Insider Tips for the Rehoboth Beach Reads Short Story Contest

  1. Don’t give your story a title that is the same as the theme for the contest. We can’t have a book of stories that all have the same name. Plus, remember that the judges are reading the stories without the authors’ names, so to distinguish the entries we have to add a number. Do you really want your story to be titled “Beach Life #8”? Be creative!
  2. Don’t take a story you wrote ten years ago and add “and then they spent the day at Rehoboth Beach.”
  3. Look for an interesting way to connect to the theme and the location. Remember, we are creating a book and we love variety.
  4. Avoid clichés and familiar stories. Many people have similar memories of the beach. Come up with a story that breaks the mold.
  5. The entire story does not have to take place on the beach or even in Rehoboth, but give your story a sense of place. Rehoboth is unique. Let that shine through.
  6. Make it a story, not just a memory. Have characters, conflict, perhaps some dialogue…
  7. Submit the story in a form that makes it easy for us to email to the judges (Microsoft Word is best).
  8. Submit your story early to ensure its acceptance. If you email your story one minute before the midnight deadline and you are one word over, or someone else is emailing at the same time and your email comes in one minute late, or if there’s a problem with your file, your story will not be accepted. Don’t take that chance!
  9. The deadline and the word counts are written in stone. Don’t mess with either one.
  10. Instead of coming in at 3,499 words, write a shorter story. We can sometimes fit in one last little story, and it could be yours.

Read more about the contest

Nancy Sakaduski

Nancy (Day) Sakaduski is an award-winning writer and editor who owns Cat & Mouse Press and runs the Rehoboth Beach Short Story Contest. She helps writers perfect their short stories and prepare them for publication, and curates a free weekly online newspaper, Writing is a Shore Thing ( Nancy is the author of 24 books, including How to Write Winning Short Stories. She founded Cat & Mouse Press to create “playful” books with a connection to the Delaware shore and provide a way for new and emerging writers to have their work published.