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The Great American Fiction Contest - Saturday Evening Post

Updated on May 15, 2013

Norman Rockwell's First Cover For The Saturday Evening Post, May 20, 1916


Revolutionary Ideas

The Saturday Evening Post is an ongoing monthly publication full of American history, from the Norman Rockwell covers to the coverage of heart-stopping moments in US and world events to the recognition of new writers in a yearly contest. Founded over 300 years ago by Benjamin Franklin, the magazine continues to record and to make history.

Ben Franklin may have had no idea how successful and long lived his 4-page Pennsylvania Gazette would become on the day of its first publication in 1728. On the other hand, as a signer of the Declaration of Independence, he may had had great hopes. Regardless, the little newspaper with no pictures was still only four pages long when it became The Saturday Evening Post by 1821. It was known for its handling of controversial political topics.


Best Short Stories From The Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest 2013

The 2013 edition of the Best Short Stories from the Great American Fiction Contest starts with an Introduction by author Michael Knight (The Typist) and includes the works of the following winning authors that were chosen winners from a field of just 250 total entries from coast to coast in America:

  1. Lucy Jane Bledsoe - Wolf was chosen the number one short story.
  2. P.J. Devlin- The Decline and Fall
  3. Stephen Eoannou - The Wolf Boy of Forest Lawn
  4. Andrew Hamilton - Surface Tension
  5. Cynthia J. McGean - The Battle of the Pewhasset Pie Palace
  6. Marvin Pletzke - A Corner Room at the Y
  7. Caroline Sposto - The Conch Shell

Honorable Mentions

  1. James D. McCallister - Trailer Trash
  2. Bonnie F. McCune - Mr. Kane's Halo
  3. Robert T. Dodd - Goin' Hum
  4. Barbara E. Moss - Renaissance Garden
  5. Matt Panfil - Sounds of Silence
  6. Johnathon Blackwood - Kin

Everyone Loved The Saturday Evening Post

In the early 1900s, boy sometimes skipped school to sell newspapers and the popular magazine instead. The Library of Congress online has many photographs of these young people, as young as 6 years old.

Freddie Kafer, selling Saturday Evening Posts and newspapers at the entrance to the State Capitol. Age 5 or 6, he did not know his age, nor much of anything else (1915).
Freddie Kafer, selling Saturday Evening Posts and newspapers at the entrance to the State Capitol. Age 5 or 6, he did not know his age, nor much of anything else (1915). | Source

Famous Authors

Authors became famous while writing for The Saturday Evening Post and some of their works have become popular films. In 2013, a grand film remake of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby opened to large crowds, starring Leonardo DiCaprio,Tobey Macguire, and Carey Mulligan. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote some 70 short stories for the magazine and many ducators and literary critics feel that he captured the essence of the Roaring Twenties in his work.

Many other authors gained writing experience and fame at the magazine, including some of my favorites:

The Saturday Evening Post Society also publishes a number of youthe and children's magazines that include Turtle, Humpty Dumpty, and Jack and Jill.

In these ways, the Post was very much like England's The Strand Magazine, which was published from 1891 through 1950. The English magazine offered all the short stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (such as the Sherlock Holmes stories) and of other authors. However, it did not last the 300+ years that the Post has been publishing.

Still, both magazines have helped to spread the work of gifted authors - some very good work is seen as a result of the Great American Fiction Contest. By the way, a new American version of The Strand is published in Birmingham, Michigan and dedicated to crime stories and novel writers.

Rules and Requirements

Prizes and Writing Exposure

  • The winning story in the contest mentioned above will appear in the January/February issue of The Saturday Evening Post. it will also appear on the magazine’s website for the world to see.
  • The top winner in the contest will receive a $500 prize. A total of five runners-up will receive $100 each as well as publication of their stories online. That makes a total of six stories published online.

How to Enter the Contest

  • Each short story submitted to the contest must be on on which the story is character-driven or or plot-driven. A key concept the magazine mentions is "shared experiences" to which readers can relate.
  • Each story can be in any fiction genre within the Post’s broad range of interests.I would say that pornography and erotic literature and a few other things are a no-go. Pick up a copy of the Post and look it over before submitting a story, or contact their offices with questions.
  • Story submitters must be previously unpublished authors, except for personal websites and blogs.
  • Submitted stories must be between 1,500-5,000 words long.
  • All submissions must be made electronically in Microsoft Word and include the author’s name, address, telephone number, and email address on the first page.
  • The Post editorial staff and its fiction advisory board will judge the stories.
  • Submissions will be charged a $10 entry fee and be postmarked (for the 2014 contest) by July 1, 2013.

For additional information, please see: Also look for the current winner's short story on the website.

Will You Be A Winner?

Will You Enter the Great American Fiction Contest?

See results

They Made Authors Famous

The Saturday Evening Post:
1100 Waterway Boulevard, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA

get directions

The Strand Magazine on The Strand, London UK:
Exeter Street, City of Westminster, London, UK

get directions

Southampton Street and Exeter Street, London UK


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Good luck to you all who enter the contest! I'll be reading :)

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 

      8 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Fabulous history of the SEP, Patty. I had no idea how the mag originated and found it fascinating. I'm very glad I saw Marcy's comment and found this hub.

      I certainly plan to enter the 2014 contest as it would be worth the entry fee to simply be a small part of the magazine's history whether I place or not. Thanks again and voted up! :)


    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 

      8 years ago from Planet Earth

      Thanks for this great hub, Patty. I grew up reading the Saturday Evening Post - and one of my favorite coffee table books is a collection of Norman Rockwell's covers for the magazine. Maybe one of our wonderful writers here will enter and win - wouldn't that be fantastic!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      mylindaelliot - I bet your office wall looks great! - a joy to see every day.

      BossomSB - It's increadible to have a 300 year history for a magazine, since so many close down the first year.

      wetnosedogs - I'm with you for best wishes to all who enter. I hope many Hubbers do so!

    • wetnosedogs profile image


      8 years ago from Alabama

      Such an incredible history and may it keep going. Best of luck to all writers who enter.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      8 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      This was really good. I've heard of the Saturday Evening Post and it was interesting to read about its history and its influence on so many writers.

    • mylindaelliott profile image


      8 years ago from Louisiana

      I have several of the magazine covers in frames on my office wall. I love them. I also love to read the old stories too.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      tillsontitan - I do hope you enter the contest! maybe other Hubbers can do as well.

      Writer Fox and DonnaCSmith - I love the magazine and used to read it all the time. I'm going to start looking at it more regularly again - and it's easier to do so online. :)

      mary615 - I think a Hub story might work very well with the contest. I wonder if you have to unpublish it here first, tho, because I don't know if HP counts as a personal website, as in the rules? Thanks for the helpful edits on one of my paragaphs, too.

      whonu - I like the way you put that!

      HendrikDB - Thanks for reading and commenting. The "Post" is great, isn't it?

    • DonnaCSmith profile image

      Donna Campbell Smith 

      8 years ago from Central North Carolina

      Patty, I had no idea the Saturday Evening Post was originated by Ben Franklin! I am going to share your hub with my writers groups. Thanks for an informative Hub.

    • HendrikDB profile image


      8 years ago

      Good story with even a trip down memory lane!

    • whonunuwho profile image


      8 years ago from United States

      Rockwell, one of my favorite artists of humanity, and the short story written in fiction, how often becomes a reality?Writing these, I lose myself in the now and return to the past, as well as skirting the edges of our future world. Thanks for this interesting work and well received. whonu

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      8 years ago from Florida

      When I was growing up our family always read the Post! I didn't know it was still published...

      I am definitely going to enter the contest. I have written several short stories that I'm proud of and I think they are pretty good. Thanks for sharing that info. Wonder if I could submit a Hub short story I wrote??

      Voted this Hub UP and will share.

    • Writer Fox profile image

      Writer Fox 

      8 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      This magazine is an American staple. Thanks for the great information.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      8 years ago from New York

      Patty another great idea for a hub. Not only is the Saturday Evening Post and its history pure Americana, the contest is something that should have every writer chomping at the bit to enter. A mere 200 entries last year? I have a feeling HP can up that number so I am sharing this hub for others to read and take the chance.

      Voted up, useful, and verrrry interesting.


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