Lit Night: Screen Shorts

This brand-new lit night is our online version of Alameda Shorts. Our membership has expanded to include a number of writers who don’t live on our island or near enough to make it to a live, in-person event. I think they’re just as entitled to the opportunity to read their work at a curated lit night as anyone else, so I’ve added an online version to our schedule.

Screen Shorts features the same prompts, the submission guidelines, and judges assigned to Alameda Shorts. The only difference is that Screen Shorts happens on Zoom. The audience is live, the butterflies feel real, and the vibe is the same: Grown-Up Story Time.

If anything is better about Screen Shorts, it’s that you can wear your jammies, sit in the best spot on the couch, and bring the good snacks – instead of having to dress up to go out, sit in a regular chair, and choose from someone else’s idea of good snacks.

Join us for Screen Shorts in 2024!

If you’re thinking about submitting for Screen Shorts, 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 out loud in five minutes or less (emphasis on the less).
  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 on Screen Shorts.
  4. On the third Thursday of the following month, we present Screen Shorts to a live online audience.

Submission guidelines:

  • Theme: Insinuate
  • Deadline: Midnight, April 30, 2024
  • Event: 700pm Thursday, May 16, 2024
  • 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: Screen Shorts – Your Name – Theme
  • REMEMBER: Type your name inside your document, above the title. I will keep the copy with your name for my purposes and remove it from the copy I send to the judges. Do not embed your name, turn it into a watermark, or do anything else that prevents its removal; sending it from your email address to ours is all you need to prove it came from you.

Immediate disqualifiers:

(Take this opportunity to practice being a real writer who follows submission guidelines and check your formatting before sending it in).

  • Google Docs, Pages, or any format other than Word.
  • Any font that isn’t Times New Roman.
  • 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.
  • REMEMBER: The point of having submission guidelines in place is to give you the opportunity to practice following submission guidelines when it comes to being published. We enforce them for your benefit.

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.