The Annual Seven Bridge Writers’ Collaborative Award for Short Fiction

The theme for the 2018 Seven Bridge Writers’ Collaborative Award for Short Fiction is “Resistance.” From major movements in history through more immediate political events today, resistance has been central to our shared experience. Don’t stop at notions of world-affecting events, think of the resistance we face in our daily lives: that screen door that won’t close, the dog who pulls on his leash, the toddler who keeps saying “No,” or the baby who kicks against a diaper change. Think of the great aunt who won’t try her daughter’s Thanksgiving dressing, the gear the auto mechanic cannot shift. Turn those experiences into art and submit a short story of up to 2000 words via the online submissions system.

The contest is open to New England writers, and runs April 1 – April 30, 2018. (Submissions will not be accepted by Submittable before April 1st.) The prizewinner will receive $250.00, and the story will be published on the SBWC website. This year’s judge is James Dempsey.


WPI Professor Jim Dempsey, poses for a photo on the campus of WPI in Worcester, Massachusetts on May 11, 2017. Matthew Healey for The Worcester Telegram & Gazette
2018 Judge

James Dempsey is an instructor in English and journalism at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, and is the author of the novels, “Murphy’s American Dream” and “Zakary’s Zombies.” His biography of Scofield Thayer, a key figure in modernist art and poetry, titled, “The Tortured Life of Scofield Thayer,” was published in 2014, and he is writing a biographical portrait of Thayer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, which is displaying some of Thayer’s extraordinary collection of modernist art later this year. He is also working with New York film producer Caroline Camougis on a documentary about Thayer, to coincide with the MET exhibit.

Dempsey is a former journalist with the Telegram & Gazette newspaper, Worcester. He has won awards from the Associated Press and United Press International, and is the author of a collection of verse translating Geoffrey Chaucer into modern English, among other published works. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Gail.

General Guidelines
    • Open to New England writers only.
    • $20.00 submission fee (per submission).
    • We only use Submittable, a secure online submissions management tool, to manage our submissions.
    • Each entry must be original, unpublished, not submitted or accepted elsewhere for publication, not posted and not entered simultaneously in any other contest. Rights revert to the writer immediately upon publication.
    • All manuscripts should be in 12-point type, with at least one-inch margins, and sequentially numbered pages.
    • Judging will be blind. Please do not include your name or personal details in your submission document; this includes the file name. (You will have a chance to include your contact information on the Submittable form).
    • Only 200 submissions will be accepted.
    • Cover letters are not necessary and will not be forwarded to the judge.