Bird Island Cultural Centre Presents: Tales From the Tall Grass Prairie Writers’ Contest 2023


2023 Writers’ Contest | Guidelines & Rules


  • Contest is open to anyone over 18 years of age.


  • Submissions must be original.
  • All entries must follow the rules in this document.

Contest Categories

  • FLASH FICTION (up to 1,000 words) – Flash fiction often contains the classic story elements: protagonist, conflict, obstacles, and resolution. However, unlike traditional short story, the limited word length often forces some of these elements to remain unwritten, yet hinted at or implied in the written storyline.
  • HUMOROUS ESSAY (up to 1,000 words) – A humorous essay is a familiar essay prompting the reader to smile, chuckle and laugh outloud; its primary aim is to amuse readers rather than informing or pursuading them. Humorous essays in this category will rely on life experiences written with humor.

Entry Fees – $15.00 per entry

  • MAIL-IN ENTRY: print your entry form, fill it out completely and sign it. Attach your check made out to Writers’ Group and mail to:  Cultural Centre in Bird Island, PO Box 434, Bird Island MN 55310.
  • IN-PERSON ENTRY: print your entry form, fill it out completely and sign it. Bring cash or check to the Cultural Centre in Bird Island and give it to the treasurer, Mark Glesener.

Tales From the Tall Grass Prairie Writers Contest Submission Form


1. You may submit up to two entries for each category. Each entry will require a separate fee. However, you may only win one time in either category.

2. Do not put your name on any pages of your entry; your name, phone number, and email address, along with the title of your entry, go on the cover page. Adding your name to any page of the entry besides the cover page will result in disqualification.

3. All entries must be printed in Times New Roman 12-point type and double-spaced as a WORD document.

      • Use one-inch margins all around.
      • Indent each paragraph.
      • Entries must be typed according to appropriate professional form.
      • The title of the work and a page number should appear on every printed page.
      • Entries must be in good taste.
      • Do not use fancy or script fonts for your text, except when stating character thoughts, which must be in italics.

4. Do not include illustrations or pictures in the manuscript.

5. Do not staple pages together; use a paperclip.

6. Submit entry in 10 x 13″ envelope with cover page and entry form included.

7. Any deviation from these rules could be a basis for disqualification.

Review the guidelines one final time before submitting. No re-submissions will be accepted. Congratulations! You have taken a bold step toward believing in yourself and your writing.



The contest deadline is May 31, 2023. Any entries mailed in and postmarked by May 31, 2023 will be accepted. Be aware that if you miss a post office pick-up deadline, the postmark will be for the next day, so be sure to get it in the mail in time. You can bring the entry or entries to the Cultural Centre in Bird Island in an unmarked 10 x 13 inch envelope and give it to Mark or Rosemary Glesener who will in turn give it to a judging committee member.



Contest entries will be blind-judged by professionals who may/or may not be members of the Cultural Centre Writers’ Group. The judges will remain annonymous. Entries will be judged on the criteria set on their judging forms. Written feedback will be given on all winning enteries.



Awards will be presented on June 17, 2023 at the Tales From the Tall Grass Prairie Show held on June 17, 2023 from 7:00 to 9:00PM at the Cultural Centre in Bird Island.

Flash Fiction -1st Place, $100.00; 2nd Place $50.00

Humorous Essay -1st Place, $100.00; 2nd Place $50.00

All 3rd place winners will be awarded an Individual Annual Membership to CCBI ($35.00 value)

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