Boston Book Festival

October 25, 2014

One City One Story


We have selected the 2014 story, but it will remain a tantalizing secret until the end of the summer. Until then, a hint: the chosen author was recently published in Ploughshares. Happy sleuthing!

About 1C1S

The mission of the Boston Book Festival is to celebrate the power of words, to promote a culture of literature and ideas, and to enhance the vibrancy of the city of Boston, and in 2010 we launched One City One Story to do just that. One City One Story is the BBF’s version of an all-city read, but instead of a book, we print and distribute a short story. Our goal is to make a short story available to all free of charge, to spread the joy of reading for pleasure among the teens and adults of our city, and to create a community around a shared reading experience.


In 2010, One City One Story’s inaugural year, we distributed thousands of free copies of Tom Perrotta’s story, “The Smile on Happy Chang’s Face,” offered online translations and downloads, and led citywide discussions leading up to a town-hall style discussion with the author at the Boston Book Festival. Our selection for 2011 was Richard Russo’s “The Whore’s Child.” We held library discussions, distributed the story throughout the city, offered the story in four different languages, and held a writing contest for the public. The 2012 selection was Anna Solomon’s “The Lobster Mafia Story.” We held an online reading group for the first time, in addition to library discussions, and a special discussion with the author. We offered a printed version in Spanish for the first time, as well as offering the story in four different languages electronically. We also held a writing contest.

Previous 1C1S Selections:

2012: “The Lobster Mafia Story” by Anna Solomon

2011: “The Whore’s Child” by Richard Russo

2010: “The Smile on Happy Chang’s Face” by Tom Perrotta