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October 18, 2023

Principal® Foundation Announces National Short Story Contest Finalists

Principal® Foundation, a nonprofit supporting areas locally and globally where Principal Financial Group® does business, announced 17 finalists for its inaugural national short story contest that invited people to share short stories around lived experiences with money. The contest is part of Money Chronicles: A Story Initiative, a new program from Principal Foundation that uses the power of storytelling to help destigmatize and encourage conversations about money and personal finances.

The contest is hosted in collaboration with The Center for Fiction, a national literary nonprofit, and Short Édition, a global publishing house. The finalists’ stories were selected by an esteemed panel of literary authors and experts including Mahogany L. Browne, Ava Chin, Novella Ford, Sidik Fofana, Xochitl Gonzalez, Alvin Hall, Erika L. Sánchez, Ashley Woodfolk, and Judy Zuckerman along with Principal Foundation, Short Édition, and The Center for Fiction. 

“When we share our stories, we remove barriers and help ourselves and others build better futures,” said Jo Christine Miles, director, Principal Foundation and Community Relations, Principal Financial Group. “Through the timeless power of storytelling, we can ignite peoples’ imaginations to empower them to reshape their own experiences with money, overcome challenges, and foster more open discussions around stigmatized topics.”

Conversations about money can be difficult and uncomfortable. A survey of 3,000 Millennial and Gen Z Americans conducted by YouGov and commissioned by Principal Foundation in 2023 revealed that 53% of people who don’t talk about money are afraid to because it makes them feel awkward and they fear being judged by others. The finalists’ stories touched upon these emotions and explored topics such as debt, sacrifice, and independence. This year’s finalists include:
•    Alyson Mosquera Dutemple, “Doubloons”
•    Cameron Walker, “Planting Instructions”
•    Carla Damron, “Twenty Dollars”
•    Cedric Rose, “The Beating Heart of the World”
•    Jin Kim, “Owners, Soon”
•    John Clark, “The Next Right Thing”
•    Karen Heuler, “Ethel Finds Money”
•    Katherine Cart, “Not God”
•    Katherine Cofer, “Rat Race”
•    Lu Han, “The absence of want”
•    Lucy Zhang, “Evaporation”
•    Mandy Shunnarah, “Come Get It”
•    Marcie Roman, “Cutouts”
•    Matt Goldberg, “The Hoard”
•    Purvi Shah, “Eldest”
•    Sarah Rose Batchu, “Mango Grove”
•    Zachary Kellian, “Scotch 80s”

Each finalist will receive a monetary prize and have their stories published through Principal Foundation's network of Short Story DispensersTM located within Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library in New York, N.Y.; Sip & Sonder in Los Angeles, Calif.; South County Regional Library in Charlotte, N.C.; Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle, Wash., and Prairie Lights in Iowa City, Iowa. Finalists’ stories are also being considered for publication in Short Édition's global network of more than 500 Story DispensersTM located across the globe in airports, public transportation hubs, retail centers, and other locations. Short Édition has dispensed over eight million stories worldwide to date. 
For more information about Money Chronicles: A Story Initiative visit: https://short-edition.com/en/contest/principal-2023.

To read stories from this year’s finalists, visit: https://short-edition.com/en/contest/principal-2023/finalists

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