“Boston in 100 Words” is an annual short-story writing contest that invites all residents of Boston and some surrounding towns to submit up to five stories each to the contest per year. Stories must be 100 words or fewer and should depict everyday life in Boston communities. A team of local, renowned authors select winning stories, which are made available to the public for free in the form of large, illustrated posters installed throughout the city space. “Boston in 100 Words” seeks to impact the largest number of Bostonians possible, as authors and readers of 100-word stories. We do this work because we believe everyone has creative talent and that sharing our talents and stories with each other in the public sphere empowers individuals and strengthens Boston as a place-based community. Our project seeks to find the creative talents of individuals who might not normally consider themselves “artists” and to consecrate them as such through the public distribution and celebration of their original work.

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The objectives of “Boston in 100 Words” are:

a) to provide all Bostonians the opportunity to share original stories about their communities with the public for free;

 

b) to provide the Boston public with free access to quality stories narrating the experiences of Boston residents;

 

c) to organize free public events that promote creative storytelling in and about Boston.

Contest History

“Boston in 100 Words” is part of the highly successful contest, “Santiago in 100 Words,” that originated in Santiago, Chile, in 2001. The contest has run annually in Santiago and six other Chilean cities since then. Beginning in 2013, the contest began expanding to cities across Latin America and Eastern Europe.

 

The original 100-word contest was created by the Chilean non-profit cultural organization, Plagio Foundation, who also works in partnership with all other 100-word contests world-wide, including the contest in Boston.

 

“Boston in 100 Words” is the first of these contests to take place in the United States and in any English-speaking country. The contest launched its inaugural year in Boston in the fall of 2019 and will circulate its first set of winning stories to the public in the spring of 2020. The contest will follow a similar cycle in Boston each year. 

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Winning Stories

"The Orange Line is Home" - Rosann Tung
"The Orange Line is Home" - Rosann Tung

2021

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"Finding Home in Chinatown" - Melanie Han
"Finding Home in Chinatown" - Melanie Han

2020

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"Freedom Trail" - Louis Frank
"Freedom Trail" - Louis Frank

2021

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"The Orange Line is Home" - Rosann Tung
"The Orange Line is Home" - Rosann Tung

2021

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News and Past Events

Read about our Judges Panel for the Second Annual "Boston in 100 Words" flash-fiction writing contest!

Watch our 2020 "Boston in 100 Words" Contest Awards Ceremony! This ceremony was held virtually on May 2nd, 2020.

Watch our event, "Conversation with 2020 Winning Authors", where authors shared their winning stories and gave advice to those entering future contests!

Watch our event, "Place-Making Through Short Fiction: A Conversation with Chandreyee Lahiri and Grace Talusan". These two Boston-based Authors sit down with Lead Organizer Jane De Leon Griffin to talk about how they approach writing short fiction and the role they see it play in building place-based community in Boston.

As part of the Guadalajara International Book Fair, Literature Series 2021, lead organizer Jane De Leon Griffin participated in a discussion about how a project that started in Santiago, Chile has expanded to other countries and continents. This conversation was recorded in Spanish.

Read about how the RSM Art Gallery at Bentley University presents the illustrated posters of the winning stories from 2020 and 2021 "Boston in 100 words" contests.

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