Writing Contest

2nd Art-Inspired Story Writing Contest

A short story inspired by a work of art in the Crow Woods art books. New this year, the writing can be a short story, or a script for a play. Please choose the featured artwork of an artist listed on the Sample Works pages (see below) on this website, so his/her permission can be obtained in event of your piece being published. An entrant may use an available artist's recent work not published in the 3 art books, provided that prior approval is obtained from both the artist and the contest.

Entrants will be considered for the publication of Visions of Life 2.


Submission Guidelines

Extended to June 30, 2019

Result Announcement
August 15, 2019

Vu Tran is a criticism columnist for the Virginia Quarterly Review, and an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Arts, and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Creative Writing at the University of Chicago. His first novel, Dragonfish, was a NY Times Notable Book and a San Francisco Chronicle Best Books of the Year.

The decisions of the judge are entirely his/her own. Submissions will be categorized into figurative, landscape/urban landscape/still life, and all others. The best writer of each of the 3 categories will receive $20, essentially being granted a free entry.

Winning short stories will receive a short paragraph from the judge.

Signing Up

Contest Entry
Reading Fee: $20
Reading Fee: $10
Visions of Life ($8.99 value)
Book: $6
Book: $3
The Chicago Art Scene ($27.95 value)
Book: $6
Book: $3
Art Scene: Chicago 2000 hardbound ($42.50 value)
Book: $10
Books: $5

Living Artists ($28.50 value)
Book: $6
Book: $3

*Special Student Discount - 50%

If you already have one of the Crow Woods art books, or you have access to the books in the library, the reading fee is $20. Payment is handled through Paypal or by mail. There are no tax and U.S. shipping charges. No overseas shipping.

Mailing address: Crow Woods Publishing, PO Box 7049, Evanston, IL 60204

Once you sign up, you will be assigned an entry number.

File Submission
Submissions are limited to 3,500 words. Send your files by email to crowwoods1@aim.com. Uploaded files should be less than 500 kb.

The art-inspired short story or play script should include a scene with the featured work of one of the artists from one of the three Crow Woods art books: The Chicago Art Scene, Art Scene, Chicago 2000, and Living Artists. How the artwork is incorporated into the story is up to the writer's discretion. The art-inspired story submitted must be original and previously unpublished.

One piece of artwork for each of the 88 available artists can be viewed on this website under
Sample Works
of The Chicago Art Scene
Sample Works of Art Scene, Chicago 2000
Sample Works of Living Artists.
In addition, if you have the Crow Woods art books, you may choose another image for the artists listed on the Sample Works pages.

If your story is chosen for publication, the image of the artist's work on which your story is based, will be published alongside the story.

All manuscripts must be in English, typed and double-spaced, and show numbered pages. The entry number, word count, name of artist. and the title of the selected artwork must be listed at the top of the first page. The author's name, address, phone number, email should be listed separately in the email submission.

Please submit one story only. Paper submissions are not accepted at this time. All entries are final. No revision is accepted.

We will read and consider simultaneous submissions to other publishers, as long as the author notifies us immediately by email, if the manuscript is accepted for publication elsewhere, at which point the submission is considered withdrawn and the reading fee forfeited.

All rights in the story are retained by the author unless an agreement is made with Crow Woods.

1. By submitting to the Contest, the entrant agrees to abide by all contest rules.
2. Plagarism, which includes the use of third party poetry, lyrics, characters, without written permission, will result in disqualification.

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