Gotham always has a writing contest (or two) going. These contests are a great way to stretch your talent and imagination, and we dangle nice prizes to give you extra motivation. Check out our current contests. And it's worth a look at the winners and finalists in our past contests; the quality of work always amazes us.


Mother. It’s a word that’s bound to evoke emotions in anyone. 

In honor of Mother’s Day and Sunnie Miller (see below), we invite you to write a story about a mother—your mother, a mother you know, or even being a mother. Instead of a mere tribute, try to tell a story, something that captures the drama and experience of motherhood. And if you want to show a mother in an unfavorable light, well, we won’t tell her. Your story can be no longer than 29 words. 

The person who most moves us with their mother story will win a Gotham class of their choosing. 

As inspiration, here are a few examples: 

My mother spent her nights carefully tracing every wound in the scriptures of the Vedas; each prayer a suture that she knew would only fall apart the next day   —Sakshi Kumar
Mother was a witch. She conjured stories and bowls of soup. She could disappear at the snap of her fingers, and on my eleventh birthday, she did just that.  —Emma Stephenson
“I’ve got a knife!” is one of my mom’s favorite phrases. A warning given in response to our shouting. We’d either have to shut up or fear being stabbed.   —Mary Kate Johnson

This contest honors Sunnie Miller—the mother of Dana Miller (Gotham’s dean of students). Born in 1929, Sunnie passed away in 2019 just shy of turning 90. Sunnie was like a mother to the Gotham family, as well as a great raconteur and the classiest woman in Manhattan. Among her many accomplishments: she was a copy chief at Seventeen magazine, she wrote an episode of the popular mystery TV series Danger, and she won a regional Emmy for the children’s musical Sneakers. Sunnie cannot be replaced, but she will be long remembered. 

Gotham Writers Workshop