The popular Rehoboth Beach Reads Short Story Contest is now accepting submissions. The contest, in its fifth year, invites writers to submit short (500-3,500 word) “beach reads,” the kinds of stories people enjoy reading while on vacation. Each story must incorporate the year’s theme and have a connection to Rehoboth Beach (the writer does not have to live in Rehoboth). This year’s theme is Beach Life. Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach is the sponsor for the contest, which offers a $500 cash prize for first place, $250 for second place, and $100 for third place. The top 20-25 stories chosen by a panel of judges will be included in the book Beach Life, which will be published by Cat & Mouse Press by the end of the year. Contest guidelines and entry information are available at catandmousepress.com.
The varied nature of the stories in the Rehoboth Beach Reads books is part of their appeal. Previous books have included stories involving Sherlock Holmes, ghosts, a noir-style hired killer, a “magical” bathing suit, elderly outlaws, and a murder mystery involving the short story contest itself. The book containing last year’s winners, Beach Nights, opens with “Good Vibrations,” a funny and romantic story involving a high school prom, and continues through tales that involve a mermaid’s moon, a “Vampire Surf Club,” senior disco queens, a seemingly haunted Funland ride, murder at a Rehoboth hotel, a moonlit sea turtle rescue, and a kid who sneaks into a James Brown concert and meets the man himself. Despite the wide variety of styles and content, all the stories are set in and around the Rehoboth area and many mention local hotels, restaurants, shops, and events.
A panel of judges selects the stories for the top prizes and also choose stories they feel deserve special merit for individual judge’s awards. This year’s judges are Stephanie Fowler, Barbara Lockhart, Laurel Marshfield, William Peak, Mary Pauer, and Judith Reveal.
The contest deadline is July 1. The fee to enter is $10, and each writer can submit up to three stories. Entries are judged on creativity, quality of writing, suitability as a beach read, and fit with the theme. The complete contest guidelines and additional tips are posted on the Cat & Mouse Press website. Potential entrants are encouraged to read How to Write Winning Short Stories (available at local bookstores and online) and look at the previous books in the series (The Beach House, The Boardwalk, Beach Days, and Beach Nights) to see the kinds of stories that were selected in previous years.
The arrival of spring always brings much anticipation to see the flowers and trees come into bloom. That feeling is much like how I anticipate our Annual CAMP Rehoboth Membership Drive. I wonder how many wonderful people will join and support our Mission which is so important this year. This year especially requires us to show the world that there are many of us who believe in justice and equality!
I would like to thank the Membership Committee members for always going a little higher when the bar is low and we need extra help. They are Don Crowl, Kathy Davison, Sandra Skidmore and Debbie Woods. In addition, we send a special thank you to Glen Pruitt, our wordsmith and purveyor of new ideas! A special shout out to Ann Evans, membership coordinator, who maintains our records and produces all the renewal and thank you letters. Thank you also to Steve Elkins and the office staff who always step up to help when needed.
On behalf of the Board of Directors and Staff, our biggest thank you, by far, goes to the 851 CAMP Members who financially support and stand behind us! You are the GREATEST group of individuals and we would not be such a respected organization without your Membership.
With sincere thanks,
Jane Blue, Chair
CAMP Rehoboth Membership Committee