Last week we announced the magazine's third annual Summer Short Fiction Contest. It's my favorite of all our contests because we don't restrict entries as to subject -- so we always get more good stories than we know what to do with. (That's not just hyperbole: At least one non-winner has become a semi-regular contributor to the magazine. Her piece wasn't enough of a short story to satisfy our judges, but it was so beautifully written I went ahead and used it in a later issue. We labeled it "Essay.")

Plus the winners always generate great mail from readers. My favorite was the year all three winners were women, and an outraged loser wrote blaming that happenstance on the raging hormones of the female judges. (Two of the five judges happened to be male, a fact he blithely ignored.) His letter was so entertaining, though, I had to print it.

So there you go. Even if you can't write a short story, you may get published. And if you can . . .

Here are the rules again, in case you missed them:

Send in your original, unpublished stories TYPED AND DOUBLE-SPACED (or I throw them away on sight). The limit is 1,500 words; and because we have readers who count the number of words in each winning entry, we're very strict about it. Name, address, daytime phone number and Social Security number must be included. Only two stories per person. Entries must be received at The Sun by 5 p.m. Friday, June 21. Send them to Summer Short Fiction Contest, Sun Magazine, Baltimore, Md. 21278.

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