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We hold periodic contests that help us highlight the rich, challenging, and underappreciated world of the teachers. Judged by accomplished experts, these contests are open to everyone. Enter for a chance to win a cash prize!

“Stories Out of School” Flash Fiction Contest

Teachers have the most fascinating, difficult, and important job on the planet, and their workdays are filled with stories. Yet teachers seldom appear in fiction. This annual contest, for teachers and non-teachers was created to inspire great stories about teachers and the rich and crazy world of schools.

2024 Contest

The judge for this year's contest is Pulitzer Prize finalist and MacArthur "genius" Karen Russell. The winning story will be published in A Public Space's print edition and the author will receive $1,000. The submission deadline was September 1, 2023. Winners will be announced in January 2024.

Submission Criteria

  • The story’s protagonist, or its narrator, must be a K-12 teacher.
  • Stories must be between 6 and 749 words and previously unpublished.
  • Sentimentality is discouraged and education jargon is forbidden.
  • Only one submission per writer. No exceptions.
  • You must be over 18.
  • Any adult, whether a teacher or not, is eligible to submit.

2023 Contest

Daniel Handler, the author also known as Lemony Snicket, was this year's judge. The winning story was published in A Public Space's print edition and the author received $1,000. All of the runners-up were featured along with the winning story on A Public Space's website. Both the winner and one of the runners-up are Academy Fellows. Congratulations all!

First Prize, $1,000
“Tree Club” by Christopher Chilton, Academy Fellow

"The Seating Charts" by Paul Macomber

"Snow Day Alphabet" by Jonathan Hull, Academy Fellow

Read the Winning Stories

BD Wong reads the 2019 winning story from our Flash Fiction Contest.

BD Wong reading
the 2019 wining story
"A Brief Description of Mister Kuka"
by Santian Vataj
at our annual fundraiser
Show Teachers the Love!

Past Winners

Help us keep great teachers in the classroom

Teachers, our most valuable resource, are struggling. Overwhelmed and under-supported, too many teachers leave the profession too soon. The Academy’s enriching experiences and supportive community have been proven to improve those odds.