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Short Story

A  brief  examination  of  a  subject  in  prose  usually  expressing  a  personal  view  or  interpretation  of  a subject or topic.



1. Submit one (1) notarized copy of the short story written only by the contestant to the Coraopolis NAACP by MARCH 25, 2024


2. The top of each page must include the contestant’s name, page number and unit name and number (Coraopolis NAACP #26AB-B).


3. The Short Story must be typed, double-spaced and between 1500 and 3000 words. 

4. The Short Story should have a single-story line without subplots. 

  • No more than three or four characters

  • A single viewpoint

  • A short time scale  


5. The contestant must be prepared to answer questions by the judges.

6. Contestant may read one excerpt from their work. 


Contestants Will Be Judged by the Following Criteria:

• General Merit (25 pts)

  • Ideas - originality or a unique perspective (on an existing idea), single storyline, no subplots, short time frame

  • Organization and clarity - consistent writing style, mood/tone and space

  • Wording - strategic and intentional use of language (e.g., for expression, realism, authenticity, emphasis, cultural or social commentary)

  • Flavor - (author's) voice/perspective, style, depth/provocation, creativity. 

• Mechanics (25 pts)


  • Proper Usage;

  • Punctuation/Capitalization/Spelling;

  • Short story five elements: plot, setting, characters (3-4 max), effective implementation of POV (e.g., first person, third person, etc.)

• Overall Effect (50 pts)

              Minimum background, concise dialogue, no lengthy preamble,

                  Natural ending achieving any (or all) of the following elements:

                       Plot alignment, authenticity, consistency, emotional resonance, reader satisfaction, surprise within expectations. 

NOTE: For students that qualify for the National Competition

The deadline for submission of national registration documents is the second Saturday of May which will include one notorized copy of your work. No materials or copies will be accepted after that time or at the National Competition.


Contact ACT-SO Chairman Carter Spruill for further information 

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