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In its fifth year, state’s first Michigan-only writing contest sees surge in submissions

The Write Michigan short story contest is the only fiction contest exclusive to Michigan writers.

It's a joint effort of the Kent District Library and Schuler Books in Grand Rapids. The contest is embarking on its fifth year and submissions are up by 200% from last year.

Heidi Nagel from the Kent District Library joined Stateside to talk about the contest.

Nagel says the contest got started five years ago when Lance Werner, the executive director of the Kent District Library, heard a story on Michigan Radio. The story talked about how publishers were having a hard time vetting and finding quality writers. So the library decided to take matters into its own hands and started the contest in 2013.

There are four categories that one can send in a submission: Youth, Young Adult, Adult and the newly-added Spanish Language.

The Top 10 finalists are posted to the Write Michigan website and put to a public vote. The Readers' Choice in each category gets a $250 cash prize. The Judges' Choice winner from each category gets $250 and the runner-up gets $100.

In what might be a more valuable prize, the Readers' Choice and Judges' Choice winners and runners-up and the top vote-getting finalists all get published in an anthology. 

Listen to the full interview above to hear how the finalists are determined and about the special book signing event that takes place where the authors get to meet their fans.

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