Story Contest

The Year's Best Dog Stories

A story competition and year-end book-length anthology

Secant Publishing announces a contest to find the year’s best short stories devoted to the theme of communication between dogs and humans. This is especially apt coming toward the end of a worldwide pandemic in which so many people have been sheltering in place and pets have been more psychologically important than ever to millions.



One Gold Medal finalist will receive $500 in cash and two Silver Medal finalists will receive $250 each, to be awarded on completion of the contest. The finalists' submissions along with up to 30 winning entries chosen by a panel of independent judges will be published in book anthology format with complimentary copies for contributors. The publication will occur in time for the holiday season, 2021.


Original pieces of fiction, never before published, 500-3,000 words long. Winners will be, quite simply, highly readable, entertaining, and emotionally affecting. They can be in any genre, from literary and mystery to romance and paranormal. Humor is always welcome. Stories may or may not have conventionally happy endings, but they all must evince understanding of the human-canine connection and illuminate some aspect of communication across our species. Stories featuring gratuitous cruelty or violence to animals will be rejected.


Anyone 18 and above is eligible to enter. There will be a reading fee of $10 which is payable at the time of submission. Contributors will retain copyright but Secant will reserve first worldwide publication rights in the English language. In addition to the three cash prizes described above, all contributors will receive two complimentary copies of the book upon publication and will be able to buy as many additional copies as they want at the standard author discount of 50%.


Deadline for submissions is May 1, 2021. The finished volume will be published in Fall 2021.


All entries will be taken through the Duosuma submissions platformRegistration (through Duotrope) is free. There is a $10 reading fee.


Initial screening of entries will be done by Ron Sauder, Publisher. A panel of independent judges will read all of the finalists and vote on one Gold Medal and two Silver Medal winners. Any ties following canvass of the judges will be broken by the publisher in conferral with Susan and Maury Wimbrow, owners, The Greyhound – An Indie Bookstore.

Joan Drescher Cooper is the author of Birds Like Me, a poetry collection published by Finishing Line Press, and three novels in the Lilac Hill series through Salt Water Media of Berlin, Maryland. Joan reviews books for The Greyhound – An Indie Bookstore. She is an avid walker of her rescue dog Hopper. See . 

Bonnie Feldsteinwriting as Anna Gill, has spent her literary career studying and writing about important vanishing cultures in America. Chesapeake Bay country is where she centers most of her six novels.  She is a public speaker and newsletter editor. Bonnie lives in Rochester, New York.

David Healey has written several novels, including the popular Caje Cole World War II series and a mystery, The House that Went Down with the Ship. His nonfiction books include Great Storms of the Chesapeake and 1812: Rediscovering Chesapeake Bay's Forgotten War. He lives in Chesapeake City, Maryland.

Kenton Kilgore is the author of the post-apocalypse novel Lost Dogs, as well as other science-fiction and fantasy books. He has lived on Kent Island, Maryland since 1998 and has just wrapped up a two-year term as president of the Eastern Shore Writers Association. See  

Judy Reveal is a published author in several genres including mystery, memoir, paranormal, and nonfiction. She is a professional book reviewer and scholarly journal editor based in Greensboro, Maryland. Visit her website at 

Lizanne Waterman spent 32 years as a middle school English teacher in New York State. She and her husband, a falconer, retired near Berlin, Maryland, where she helps walk their three pointers, works part-time for a local winery, and participates in a book club at The Greyhound – An Indie Bookstore. (410) 845-3193

The Greyhound – An Indie Bookstore

Berlin, Maryland

Contest Sponsor