Book Cellar opens short story contest based on integrity to all
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 bookcellar.com 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