The contest is on! Try your hand at finishing Louisa May Alcott’s story and be featured in The Strand Magazine.

You may recall late last June that The Strand published an unfinished story written by then 17-year-old Louisa May Alcott uncovered at the Houghton Library. The story left us dangling!

The contest is now on to finish the story!

Looking for writers

The managing editor of The Strand, Andrew Gulli, is inviting writers to finish the story; the winner’s entry will be published in the summer edition of The Strand. There is also a cash prize of $250 for the winning entry.

The rules are simple:

  • The writer should be well-versed in Alcott’s style of writing in the early part of her career.
  • The voice of the writer must approximate Alcott’s style as closely as possible.
  • The writer should steer the plot where he/she thinks Alcott would have wanted it to go.
  • The word count for the ending should be 3,000 to 5,000 words.
  • The submission deadline is April 20, 2021. Submit your story to Andrew Gulli at

Looking for judges to serve on a 3-person panel

If you are interested in judging the entries, please write to to volunteer.

  • A decision must be rendered by May 10, 2021.
  • You must be knowledgeable in Alcott’s writing style and be available to read multiple entries (approximately 50 are predicted)

Need a refresher on the story?

You can find out more by reading my article written for featuring commentary from Daniel Shealy, John Matteson, Jan Turnquist, and Harriet Reisen.

Good luck to all of you. Let the writing begin!


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