Youth of America,

We know you are busy. We know you are hard at work solving the burning questions of our age, such as: What will we do about overpopulation? and How does one accurately calculate mortgage equity withdrawal? But we’d like to encourage you to stop for a moment, to skip your Lyceum meet-up this week, and to apply to the first-ever McSweeney’s Student Short Story Contest, guest judged by the inimitable Curtis Sittenfeld!

Contestants must be students (undergraduate or graduate) in the United States, and stories must be under 7,500 words, but that is, thankfully, where the rules end. The winner of the contest will receive $500 and their story will be published in McSweeney’s 51, in August 2015. A few stories will be selected as honorable mentions, and the names of those stories, as well as the names of their authors, will also be printed in McSweeney’s 51.

We will be accepting submissions from July 30 – September 30, 2014. To cover the cost and time of our small staff and our guest judge, submitters must pay an entrance fee of $55—but, get this, with your entrance fee, you also get a full year’s subscription (at a discount) to McSweeney’s Quarterly. Isn’t that a great deal? It is indeed a great deal. To learn more about what this subscription will include, check out this letter.

Along with your submission, please include a brief cover letter that mentions your hometown, the college or university you attend, and your year in school. Please also include your contact information. To enter the contest online, please go here.

If you would prefer to enter by physical mail, please send your story and cover letter, along with a check or money order, to:

McSweeney’s Student Short Story Contest
849 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA, 94110

Please make all checks payable to McSweeney’s Publishing.

The Editors of McSweeney’s