ZIP-Code Stories FAQ


1. How does this work?
Listeners are then invited to submit their original short stories and essays, which must take place in a Massachusetts ZIP code.  Occasionally, we will suggest themes or particular geographic locations.

2. How long can my story be?
It should be no more than 500 words.

3. Must it be fiction?
We are accepting fiction and non-fiction.

4. Do I have to live in one of the ZIP codes?
No, your story simply has to take place in one of them.

5. Which ZIP codes are highlighted this month?
We're trying something new this month--any ZIP code is eligible.  We have decided to introduce a theme, "expecting the unexpected." Please just let us know which ZIP code/town you're referring to somewhere in the body of your piece or in your cover letter.

6. When is this month's deadline?
All stories for this round must be submitted by 10pm EST on May 31st

7. Why ZIP codes?
This project is about place. We want you to tell us about your communities, and breaking down the Boston-area by ZIP code allows us to go deeper into specific towns, neighborhoods and villages. The ultimate goal: transport the reader through your writing.

8. How do I submit my story?
There are a few ways. Since we’re a radio station and an audio literary magazine, our favorite way for you to submit is by sending us a recording of yourself reading your story out loud. You can do this using Broadcastr, a social-media platform for location-based stories. Visit the Broadcastr website or use their iPhone and Android apps. Please make sure you tag your story “ZipCodeStories.”

You can also submit your story online here.

Or send it via snail mail (please make sure you include a way for us to contact you) to:

Attn: Zip Code Stories/Radio Boston
890 Commonwealth Avenue, 3rd Fl
Boston, MA 02215

9. What happens once I submit?
A panel of readers from The Drum and WBUR will read each essay and pick one winner.  This winner will be featured on air as well as online at and The Drum.

10. I have more questions.
Please contact us via email:

11. Are there limits to what I can say in my story?
Yes. We will not feature material that is crude, obscene or hateful.

This program aired on August 5, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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