Lit Night: Alameda Shorts

Alameda Shorts returns after a 2-year absence. We did our best to keep it alive in 2020, but decided to press pause until we could get back out and do it in person at a live venue. We were so privileged to be able to present our version of a storytime for grown-ups at Books, Inc. in Alameda. They hosted us for five years and I have no idea how we’re going to replace them. It makes me sad just to think about it.

Returning to the outside world to share a night of Alameda Shorts is still the goal, but weather and early closing hours in our area have made finding a venue tough.

So, we’re going to do the first Alameda Shorts of 2023 on Zoom in May and see what we can figure out for June. We might make it an outdoors event in summer – the beach, a park on the west side, and other good ideas are being worked out. But for now, it’s Zoom.

Here’s how it works:

  1. On the first of the month, I drop the theme.
  2. You get the full month to write a short story or personal narrative (no poetry) that can be read in no more than five minutes.
  3. You submit your piece and wait about a week to find out if the anonymous panel of readers has selected your piece to be read at Alameda Shorts.
  4. On the third Thursday of the following month, we present Alameda Shorts to an audience.

Submission guidelines:

  • Theme: Fool
  • Deadline: Midnight, April 30, 2023
  • Event: 700pm Thursday, May 18, 2023
  • Length: Five minutes (800-1000 words, depending on how dense your writing is)
  • Format: Word document attached to an email
  • Font: Times New Roman, 12pt.
  • Submit to: [email protected]
  • Subject line: Alameda Shorts – Your Name – Theme

Immediate disqualifiers:

  • Google Docs, Pages, or any other format that isn’t Word.
  • Any font that isn’t Times New Roman (to practice being a real writer who follows submission guidelines).
  • Ignoring the subject line instructions.
  • Emails received after the deadline.
  • Neglecting to write to the theme.
  • A piece that is clearly going to take longer than five minutes to read out loud.
  • A piece that is clearly a rough draft that hasn’t been edited or polished.

How to guarantee the panel will select your piece:

  • You can’t. It’s purely subjective. Submitting an edited, polished piece that pays attention to spelling, grammar, and punctuation is a good start.