Open for Entry: April 25, 2012
Deadline for Entry: June 15, 2012

We are pleased to invite you to submit an entry for the Enoch Pratt Free Library’s 2012 Pratt Contemporaries Storyteller Award. This writing competition was created expressly to promote the work of Maryland writers, to celebrate their accomplishments publicly, and to make a difference in the lives of these artists as they continue to build their careers.  The first place winner will be published in the August 2012 issue of Urbanite.


By entering the Pratt Contemporaries Fiction Storyteller Award competition, writers give the Pratt Contemporaries and Urbanite permission to publish the entered work or works in Urbanite and to list the author’s name on the Fiction Storyteller Award and on the Pratt Contemporaries and Urbanite website and social networking sites. The author retains copyright to the work or works entered and published. The Pratt Contemporaries and Urbanite are granted a one-time right to publish the work or works.


Entries should be submitted to the Urbanite at

To be considered for the award, the writer must meet the following requirements:
• The writer must be between the ages of 18 and 40 in 2012.
• He or she must be a resident of the state of Maryland and should be able to show proof of residency.
• The short story should be 1,500 words or less.
• Please submit entries electronically as follows: Typed, double-spaced, 12 pt. font, 1 inch margins, in an MS Word file.
• The short story submitted must be original and cannot have been previously published (this includes on websites and blogs).
• Entry fee: $15. Proceeds of the entry fee will benefit the Enoch Pratt Free Library.
• Multiple submissions are accepted. However, an additional $15 entry fee is required for each additional story.
• Simultaneous submissions are accepted. However, if your short story is accepted elsewhere, you need to let us know immediately that you are withdrawing your submission.

Other information:
• Manuscripts will not be returned. The Enoch Pratt Free Library, Pratt Contemporaries and Urbanite are not responsible for manuscripts lost in the mail, etc.
• All entries should not include any profanity, pornography, defamatory, or libelous language or remarks. The Reading Committee or the judges have the discretion to disqualify entries with said remarks.
• Plagiarized entries will be automatically disqualified.
• If you win, Urbanite will publish your story. If you do not want your story published please do not submit it.


All entries must be received by June 15, 2012 by 5 p.m. EST. The Pratt Contemporaries and Urbanite have the right to extend deadlines if deemed necessary.


Each submission will be read by several members of a Reading Committee comprised of Pratt librarians, members of the Pratt Contemporaries and Urbanite staff. The committee will then select five finalists. A prestigious panel of five award judges will subsequently select the top award.

The winners will be celebrated during Urbanite magazine’s rollout party in August 2012 at the Central Library. Date to be determined.

First Prize winner: The short story will be published in the August issue of Urbanite. The winner will also receive $300.

Second Prize winner: Receives $200. Urbanite reserves the right to publish.

Third Prize winner: Receives $100. Urbanite reserves the right to publish.

The Pratt Contemporaries Fiction Storyteller Award writing competition is open to amateur writers who are Maryland residents who write in English. Employees and family members of the Enoch Pratt Free Library and Urbanite and members of the Pratt Contemporaries are not eligible. Professional writers who have previously been published in commercial or news publications are not eligible.


Entry fees are non-refundable. Entries postmarked after deadlines will not be considered. Work withdrawn from the contest will not receive a refund. All manuscripts will be recycled, not returned. All submissions must be original works.


This award is part of the Pratt Contemporaries, a diverse group of cosmopolitans and young professionals who seek to raise awareness of the Enoch Pratt Free Library as a vital part of Baltimore’s identity. Through bold, innovative programs and outreach efforts, the group provides a venue for emerging creative thinkers who want to establish a lifeline between their library, their city, and their communities.

The Pratt Contemporaries Fiction Storyteller Award is also made possible by our partner, Urbanite Magazine.

For more information about the Pratt Contemporaries Fiction Storyteller Award, please contact Roswell Encina at 410-545-3115 or

“What You’re Writing” is the place for creative nonfiction from our readers.

Each month, we pick a topic. Use the topic as a springboard into your own life and send us a true story inspired by that month’s theme. Only nonfiction submissions that include contact information can be considered. We reserve the right to edit heavily for space and clarity, but we will give you the opportunity to review the edits. You may submit under “name withheld” to keep your essay anonymous, but you do need to let us know how to contact you. If you’ve already changed the names of the people involved, please let us know. Due to libel and invasion-of-privacy issues, we reserve the right to print the piece under your initials.
Urbanite accepts unsolicited works of poetry. As with fiction, we look for both style and substance. A connection to Baltimore is preferred, but not required.

Urbanite welcomes unsolicited submissions of literary fiction. We appreciate style and substance: a distinctive voice and a polished craft serving a story that must be told. A connection to Baltimore or the urban experience is preferred, but not essential.

We will consider published and unpublished “sudden fiction” of 500 words or less, short shorts of 1,000 words or less, and short stories and stand-alone novel excerpts up to 3,000 words.

Simultaneous submissions are permitted provided you inform us immediately of an acceptance elsewhere.

The Urbanite Baltimore