Boston Book Festival

October 24, 2015

One City One Story


We are currently looking for the next great story for our One City One Story program. If you are a previously published* author, we welcome your submission of a short work of fiction. Please see below for selection criteria, and please submit your work (only one submission per person, please) as an attachment (MS Word preferred) to no later than February 13, 2015.

Additional information:

• Submitted stories may be previously published or unpublished, but the author must hold rights to the story and permit (re)publication by the Boston Book Festival in print and digital formats, as well as translations into multiple languages.
• Stories should be no more than 7500 words in length.
• The selected author must be willing and able to attend the Boston Book Festival on October 24, 2015, and to participate in a town hall-style discussion of her/his story at the BBF. The Boston Book Festival is unable to provide travel or accommodations for authors attending the BBF. The selected author must also be available for media appearances and interviews in the weeks leading up to the festival. These should not require additional travel.
• Preference is given to authors from Boston or New England, or those who have a strong connection to the region. Stories set in the region are also of particular interest.
• Stories are evaluated for literary merit as well as their potential for fruitful discussion by readers high school age and older. The ideal story should offer many different entry points for discussion by readers, some of whom may not have previously (or at least recently) read and discussed short fiction.
• Stories are initially evaluated by BBF staff and a selection committee composed of editors from Boston-based literary magazines and media outlets. A short list of stories is then circulated to community members who provide feedback on whether and how they would use the story with the populations they serve. The final decision is made by BBF staff based on this feedback and other factors (such as rights availability and regional interest).
• The selected author will be notified in early May 2015.

*For the purposes of this program, “published” means having had a work of short fiction appear in an online or print edition of a magazine or journal with an ISSN or in an anthology with an ISBN.

About 1C1S

The mission of the Boston Book Festival is to celebrate the power of words, to promote a culture of literature and ideas, and to enhance the vibrancy of the city of Boston, and in 2010 we launched One City One Story to do just that. One City One Story is the BBF’s version of an all-city read, but instead of a book, we print and distribute a short story. Our goal is to make a short story available to all, free of charge, to spread the joy of reading for pleasure among the teens and adults of our city, and to create a community around a shared reading experience.


In 2010, One City One Story’s inaugural year, we distributed thousands of free copies of Tom Perrotta’s story, “The Smile on Happy Chang’s Face,” offered online translations and downloads, and led citywide discussions leading up to a town-hall style discussion with the author at the Boston Book Festival. The next year, we held library discussions of the 2011 selection, Richard Russo’s “The Whore’s Child,” distributed the story throughout the city, offered the story in four different languages, and held a writing contest for the public. In 2012, we held an online reading group for the first time, in addition to library discussions, and a special discussion with Anna Solomon. Additionally, we offered a printed version in Spanish for the first time and provided the story in four different languages electronically.

Previous 1C1S Selections:

2014: “Sublimation” by Jennifer Haigh

2013: “Karma” by Rishi Reddi

2012: “The Lobster Mafia Story” by Anna Solomon

2011: “The Whore’s Child” by Richard Russo

2010: “The Smile on Happy Chang’s Face” by Tom Perrotta

Download the Story

Downloads of the 2015 story will be available this fall. To receive a digital copy of our 2014 story, please email

Find the Story

The distribution period for 2014’s story has ended, but we still have plenty of copies available on request! To receive copies for your book group, classroom, library, or just for yourself, email


We hope 1C1S will inspire readers to participate with us again in 2015! Stay tuned for your opportunities to get involved.


Ask a question. Let us know what you think.

The Boston Book Festival
1100 Massachusetts Ave., Suite 300B
Cambridge, MA 02138

P: 617-945-9552


FB: 1C1S

T: @1city1story (#1C1S)


News media requiring additional information should contact:

Ami Bennitt
Ashmont Media
T: (617) 797-8267

One City One Story Project Manager

Niki Marion

1C1S Committee

Alicia Anstead, Callie Crossley, Nicole Lamy, Henriette Power, Ladette Randolph, and Christina Thompson.


Akshay Ahuja, Elisa Birdseye, Mark Krone, Nadine Frassetto, Katie Lynn Murphy, Santiago Nocera, and Sheila Scott.