“Who Knows?” Writing Contest
All entries due by March 1, 2023.
This contest is part of the 2023 Centre County Reads/CALS Community Read of Shelby Van Pelt’s Remarkably Bright Creatures, a novel narrated in part by a giant Pacific octopus named Marcellus, who laments his captivity in a small-town aquarium a pier’s-length away from Puget Sound. As the plaque in front of Marcellus’s tank notes, octopuses are remarkably bright creatures—and throughout Van Pelt’s novel, readers discover the secret intelligence and unexpected wisdom that resides not only in Marcellus, but also in his human caretakers, who include a 70-year-old widow and a 30-year-old college dropout. Remarkably Bright Creatures demonstrates how knowledge transcends age, formal education, and even species, asking readers to reimagine what “knowing” really means.
Following the example of Van Pelt’s novel, enter your best work of writing that engages with the issue of intelligence—human, animal, even artificial—and what it means to truly know anything. Submit your piece of 7,500 words or less for competition in one of the following categories: Best Short Fiction, Best Nonfiction, Best Poetry, and Best Entry for a Writer Under 18. $300 Grand Prize winner and additional prizes for winners in each category.
Please send entries to email@example.com and include a cover letter with your name, address, contact information, a brief biography, and contest category. Winning entries will be displayed at Schlow Centre Region Library and on the CALS website.