You Can Get LeVar Burton to Read Your Work on his Podcast

Lifehacker has made it quite clear what our position is on LeVar Burton's podcast, LeVar Burton Reads. We are grateful and deeply appreciate both of them. Nick Douglas, a former Lifehacker staff writer, chose the two-parter in which LeVar reads The Merchant and the Alchemists Gate (part 1 and part 2) to be his choice for the best podcast episode.

In April 2020, Lifehacker's managing editor Meghan Moravcik-Walbert wrote a post titled LeVar Burton Will Reading to Us, Thank God. This was in response to his announcement that he would be reading stories on Twitter three times per week. It was that time when we needed a calm, reassuring voice. (And now, and all the time in between.

We have more good news. From now to the end of the month, you can submit your own short stories of speculative fiction for LeVar, to be read on the podcast. Here's what you need to know.

LeVar Burton Reads Writing Contest

The LeVar Burton Reads podcast, in collaboration with FIYAH Literary Magazine &, is currently hosting its first writing contest. Burton will read the winner's short story of speculative fiction (scifi/horror), on the podcasts tenth year.

You can find more information from Burton via his statement on the podcast website.

We've been trying for a few seasons to find a way to hold a short story contest that would accept submissions from all listeners. We have finally cracked this code, I am happy to announce! It is an extreme pleasure to announce the inaugural LeVar Burton Reads short story contest. #bydhttmwfi


These are the contest prizes:

First Prize - $500, publication on and LeVar reading your story on his podcast. (Estimated Retail Value: Priceless).

500, publication of the story on and LeVar reading your story in his podcast. (Estimated retail value: Priceless). Second Prize - $250, publication on

: $250, publication your story on Third Prize: $100, publication your story on

Guidelines for submissions and other rules

Before you start, make sure you review the contest submission guidelines and rules. The contest theme is Origins and Encounters. The judges are looking for stories that explore the tragic and magical joys of mixed civilizations and cultural exchanges in all forms.


This information is very comprehensive, so make sure to take advantage of it.

These are just a few of the other guidelines:

The submissions should not exceed 2,800 to 5,200 words

All submissions must contain speculative and fantastical elements. Submissions of works that are Indigenous, fantastical, or other-worldly in nature, as well as alternative histories, are welcomed.

This contest is not suitable for works that are sexually explicit or depict graphic violence/gore.

Submissions that are simultaneously submitted, reprints, fanfiction, or excerpts from longer works will not be accepted.

Prose submissions are only accepted. Submissions of poetry, screenplays, or scripts will not be accepted.


Last but not least, a word of advice from FIYAH

Although FIYAH is a restricted-demographic publication this contest is open for all. To get to know LeVars' tastes, we recommend listening to past episodes.


How to submit your short story

Once your story is complete, please fill out this form. It will ask for your name, email address and a 500-word bio about you and your work.


All submissions must reach LeVar by 11:59 EST on August 31, 2021. L. D. Lewis and Diana M. Pho are the contest judges. LeVar will make the final selection. The winner will be announced October 15, 2021.

We wish you all the best and we look forward to seeing you again.