Stories That Need to Be Told: 

The Contest


Just So, by Lish Troha


PASSION:  Pablo Neruda and the Caffeinated Madness of Love, by Chris Morgan
DEPTH: Jimmy's Fish Market, by Dana Suzanne Keller
HUMOR:  Eunice Buys a Doll, by James Gish
LOVE: A Good and Simple Meal, by M. B. McLatchey
BONUS: A Thousand Kisses Deep, by Deborah Levine


A Vague Recollection, by Erica Stisser
​A Woman of a Certain Hue, by Shanteé Felix
At the Falling-Off Point, by Roxy Runyan
Bead by Bead, by E A Luetkemeyer
Between Sips, by Cody Westbrook
Chasing Dragons, by Lynette Benton
​Confrontation and Cojones, by Mario René  Padilla
Country Poor, by Katrina Hawley
​Coven, by Samantha Barron
Fetching the Payroll, by P. Jo Anne Burgh
Fruit Punch, by Jake Teeny
Get Off Track, by Timothy Scahill
Hello and Goodbye, by Robert Pope
Hope Walker, by Jamer
Interview with Kalief Browder, by Alex Greenberg
​Life on the Road without Any Brakes, by Don Carter
Nonspeaking, by Isabelle Jay
One-Eyed in Juarez, by Morgan Smith
Pre-Glow of the Neo-Apocalypse, by Genevra Levinson
Rubbing the Chips, by Pat Anthony
​Soviet Skatepark, by Jonan Pilet
Stretch Marks, by Simone Martel
Swim, by Eric Roe
The Things My Afro Knows, by AE Wynter
The Toll, by Simone Kern
Toes Touching Sand, by Courtney L. Hall
Turn Right at the Tree House, by R. Avy Harris
Vignette between Now and Morning, by Kai Mawougbe
​Where to Be, by Catherine Witzling

2018 Shortlist

2012: The Year the World Was Ending, by Tracei Lauren Akarlilar
A Good and Simple Meal, by M. B. McLatchey
A Thousand Kisses Deep, by Deborah Levine
A Vague Recollection, by Erica Stisser

A Woman of a Certain Hue, by Shanteé Felix

Accented English, by Queenie Mae Dizon 

Adams, by Duffie Taylor

Alaskan Cannery Summer, by Jason Hackett

All Good Here, by J. Kevin Shushtari

Amazing Grace, by Bob Sh’mal Ellenberg

Andromeda, by Virginia Watts

Annie, by Ellen Black 

Approximate Youth, by Corinne Lestch

At the Falling-Off Point, by Roxy Runyan

At the Holocaust Memorial, by Gunilla Kester

Be My Baby, by Linda C. Hamilton
Bead by Bead, by E A Luetkemeyer 
Becoming a Special Needs Parent, by Lisa Poff
Benny Quist, by Oliver St. John
Between Sips, by Cody Westbrook
Big Bad Wolf, by Kathy Evans
Brannon Bird and His Fish Lips, by Olivia Gamsu
Breathing Under Water, by Barry W. North
Carnie's Brief Candle, by Sandra Julian Barker 
Chasing Dragons, by Lynette Benton
Climb, by Melissa Crisp-Cooper 
Collateral Damages, by deb y felio
Coming Clean, by Cathy Arden
Confessions from a Well-Appointed Conference Room, by John Lankford
Confrontation and Cojones, by Mario René  Padilla
Confronting My Father's Mistress, by Tanya Ko Hong
Country Poor, by Katrina Hawley
Coven, by Samantha Barron
Cowboy Desert, by Mario Rene Padilla
Crossing Over, by S. J. Cahill
Crossroad, by Aaron Ghering
Dear Mama, by Katie Guinn
Dirty, by Mary Brady
Does God Have Nipples, by Karen Siewert
Dropout Lessons, by Claudia Miriam Reed
Elizabeth Lawrence Lynched July 5, 1933, by Jane K. Kretschmann
Eunice Buys a Doll, by James Gish
Execution Etiquette, by Cheryl McCourtie
Faded Superman Logo, by Wally B. Jennings
Famous, by G. Evelyn Lampart
Fetching the Payroll, by P. Jo Anne Burgh
Flight, by Lones Seiber
Fooling the Devil, by James Magner
Free Milk, by Alexander Jones
Freedom Summer, August 1963, by Tova Green
From a Mother's Heart, by Nancy Ruth Best
Fruit Punch, by Jake Teeny
Get Off Track, by Timothy Scahill
Ghost, by Courtney L. Hall
Ghouls Just Want to Have Fun, by Stephen Oliver
Going Doolally, by J. Lorraine Brown
Hello and Goodbye, by Robert Pope
Hope Walker, by Jamer
Inevitable, by Richard Reck
Inside, by Laurie K. Batzel
Interview with Kalief Browder, by Alex Greenberg
Into the Stormtroopers, by Don Carter
It Was 1993, the Year Ma Died, by Chad V. Broughman
Jimmy's Fish Market, by Dana Suzanne Keller
Just So, by Lish Troha
Key System, by Alan Bern
Life on the Road without Any Brakes, by Don Carter
Love Is a Rock, by Jon Fried
Mardis Gras, by John T. Miller
Mentor, by Linda Jakubowski
Mexican Avalanche, by Henri Bensussen 
Miranda's Lament, by Suzanne Cully
Mirror, Mirror, . . ., Who's the Thinnest of Them All?, by Samantha Havens
Mother House, by Lelia Moskowitz
Mr. Appleton, by Kate Varley
Music, by Mel Konner
My Sister's Wedding, by Peter Kocal 
​Needles and Blood, by Marian Chatfield-Taylor
Nickel Men, by Keith Skinner
Nonspeaking, by Isabelle Jay
North-Country Detective, by John Kennedy
Norwich Pool Leftovers, by Cecilia Worth
Not a Real Person, by Shana Bazi 
Of My Early Childhood Mysteries, by Frank Cebulski
On Wings of Song, by Mel Konner
One-Eyed in Juarez, by Morgan Smith
One Flesh, by Pat Anthony
Oscar Night 1998, by Deborah Levine
Pablo Neruda and the Caffeinated Madness of Love, by Chris Morgan 
Picking the Ticks Off Dixie, by Aaron Wood
Pink Star, by Sandra Hunter
Playing House, by Alex Myers 
Pre-Glow of the Neo-Apocalypse, by Genevra Levinson
Rubbing the Chips, by Pat Anthony
Salvage, by John Lavelle
Saraswati, by Diane Simkin Demeter
Saturday at the Antique Mall, by Katie Anne Frazier
Sex, Love, and Identity Politics, by Cory Brown
Shadow Angel, by Andrew Parker
Shanda, by Cynthia D. Bertelsen
Shoot Don't Shoot, by Tracy Granzyk 
Shovel, by Trevor Lisa
Simple Man, by Tim Young
Smells Like Dad's Spirit, by Diana Sperrazza
snap shots, by Michael Miller
Snow, by Mary Fancher
Some Women Are Superheroes, by Deidra Lee
Soviet Skatepark, by Jonan Pilet
Spilt, by Kelsey Taylor 
Stretch Marks, by Simone Martel
Surviving Vertically, by Israela Margalit 
Swim, by Eric Roe
Taming the Wild, by Vivian M. Carroll
Taxi, Train, and Felucca Trust on the Nile, by Maryah Converse
Tennis Lessons, by Jacqueline Rosenbaum
Tenochtitlan, by Christian Robbie
The Affair, by Fred Waiss
The Crossroads, by Janet Barrow
The Disposable Daughter, by Julie Anne Colibri
The Far Away, by Mark Havlik
The Farmer's Daughter, by Jharna Sutaria
The First Kristin: The Story of a Naming, by Kristin Czarnecki
The House with the Large Fortification, by Bryan Quick
The New World, by Scott William Woods
The National Geographic Society Awards, by Kate Fox
The Old Red Rooster, by Gordon Smith
The Only Gorilla, by Cameron Bocanegra 
The Package, by Janine McCann 
The Palazzo of the Dwarven Overlord, by Russell Working
The Photograph, by h. ellis
The Sharpness of Stars, by Ellen Francese
The Song of All Saints, by Michael Campagnoli
The South Shore Slut, by Kristi Iuliano 
The Survivor, by Holly Woodward
The Things My Afro Knows, by AE Wynter
The Toll, by Simone Kern
The Underground Manifesto, by Carla Myers
The Wives, by Marianna Crane
The Workings of Joy, by Julia Ballerini
This Sax Which Is Not One, by Donald Secreast
This, Our Goodbye, by Vince Broerman
Through Different Eyes, by Felicia V. Young-Wilkinson
To Hell and Back, by James Hartigan
To Keep Walking Straight, by Rachel Wegner
Toes Touching Sand, by Courtney L. Hall
Traveling Light, by Tom Billings
Trysts, by Susan Hamlin
Turf, by Tracei Lauren Akarlilar
Turn Right at the Tree House, by R. Avy Harris
Two Steves, by Lindsay Goodwin
UC Davis Correctional Facility, by Gabriella Buckner
Under a Purple Sky, by Morgan Smith
Vietnam. Memory, by Marian Chatfield-Taylor
Vignette between Now and Morning, by Kai Mawougbe
Waiting for Bears, by Dottie Joslyn
Waking Up, by Mario Rene Padilla
War Time, by Robert Williams
What Happens When You Listen, by Christopher Croix Dillingham-Boston
What I Can No Longer See, by Amy S. Lerman 
Where to Be, by Catherine Witzling
Whistle Stop, by KT Sparks
White SUV, by Frank Walters
Woodcock Night, by Wendy Palmer
Words That Soak into Your Soul, by Carrie Scarborough Kinnard
Yosemite, by Harrison Lee




There is only one category: the Story. There is truth in any story, and the reason you choose to tell a particular story may be the most important story of all. But, before we get too philosophical, here's the point: submissions should tell a story. It doesn't matter if you consider it fiction, nonfiction, or poetry—if it tells a story, it fits. 

Grand Prize: $1,000 
Five additional prizes of $200 will be given for stories that excel in the merits of Humor, Passion, Depth, and (any form of) Love. An additional $200 prize will be awarded in a wild card category, to be determined by the entries. We'll call this one the Bonus category. Additionally, winners and Honorable Mentions will be published in and receive a free copy of the annual Stories That Need to Be Told anthology.

Word Limit 
10,000 words

Entry Fee
$20 per entry. That includes $20 per poem (because every entry has the potential to win the same cash prizes). There is no limit on the number of times you may enter. If you withdraw your entry as noted below, the entry fee is nonrefundable.

August 26, 2018*
11:59 p.m. Pacific 

*If you are mailing in your payment, your entry must still be received by the deadline above and your payment must be postmarked by August 27.

Announcing the Winners
The 2018 shortlist will be posted on this page by October 1st. The winners and Honorable Mentions will be contacted and posted on this page by October 5th. All entrants will also receive an email notification when these have been posted.

The Anthology
The estimated release date of the Stories That Need to Be Told 2018 anthology is November 1st.

Reprints and Simultaneous Submissions
​​Entries for these contests should be previously unpublished material (or previously published in a journal or anthology with fewer than 500 copies printed, and you must own the copyright). Simultaneous submissions are okay, but if your work is accepted elsewhere it is up to you to notify us. In the event you withdraw your submission, the entry fee is nonrefundable. 

Legal Stuff
By entering the contest you are stating and agreeing that (1) the work is your own original work, (2) no one else owns the rights to publish said work, and (3) if you are one of the winners of a cash prize, you grant TulipTree Publishing, LLC (TulipTree) the right to publish said work, unless you withdraw your work prior to TulipTree's announcement of winners.  

TulipTree does not retain rights to your work after we publish it.

How to Format Your Entry

  • Entries should be in .doc or .docx format (Mac Pages is okay, too), and the title of the document should be the title of your story.

  • Prose entries should be in standard industry format: 12 pt Times New Roman, double-spaced, 1-inch margins.

  • Poetry format should be 12 pt TNR, but line spacing and margins are open style.

  • Include your name, mailing address, email address, and title on the first pageof your story (no separate cover sheet needed).

How to Enter

  1. Purchase your entry fee via PayPal below or mail your payment to TulipTree Publishing, PO Box 723, Canon City, CO 81215. Please note in your submission email that you are paying by mail. Note that even if you mail in your payment, you should still email your submission. 

  2. Email your entry as an attachment to You will receive a confirmation email when your entry has been received and logged into our system.  

Past Winners
GRAND PRIZE:  Mary's Story by Georgia Baddley

PASSION:  Le Château Possoniere by Mario René Padilla
DEPTH:  No Superhero by Lisa Poff
HUMOR:  Beats by Jon Shorr
LOVE:  Annotated Love Letter by Alexander Joseph
BONUS:  Run Amok by Laura Eddy

​A Bus Poem, Cameron Moore
A Monster’s Eulogy, Rekha Rangan
An Inconvenient Death, Gabriella Buckner
Daddy's Tears, Jacob Paul Patchen
Dangerous Fish Days, Robert Hambling Davis
Dear Demeter, Audrey Larkin
Disrupting History, Mariya Taher
Eight Steps Down, Steven Fromm
Freddy, Julie Dearborn
Getting Our Flickers, Nick Swartz
Heroes, Calvin Hennick
I Told You Not to Move, Allison Flom
Jay, Will Schick
Lovers Last Journey, Bob Blake
Naturally, Mika Hunter
Pobrecito, Nina Joy Silver
Strato-Christmas '66, Jimmy Searles
The Corner of My Heart, Victoria Sylvander 

GRAND PRIZE:  Mending by Enid Harlow

HUMOR:  Alumni by Michael Fischer
PASSION:  Mr. Thoughtful by Christopher Spencer
LOVE:  A Very Special Occasion by Ana Maria Owusu
DEPTH:  Ictal Life (A Song for Epilepsy) by Brandon Ellis

A Baseball Lesson, Mark J. Rogovin
A Beer in Bastille, Kenneth John Holt
A Place You Love, Lones Seiber
Alumni, Michael Fischer
An Adulterous Meeting, Jeremy King
Brave, Stephanie L. Harper
Bunny Swung the Axe at Charlie, Harry Beach
Chucky’s in Tucson, Brant Vickers
Closing the Door, Marianna Crane
Confession, Patricia Hawley
Dreams and Other Sleights of Hand, Michelle Perez
How to Live the Rest of Your Life in 100 Days, Elias Renaud
It Seems Like It Should, Kerime B. Toksu
Keeper of the Gate, Mario René Padilla
My Father Wants I Should Know, Jean Ende
Solitary Grace, Beka Tuitasi 
The Cure, Cynthia Walker
The Randall Knife, Morgan Smith
Ties That Bind, Michael Twist
Tumors Humors, Beverley Catlett
When I Find You Close, Amy S. Lerman

1st place: Africa Weeping by Jerry Eckert, posthumous
2nd place: Love Underground by Andrew Jack Foster 
3rd place: These Are the Things by Chris Connolly 


Labor Day, Darla Klein 
Meant to Be, Monica Vickers 
This Is for Keeps, Molly Steen 
So Many Rivers, Sandra McGarry 
Peas and Queues, Richard Key ​
My Dad, Sandy, and the Tri-Pacer, ​​William J. McIlwain 
​Kinky and Gruen, Diane Simkin 

You can find the 2015 stories in the Winter issue of TulipTree Review.

Enter to be a part of this year's anthology! The 2017 collection won a Colorado Independent Publishers Association Evvy Award. The 2016 anthology was also a finalist for a Colorado Book Award.

Select number of entries

Stories change us.

Scroll down to see all of our past winners.