Contest – Win up to $1,500 for your Quantum Steampunk Short Story!

The Maryland Quantum-Thermodynamics Hub is hosting a Quantum Steampunk Short-Story Contest! You have until January 15, 2023 to write and submit a short story in a steampunk style—including, but not limited to, taking place during the 1800s (and, if desired, some time in the future); and involving at least one real or imagined quantum technology.

The story will be judged by a panel of physicists and writers, and YQI members will recognize familiar faces: Ms. Quantum Steampunk herself Nicole Yunger Halpern, and YQI member Jack Harris.

All info, deadlines, and submission details are on the MQT hub website.

Maryland Voices

Submissions for Volume XIII are now being accepted through January 1, 2023.

All current high school students in the state of Maryland are eligible to submit.

Please follow this link to submit your writing. Details on submission guidelines are included in this link:

Vol XIII Submission Form:

We look forward to reviewing the submissions! If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here.

Remember: the deadline is January 1, 2023!

Nightimers Limousine Dream (ScreenPlay, Work In Progress) By: Jesus Diaz


A rose in front of a dark and grayish background with a sliver of golden liquid slowly dripping from it. (in black and white filter, with only the golden liquid being in color.)


Some say that at a time in ones own life, love is seen throughout the complexities of the human body–for some there is one in the world that can only exist for them.


The bottom of the flower is not visible in a close up shot, the black and white filter remains the same and pedals slowly begin to fall off.


This is an ideal that begins to take over many of the zeitgeist in one’s teenage year. For most, this is a concept that only exists for those in teenage years, but sadly for some the ideals and beliefs never leave their mind.



An eye-level shot of the limousine window, the limousine is moving normally. The outside world is a visible mountain range with a few slight buildings very visible.


In most cases, this creates a dissemblance in one’s mind on what the concept of love may become.-

Suddenly, a shadow figure passes through the limousine, barely visible.


In some cases, a room in one’s mind may not truly be finished. No matter how intelligent the individual may be, beyond their thoughts of love. Beyond their thoughts of intimate-sexual desires.

Continue reading “Nightimers Limousine Dream (ScreenPlay, Work In Progress) By: Jesus Diaz”

It’s a Normal Commentary Tradition, Yeah? By: Jesus Diaz

Experiment :001
Bad Boy visionaries.

A man is standing away a good measure of distance away from a household in the southern valley.
Blistering hot with the sky cloudless instead is comforted by the aurora of stars of different colors sparkling
in the sky. The ambiance proposes that the popular theory of the universe is much larger than us has been
true all along. This man is wearing multiple layers of clothing, a jagged and rough black coat that waves
down toward the back of his knees. The jacket is filled with an assortment of stickers and meaningless
symbols. His pants are skin tight with high as hell boots that reach just below his knees. His shirts are an
assortment of the darkest colors imaginable to make even your most gothic kid cringe at the sight of it. His
sunglasses are by definition, in laymen’s terms “Raw as hell.” Some might even say, they are “banging” and
even “going hard”. Real men call glasses like these bad-boy visionaries. He begins to stop staring like a
Pop tart and wipe the dust (It is actually dander, an audacious amount as a matter of fact.) off of his hat hat-
a hat that would convince you that he has traveled to our time from the past where his military exploits are
quite popular in Africa. He stops staring at the house and makes his steps toward its door. Each step is more
tempting to yell out fireball answers.
He makes his final steps towards the door of the house, it’s wooden carved disgusting termite-infested
the wooden exterior would convince young timothy down the lane that NFTs are a worthy investment. With a
slight inch of saliva drenching down his lip, he puts a hand toward gold and turn the knob, and opens the door
of the house. Inside exists nothing but a single Futon, a dirty disgusting coke-stained futon. But that fails to
be the main attraction of this house. In this house 4 figures are visible. On top of the mattress with X’s on
his hands and knuckles written and tattered with by a marker to spell out the words “drug free.” He has a
top hat and black hair with red highlights just barely at the edge of his hair. Despite how incredibly handsome
this individual sounds, the most notable aspect of him are his 3 fingers and the fact he is a stick. Like a
stick. He is a literal stick figure.

Continue reading “It’s a Normal Commentary Tradition, Yeah? By: Jesus Diaz”

Profiles in Courage Essay Contest

Contest Topic

Describe and analyze an act of political courage by a US elected official who served during or after 1917. 

To learn more about political courage, visit Contest Information and FAQs.

All submissions must adhere to contest requirements.

Contest Deadline

The Profile in Courage Essay Contest opens for submissions on September 1, 2022. The contest deadline is January 13, 2023.

Recognition and Awards

First-place: $10,000          Second-place: $3,000          Five Finalists: $1,000 each          Eight Semi-finalists: $100 each

Get Email Updates

Join our mailing list to get contest tips, updates, and a reminder to submit your essay.

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum does not sell or share your personal information or email address.


Second Annual Young Saturday “Visiter” Awards for student-creators inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s life and works

The Herald-Mail

Sun, October 9, 2022 at 4:01 AM·2 min read

BALTIMORE — What better time than October for a writing contest for work inspired by Edgar Allan Poe?

Poe Baltimore and the Baltimore National Heritage Area are hosting the Second Annual Young Saturday ‘Visiter’ Awards. The free competition is open to all Maryland high school student-creators who are inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s life and works.

Submissions are due on Monday, Oct. 31. All media and genres, including digital or web-based works, are eligible. For competition details and to apply, visit:

In 1833, Edgar Allan Poe submitted a short story to the weekly The Baltimore Saturday ‘Visiter’ and won the competition, which helped propel his career. The Saturday ‘Visiter’ Awards are named for this life-changing experience.

“Midnighter’s Limousine Dream” by Jesus Diaz

Wake up at the back of the limousine
Blood on my hand and a bow on my back
My hand of blood and thorns of roses pulls out this bow of cupid
I’m bleeding
Lots and lots of blood
But I’m not dying
Something is stopping me from dying
This white texture of the limousine filled with gray mechanical clogs with the shaping of a city
like circus
A true dream world
But I want to leave
This is a dream
But it’s not my dream

Continue reading ““Midnighter’s Limousine Dream” by Jesus Diaz”

“The Hairpin” by Kathryn Thayer

(Fan fiction in honor of “Mushi-Shi”, a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yuki Urushibara)

A small hairpin sat pinched between Ginko’s fingers. At first glance, the hairpin looked like any other he’s seen. Decorated with small, painted wooden flowers, it was something that could have been spotted in dozens of young ladies hair.

Yet…on further examination, a shiny iridescent sheen could be seen if Ginko tilted the pin just right. Almost… as if the pin had been dipped in a river of light. Definitely a mushi’s influence.

“Ahh, I’ve seen that pretty hairpin has caught your eye, young man!”

The shopkeeper, previously occupied with another customer, came walking up to Ginko. She gestured to the hairpin, a great big smile on her face.

“That’s a special hairpin right there. It’s said if it’s gifted to a lady, her beauty will increase by tenfold and her household will enjoy ten years of good luck.” The shopkeeper winked. “Have a lady in mind you think would enjoy it?”

Ginko’s mind briefly brought up the image of the intended recipient of the hairpin and almost laughed.

“Hmm, no, not really.” Ginko shook his head, smiling. “I do have a doctor friend down by the coast who likes collecting this kind of stuff. Has an entire shed dedicated to ‘touched’ items. It’s been a while since I’ve seen him, so I figured I better come bearing gifts. A hairpin with special properties would be perfect for him.”

“A wonderful idea!” the shopkeeper exclaimed while clapping her hands together.

She led Ginko over to the register so she could wrap the hairpin up in a nice sturdy cloth. Ginko choose a green cloth that reminded him of his lone green eye, and the shopkeeper tied it up with a lovely yellow string.

“That’ll be 500 ryō.”

 Ginko shrugged off his wooden pack and shuffled through the drawers for the bag of money he kept stashed away in one of them. After finding it and digging out 500 ryō, he handed it over to the shopkeeper and stashed the hairpin in an empty drawer in his pack.

Ginko bowed goodbye to the shopkeeper and thanked her for her time.

Continue reading ““The Hairpin” by Kathryn Thayer”

“My Truck” by Kelly Woods

“Here in my car, I feel safest of all” – Gary Neuman – “Cars” 

One more month,

  I can fix it 

Push it till next week 

   Ameture hour

I don’t have time today 


Trying to work on a car that is slightly older than you can look like a hill,

but achieving the main goal to drive it, will be a sweet reward.

It’s going to take a lot of work, with time and patience this masterpiece will be a great accomplishment.

Knowing that you put your time and effort into a goal bigger than yourself will have a big payoff. 

Continue reading ““My Truck” by Kelly Woods”

“The Wells’s Are Not So Well-Off” by Maya Ocasio

In society we see the rich as posh, stuck-up people. We seem to envy them. We want to have their success (or their trust funds). Yet, shockingly, they’re pretty messed up and probably having existential crises as well. The Well-Off screw up, they face struggles, and their lives are kind of like the rest of society— just with millions of dollars and a self-driving Tesla. To prove this to you, let’s look at the crazy life of one of these “Well-Off” families— the Wells’s family…

Continue reading ““The Wells’s Are Not So Well-Off” by Maya Ocasio”

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