imagine little tokyo2The Little Tokyo Historical Society (LTHS) seeks fictional short stories for its third annual Imagine Little Tokyo short story contest in the categories of English language, Japanese language and youth (18 and younger). The deadline is Jan. 31, 2016.

The purpose of the contest is to raise awareness of Little Tokyo through a creative story that takes place in Little Tokyo. The story has to be fictional and set in a current, past or future Little Tokyo in the City of Los Angeles. Each category winner will be awarded $500 in cash with their short story being published in The Rafu Shimpo and posted on the Discover Nikkei website. A public award ceremony and dramatic readings of the winning stories are also being planned for spring 2016.

“Including the Japanese and youth categories last year enhanced our contest,” said Bill Watanabe, head of the Imagine Little Tokyo committee. “It was exciting to receive submissions from around the state and globe and we hope to receive even more next year.”

If you would like to financially contribute to the contest, email

Guidelines are as follows:

• The story must be original, fictional, written in either Japanese or English by the submitting author and never been published (even online).

• The same story submitted in a previous year cannot be resubmitted.

• The setting of the story should be in Little Tokyo – past, present or future.

• Submitted manuscript should be 2,500 words or less for English or 5,000 ji or less for Japanese and have a title.

• File should be a Microsoft Word doc, docx or rtf.

• Use 12-point font, preferably Times Roman or Courier type.

• Remove any mention of your name from your short story, including headers.

• The short story manuscript must be submitted digitally as an email attachment to (include SHORT STORY in the subject line). In the email message, include your name, phone number and age if 18 or under.

• The submissions should include a signed agreement, which can be found on the Little Tokyo Historical Society website, The agreement can be either emailed or sent via post.

• Submissions need to be emailed by Jan. 31, 2016, 12 midnight PST. NO EXCEPTIONS.

• Immediate family members of judges (first-round or final) are ineligible.

Selection will be based on storytelling ability and best use of Little Tokyo as a cultural setting. Visit the LTHS website to see this year’s winners.

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