Friends, fellow devotees of the written word, Great Writers Steal Press is trying to reclaim the readers that we have lost in recent decades.  We’ll never get back the market share we had before televisions and cell phones and Kardashians, but we have what everyone wants, even if they don’t know it: stories and poems.  Here’s my comprehensive essay about our struggle.

We would like to feature a short story or a poem that most exemplifies the Great Writers Steal Press vibe: reading that does not feel like homework, but also means something.

the theme

This sounds like a riddle, but isn’t one:

Name the place where we spend a third of our lives that seldom appears in fiction or poetry.

The workplace!

The great Lee K. Abbott was one of my teachers at Ohio State.  One day in workshop, he pointed out that very few stories take place in locations that are familiar to so many.  Sure, there are exceptions; Stewart O’Nan’s entertaining and meaningful Last Night at the Lobster is one of many.

Great Writers Steal Press is all about bringing literary work to overlooked audiences, so let’s see your stories and poems that (primarily) take place in the offices, garages, driver’s seats and toll booths of the world.

The details

There will be five named and congratulated finalists.

The big winner will have his or her work published on the Great Writers Steal Press web site as an example of work that is both entertaining and literary.

The big winner will also receive digital copies of all Press books released to that point.

the honorable judge

No one exemplifies the Great Writers Steal Press ethos better than my father.  Ken F. Nichols is a lifelong reader who has devoured thousands of books.  I bought him Stephen King’s thick and heavy Nightmares and Dreamscapes with my own money for Christmas in 1993 and spent a couple weeks terrified that the volume would smother him because he always fell asleep with a book on his chest.  He had to build his own shelves to house all of his paperbacks.  He now plows through tons of eBooks on his tablet, as well.

The best thing my father did for me was to bring home all kinds of reading matter.  He brought home Asimov’s and Analog, just in case I would like them.  He turned me on to T.C. Boyle and John Irving and Joyce Carol Oates…

But he is extremely reluctant to read a lot of contemporary literature.  Too boring.  Too didactic.  Too self-satisfied.  My dad is the kind of reader we need to reclaim.  Do you have work that will tickle his fancy?

how to submit

Submit your work to greatwriterssteal [at]


2 thoughts on “The First Great Writers Steal Press Contest: The Workplace

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