Good Housekeeping's Short Story Contest

Sunday, July 12, 2009
To celebrate Good Housekeeping’s 125th anniversary in 2010, editor in chief Rosemary Ellis announced the magazine’s first themed short story contest, focusing on the lives of women today. The breadth of challenges women face and the often heartbreaking decisions that affect their lives are the foundation of the books written by Good Housekeeping’s guest judge, award-winning author Jodi Picoult, whose novel My Sister’s Keeper was the inspiration for the new Cameron Diaz film.

Ellis, the editors of Good Housekeeping, and Picoult, who had her first two short stories published in a national magazine while still in college, will select one grand-prize winner and two runners-up. The grand-prize winner will receive $3,000 and the winning story will be featured in the May 2010 issue, the magazine’s special 125th anniversary issue. The runners-up will each receive $750, and their stories will be featured on

From J.D. Salinger to Daphne DuMaurier, Good Housekeeping has always featured well-known writers. Regular contributors to the magazine have included Ray Bradbury, John Cheever, and Rona Jaffe. More recently, Good Housekeeping’s fiction pages have featured the work of Nicholas Sparks, Maeve Binchy, Allegra Goodman, Jennifer Weiner, Elinor Lipman, Ann Hood, and this year’s guest judge, Jodi Picoult.

“Literature has always been an integral part of Good Housekeeping,” said Ellis. “We’ve discovered and published stories by some of the best-loved and bestselling authors of all time and we are honored to have the extraordinarily accomplished Jodi Picoult help us select our winners.”

"It is very exciting to be able to read the work of budding writers and to see who might be the next generation of authors to entertain us,” said Picoult.

Readers 21 and older can submit their short stories of 3,500 words or less, focusing on the lives of women today at Submissions must be original, not a previously published work or finalist for any other prize or award. All entries must be received by September 15, 2009, winners will be notified in December 2009.


Beth C. said...

Oh wow! I have the perfect story for this already written and edited. I just need to shave off 250 words so it fits their word limit. Thank you so much for posting about this contest!

Ellen said...

Did anyone here submit a story? If you did, did you receive any kind of confirmation that your entry was received? Usually you get some kind of auto reply , but I didn't get anything. Just worried something went wrong, hopefully I'm just being paranoid.

Hope said...

In the 1980's there was a short story in Good Housekeeping, I believe, that I often think of and would like to track down to see who the author was because it made such a lasting impression. It had a simple story line: an older woman on a bus ride and a younger man silently admiring her classic beauty. At one of the stops a young blond gets on the bus and he sees her, but after a brief study, turns his attention back to the older woman until she exits the bus. The only conversation is her "thank you' on her way out of the bus. Can anyone identify this story?

Unknown said...

I've tried reaching GH several times, emails, phone etc. to find out what ever happened to this contest. The winners were to be announced the beginning of 2010 and nothing has happened, has it? Or did I miss something. No fun submitting and never hearing a word back.

Anonymous said...

The winner and runners-up were featured in the May, July, and October 2010 issues:

Grand Prize Winner: Lori Rader-Day / “Layers of Love” (May 2010 issue)

Runners up: Karen Brown / “At the Pond” (July 2010 issue); Tracy Miller Geary / “The Beekeeper’s Wife” (October 2010 issue)

You can read the winning stories online:

Anonymous said...

I read that 2010 winner, Lori Rader Day won the $3000.00. I read the rules thought if a winner in another contest like she was in 2009, was a winner, it was not aloud. Suppose to be someone that is amateur or non-professional artist.
Maybe I am confused on who can write in this?

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