With our ninth print issue right around the corner, we need to make some space in the ol’ warehouse. So we’re holding a contest and giving away a bunch of back issues. Here’s how it works:

All you have to do is read through our web archives and pick your favorite story. Then, leave a comment below this post telling us which story struck you the most and why. Each day from today through Sunday, we’ll pick one random winner to receive a back issue of Monkeybicycle. Then at the end of the week we’ll select one grand-prize winner based on the responses to receive a collection of all our back issues—five in total.

There are a lot of great stories in our archives, so be sure to dig deep. And the farther back you go, the funnier our website design is. Entertainment on two levels!

Click here to get to the archives and start reading. And be sure to tell your friends. Whether you receive a book or not, you’ll feel like a grade-A winner after reading a few of our great short stories.

Our grand prize winner will be announced here on Monday, April 30th.



Monday: Sandra Ketcham
Tuesday: Thomas Michael Duncan
Wednesday: Shannon Barber
Thursday: Nathan Thornton
Friday: Doug Paul Case
Sunday: Justin Brouckaert



St. Lawrence Book Award (save $10)

c/o Diane Goettel, Executive Editor, Black Lawrence Press:

Black Lawrence Press is offering a reduced entry fee for the St. Lawrence Book Award. The entry fee for the prize is $25 and the deadline is August 31, but, if you send them your submission by June 30th, you only have to pay $15. Get all the details here:

What??? A free copy of Monkeybicycle 6???

Jason Jordan is graciously giving away a free copy of MB6, just for a little ‘ol comment on his blog. So go forth, comment, & Mr. Jordan will pull a winner on June 6th. Thanks JJ, the Monkey loves you.

Shut up! I love awards:

The Writer’s Center Announces New Award: the McLaughlin-Esstman-Stearns First Novel Prize

BETHESDA, MD (April 4, 2011)—Thanks to the generosity of one of its board members, Neal P. Gillen, The Writer’s Center is pleased to announce that it will award $500 annually to the author of the best first novel published during a given calendar year. Conceived and funded by Gillen, the McLaughlin-Esstman-Stearns Prize honors three dedicated writers and members of The Writer’s Center faculty—Ann McLaughlin, Barbara Esstman, and Lynn Stearns—each of whom, Gillen says, “unselfishly nourish and inspire students and fellow writers.”

The Writer’s Center is accepting submissions from authors and publishers from now until July 15. Please read further for eligibility and requirements.

Eligibility and Requirements: All first novels published in 2010 are eligible, including those published by major, independent, and self-publishing presses. Only American authors publishing in English are eligible. All entries must be postmarked by July 15, 2011. Entries not postmarked prior to or on this date will be ineligible, and they will not be returned unless accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. Authors must submit 3 copies of their published novel along with a contact cover sheet indicating name, address, phone number, and e-mail address (no cover letter required). No galley proofs will be accepted. Following the judging process, manuscripts will not be returned unless accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope with sufficient postage. The Writer’s Center is not responsible for lost or damaged manuscripts. Writer’s Center staff, board, and workshop leaders may not enter.

Send submissions via regular mail only (postmarked no later than July 15) to Zachary Fernebok, Administrative Coordinator, 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD 20815

Judging: The Writer’s Center will solicit a group of no more than 15 volunteer judges to serve as first-round judges. These volunteers will evaluate books to determine if they meet eligibility requirements, and they will read and evaluate the submissions. Submissions advancing to the second round of judging will be evaluated by a team of 3 final judges. Final judges will be selected from our membership and workshop leader pool. These judges will determine at their sole discretion the Award recipient.

The Winner: The Winner will be announced in October. He or she will receive a feature in the Winter/Spring edition of the Workshop & Event Guide, at and The Writer’s Center’s blog, First Person Plural. In addition, if feasible he or she will be invited to read at The Writer’s Center during a reception to honor his or her work.

About The Writer’s Center: The Writer’s Center is supported in part by The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, and by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of Maryland and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Writer’s Center also receives funding from the Cafritz Foundation, the Tau Foundation, The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Writer’s Center gratefully acknowledges assistance received from the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington’s Business Volunteers for the Arts program. Visit our Web site at