Wordstock is still a few months away, but the deadline for their 5th annual short story contest is July 15th. There's a $20 entry fee, sure, but the prize is $1,000 and publication in the October issue of Portland Monthly. A panel of critics, professors, publishers, and writers will pick 10 finalists, all of whom will appear in a Wordstock anthology available at the festival. And all entrants will get a copy of that.

Guess who picks the winner from the final 10. Give up? Bender the Robot. Wait...I mean Aimee Bender. Easily just as cool.

Here's the guidelines:

All short stories must be works of fiction written in English
- Stories must be an original work and not previously published
- The entry fee is $20 per short story entry
- There are no genre restrictions, and comics are acceptable
- Manuscripts may be in Word or PDF format
- Manuscripts must be double-spaced
- Stories should be no less than 1,500 and no more than 3,000 words
- Each submission file you upload must omit the writer’s contact information—DO NOT put this information on the manuscript!
- Entries that do not follow these guidelines will be disqualified

What better way to spend a beautiful, three-day weekend than writing a short story?