The Little Tokyo Historical Society (LTHS) recently announced the judges 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.

Cynthia Kadohata
Cynthia Kadohata

Retired UCLA educator Don Nakanishi, arts administrator Marilyn Tokuda and actress Tamlyn Tomita are the judges for the adult English-language category.

Judging the Japanese-language category are writer and research Hiroko Higuchi, children’s book author and poet Sunny Seki, and Deputy Consul General Izuru Shimmura.

Newbery Award winner Cynthia Kadohata, Paul Matsubayashi of Kizuna and Sean Miura of Tuesday Night Project will be judging the youth category.

Tamlyn Tomita
Tamlyn Tomita

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 Los Angeles. Each category winner will be awarded $500 in cash with their short story being published in The Rafu Shimpo and Discover Nikkei website. A public award ceremony and dramatic readings of the winning stories are also being planned for spring 2016.

For more information and guidelines, refer to the Little Tokyo Historical Society website, If you would like to financially contribute to the contest, email


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

Don Nakanishi
Don Nakanishi

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

• The setting of the story should be in Little Tokyo – either 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.

Marilyn Tokuda
Marilyn Tokuda

• 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.

• 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.

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