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The “American Idol of Microfiction” Gets a New First Prize

September 11, 2012 | by

How fast can you tell a good story? Three times a year, NPR’s “Three-Minute Fiction” challenges listeners to send in the best stories they can write—and read out loud in less than three minutes. So far, more than 45,000 contestants have taken the challenge. It is, in the words of host Guy Raz, the “American Idol of microfiction.”

This Saturday kicks off a new round of “Three-Minute Fiction” with guest judge Brad Meltzer. And with a new first prize—publication in The Paris Review. That’s right: the winner will appear in our Winter issue. So sharpen your pencils, eliminate your unnecessary words, and get ready to write.

Click here for details—then tune in to All Things Considered this Saturday (5 P.M. EST) to hear the rules for the latest round.





  1. Shelley | September 11, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Off-topic, but I just thought readers here might want to know that Open Culture on Sept. 5 posted a newly found photograph of Emily Dickinson.

    She looks so much stronger than in the previous photo that it gave me a kick after having read an essay in a recent book that maddeningly kept referring to her as “mentally ill.”

  2. Petrina Meldrum | September 11, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    It would be good if the competition were worldwide. I love following what you are doing culturally in the USA but being allowed to interact would be even better.

  3. Lorin Stein | September 12, 2012 at 8:53 am

    As far as I know, the competition is open to anyone — just as the show is available worldwide via podcast.

  4. GZ | September 12, 2012 at 10:56 am

    The official rules state ‘OPEN TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE FIFTY STATES AND D.C.’ This doesn’t actually connote exclusivity but probably means to.

  5. Kenny Mann | September 22, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    Sadly, uploading a submission from an iPad does not seem to be possible. Boo hoo. (And/or: Oh well.)

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