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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 was created to inspire great stories about teachers and the rich and crazy world of schools.

2023 Contest

Daniel Handler, the author also known as Lemony Snicket, is this year's judge. The winning story will be published in A Public Space's print edition and the author will receive $1,000.

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  • Stories must be between 6 and 749 words and previously unpublished.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.

The deadline to submit was:
September 1, 2022

2022 Contest

Julia Alvarez, the beloved and acclaimed novelist, was this year’s judge. Her five finalists can be read at A Public Space by clicking the link below. “Sunshower,” the winning story, will also appear in A Public Space’s print edition. Two of the finalists are Fellows of The Academy for Teachers. Congratulations, all!

First Prize, $1,000
“Sunshower” by Josephine Sarvaas

"Pond School" by JoAnne Burger
"Class starts at 8. It’s 8:39." by Jonathan Hull, Academy Fellow
"Better Tomorrow" by Michele Johnson
“The Worm at the Core” by Bo Lewis, 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.