National Storytellers League

Spread the word.

We want your stories - and theirs too!

Please share news of the contest with school groups, writers' groups, storytelling groups, social groups, and everybody else.  Everybody has a story to tell.  Sometimes we just have to ask to hear it.


2017 Prize-Winning Stories

Adult Division

B'ar Sausage Larry Krackle

Ice Cream Mud Ray Gray

Fancy Flights with Gwendolyn Alexandra Hendrickson


2016 Prize-Winning Stories
Adult Division

The Last Bouquet  by Deborah Alsko 
The Difference Between Heaven and Hell by Ken Karnas
Old Blue's Rescue? by Kathryn Weidener

Mr. Newhart's Stone by Karen Maurer

Junior Division

A Piece of Cakeby Liam McCormack


2014 Prize-Winning Stories

Adult Division

Right On Cue! by Alexandra Hendrickson

An Imagination Gone Wild by Irene Maron

The Willow Tree by Lucia S. DiPolvere

2013 Prize-Winning Stories

Adult Division

The Colorful Dragon by Lucia S. DiPolvere

The Night I Played Santa by Robert L. Gordon

The Personal Ad by Irene Price Gendron

Junior Division

The Flight by Mia Farinelli

2017 Adlyn M. Keffer Short Story Writing Contest Divisions and Prizes are as follows:


There are three (3) divisions.  There is one (1) adult division, as well as  two  (2) youth or junior divisions.

The junior divisions are defined by grade.  One division is for students in grades 4 through 8.  The other is for students in grades 9 through 12.


Three prizes of $75, $50, and $30 may be awarded to adult authors. There may be up to three honorable mentions.

Three prizes of $50, $40, and $30 and up to three honorable mentions may be awarded to authors in each Junior Division.

The prize-winning stories and others will be published in Story Art: A Magazine for Storytellers if the chairman of the contest, the editor of Story Art, and the president of the NSL deem them suitable.


Three judges are assigned, one from each district and with the approval of the NSL president.  The names of the judges will appear with the announcement of the winners. The decision of the judges, and at the discretion of the editor,  are final.

The National Storytellers League encourages all members and story lovers to promote, write, and submit an original and tellable tale for the 2017 Adlyn M. Keffer Short Story Writing Contest.

Only one entry will be accepted per contestant. 

General guidelines are as follows:

  • The story must be original, tellable, and limited to 2000 words.
  • Include a cover page and a title page with your story.
  • On the cover page, include:

​​            Title of the story

            Name and Address of the author

            Division: Adult, Jr. Gr. 4-8, Jr. Gr. 9-12

            Member or non-member status​​​

  • On the title page, include the title and put the number of words in the story in the upper right hand corner.
  • Do NOT put identifying marks on the title page or the manuscript.
  • Print each copy single-sided on white 8.5 inch by 11 inch paper and double-spaced using standard font.
  • Send four (4) print copies of the submission to:  

​  Denise McCormack

  Adlyn M. Keffer Short Story Contest

  317 Prince Street

  Bordentown, NJ 08505


  • Email an attached pdf or word document with "Contest Entry" in the subject line to
  • Attach story document with title, contest category (adult or junior) and word count only; do not include identifying markers in the attachment.  Identifying markers including the author's contact information, NSL affiliation, adult or junior entry, and title of story should be included in the body of the email.
  • Entries submitted electronically/via email have an extended deadline and must submitted by April 15.
  • There is no entry fee for members of the league and its affiliates.
  • There is a $5 entry fee for non-members.  
  • Payment may be sent electronically. For directions regarding payment, please send an email to with subject line: Electronic Payment Info.

​Note: All print copies become the property of NSL; no manuscripts will be returned.  Authors retain all rights except first publication rights for one year from the time of receipt by Story Art: A Magazine for Storytellers.

Adyln M. Keffer Short Story Contest