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A weekly short story contest
Looking for a steady supply of people of color short stories? Every week thousands of writers submit stories to our writing contest.
Coming of Age
People of Color
Teens & Young Adult
We'll send you 5 prompts each week. Respond with your short story and you could win $250!
Arecibo, Puerto Rico - 1869
Rafaela lay in her rickety cot watching a roach skitter along the stone floor of her cell. She drew her coarse prison-issue coverlet to her chin, unsure whether the chill she felt came from the brisk January wind that blew through the bars or the moans and sobs that reverberated throughout Arecibo Prison.
Two months had gone by since her captur...
Hands in the stadium clap in tempo.
Here I’m the famous musician on stage and scores of fans are screaming my name. As I zoned in and try to focus second after second the rhythmic vibrations echo within me sending thrills through my body and riveting through my feet. I pounced on the track, picking up my pace, my two-legged motor kicked into power as I’m propelled through the air like a rock from a sling...
“You’re someone I could love,” Mama told me, as she caressed my hair and pinned a bright yellow sunflower right above my left ear. She kneeled down to the ground and kissed my forehead. I felt a warmth in my heart, and in my belly, and in the spot where her lips had gently touched my skin. I smile at her, my heart exploding a little because she used the four-letter L word with me today. “Maybe someday, but not today.” She kissed my forehead one more time before leaving our little orange bathroom. I...
It was in Douala’s upscale Bonapriso neighborhood that I’d filled up on boiled cassava and rusk, leaving a trail of sinking crumbs in my cup of rooibos, to prepare for the long journey from Cameroon to the Ivory Coast. I was staying in New Bell, just a few miles away, but I’d become accustomed to morning tea at a Bonapriso staple, Le Bistrot, so much so that the owner, Pierre, now knew me by name. “...
Step 1: The Selection and Harvest of the Cocoa PodsAlthough Jean-Paul had received several invitations from Brussels to Zurich, he decided to apprentice with one of the chocolatiers in Paris. Parisians had a particular passion for all things chocolate, even prescribing it from their pharmacies in the 18th century. Whether chocolate had any medicinal properties or not, Jean-Paul was wholly vested in learning its secrets. He arose early and ...
Noreen was home performing her daily cleaning ritual, which was fierce, as she firmly believed cleanliness was next to Godliness. She had been married to Fredrick, a pentecostal pastor for nearly 23 years at that point. They had a total of 8 children. Their children were in various stages of their walk with the Lord. Naturally, Fredrick and Noreen want salvation for all of them, but the bible is clear, true acceptance m...
"Hey God! are you there? it's me"....yes I am here you pig bastard, what do you want from me?...
Why are you laughing bastard, just tell me what do you want? come school with me.
Not again, how many times should I tell you that I am not a real god or something, I'm just an imagination of your mind!
"I know that god but it's fun to go school with someone then going alone, it...
We remember when he first came to town. The way his shoes were polished, shiny even. But it wasn’t his shoes we noticed first, it wasn’t the way his hair spiked up in the back or how he grimaced when he laughed so he didn’t show his crooked front tooth. "Indio," is what we whispered when he walked through the glass doors of John Adams Middle School. We had never seen a Mexican so dark. We knew he heard us whispering, when he walked in, but we couldn’t hide our disbelief. So dark, his skin the colo...
Salt air stung his nose and the heat enveloped him. He squinted, searching for a spot to lay. Claiming a section near the pier, he splayed his towel and slipped out of his sandals. The sand molded to his toes, each grain sifting under the knuckles of his feet.
Relief swept through him.
Perched on his blue floral towel, his arms over his knees, curved back, he watched the tide. Each wave crept towar...
The elevator jolted to a stop. “Okay, cut it out.”“Cut what out?”“Stop screwing with the elevator. I know you don’t care about your grades but I need to get to class.”“How do you think I’m screwing with the elevator?” Enrico pushed the buttons but nothing happened.Mercedes gasped. “Oh no, you mean we’re stuck in here?”“Looks like.”She looked at the panel that contained two arrow buttons and a keyhole and nothing else. She rolled her eyes.“Who the hell installs ...
"So, what do you want me to call you then?"
"You want me to call you Nothing?!"
"For 18 years, I have raised you with a beautiful name, and now you want me to reduce that name to Nothing?"
"That's right, Mama," he said, shifting his eyes away from her gaze.
Adlieme thought for a moment. The idea of referring to her only child as anything but Tutliem gave bitter bile from her...
In the wincing bright light of a winter morning, Amir glided up the ski lift for the third time to the top of Jackrabbit Hill. All clear below, except for a stand of trees off to one side and one gray-green rock off to the other. Amir stepped off the lift, his skis crunching the snow with a voracious appetite. Ski vacay, hooray! He squeezed his knees and lifted his poles. A rabbit bolted from the trees, at first...
“Isn’t this the best thing ever?” said Annie to her husband, “It’s gotta be the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had..like ever. But Rhett didn’t hear her. He was transfixed with the wintry view outside. He had been so lost in his head with the wedding plans and wedding itself-the last few weeks in themselves had been such a blur. He was just enjoying the peace and the calmness of not having to do any...
The high pitched whistle from the tea kettle was like the saving grace bell from the heavens. I immediately got up to finish making the tea that this woman had asked for. Honestly, I would rather be slaving at work right now than awkwardly sit in the kitchen with her. I look through the steam blasting through the kettle to make out the feint neon green numbers on the front of the stove . 10:52. Dear God...
‘More sugar?’ my uncle asked. A heaped spoon hovered threateningly.
‘No, no, no, thanks amo.’’ my hand preemptively splayed over the top of my full-to-the-brim glass tumbler, steaming my palm. A thick layer of sugar sand had settled at the bottom, resting expectantly under the crystal amber sea of gunpowder mint tea. Shay. Chay. Cha. Thee. Tea.
My father’s brothe...
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