To honor Nebraska author Bess Streeter Aldrich, the Aldrich Foundation has announced its 2020 Short Story Contest and the introduction of a new design competition.

Authors are encouraged to generate a fictional short story that is written in the wholesome spirit displayed by Bess Streeter Aldrich in her works while incorporating a theme that focuses on Nebraska’s economy, history, cultural diversity or geography (past, present or future), according to a press release.

Story length should be 1,000 to 2,000 words (there is no minimum word requirement for the Intermediate category).

A list of books by the author, which entrants can read to become familiar with her work, is available on

Exceptional examples include Aldrich’s books “A Lantern in Her Hand” and “Spring Came on Forever,” the foundation’s featured books for 2020. No essays, please.

Individuals with design skills are invited to propose a new dust jacket for Aldrich’s book “The Cutters,” which will be reprinted in 2021.

Competitors of any age are encouraged to submit entries that follow the guidelines and contest requirements outlined on the Foundation’s website.

The winning entry may be used when the book is reprinted.

Prizes will be awarded at the annual Spring Banquet of the Bess Streeter Aldrich Foundation on April 4, 2020.

Cash prize amounts for the adult short story writers and design competitors (any age) are first place, $100; second place, $50; third place, $25.

High school (grades nine to 12) and middle school (grades six to eight) awards include first place, $50; second place, $25; third place, $15.

Intermediate school (grades three to five) premiums include first place, $25; second place, $15; third place, $10.

Family members of the Bess Streeter Aldrich Foundation board members are not eligible.

The due date for submissions is Feb. 17, 2020.

A submission link and a complete list of rules can be found at

Questions about either contest can be directed to Kurk Shrader, Executive Director (email or call 402-994-3855).

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