Matchbook Story Contest

NOTE: Submissions for our 2nd annual Matchbook Short Story Contest are now closed! We are currently sequestered in an undisclosed location judging the entries! Please check back on December 15th when the winner will be announced here and on our social media and thank you to all who entered for supporting the Library and making it a tough choice!

Entry Rules

1. Entries may be on any subject in any genre (including poetry)

2. Each entry must be the original work of the submitting author


3. Stories must fit within the print area of a matchbook: w 1-5/16” h 1-4/16,” There is no definite word count limit, but a good gauge is that 7 pt font size fits approximately 50 words—your story should be 35-50 words long (final formatting will completed by The Library Shop). A printable template is available here.

4. Entry fee is $5.00 per story, authors can submit up to 5 stories

5. Entries can be submitted online or in the store, but please note that physical copies cannot be returned

6. All Entries must be paid for and submitted by 11:59 pm November 1st, 2018


1st Place Prize: $50 gift certificate to the Library Shop, 50 copies of the printed Matchbook Story, publication in the SDPL Library Connections e-newsletter and Library Shop website, and exhibition in the Hervey Family Rare Book Room in the Central Library @ Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common

2nd Place Prize: $25 gift certificate to the Library Shop and publication on the Library Shop Website

3rd Place Prize: $15 gift certificate to the Library Shop and publication on the Library Shop Website

The Fine Print

The matchbook story will be printed for sale by the Library Shop, a non-profit organization supporting the San Diego Public Library. You will retain the rights to your story, however, by entering the contest you grant the Library Shop and contest affiliates a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to publish and sell reproductions of your story in full both in print and online, and to display your full name and story in connection to the contest winner. Good luck!

Entry Form Matchbook Story Contest

Entry form and fee for the Matchbook Short Story Contest. Once added to your shopping cart, complete your submission by paying the entry fee at check out.

Writers can submit multiple entries by completing the following steps:

1 - Click "Enter Matchbook Story Contest" and fill out contest pop-up form with your contact information and story. Click “Enter Matchbook Story Contest” again to add your story to your shopping cart.

To write more than one story, repeat step 1 up to 5 times. Alternatively, you can choose the number of stories you’d like to submit by changing story quantity below and then clicking “Enter Matchbook Story Contest”.

2 - Once you are done entering your stories. click the blue shopping cart button in the upper right corner of The Library Shop website.

3 - Pay for your story entries and complete the shopping cart transaction to submit your story and enter the Matchbook Story Contest.

All stories must fit on the inside of a standard matchbook cover 1-5/16" x 1-4/16"

Questions? Email:  Phone: 619.236.5802

Enter Matchbook Story Contest