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

Congress’s brinksmanship with new media.

  By: Steve Patterson

Congress’s brinksmanship with new media (pixelhose.com)At lunchtime today I stopped by the San Francisco Civic center to listen to some talented people speak out against SOPA and PIPA. Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake, legend venture investor Ron Conway, Craig’s lists founder Craig Newmark and MC Hammer all took the microphone and condemned the legislation for its violations of law, common sense and economic good. Continue Reading

Warm Tomatoes

By: Vickie J. Litten

When she was a little girl, on hot summer days, she would steal the glass salt shaker from her mother’s kitchen and sneak out to the garden. The tomato plants, taller than she had yet grown and heavy with fruit, like a thicket of small trees, hid her from view. She would sit in the shade, on the cleared path of soil between the rows, and pull off large red fruit, warmed by the sun. A little sprinkle of salt and she’d bite into the sweet richness, wiping at the juice, dribbling down her chin, with the back of her hand. Continue Reading

SOPA Protest Report

SOPA Protest, San Francisco (pixelhose.com)

SOPA Protest, San Francisco (pixelhose.com)

In addition to going dark, pixelhose staff participated in the San Francisco SOPA protest. Yes! We did show up in person – an odd feeling, like, oh, reading a paper book nowadays!

We are happy, no, make that ELATED to report that the “after-action” data are extremely positive. Here are some highlights, gleaned from various news sources:

  • Three US senators, including senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) withdrew his
    support for SOPA/PIPA. Given the senator’s stature within the GOP, this is a
    major blow to these incredibly, uh…, dumb is the only word that comes to
    mind, bills.
  • The conservative Heritage Foundation announced its opposition to the
  • Google said 4.5 MILLION people signed the anti-SOPA petition today
  • Last week only three senators opposed PIPA. As of this writing, 35
    senators are publicly opposing the bill(s). The “magic number” – the number of
    opposing votes needed to kill the bill in the US Senate – is 41.

These are all of course great first-time-out results for a community that had never come together for a political cause. But the SOPA problem is far from solved.

Next week, US Senate will try a floor vote on PIPA. We’ll of course will have multiple posts before then, hoping to give everyone more good reason to keep signing those online petitions and calling their US senators, PARTICULARLY senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) who is one of the bill’s co-sponsors and, so far, has refused to acknowledge the error of his ways.

In the meantime, we want to THANK everyone who supported the protest day, particularly those of you who also took time to send us emails expressing your support.

Let’s do this!

Bob Dourandish

On Fireflies

Qualified Entry: Non-Fiction Category

By: Yifan Xu

Pulsing is defined by vitality: the rushing of blood, the rhythmic recurrence of strokes and electricity, the contractions of life, the abrupt repeated emissions of light. The word itself consists of two syllables –reminding us of events that consist of two phases: the coming and ebbing of the tide, the turning on and turning off, the waxing and waning of the moon. It is more intentional than flickering or blinking because it is more physical than pure light. It includes the ability to course through arteries and veins, it implies the beating of the heart, the closing and shutting of eyes on a bright day, the coolness and heat of a cloud passing quickly by on a sunny afternoon, the earth circling around the sun so that you can feel champagne bubbling up your nose on New Year’s Eve exactly once every twelve months. It implies a circle and a repeating path. Pulsing seems innocent, oblivious even –it believes in the continuation of life. It seems to believe that everything ends at the beginning in a consistent, beating manner. Continue Reading

The Exodus North

Qualified Entry: Non-Fiction Category

By: Robbie Cox

I was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, the Circle City.  However, when I was three my parents came to the Space Coast of Florida on vacation and never went back.  My dad had fallen in love with the beaches on his visit and decided Eau Gallie was going to be the new home for his family.  The odd thing is that I don’t recall going to those beaches much as I grew up, but he was content, so it was all good.  As it stands, however, outside of an occasional visit to see relatives back in Indianapolis, all I remember of the city was that it was cold and dirty; I abhor cold and I detest dirty.  I wanted nothing to do with the city of my birth, so when I was told that we were moving back there at the beginning of my sophomore year, I was pissed. Continue Reading


Qualified Entry: Non-Fiction Category

By: Jerry Paine

The Dramatic Story Of A Life Saved On Nuttings Lake And The Heroes Who Did It

It happened in an instant. I dropped my canoe paddle in the lake and as it started to float away, I instinctively reached over the side of the canoe to grab it. Bad move. In the blink of an eye I was dumped into the middle of Nuttings Lake in December with no life jacket. As I struggled to right my canoe and retrieve fishing rods and tackle boxes, the numbing cold water brought me to a stark reality. The clock was ticking. I had little time. I had to make decisions fast. Continue Reading

How I Quit Ballet

Short-listed Entry: Non-Fiction Category

By: Hayley Huntley

How I Got Roped Into It

I was three years old.  My dad sat on the couch in the den, and I sat on his lap.  I was playing with the brass lamp to his left, twisting the marble-like switch to turn it off an on again.  He asked me, “Do you think you’d like to try doing ballet?”  I said yes. Continue Reading

My American Gentleman

Qualified Entry: Non-Fiction Category

By:  Sarah Du

Some time over the summer I came across an article which listed the various lessons a woman learned about love from her dog. She suggested that as humans we apply the fundamental aspects of dog personality, and relationships with their owners, to the romance in our own lives.  I began thinking about my own relationship with my dog and how my attachment to him has grown beyond just being “the hand that feeds.” He cannot talk or hug back but the tilt of his doggy head goes beyond puppy love. Continue Reading