Congratulations to Thomas Le ’21 for placing third in the Largo Public Library’s 37th Annual Stanley Shalit Short Story Competition. Thomas was one of over 300 students in Pinellas County to enter this year’s competition, whose theme was Close Encounters of the Book Kind.
The Stanley Shalit Short Story Competition was open to all Pinellas County students, with the three categories being Elementary School (grades 4-5), Middle School (grades 6-8), and High School (grades 9-12). The story guidelines stated that it should be 4-8 pages long, 12-point font, and should revolve around an experience, setting, problem, challenge, tragedy, triumph, or any circumstance that will intrigue readers and bring characters to life.
The winners will be presented with personalized certificates and checks for their winning submissions. Their names and schools will be posted in the monthly Largo Library magazine and on the Friends of Largo Library Facebook page.
Thomas’s story, entitled Black Ink, follows Harper, a young man who is frustrated that while his friends are off having a fun summer, he is stuck getting a summer job. Harper is also lacking inspiration for his summer reading project, a short story inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. After an encounter with a customer at the restaurant he is working for, Harper finds his muse.
“My inspiration for the story was how The Old Man and the Sea is my favorite novella,” Thomas said. “I felt like I could relate to the story in general.”
Thomas was awarded $100 and a certificate for winning third place. Great job, Thomas!