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Submissions Accepted May 1 to June 30, 2023
Note: The deadline for submissions has been extended to June 30th!
The Center for Fiction invites young writers, ages 13-18 to submit their best work for our National Teen Storyteller Contest. As part of our programming for the 2023 NEA Big Read celebration of Charles Yu’s Interior Chinatown, we are looking for short fiction on the theme of Stereotypes for a chance to win publication to our Short Story Dispenser, online publication on our website, and more!
The damaging effects of stereotypes are central to the remarkable story told in Charles Yu’s brilliant novel Interior Chinatown. With this year’s Big Read programming, we aim to shine a light on perspectives that have been overlooked, often due to prevailing stereotypes and imposed limitations. We invite young writers to explore the theme of stereotypes in original short fiction. The theme can be broadly interpreted or in direct response to the novel Interior Chinatown. The stories should be between 300–1,000 words. Winners will be announced in July!
The three winning stories will be available through our Short Story Dispenser, located in our Bookstore, in addition to being published on The Center for Fiction website. Winners will also receive a Bookstore Gift Card and tote bag from The Center for Fiction.
- The first-place winner will receive a $100 Bookstore Gift Card and a CFF tote bag.
- The second-place winner will receive a $75 Bookstore Gift Card and a CFF tote bag.
- The third-place winner will receive a $50 Bookstore Gift Card and a CFF tote bag.
How to Submit: To enter your story please visit this link or click ‘Register’ above. Create an account with Short Édition if you do not have one already. Once you have an account, visit this page and click “Submit.” Select “National Teen Storyteller Contest: Stereotypes” to upload your story.
Final decisions regarding winners and finalists will be made by The Center for Fiction staff. The Center for Fiction reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any entries that do not follow the contest rules or contain lewd, obscene, defamatory, or hateful content.
By Charles Yu
Published by Knopf Doubleday
Willis Wu doesn’t perceive himself as the protagonist in his own life: he’s merely Generic Asian Man. Sometimes he gets to be Background Oriental Making a Weird Face or even Disgraced Son, but always he is relegated to a prop. Yet every day, he leaves his tiny room in a Chinatown SRO and enters the Golden Palace restaurant, where Black and White, a procedural cop show, is in perpetual production. He’s a bit player here, too, but he dreams of being Kung Fu Guy—the most respected role that anyone who looks like him can attain. Or is it?
After stumbling into the spotlight, Willis finds himself launched into a wider world than he’s ever known, discovering not only the secret history of Chinatown, but the buried legacy of his own family. Infinitely inventive and deeply personal, exploring the themes of pop culture, assimilation, and immigration—Interior Chinatown is Charles Yu’s most moving, daring, and masterful novel yet.
About this series
NEA Big Read 2023
The Center for Fiction’s 2023 Big Read initiative focuses on Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu, winner of the National Book Award. Our free multidisciplinary public programming includes discussion groups and public events with authors, musicians, and scholars. The Center also connected with younger readers and writers through our signature KidsRead / KidsWrite programming, hosting a teen storyteller contest and offering programs featuring books suitable for younger readers that engage with similar themes.
The Café & Bar Presents EXHIBIT B IN NYC: A Reading
Saturday, 5:00 pm EDT June 3, 2023
The Art of the Short Story: Magogodi oaMphela Makhene on Innards with Dawnie Walton
Tuesday, 7:00 pm EDT June 6, 2023
Booking for Love: A Literary Speed Dating Event
Friday, 6:00 pm EDT - 8:00 pm EDT June 9, 2023
The Art of the Short Story: M. Evelina Galang on When the Hibiscus Falls with Hannah Bae
Wednesday, 7:00 pm EDT June 14, 2023
The International Library Part II: Translating Traditions / Translating the Book of Genesis
Thursday, 1:30 pm EDT - 2:30 pm EDT June 15, 2023
Booking for Love: LGBTQ+ Edition
Friday, 6:00 pm EDT - 8:00 pm EDT June 16, 2023
Ani Kayode Somtochukwu on And Then He Sang a Lullaby with Roxane Gay
Tuesday, 7:00 pm EDT June 20, 2023
ALL PRIDE, NO PREJUDICE! A Literary LGBTQ+ Celebration
Thursday, 6:00 pm EDT - 8:00 pm EDT June 22, 2023
The Café & Bar Presents Drink & Draft Night$25
Wednesday, 6:00 pm EDT - 7:30 pm EDT June 28, 2023
In Translation: Victoria Kielland, Damion Searls, and Merve Emre on My Men
Tuesday, 7:00 pm EDT July 11, 2023
The Center for Fiction Presents Jamila Ahmed on Every Rising Sun with Zeyn Joukhadar
Tuesday, 7:00 pm EDT July 18, 2023
The Art of the Short Story: Kate Doyle on I Meant It Once with Cara Blue Adams
Wednesday, 7:00 pm EDT July 19, 2023
Cristina García on Vanishing Maps with Ernesto Mestre-Reed
Tuesday, 7:00 pm EDT July 25, 2023