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The “Ulysses” Contest: A Creative Writing Competition

The “Ulysses” Contest:

A Creative Writing Competition Sponsored by the James Joyce Quarterly


In September 1906, James Joyce finished work on “Grace,” one of the very last stories he drafted for what would become Dubliners.  He then wrote to his brother Stanislaus that he was toying with an idea for one more tale.  This was not the collection’s now famous closing story, “The Dead,” but was instead a piece intriguingly titled “Ulysses.”  It would be based on a real Dubliner named Alfred H. Hunter, who was rumored to be Jewish and whose wife—variously named Margaret, Marian, or Marion—was allegedly cheating on him.  Joyce actively pressed his sources for information about Hunter and his family, but wrote to Stanislaus in 1907 that the story “never got any forrader than the title.”  No documentary evidence of such a story has been found.

The Challenge

The James Joyce Quarterly has decided that this gap in the record needs to be imaginatively filled.  We thus welcome submissions of short stories titled “Ulysses.” Entries must be set in turn-of-the-century Dublin and written in the style of the other pieces from Dubliners. Submissions should be no longer than 7,000 words in length. Only one contribution from an author will be considered. Entries should be submitted online and must be received no later than February 2, 2018. We welcome entries from around the world, but will only consider submissions in English.

The Prize

A panel of judges will select the top three stories, each of which will be published in the James Joyce Quarterly.  A winner will be selected to receive a prize of $500 for helping us imagine a way to fill this hole in the Joyce canon.  Please direct all inquiries to