Seventh Annual Ultra-Short Writing Competition Announced

MACHIAS, ME – The Binnacle, the literary and arts magazine of the University of Maine at Machias, is sponsoring its Seventh Annual Ultra-Short Competition, open to writers in Washington County and around the globe. Interested writers of short narratives in prose or poetry of fewer than 150 words (poetry of sixteen lines or fewer) are welcome to submit their works.

Prizes will be awarded in May for both categories, with the total of prizes amounting to no less than $300. The top fifty-two entries will be included in the contest edition. Writers should submit their works by e-mail to by March 1.

The seventh edition is already off to a great start. According to The Binnacle advisor, Professor of English Gerard NeCastro, submissions have come from eighteen states, seven countries, and four continents, as well as the students on campus. Last year, there were 950 submissions; and this year there are already over 500.

The Sixth Edition, to be available in mid-February, will include works of New England writers, Patty Olds, Nancy Brown Stump, Sandra Erickson, and Ellen LaFleche, as well as UMM graduate Tara Tabbutt and UMM student winner Myra Merritt.

“The Ultra-Short Competition continues to gain a larger audience in the writing community,” says NeCastro. “Hundreds of Web sites, blogs and Facebook pages feature the Ultra-Short, and writers all over the world share their appreciation with us.”

Last year three Binnacle Ultra-Short winners were nominated for the distinguished Pushcart Prize, including Tania Hesrhmann for “My Mother Was an Upright Piano,” Barbara Fleming Philips for “Pop’s Garden,” and Nancy Brown Stump for “Any Waitress Worth Her Tips Knows.”

Writers who can not e-mail their entries can mail them to The Binnacle, 19 Kimball Hall, UMM, 116 O’Brien Avenue, Machias, ME 04654. For more information, please visit The Binnacle on the Web at or call NeCastro at 255-1293.

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