Every year since 2005, The L Magazine’s Literary Upstart: The Search for Pocket Fiction competition has pitted New York’s creative underclass against itself in a boozy short fiction Thunderdome. We’re holding it again this year: we want to see you at the readings in spring and summer, and we want your stories, starting now.
If you know what you’re getting yourself into, click right here for submissions guidelines and get cracking.
If you have no idea what we’re talking about, here’s what Literary Upstart is all about:
Writers are encouraged to submit their best short fiction (maximum of 1,500 words) toÂ email@example.com. Semi-finalists will be asked to participate in one of three live readings at a dark and writerly NYC tavern where they’ll square off in front of a live audience and a panel of judges, composed of members of the local literati: confirmed judges for this year’s edition are the New Yorker‘s Ben Greenman (our Distinguished Spokesjudge), Harper Collins Editorial Director Calvert Morgan, and The L Magazine’s own Adam Bonislawski.
Following the readings, and our infamous New York City Literary Trivia competition (“Where overpriced education meets underpriced alcohol”), the judges will hold forth, American Idol-style, on the readers and their stories, and declare a winner.
The winners of the three semi-final readings will advance to our final reading in July, where they’ll have the opportunity to win a cash prize, gift certificates from various sponsors, and, of course, the admiration of his/her peers. The three semi-finalists will also be published in The L Magazine’s annual Summer Fiction Issue, out July 21 this year, which has previously featured stories by Jonathan Ames, Darin Strauss, Ned Vizzini, Ed Park, Benjamin Percy, Kevin Canty, Ron Carlson, Kaui Hart Hemmings and others.
The readings will be held in April, May, June and July; dates, location and drink specials will be announced. We hope to see you there, and to hear from you soon.