Stories that need to be told

We're so thrilled and honored that the 2016 Stories That Need to Be Told anthology was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award!

Scroll down to see our past winners.

Select number of entries

​​​​​​​​Stories That Need to Be Told: 

The Contest

Deadline: September 16, 2017



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


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 bonus 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

  • 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.

September 16, 2017

Announcing the Winners

A shortlist of finalists will be posted on this page by October 21st. Winners will be emailed and posted on this page by 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  • ​​Entries for these contests should be previously unpublished material (or previously published in a journal or anthology with fewer than 500 copies printed, and you must own the copyright).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) you are granting 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 is open.
  • Include your name, mailing address, email address, and title on the first page of your story (no separate cover sheet needed).

How to Enter

  1. Purchase your entry fee via PayPal below. Email if you would rather mail in your payment.

  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

2016 Winners

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

2016 Contest Shortlist
A Baseball Lesson, by Mark J. Rogovin
A Beer in Bastille, by Kenneth John Holt
A Dream Contact, by Jeffrey Michael Nabity
A Place You Love, by Lones Seiber
A Very Special Occasion, by Ana Maria Owusu
Affliction, by Demarra Gardner
Alumni, by Michael Fischer
An Adulterous Meeting, by Jeremy King
Apotropaic, by Kendall Klym
Brave, by Stephanie L. Harper
Bunny Swung the Axe at Charlie, by Harry Beach
Chucky’s in Tucson, by Brant Vickers
Closing the Door, by Marianna Crane
Confession, by Patricia Hawley
Daniel My Brother, by Michael Twist
David and the River, by J.P. Dunlap
Downtown Loop, by Aleksandra Konstantinovic
Dream Job, by Kathy Doherty
Dreams and Other Sleights of Hand, by Michelle Perez
Duke, by Rochelle Theo Pienn
His Super Bowl Our Struggle, by John J. McLaughlin
Hot Lips, by Cynthia Walker
How Separate Are We? Witnessing India, by Mag Dimond
How to Live the Rest of Your Life in 100 Days, by Elias Renaud
I Was a Brave Rifle, by Pierre Epstein
Ictal Life ( A Song for Epilepsy), by Brandon Ellis
In the Time of Water, by Mario René Padilla
It Seems Like It Should, by Kerime B. Toksu
Keeper of the Gate, by Mario René Padilla
Let’s Just Have the Goddamn Leftover Ziti and Be Done with It, by Tonya Malinowski
Loss, by Joan Graham
Lucky AKA Evolution of Standards, by Amyen Evert
Mending, by Enid Harlow
Mr. Thoughtful, by Christopher Spencer
My Chair Awaits, by Otis Sprow
My Father Wants I Should Know, by Jean Ende
On Being a Jellyfish, by Samuel L. Rubinstein
Only a Nurse, by Israela Margalit
Solitary Grace, by Beka Tuitasi (Beth Witrogen)
The Cure, by Cynthia Walker
The Drink, by V. P. Loggins
The Randall Knife, by Morgan Smith
The Swing, by Lisa Poff
The Tapering Path, by Stephanie Daugherty
The Tunnel, by Courtney Prather
Ties That Bind, by Michael Twist
Tumors Humors, by Beverley Catlett
When I Find You Close, by Amy S. Lerman
Wiley's Shark, by S. G. Fromm

2015 Winners
1st: Africa Weeping, by Jerry Eckert, posthumous
2nd: Love Underground, by Andrew Jack Foster ~ Glasgow, UK
3rd: These Are the Things, by Chris Connolly ~ Booterstown, Ireland

Honorable Mentions
Labor Day, by Darla Klein ~ Clearwater, FL
Meant to Be, by Monica Vickers ~ Florence, AZ
This Is for Keeps, by Molly Steen ~ Sylva, NC
So Many Rivers, by Sandra McGarry ~ Fort Collins, CO
Peas and Queues, by Richard Key ~ Dothan, AL​
My Dad, Sandy, and the Tri-Pacer, by ​​William J. McIlwain ~ Morganton, NC
​Kinky and Gruen, by Diane Simkin ~ Del Mar, CA

Look for their stories in the Winter issue of TulipTree Review!