Writing Competition Short Lists

We are excited to release the short list of candidates for our writing competition. There are two lists, one for Fiction and one for Non-Fiction entries. They are listed below in alphabetical order by author.

This was an unusually difficult selection for us because of the large number of high quality submissions. At the end, 34 Fiction and 15 Non-Fiction pieces stood out for us, creating a rather strong and unique combination of narratives to eventually choose winners from.  As per the process posted here, after the contest concludes we plan to publish a brief comment on all the published pieces. At that point, the authors will have a better idea as to why their entry may or may not have been included in the short list.

Winners for each category will be announced on Tuesday February 7, 2012. This will give authors two more weeks to promote your work and encourage your readers to post comments on your piece.

The Fiction Short List (Alphabetical by Title)

Title Author
A Dime in the Dew Curtis James McConnell
Along the Canal and Forever Dalton Fischer Linnett
Buggy Ruthie’s Sandwich Brenda Sargent
Chicken Shit and Candy Rachel Burger
Cicadas Lucille Bellucci
Dawn in the Everglades Joyce Frohn
Dimples Monda Mahmoud
Even The Pure Intentions Fail Lisa Hill Newman
Fall into Me Brianna Soloski
Fallen Awake L. Vera
Father Kilharmy Bruce Teifer
Floating House in the Fleeting World Kirsty Logan
Inventing The Real H. C. Turk
Just One Cut J.C. Martin
Loss Srikanth Tirupattur Ramamurthy
Multi-colored Spandex Megan Massaro
One Of My Ears Is Missing John Malone
Peg Bellakentuky
Peter’s Story Idore Anschell
Premonition Jon Batson
Rich Guy and Poor Guy Abeille Amore
Sex Slave Mike Berger
Shadows of the Wind David W. Moore III
Suicide Is Painless Andrew Campbell-Kearsey
The Beggar’s Blessing Richard W. Aites
The dog, the cows and the girl in the woods Sean-paul Thomas
The Girl in the Picture Eva Bell
The Life and Times of Emmy Calhoun Annie Boreson
The Look on His Face Dahlia Eissa
The Lunch on Good Friday Sylva Nze Ifedigbo
The Stray J.R.Poulter
The Tenement Barbara Bixon
The Woods Sarah Wallenfang
Watch the grass grow Mohamed Osman

Non-Fiction Short List (Alphabetical by Title)

A Tale of Two Mothers Diana Ng
Address Unknown Lisa Clark
Amazing Grace Donna L. Kuust
Charlie Vandy Gibson
Drive, She Said Lyra Halprin
Food Robin Devereaux-Nelson
Hope and other childhood things Caroline Callahan
How I Quit Ballet Hayley Huntley
Learning To Be Cold Barbara Walker
Leaving Well Christine Riehl
Pop Amy Hildreth Duncan
Saving Anabelle Lisa Morris
The Mustached Murderers Tara Parian
The Trifecta of the Charming Man K.T. Walsh
The Brotherhood Ashley Woodmender

Reagan Parker’s Guide to Surviving Hell

By: Kimberly Gullo

How did I get here? A palpable question. How did any of us get here, really? A fleeting decision, a non-believer, a content sinner; we are all here. Some of us in regret and some of us quite complacent. Continue Reading

Kat and Mowse: Diary of a Dead Girl

Qualified Entry: Fiction Category

By: Christopher Ryan McDonald

June 31

My name is Katherine Thomas. First off, you should know. In case you didn’t realize it from the scarred black leather cover on this silly thing that my school councilor pretty much forced me to write, I’m not a girly girl. Never have been, never will be. The only time you’ll ever see me with a purse is if I just ripped one off of someone else. Continue Reading

What Happened to Our Love

Qualified Entry: Fiction Category

By: Rhema Aletor

I hate it when I can’t concentrate; I hate it when the shape of my home- made bread look more like an experiment than a delicacy. Angrily, I push the pan into the oven, no longer minding how the bread would turn out; they would definitely look like my mood at the moment, but I didn’t care. I turn my back on the kitchen and make my way to the living room, which is looking all scattered and unkempt. It’s barely past five in the morning; the whole house is still asleep, somehow, I can feel the motion of their slumber. Continue Reading

The Price of Perfection

Qualified Entry: Fiction Category

By: Hannah Middlebrooks

Every day she boarded the train at 7:13 am.

She was precise and exact, which is what I loved most about her. She was simply never late.

Occasionally I would see her come ten minutes early, but days like that were rare. However, despite their rarity, those days were my favorite. They were the days which I craved. These days always seemed a bit brighter than usual because it was evident that, for her, they were tinged with a bit of hope. Continue Reading

Peter’s Story

Short-listed Entry: Fiction Category

By: Idore Anschell

I went to the Student Union cafeteria for dinner yesterday. I sat down next to Burt, and, shit, stuttered as bad as ever: I know I went:  “A-a-are the bu-bu-bu-bu-baseball tryouts tomorrow or Saturday?” Continue Reading

The Writer

Qualified Entry: Fiction Category

By: Sophia Estrada

The writer. The paper. The thoughts. All these elements were important in Jessie’s life. She was the writer, she loved her paper, and she had the thoughts. Jessie never really thought of herself as a writer, more as a normal girl. Quite frankly, she never even though of herself as a “normal girl.” She always escaped through her thoughts, during class, at home, even during important lessons. She was one of the “outcasts” at school. She had her own friends that liked her for who she was. But she never really liked herself. Others thought she was just a quiet nobody. Her home life was no different. After supper and homework, Jessie went to her sanctuary; her bedroom. There she would write what was on her mind, and what she didn’t want on her mind anymore. Jessie was a quiet girl, which her parents worried about. Continue Reading

Journey Into Destiny

Qualified Entry: Fiction Category

By: H.M. Gruendler-Schierloh

Elisabeth hugged her parents and little sister goodbye on the crowded platform. Tears running down her quivering face gradually nestled in the cotton collar of her white T-shirt until its embroidered rim felt soaking wet.

“Now, don’t be silly,” her mother said, her voice hoarse with suppressed emotions. “It is only for a short time and remember, this is supposed to be an educational project as well as a big adventure.” Continue Reading

Shadows of Death

Qualified Entry: Fiction Category

By: Diana Ng

I am on an island floating in a galaxy.  The sky is a gradient of pink and purple with tufts of white clouds and clusters of stars scattered about.  There is a giant tree with curtains of green leaves and the tall grass sways as the wind swirls my long black hair around me.  I sit underneath the tree, cross my legs lotus style, close my eyes and begin to meditate. Continue Reading


Short-listed Entry: Fiction Category

By: Monda Mahmoud

His steps were rather slow, like he was strolling casually along the narrow, tranquil side streets of Zamalek. Treading softly on the brisk leaves scattered on the road, he was cautiously treading into his memories. Continue Reading