Stella’s Secret Sonata Music Folio 2

Stella’s Secret Sonata is the second in our Music series and submissions are NOW open.

Submissions NOW CLOSE 30th April 2023.

Here is the set-up for the anthology …

In his will, composer Dudley Donegal O’Day left his entire library (including originals of his finished and unfinished orchestral works) to the University of Vermont.

While cataloguing O’Day’s collection in January 2022, University of Vermont volunteer music historian Mirabella Reid discovered, stuffed inside many pages of The Life of Mendelssohn by Peter Mercer-Taylor, an unpublished and previously unaccounted for sonata. On folded yellowing paper, the undated work is titled “Violin Sonata” and is dedicated “To Stella”.

Research has revealed no links or mentions of the work as it was being composed (or later), or to Stella, though the work contains many of the composer’s musical signatures. There is no question as to its authorship: the sonata is definitely Dudley Donegal O’Day‘s own work.

There are three movements to O’Day’s sonata: Allegro, Adagietto, and Molto Allegro.

(Find out more about what a sonata is by clicking here.)

No one knows who Stella is … so, who was (or is) Stella?

What do you know about Stella?

What we are looking for is stories that anchor Stella in Dudley’s life, that present her within his life even if in a very minor way.

We don’t want “after the fact” reports or articles. We want stories, written like stories.

So your story should be less about Dudley Donegal O’Day, and more about Stella

(WARNING: the easy route is Stella and Dudley were lovers and she was his muse. This is an obvious and perhaps dull route to take.)

(ANOTHER WARNING: an easy way to write your story would be to adopt a “through the mists of time” approach. But no, we want alive and real!)

To find out more about the life of composer Dudley Donegal O’Day (which will help you place your mysterious Stella in history), click here.

And for a newspaper article which will be featured at the beginning of the book, and sets the scene, click here.

Your Stella’s Secret Sonata submission must be:

  • original, so previously unpublished online or in print (so that includes authors’ websites and blogs)
  • 150 word minimum limit for stories / maximum 1000 words. (That’s for each story: maximum number of stories you can submit is 3.)
  • not poetry (we are not seeking poetry)
  • must include mention of Stella (of course) and Dudley Donegal O’Day.


Please don’t refute or change the facts of Dudley Donegal O’Day‘s life.


TO SUBMIT … click here.

You must be minimum 18 years of age to submit.

If you have any questions, please email

For other topics re submitting and rights etc, click here.

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