The fun and sun of the Caribbean are just a short story away thanks to realtor Shirley Simolari of Keller Williams Pioneer Valley. Simolari is sponsoring a contest to raise $10,000 to help the YWCA of Western Massachusetts in its mission to create safe and supportive places for women and children escaping domestic violence. The winner will receive a one-week stay in Simolari’s luxury penthouse on the sands in Cozumel, Mexico.
The “Maple Street Short Story Contest” is open to anyone 16 years of age or older who is interested in writing an original, never published short story set in and around a historic house at 238 Maple Street in Springfield. The story must be between 750 – 1,000 words and submitted online by May 24, 2014. Guidelines, entry fee details and submission instructions are available on the YWCA website at www.ywworks.org . The contest is limited to the first 100 contestants.
The “Maple Street Short Story Contest” is the result of Simolari’s desire to mark the 10th anniversary of her vacation rental company, Cozumel by the Sea. “I decided I wanted to raise $10,000 for an organization in my community,” Simolari says. “And then I was blessed with a listing for a historic multi-family home on Maple Street, which is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Springfield. Once I opened the front door to 238 Maple Street I knew, without hesitation, a creative writing contest about this house was perfect.”
Funds for the YWCA will be raised through the contest entry fee, which is due at the time of submission. “The property in Cozumel is a spacious penthouse that can accommodate 11 people,” Simolari says. “My thought is that writers can ask a business to sponsor them, or ten family members or friends to contribute $10 each toward the $100 entry fee. Then everyone has a chance to head to paradise together to relax and enjoy seven nights listening to the sound of the ocean from the balcony, swimming in the rooftop infinity pool, and feeling the sand between their toes during walks on the beach.”
A panel of experienced writers has volunteered to judge the entries. The winner will be announced at a special celebration the week of June 23. For complete contest details and to submit a short story, visit www.ywworks.org. For information on the accommodations, visit www.cozumelbythesea.com.