Meet Authors. Buy Books. Get them signed!

Saturday, October 28, 2017 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Duke Energy Convention Center

Free Admission

Writing Contest

2015 Books by the Banks Writing Contest Sponsor

2017 Books by the Banks Writing Contest Sponsor


Our 3rd annual Books by the Banks Writing Contest includes $1,000 in cash prizes. It is generously underwritten by the McLane Foundation to recognize excellent work by our region’s writers.

This year’s contest is devoted to short-short works of up to 500 words.  Both fiction and nonfiction are welcome, and all subjects and themes are acceptable. There will be separate judging in the Adult (Age 18+) and Teen (Ages 13-17) categories.  Judges will include a panel of professional writers and editors.

Awards will be presented at the 2017 Books by the Banks Festival, in the Duke Energy Convention Center, on Oct. 28, 2017.

The Prizes

In both the Adult and Teen categories, prizes of $300, $150, and $50 will be awarded.  In addition, winning entries will be published on the Books by the Banks website.

The Rules

  • All entries must be emailed or postmarked by Oct. 16, 2017.
  • The contest is open to current residents of Cincinnati’s Tri-State Area.* College students whose homes are in Cincinnati but who currently attend school elsewhere are also eligible.
  • One story per person, please.
  • Submitted work must be wholly original and unpublished elsewhere, either in print or online.
  • Maximum word count per entry is 500 words.
  • Manuscripts will be judged on voice, style, cohesiveness, and their ability to engage readers.
  • Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • After the competition, all rights revert to the author.
  • So we can assure that judging will be anonymous, we ask that you do not include your name on the manuscript. Instead, include a separate cover sheet with your name, manuscript title, age category (Adult or Teen), address, phone number, and email address. Please include your manuscript title on every page of your manuscript.
  • Manuscripts will not be returned.
  • Winning entries will be published on the Books by the Banks website.

How to Enter

  • Email your manuscripts and any questions to
  • Or mail your manuscript to:
    Books by the Banks Writing Contest
    The Mercantile Library
    414 Walnut Street 11th floor
    Cincinnati, OH 45202

Thanks & good luck, writers!

* In Ohio— Adams, Brown, Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton, Highland and Warren Counties. In  Kentucky—Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton and Pendleton Counties. In Indiana— Dearborn, Franklin, Ohio, Switzerland, and Union Counties.