Great American Fiction Contest

In its two centuries of existence, The Saturday Evening Post has published short fiction by a who’s who of great American authors, including Ray Bradbury, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Louis L’Amour, Sinclair Lewis, Jack London, Joyce Carol Oates, Edgar Allan Poe, Anne Tyler, and Kurt Vonnegut, among so many others.

“This contest is a tribute to the Post’s legacy of featuring the most renowned American fiction writers,” says Steven Slon, editorial director and associate publisher for The Saturday Evening Post. “Our goal is to continue the tradition of finding and featuring compelling stories and the authors behind them.”

The winning story will be published in the January/February 2021 edition of The Saturday Evening Post, and the author will receive $1,000. Five runners-up will each receive $200 and will also have their stories featured online.

Submission Guidelines

  • Stories must be between 1,500 and 5,000 words long.
  • All stories must be previously unpublished (excluding personal website and/or blog publication).
  • No extreme profanity or graphic sex scenes.
  • All stories must be submitted by their author in print or in Microsoft Word or PDF format with author’s name, address, telephone number, and email address on the first page.
  • Entries should be character- or plot-driven pieces in any genre of fiction.
  • Think local. The Post has historically played a role in defining what it means to be an American. Your story should in some way touch upon the publication’s mission: Celebrating America — past, present, and future.
  • All entries must be received electronically or be postmarked by July 1, 2020.
  • There is a $10 entry fee, which helps defray a portion of the cost of operating the contest.

Read previous years’ winning stories:

Get all of the collected works below plus more of the best short stories now.

2020 Winners



2019 Winners


  • “Mount to the Sky” 
    by Michael Caleb Tasker


  • “Charlotte’s Mother”
    by Jeffrey Ricker
  • “Fishing for Owl”
    by Aimee Parkison
  • “Parting”
    by Marlene Olin
  • “Rising to the Surface”
    by Rachel Rigolino
  • “Immigrant/Emigrant”
    by James Vescovi

2018 Winners


2017 Winners

  • Crack
    by Myles McDonough

2016 Winners


2015 Winners


2014 Winners


2013 Winners

  • Wolf
    by Lucy Jane Bledsoe