Hey you, struggling grad student trying to get your MFA. Tired of plugging away at story assignments only to have some disinterested professor barely pay attention to the words you’ve written unless he wants to sleep with you? This is what happens in grad school, yes? Well, how about going around the professor and getting famous by being published in McSweeney’s, by winning their Student Short Story Contest. You could win $455, the envy of your peers, the right to say you’ve been published in the same places as Zadie Smith and Jonathan Ames, but most importantly, the envy of your peers.
You (we) have already had dozens of clever humor ideas rejected by McSweeney’s, so what’s one more thing, even if this is a painstaking work of some slight intelligence and not just a tossed-off joke piece. The McSweeney’s Student Short Story Contest is open to any college student or grad student who can write a short story that’s less than 7,500 words. Maybe that’s you!
If you win, you’ll be published in McSweeney’s 51, which is set to come out in August 2015, which seems kind of unfair because who knows if we’ll all even live until then, but it’s not our contest, so, you know. You’ll also win $500, which should buy you, a student, some beers without your having to sell blood. There’s a catch though: the contest comes with a $55 entry fee, lowering your total earning to $455. That’s bad. But, the entry fee also gets you a year’s subscription to McSweeney’s Quarterly. That’s good. The magazine subscription is also cursed. You’ve got until August 31 to get your masterpiece in, so tighten that thing up until it’s great and send it off through the internet with all your hopes and dreams.