The “About a Nebraska Town” short story contest to promote Nebraska Writers Guild authors has received eleven entries: six women and five men. I could not be more excited about the quality of the stories and applicants.

To those who entered stories… judges have until March 1st to read, make comments, and select the winner by a point system. Best of luck to all. I can’t wait to read them, and I know the other judges are just as excited!


Below are reminders of the rules of this competition. Judges should keep these factors in mind when judging the stories:

  • This competition is NOT sponsored or run by The Nebraska Writers Guild.
  • Stories entered are no longer than 5,000 words.
  • Stories are fictional, original, and submitted by the author.
  • Stories must be set in a Nebraska town and reflect the feel of a Nebraska town.
  • There is no fee for this competition. It is FREE, privately run, and specifically for Nebraska Writers Guild Members.
  • Your story may be dark, light, humorous, sci-fi, mystery, romance, horror, fantasy… whatever, as long as it’s set in a Nebraska town (small town, big town, real or fictional town, etc.) Not mentioning Nebraska would decrease the story’s odds of winning.
  • Enter stories written for an adult audience. No children’s stories for this competition. (Maybe in the future.)
  • Only twenty-five entries accepted, first come, first serve. (We had 11 and I’m thrilled with that number.)


  • The deadline for submission to this competition is January 1st. No more entries accepted at this time.
  • The award for the winner of this competition will be March 1st.


  • There will be four judges, myself, Victorine E. Lieske, and Kim Stokely and Delores Schmidt.
  • I will announce the winner here on this website and on other social media outlets.


  • I will publish the winning entry here on my blog, as well as on my Facebook Author Site.
  • The winner will receive a Winner Badge to put on their website or social media pages.
  • All entrants will receive feedback about their story from the judges.
  • The winner will own all gloating rights for winning this competition and can brag as loudly as tolerated by their friends and neighbors.

Judging Notes:

  • Stories which include explicit sex (erotica) or any descriptive scenes of abuse of women, children, or animals, will possibly be excluded. If a story is turned away, the author will privately be given the reasons, but let it be known this is a private business website and I am careful of what content I associate my writing career with.
  • IF your story does include romantic scenes or excessive or harsh swearing and wins, a notice for readers at the time of publication on this site will accompany the story.
  • I and the other judges agree not to use any part of any of the entrants’ stories for personal or business use. By entering your story, we do not own the rights to it, and cannot publish any portion or full extent of it, except for the winner’s here on this blog one time.


Week Three — Letting the Scary Things Out…

I’ve been giving you some free tastes of my writing. The essays here on my blog are normally sweet. You can read a collection of them in the book, Moments of Clarity. But my other books can be… let’s say… a tad dark. So, take the opportunity to read the freebies I’m posting during the month of October. Then you won’t be hauntingly horrified when you read my novels. I would say my brand is a cat. Soft and cuddly with fangs and claws. I’m diverse like that.

So far, you’ve sampled the stories, The Consummate Gardener, and Beyond the Door. They should have given you a bit of a shiver. Now you can nibble on this next story: Without You. I hope you have a frightening read!

Here are your options:

Read the short story here as a PDF:  Without You

You can go to Smashwords and download whatever works for your e-reader, Kindle, Nook, PDF, etc. Click Here: Without You

WEEK TWO—Letting the Scary Things Out…

I promised to let the scary things out in October and I’m good for my word. Beyond the Door is the free short story for week two. Same cover, different tint. Last one was blue, this one is green.

Here are your options:

You can download the HTML and read it FREE online. Click here: Beyond the Door.

You can go to Smashwords and download whatever works for your e-reader, Kindle, Nook, PDF, etc. Click Here: Beyond the Door

This short story is one I wrote last year and originally made as a podcast. You may have listened to it right here on my blog. But, I have rewritten it and ran it past some critique partners and a editor to make sure it came up to snuff.

So, read it if you dare! Maybe not before bed. Or if you want to be up all night, go for it! Read it by candle light in a haunted house during an electrical storm. Your call!