Rehoboth Reads beach mystery short story entries due July 1

March 12, 2020

The Rehoboth Beach Reads Short Story Contest invites writers to submit stories of 500-3,500 words that feature Rehoboth Beach and fit the theme Beach Mysteries.

Submissions do not have to be traditional mysteries; they can be any genre but should have some element of mystery or uncertainty.

The first-place winner will receive $500, second place $250, and third place $100. The top 20-25 stories will appear in the anthology “Beach Mysteries,” which will be published by Cat & Mouse Press in November. The contest, now in its eighth year, is sponsored by Browseabout Books.

“We’re encouraging writers to be creative with the Beach Mysteries theme,” said Nancy Sakaduski, owner of Cat & Mouse Press. “Although mystery stories will be welcome, judges will also be looking for romance, humor, memoir ... really any kind of story that has some mysterious aspect.” She suggests authors consider surprise endings, plot twists, even supernatural phenomena. “As in the past, writers will put their own spin on the theme, knowing that the judges consider creativity when selecting the stories,” she said.

Judges for the 2020 contest are: Tyler Antoine, Rehoboth Beach Public Library program librarian; Dennis Lawson, writer and English instructor at Delaware Technical Community College; Rebecca Lowe, Lewes Public Library adult program coordinator; Laurel Marshfield, writer, ghostwriter and book coach; Mary Pauer, writer, developmental editor and national contest judge; and Ron Sauder, owner of Secant Publishing LLC, an independent publishing company based in Salisbury, Md.

The deadline for entries to the Rehoboth Beach Reads Short Story Contest is Wednesday, July 1. The fee is $10 per entry, and each writer can submit up to three stories. Entries are judged on creativity, quality of writing, suitability as a beach read and fit with the theme. Potential entrants are encouraged to read “How to Write Winning Short Stories,” available at local bookstores and online, and look at previous books in the Rehoboth Beach Reads series to see the kinds of stories selected in previous years. Contest information and guidelines are posted on the Cat & Mouse Press website. For more information, go to