­test,” she said. “We have it on our Face­book page and our web­site. We’re also work­ing with Spencer on pro­mot­ing it.”

The winner gets $250 and each cat­e­gory winner gets $100 each. Awards cer­e­mony will be held Jan. 19 at Book Cel­lar, 801 Lake Av­enue.

My­ers said any­one from ages 5 to 100 can en­ter. “All they have to do is write a short story that pro­vides some sort of les­son he or she had that taught them about in­tegrity,” he said.

My­ers said one Book Cel­lar worker told him won’t be sur­prised if they get more than 1,000 en­tries.

“I thought that was rather op­ti­mistic, but I liked his en­thu­si­asm,” he said. “I would be thrilled if a cou­ple of hun­dred peo­ple re­sponded.”

Both Ayraud and My­ers said they would love to pub­lish the top 10 sto­ries. “I would like every school kid to un­der­stand how im­por­tant the truth is in our lives,” he said.

Ayraud added the con­test will bring writ­ers to­gether and it should be fun.

“It’ll bring peo­ple into the book store and be a part of the com­mu­nity,” she said.

For more in­for­ma­tion, call 561-452-5456 or visit book­cel­ or books­byspencer. com.


Claire Ayraud (left) and her daugh­ter, Ta­mara, at Book Cel­lar. The con­test “will help with lit­er­acy and the knowl­edge of books and writ­ing,” Ayraud said.


G. Spencer My­ers, a Del­ray Beach au­thor, came up with the idea for the short story con­test.

Kevin D. Thomp­son

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