Storyville launches award for unpublished short fiction

Tribune Newspapers

Storyville, the short story app that delivers a story a week to your iPhone, announced Monday the creation of a new award for an unpublished short story: The Sidney. The Sidney comes with a $1,000 prize and publication in Storyville.

The innovative literary journal publishes the gamut of great fiction, from new work by major award winners including Jennifer Egan and Yiyun Li to classics from Katherine Mansfield and Edgar Allan Poe. Launched in 2010, it was the first to create a subscription-based app to deliver short stories to mobile devices. In a release about the new prize, founding publisher Paul Vidich said, “While at TimeWarner, I helped to pioneer the .99 cent single concept for iTunes, that helped bring songs to a whole generation of iPod owners. We hope to do the same for the literary short story.”

Storyville is available for iPhone and iPad for $4.99 for six months of stories; it will soon be available on the Kindle for a monthly subscription of $1.49. The Sidney Prize is open only to Storyville subscribers.

It is not unusual for a literary journal to require a submission fee in connection with a literary prize, but it isn’t common to ask for the submitter to subscribe. Yet the Storyville subscription price is lower than the submission fees asked by some others. Narrative Magazine, which awards a $4,000 prize, requires $20 reading fee per submission; it costs $25 to enter the $1,000 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, awarded by the North Carolina Writers Network.


Submissions for Storyville’s Sidney Prize are open from now until Feb. 15. Stories must be original and no more than 6,000 words long. The judge will be Richard Nash, former publisher of Soft Skull Press. The winner will be announced March 15 and published in April 2012.

Storyville takes its name from the former red light district of New Orleans (who knew?) and the Sidney is named for the district’s architect (again, who knew?).