flash fiction contest winners

OVERSEAS TRAVEL – WRITING CONTEST RESULTS

Our deepest gratitude goes out to Judge Kirby Wright, who volunteered his time to choose three prizewinners from a shortlist of ten out of a total of 175 writers who entered this contest.

kirby

Contest Judge: Kirby Wright

FIRST PRIZE—Nod Ghosh, A Day to Remember
SECOND PRIZE—Serena Molloy, Leaving
THIRD PRIZE—Tom Hazuka, Nowhere Station

First Prize: A Day to Remember by Nod Ghosh

Judge’s comments: This story is marred by several clichés, yet overall I found the interior world of the narrator compelling. He reflects on Gretchen, perhaps the love of his life, and the things he did with her and wished he’d done before losing her. Certain lines and thoughts are stunning, such as “His hands look like they are made from china.” I enjoy the idea that memory can defeat photographs by remembering those moments when light and shadow dance upon a lover’s face. I also like the line about catching a friend’s sorrow if you hold him or her for too long in an attempt to comfort—a great way to close.

A Day to Remember
By Nod Ghosh

The monsoon air hits me like a brick wall.

I don’t enjoy protracted goodbyes, but wish I’d spent longer holding Gretchen’s face close to mine, absorbing her perfume.

‘You go, Shane.’ She’d dotted a handkerchief on her face at the airport. ‘Our guests need you.’

‘They need you too,’ I’d said, but it was too late, I’d lost her. (more…)

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Special Delivery – Contest Results

We would like to thank Judge Paul Beckman for his able assistance in selecting three top stories; and we are, as always, grateful to the 287 international writers who entered this contest.

Paul Beckman_contest judge

Paul Beckman

First Prize: It Came in the Mail by Damhnait Monaghan
Second Prize: Princess Party by Jennifer Stuart
Third Prize: The Secret of the Snoring Time by Elizabeth Fisher

Judge: Paul Beckman
Theme: It Came in the Mail

 

FIRST PRIZE: It Came in the Mail by Damhnait Monaghan

Judge’s comments: “The reason I selected this story is that at no time did the author give in and let the reader know what it was that came in the mail. It’s hard to not sprinkle clues but this author pulled it off and finished with a perfect ending. Readers’ imaginations will take them from place to place deciding what came in the mail and that makes this a fun read as well as a creative one. Congratulations.”

It Came in the Mail
By Damhnait Monaghan

It came in the mail, addressed to The Occupant. There were two of us so I waited for my flat mate to get home from work. When I heard her keys jingling, I went to the meet her at the door.

“We got mail.”

We never get proper mail; it’s all advertising circulars and find Jesus pamphlets. I’ve often wondered why people bother with post-boxes. Until today.

She followed me into the kitchen, flinging her bag on the table. I gave her the mail. She twisted it around, examining every angle.

“You open it.”

“No, you.”

So she carefully untied the bow and let the tissue paper fall away. (more…)

Second Anniversary – Writing Contest Results

Many thanks to the 253 international writers who entered this contest. We would also like to thank UK reviewer Paul Gray for his invaluable assistance.

Ty Spencer Vossler

Ty Spencer Vossler

First Prize: Churn by Laura Lindsay
Second Prize: On Her Knees by Tim Dadswell
Third Prize: White by Chang Shih Yen

Judge Ty Spencer Vossler comments: “Oh … my … God! How difficult it was to place the top three finishers in this contest. Each story was unique, deeply satisfying, and well written. Congratulations to every one of the twelve finalists. Each story was amazing, and it was a privilege to have read them. Keep up the great work. The cream always rises to the top, and you are all there.”

FIRST PRIZE: Churn by Laura Lindsay

Judge’s comments: “This is such a powerful tale. This author has a finger on the pulse of what makes a story great. The idea of using a small child, and a dispossessed man to create tortured relief and retribution—brilliant! This story caused me a physical reaction as if a cold finger had touched my heart. I really loved this! At this moment I am picturing the hanging tree and the rope still suspended from the branches.”

Churn
By Laura Lindsay

Walking. The man had walked most of the night, pausing only occasionally to cough, hawk, and spit. Rain began to pelt the dirt, drops shattering like spidersacs dropped and burst open to reveal a thousand within.

At a crossroads ahead, a child played beneath an enormous oak, digging a small branch into the earth and flicking it toward the tree’s trunk. Now and then, she would spin around to flare her long dress, purple-crimson-purple. As he neared, he saw they were toadstools she was gouging and flicking. A large circle of red-spotted toadstools. Fairy-ring, he remembered from when he was young.

She was chanting something he never got to hear, for one vigorous flick made her lose her balance on the rain-slicked mossy roots below her and she landed on her backside.

“Here!” he called. “I’ve got you.” (more…)