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***********************CONGRATS TO OUR WINNERS!!********************

University Library

October 2022

Short Story Contest



  • Your short story must be inspired by the cover artwork of a book from the University Library’s Collection.
    • You can select a book from anywhere in the library: The Masback Collection, Mystery Collection, Graphic Novels, the stacks, wherever you like!

cover art for Agatha Christie's novel Cat Among the Pigeons

Example: The book cover art from this Agatha Christie novel could inspire a tale about a field hockey star.


  • Your story should have elements that are Spooky 
    • Stories should not have intense graphic or sexual content. Stories should fall into the PG film category. Stories that do not meet this criteria will not be judged.


  • Your short story must be an original work at least 500 & no more than 1,500 words
    • Your story should have a title.
    • The length of the story falls into the Flash Fiction category, described here: How to Write Flash Fiction


  • The deadline to submit is Friday, October 28th, 2022
    • The Top 3 winners will be announced on November 1st, 2022. *****(delayed to 11/4)
    • CSULB Librarians will judge the entries blind (the judges will not know your name/info).
    • The 3 Winners will receive a prize and have the opportunity to have their story featured at the University Library.
    • This short story contest is open to all CSULB students and is free to enter.


Select here to fill out Submission Form

Story submissions should be made in WORD Doc or PDF format.

You will be required to sign in with your SSO to fill out the form, but your name and information will be hidden from the judges. 

Find a Book in the Library!

Though the University Library does focus much of its attention on Academic materials, we have many books that are literature: novels, poetry, plays.

  1. Books you find "in the stacks" - on the bookshelves on Library Floors 1 - 4 - can be checked out for the whole semester.
  2. Check books out on the 1st Floor using your Beach ID.

Enjoy browsing some of these areas of your Library!

  • Science Fiction and Fantasy Books in the Masback Collection
    • 3rd Floor of the Library, the Masback Collection is organized by author's last name and the books all face the study area.
  • Mystery and Thriller books in the Mystery Collection
    • 2nd Floor of the Library. Enter the stacks from the study area, turn right. The Mystery Collection along the long wall; it's organized by author's last name
  • Current, popular books in the Critics Choice Collection
    • 1st Floor of the Library, go towards the Caffeine Lab. Critics Choice books are located on the back wall of the elevators
  • Graphic Novels
    • 2nd Floor of the Library. Enter the stacks from the study area, turn left. The Graphic Novel collection is alongside the far short wall.
  • YA/Children's Books 
    • The Children's Collection, which includes MANY YA novels, is in its own area on the 2nd Floor. From the elevator, turn right.
  • Find Stories in the Stacks!
    • Folklore in GR
    • English Literature in PR
    • American Literature in PS
    • Literature in Languages other than English in PA - PQ, and PT (Romance Languages: PC)

How do you find a book in the regular stacks?

Your University Library uses the Library of Congress cataloging system. It's a combination of Letters + Numbers.

Looking for a book with a particular theme or in a particular language? 

  • Use OneSearch and choose Books & Media CSULB from the dropdown Everything search.
  • Need help using OneSearch? Check out this video: Searching CSULB's OneSearch