Note and Document PHILIP B. EPPARD Mary E. Wilkins Freeman had published verses and Sunday school exercises in children's periodicals such as Good Times, St. Nicholas, and Wide Awake when, in late 1881, she entered a short story contest sponsored by the Boston Sunday Budget, a weekly paper that had begun publication in 1879. It was her first attempt at writing a story for adults. Her winning the contest and its fifty dollar first prize can be considered the event that launched her long career as a short story writer and, later, a novelist. The Boston Sunday Budget story contest was announced in the paper's issue for November 13, 1881. The rules specified "that the stories shall be strictly original" and "that they shall not be less than four thousand words nor more than five thousand words in length."1 The deadline for submissions was December 15, and the paper announced on December 18 that 129 stories had been submitted. The story winning the first prize of fifty dollars was to be printed in the Boston Sunday Budget for January 1, 1882. As all scholars who have written on Freeman know, however, no copy of the Sunday Budget for
American Literary Realism – University of Illinois Press
Published: May 5, 2013
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