Monday, December 05, 2016

Writing Contest results-WINNER POSTED

I can't tell you how much I look forward to reading the contest entries on Sunday night. It's a treat I make myself earn. Today I had to tame my email in box to under 100 before I could dive in. Right now I'm at 109, but I couldn't wait.

The Steve Forti Award for amazing machinations with prompt words goes of course to:
Steve Forti 8:13am 

I think we may need to just have a whole book of Steve Forti entries at some point.

Not a story, but wrenching, heartbreaking to read
Mary Kathleen Mehuron 9:14am

and special recognition for the entries mentioning the alot!


Deb Smythe 10:11am
CarolynnWith2ns 9:14am
Lizosisek 7:58pm


This isn't a story but it cracked me up completely
Amy Johnson 12:11pm
December thirty-first

Oy, early polling was so promising. A request to lift my spirits: Regular commenters, lurkers, et al., Other than the election, share something noteworthy about this year, plus something you’re hopeful about for next year.

***

Comments:

Colin: Bought a house this year. Very nice book deal next year?

Donnaeve: My debut. Even better sales next year.

Colin: Unpacked all boxes. Significant book deal?

french sojourn: Escargot. More escargot.

Colin: Hung all pictures. Major book deal? That makes three comments. Happy New Year!

Amy: Risked using humor. Cheers up queen/doesn’t get booted off blog?

***

The queen laughed.



A great name for a cat, one I might have to steal for future adventures with Her Grace, the Duchess of Yowl
Zoe Marzo 3:04pm

Pounces-the-Cat

This isn't really a story but it's so beautiful I can't just let it go

leah reynolds 4:52pm
Ole Smokey's lined with rockers. Guy strums Cohen’s, So Long Marianne,
yearning for better days.
Bowie, too. I raise a whiskey. Goes down like Gatlinburg.
“Like he matters,” a voice echoes above the melody.
I tuck my head, rough skin, a shade darker than the bar.
Like I matter.
Gloves spoon - lovers next to my empty glass.
TV's mute. Images scroll across the screen: Vengeful Zealots;
Day of Judgement; One hell-fire missile at a time.
Screen fades. Custom orthopedics. Sad souls to happy soles.
“It's time that we began to laugh
…and cry and laugh about it all again.”

This isn't quite a story, but it's such a perfect example of innovative form and diction that I couldn't let it go unremarked

Karen McCoy 7:45pm
It happens every year. We meet, exchange pleasantries, and buy our respective dying evergreens. This time, she invites me over.
Borborygmus.

We talk about better days, when not every toy was plastic, or wrapped without batteries included. We share a lot of wine.
Crapulous.

Is there hope this holiday season? Neither of us know. I ask her why she buys the brownest, most nonextant trees; she’d rather Death scythe them quickly instead of watching them suffer.
Disconsulate.

A strike of lightning outside—all the tree’s needles drop to the floor at the same time.
Shadenfreude.

A wonderfully nuanced line
John David (manuscript) Frain 1:04am
The master bedroom, where she left everything - including the king-sized bed where we would both lie.

Finalists
Lennon Faris 1:14pm
When my baby was a month, he colicked.
Exhausted, I held him.
Did she?
When seven, he broke his arm skateboarding.
I rushed him to the hospital.
Did she?
High school freshman year, he washed his hands, over and over.
I found him help and hope.
Did she?

Tonight, University phone call: ICU, critical. I’m flying, hating her, praying.
My baby: ashen exterior, IV lines everywhere. Only the attacker dead, news blasts. A lot better than expected.

My hatred moves. After all, mine’s still alive. Exhausted, I hold him.
Hers isn’t. She can’t.
I weep.
I’m sure she does, too.

Of course, this is entirely too topical for all of us, whether we've been touched personally by gun violence or not. The beauty here is in the the pairing, and the rhythm of the sentences. And it's just gorgeous writing. Simple, and elegent. There's not a word out of place.

Marie McKay 3:49pm

We were buddies, all three. For years, side by side, except on the narrower sidewalks where I'd drop back a pace; a natural volunteer.
We were close, but we'd hang out on Tuesdays, and I'd a lot of Tuesday shifts; the guys understood.
If one of us couldn't pay the next bill, we helped each other. I was the lucky one, always had work.
They were each other's Best Man. I'm not one for speeches. I'd hoped they wouldn't ask me; the guys knew that.
Nothing else for it. They've kids now. l'd better take the rap. It is Christmas.

This is a perfect example of an entire story in what isn't said.
Brilliant writing.

Timothy Lowe 3:52pm
Hope doesn’t pay the rent, Tom.”

Meg searched my face for the answer. We’d wanted a better life. But being an extra in the zombie apocalypse was the best I’d been able to do. Some of those people were Walking Dead freaks, zealots. I did it for the nonexistent paycheck. That, and the makeup.

“Maybe in a year I’ll land something,” I said.

She smiled, pressing the latex scar-tissue onto my forehead. “You and your undead patience.”

We shambled into the bank, groaning. Wide eyes. Nervous laughs. Then gasps.

“Empty the drawer into the bag,” I said to the teller.
This just cracked me up, and after a series of very dark entries, that was enough to make me love this. Plus the imagery here is so evocative: "we shambled into the bank, groaning" "you and your undead patience"

Fun, fresh writing!

Mallory Love 7:09pm
These were supposed to be the best years of my life: traveling the world, spoiling the grandkids, finding my zeal.
But then the diagnosis came.
The losses were insurmountable.
First, the ability to move. Next, the ability to speak.Then, the ability to hope.
Getting better wasn’t an option.
My husband couldn’t bear it. He silently begged me to let go, the truth in his eyes too hard to ignore.
Celestial otherworlds called to him.
I couldn’t watch him die. I made sure the pillow covered his face.

“How does the defendant plead?”
My attorney rose.
“Guilty.”
But not regretful.

The beauty here is the twist. Did you see it?  The phrase "best years of my  life" lead the reader to think the diagnosis is for her. Then, those last four sentences turn it all around. I had to read this twice
to make sure I understood.

This is textbook subtle writing. Very very hard to do. 


S. D. King 9:13pm
The next-to-last gift was wrapped. She bought Jeremy everything on his list this year – except the cats.

Weird list.

She’d hoped Roger would be understanding, but no.

“You indulge that kid too much. You okay’d glee club, then drama club. Sissy stuff.”

Didn’t matter. She bought a whole case of Spam and individually wrapped each tin. The Mormon Bible was on Amazon. Easy. But she better not let Roger ever see the last request. Luckily she knew just where to buy them.
Pleased with herself, she rechecked Jeremy’s scribbled list:

X Spamalot
Cats
X Book of Mormon
X Kinky Boots

This just cracked me up completely.
And it's lovely and subtle as well.

Just Jan 9:28pm
I’ve just informed my wife that I’m leaving for Belize on New Year’s Eve. With my secretary. She’s taking it a lot better than most women would. She plucks an envelope from our Christmas tree and hands it to me.

“You shouldn’t have.” I hope she can return it.

“I didn’t.” She looks me in the eye. “It’s for Darren.”

Darren, my best friend, lives next door. “You got him a gift?”

“Open it.”

I slide a finger under the flap and remove a black and white glossy. “What is it?”

She smiles and pats her stomach. “A girl.”

This just cracked me up. So much unsaid. Deft writing. This is a terrific entry.


Let me know what you think of the finalists, and if your choice got overlooked. I'm always interested to see which ones you liked that I didn't put on the short list.


Results later in the day

I read everything over again and it's so damn hard to choose.
I can see I really went for the entries that cracked me up this week. I think my malaise after the election made it hard to read the entries that were really dark.

In the end, I have to choose Mallory Love for the lovely subtle writing, and the delicate twist that turns the story on its ear.

Mallory, if you'll email me with your mailing address and the kinds of books you like to read, I'll send you a prize!

Thanks to all of you who took time to write and post entries. I really look forward to reading all of them, even tho ones that don't make the mentions. 

70 comments:

french sojourn said...


Ha!, I couldn't choose one if my life depended on it. Rots a ruck!

The writing was sublime, and each had their own element that really stood out. Good choices on the finalists. The entries were as usual stellar, so fun to read these.

Thank you again for the time and effort. It is really appreciated.

Cheers Hank.

Kitty said...

I vote for Just Jan.

Colin Smith said...

I'm always interested to see which ones you liked that I didn't put on the short list.

Well, mine of course! :) Actually, I was particularly pleased with mine this time around, which doesn't always happen. In fact, more often than not, as soon as I post mine I read an entry that's ten times better.

Of the ones Janet picked, I guess S.D.'s and Just Jan's would be my faves, with S.D. winning for originality. Also, there's a hidden story with the "Kinky Boots" which, intentional or not, is clever. :)

Colin Smith said...

Amy: A major book deal?! That would mean finishing the novel, getting it beta read, edited, polished, queried, agented, and successfully submitted before the end of next year!!

I guess if we can get the house unpacked and pictures hung in that time, anything's possible. :D

Amy Johnson said...

Thanks for the mention, Janet. Glad it made you laugh.

Congratulations to the finalists, mentions, and all who entered. I read every story and continue to be amazed by the talent of this crew. I really dug Steve Forti's. Steve, Very funny stuff.

Colin, Donna, and Hank, I so hope you're okay with being mentioned in my story. I've been running on my wheel about it. I did visit Colin's and Hank's blogs and read an interview with Donna while writing the story. Y'all seem so nice and friendly, so I figured it was okay. I hope, I hope, I hope... (said while running on wheel).

Colin Smith said...

Amy: I'm honored and flattered. Doubly so that you actually took time to visit my online ramblings. Thanks! :D

Amy Johnson said...

Whew! Thanks, Colin.

Donnaeve said...

Hank - that "rots of ruck," made me laugh!

I haven't read the other entries, only these, and I'd have to go with Just Jan. LOVE that little revenge story!

Hey Amy - absolutely, totally fine! Get off the wheel! :)

I wanted to participate in this contest, but had a full weekend - I wanted to finish up my outline for (dare I say it) the 3rd book on Friday, then I went to Cape Fear Cotillion Friday night. Saturday, I was at Page 158 Books in Wake Forest - which was so exciting! I bought a t-shirt that says "Lit Happens." I love it! And that means I can officially say, "Been there, done that, bought a shirt."

See?

S.D.King said...

I could viscerally feel the MC's emotion in Marie McKay's story. I wanted to find that kid and take him under my wing - the "natural volunteer."

Thanks for the encouraging words, Colin. Yes, it was intentional. A little writing against my type, but I could just picture that mom...

Timothy Lowe said...

Nothing like getting chosen to be a finalist to make your Monday sparkle! I'm glad I deleted my first entry and tried again.

I have to admit a lot of the entries this week made me feel a little dense. I liked Lennon's but had to read it several times. Even then I'm not sure who the "she" is. I'm looking forward to some comments to help me piece it together, because I get a sense it's worth it

Like the reversal in Just Jan's. I did enjoy yours, Colin, but I wasn't quite sure if the woman was being saved due to winning a lottery or somehow was going to be a savior (her blood cures the plague or something).

Great show, everyone - thanks for the contest to cheer us all up, Janet!

Colin Smith said...

Timothy: Congrats on being picked! :) Yay! You liked my story too!! :D You said: but I wasn't quite sure if the woman was being saved due to winning a lottery or somehow was going to be a savior (her blood cures the plague or something). Could be both. Or neither. I like it when the flash story drops just enough information to suggest possible stories (like S.D.'s "Kinky Boots"--not that S.D. actually literally has kinky boots... though she might... not that I'm judging or anything...). It fires the reader's imagination, so they end up actually participating in the writing process. I also think these 99 words, as they stand, would make a good "prologue" to a thriller, which I might write... :)

Nate Wilson said...

After submitting mine I thought it had a chance for about half a second, right up until I read S.D. King's. So yeah, Kinky Boots gets my vote.

Sharyn Ekbergh said...

My favorites right away were Just Jan and S.D. King. I enjoy the sly sense of humor in Just Jan's and the scene set up in S.D. King's.

Susan said...

Congrats everyone! I loved reading all the entries--y'all are talented folk!

This was the first contest I've been able to enter in a while. I'd been sitting on the story for a bit and just massaged it. Though it wasn't chosen, it's one of the few I'm pretty proud of because it came to me in a torrent of emotion, spilling out from the ether. I'm currently working on my third book, which largely deals with the Vietnam veteran in books 1 and 2, so the concept has been on my mind for a while.

The best thing about these contests, personally, is that they act as prompts when I'm feeling stuck. I'm grateful for that. *scurries off to write*

Sharyn Ekbergh said...

Also, for me S.D. King gets the prize for funniest use of "alot"

Timothy Lowe said...

Ok, I just reread S.D.'s and "got" it - feel like an idiot for not putting it together the first time. That one, too, gets my vote!

Bethany Elizabeth said...

I really liked Lennon's entry. I have to confess, lately I've been running out of empathy; I feel like I've used it all up. A lot of that has to do with the election and its wild aftermath. I don't think I'm the only one who's exhausted by it either. Lennon's entry reminded me that empathy takes courage.

CONTRARIWISE, S.D.'s entry made me laugh out loud, which is a great feeling. :)

Steve Forti said...

Thanks Amy! 90% of the time, my first instinct is to go for humor in things this short, so I'm always happy when I can entertain and amuse.

Also, anytime I can see "Steve Forti" and "book" in the same sentence can make my day.

My votes are for Lennon Faris (I loved the realization you get half way through that gives it a different tone) and SD King (love the good-natured cluelessness). Well done all!

Colin Smith said...

It seems of late when we have these contests, at least a few, if not more (alot?) of folks fess up to not "getting" stories, and even say they feel "dense" for not understanding someone's flash--especially if it's one that Janet picked.

Don't feel dumb/dense/stupid/uncultured/ignorant/...! Here's why:

1) There are stories Janet passes over that she doesn't "get." And she's a super smart literary agent. I know this because she has given mentions to stories where she says, "I don't understand this but the writing is gorgeous" or something to that effect.

2) Janet often picks stories where the reader brings something to the story (cultural references, literary reference, etc.) that make sense of the story. If you are clueless about music theater (which some people are, no shame there... well, not much shame... perhaps some... especially if you haven't heard of "Cats"--I mean, my goodness, where have you been the last 30 years... 30 years?? Has it really been that long??... I digress) then S.D.'s story won't make much sense to you. That doesn't make it bad, or you stupid. It's simply not a story that connects with you. Art is subjective. And that's okay.

3) Art is subjective. I've said that already. It's worth saying again.
4) Art is subjective. See 3.

OK, I know I'm commenting a lot (alot) today, but I've been relatively quiet this past month and I'm in a chatty mood for some reason. Janet: feel free to delete my comments, or chew my arm off for commenting too much--I won't object. :) (Of course, if my comments are deletable, why bother commenting in the first place? Good question. Thanks! So shut up already!) :)

Janet Reid said...

Colin, don't you have pictures to hang. AND a novel to write? How do you expect me to keep my bar stocked if you guyz aren't writing??

Colin Smith said...

Janet: Point taken. Now, can I have my arm back? I need both index fingers to type... ;)

Kate Higgins said...

I don't know how Janet can even pick one. I knew mine was toast when I read the S.D's Christmas list. It reminded me of the time I visited NYC and ran through 6 plays in 3.5 days. Is it my imagination or are all the Reiders getting so great at writing these short wonders that soon it will be impossible to pick one? Good Luck QOTKU I vote for all of them!

BJ Muntain said...

Good luck deciding, Janet!

Timothy: In Lennon's, 'she' is the mother of the attacker. Only the attacker dead.

Timothy Lowe said...

BJ: Thanks! Makes a spamalot more sense now!

french sojourn said...


Amy, No worries, and how I do love escargot.

cheers Hank.

Karen McCoy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen McCoy said...

Loved hearing that Janet looks forward to these contests as much as we do! They are the best salve. And yeah, Colin, here's your arm. Now go write! :)

Honored, as always, for any mentions, and this entry offered a nice break among long editing stretches--I just finished the latest pass through on this novel, and betas are responding positively so far. The needles falling off the tree is based on a true story--I wasn't there, but the guy who was said he laughed so hard he peed a little.

I'm partial to Lennon Faris, whose entry reminded me of this video that Terri Lynn Coop posted to Facebook. I'm also partial to S.D. King--I'm always a sucker for a Broadway reference.

Janet has an interesting decision ahead of her!

Just Jan said...

Great group of finalists. I am honored to be among them. My votes go to Lennon and Mallory for the tug on the heartstrings.

Also, Steve Forti's crack-of-dawn entry had me rolling on the floor before I even finished mine. Loved his Kringle jingle!

Marie McKay said...

Thanks SD for liking mine. I love yours.It really is funny! I don't do funny:it's too difficult. I think all of them (obviously,not commenting on my own here!) are great for one reason or another. So pleased to make the shortlist. Good start to the week.

Mark Thurber said...

Nice job, all! The finalists and mentions tracked my own list pretty closely this week. Just Jan's entry had delightful snap, and the character sketch in Marie McKay's was particularly subtle and beautiful. I also thought John "Manuscript of the Century" Frain nailed it. (John, please let us know if the joshing ever grows tiresome.)

I am hereby inventing my own "Build a Strange World in 100 Words" award for best SFF flash fiction. This week's winner is RKeelan. (Unfortunately this award isn't very prestigious.)




Lennon Faris said...

I liked them all. Thanks for the mention, Janet, and thank you to all the folks who liked mine! BJ is right, the 'she' that keeps getting mentioned is the mom of the attacker.

I think Marie McKay's got me the most. I can really feel for the kid (/adult), very real social/ psychological picture. But I really liked them all.

Lennon Faris said...

Karen - just watched your video link. Incredibly powerful. When the Virginia Tech massacre happened, I was driving by the building as it started (my old dorm, who woulda thought) but of course I only realized that later. Always made me think though.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

I couldn't choose but Timothy's made me giggle having recently been held up by zombie bandits. It happens round here pretty regularly.

All I can say is I am glad my sorry excuse for flash fiction was not posted. I had one of those "not quite a story" things going but couldn't bring it to fruition. And these finalists are superb. I could go for any of them.

I wonder if lots of us are getting character names from the Reef? I have a very prominent character called Colin in my WIP. I hope he isn't too horrified. There are a few others too but they may or may not survive the editing process so will remain silent for now. Anyhow, will be interested to see who Janet picks.

Karen McCoy said...

Oh wow, Lennon, I didn't know you were so close to the Virginia Tech! Scary. I was at UNC Greensboro at the time, so some of my classmates had friends there...

I found your story incredibly powerful too--after all, it's what we don't notice that's important, isn't it?

RKeelan said...

Congratulations to the entrants, the mentionables, and the finalists.

Just Jan's entry jumped out at me while I was reading. I'm not surprised to see it made the fina-list.

I also liked Colin Smith and Michael Seese's entries.

Mark Thurber: Thanks! I consider any mention—even in the comments—prestigious and worth writing for.

Gypmar said...

These are all just amazing. I tip my hat to the inventiveness of each of these finalists! Glad I don't have to pick a winner!

Julie Weathers said...

As always, these were great stories. I'm making no excuses for not entering. I just don't have a knack for flash fiction and I actually got hung up in Rain Crow yesterday writing. Then I doubled checked something for research and read a comment about a soldier being interviewed after the war and complaining about people who claimed they had been at a certain battle who weren't. He hoped dire things happens to the "fakirs". So, of course, I had to look the word up. Oh, yes. It went on my list.

It was this same look-it-up mentality that makes me choose S.D. King's story. That is absolutely the best twist and what a great story.

Then I had to laugh because I would be that clueless.

I was being techie yesterday and ordered Christmas online. Somehow I wound up ordering twelve Playmation starter sets. Now granted, they were originally $119 and on lighting sales for $21, so it's a good deal, but twelve? And my son downloads all their movies now, so back to Best Buy I go with fourteen movies.

Miss Janet will be happy to note I resisted ordering the shark umbrella complete with fin and the shark backpack...barely.

Kate Larkindale said...

What a fantastic bunch of stories! I don't envy you, Janet, having to pick a winner….

Beth said...

Lennon's story jumped out at me from the first -- such generosity of spirit. Love all the finalists, and have to agree S.D.'S is so funny. Loved John David Frain's last line as well.

Kregger said...

As I read, I saw John Frain's...man, how does he do that?

And as I read Lennon Faris, Marie McKay's, Timothy Lowe's, and Mallory Love's I thought, yup, those are good.

Then I fell asleep watching Penn State and hit the road early on Sunday, so I missed Kinky Boots and JustJan's. I don't envy Ms. Reid's decision.

I did however enjoy Kinky Boots the play and movie, second only to Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

So glad I'm not choosing a winner here! I like them all. But if pushed, I liked Just Jan's twist and Marie's story. So glad the choice is all yours, QOTKU.

I loved entering into the spirit of this contest on Saturday when I read Steve Forti's story. Great way to segue into it.

And thanks to the above commentators, I have a better idea of what SD King's entry is about.

Bethany Joy said...

Reading this inspiring bunch of stories made my day! I needed to smile today and
S. D. King’s story brought a big grin to my face. Lennon’s powerful story gave me a shiver. There was a deadly shooting on my campus when I was in undergrad, so that one really clicked with me. All the entries were fantastic and I can’t wait to see who takes the ultimate prize.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Congratulations, Mallory. Lovely job. All of these were just brilliant.

Steve Forti said...

Congrats Mallory!

S.D.King said...

A big congrats to Mallory! Lovely story!

So just this week I was trying to decide if I was really a writer. My "other"job is time consuming but has immediate feedback. Writing is a wind-swept tundra of self-doubt and cold silence.

Thanks, Janet, for the encouragement.

Lennon Faris said...

Very well done, Mallory. Congratulations!! I do love the line, "I couldn’t watch him die. I made sure the pillow covered his face." Funny, in a dark sort of way :)

Thanks again Janet for the contest, and thank you for the mentions in the comments, folks!

Karen - yep, I know whatchya mean.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Congratulations, Mallory Love, for winning! And congrats to all the finalists and mentionables too.

I forgot to mention in my earlier comment, a thank you to Karen McCoy for giving me some new words to look up and add. And Julie Weather's did also in the comment section here. And via facebook this morning, I learned about pollywog and shellback.

Colin Smith said...

*raises hand* Permission to speak, O Mighty QOTKU?
*waits for the Queen's nod*

Congrats Mallory!!!

I'll update the Contest Spreadsheet ASAP.

And, may I just say...

*CHOMP*

leah reynolds said...

Janet,
You made my day!
Thanks,
Leah

Marie McKay said...

Thanks for the lovely comments today Lisa, Mark, Kregger and Lennon. They made my day. The final stories were so good. Thanks,Janet,for your comment. I'm delighted with that.
Congrats, Mallory! Beautiful writing.

Timothy Lowe said...

Congrats Mallory! Wonderful work, all!

Janice Grinyer said...

Congratulations to the winner, Mallory, and all the entrants, mentionables, and finalists :)

John Davis Frain said...

Mallory, bravo. Congratulations. I didn't get here in time to vote, and I certainly won't argue with the result. It's great stuff.

Tip o' the cap to Lennon for an exquisite piece. When it opened, I thought "she" was going to be a birth mother and the narrator was a stepmom. But when I realized near the end who "She" actually was, you swept me away. I've seen this in action twice, and I bet you could bridge this flash piece into a remarkable short story.

Aside to Mark: Heck no, I'll never tire of anyone wanting to joke about my name and manuscript. Especially when you heap praise on the way you just did. To ensure the fun continues, I'm 50,000+ words into a NEW ms.

Julie Weathers said...

Congratulations to Mallory! It was definitely a good choice.

It snowed her yesterday, which is great if you like snow. I don't. I shall be making some kind of comfort food shortly.

Ardenwolfe said...

Damn. These are really good. But yes . . . Mallory deserves to win.

Mallory Love said...

Oh my gosh! Thank you so much! This made my day ( and year if I'm honest). I'm honored to be nominated among such talented writers. I loved all the mentions and other nominees. SD's made me laugh. Just Jan's was just perfect ( love revenge stories done right). Lenon's hit me right in my motherly heart. Timothy's cracked me up ( I could totally picture it.) Marie's was beautiful and sublime. Colin, I want to read the book to that prologue (greatness). Thank you, Janet. After a long day of teaching seventh graders (apparently nothing) this was just the pick me up I needed.

Claire Bobrow said...

Congrats to all the mentions, finalists, and entrants, and to Mallory for a well-earned win! I had to read Lennon's a couple of times before I got it, but great work there. I enjoyed the humorous entries "alot" :-)

Excellent job everyone. Wish I could have entered, but I spent the weekend at a writing workshop and my brain was entangled in manuscript revisions...

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Thanks "a lot" for the mention
AND
Mallory, your writing is amazing and the win, much deserved.

Oh, BTW, Happy Birthday to our Donna. 29 again?

french sojourn said...


Congrats Mallory, you have to be breathing rarefied air right about now. It was such a great group of finalists. Cheers!

Theresa said...

All the finalists were fine, but Mallory's was my favorite. Congratulations.

Karen McCoy said...

Congrats to Mallory! Such a poignant story that epitomizes the sting of difficult choices.

And thank you, Lisa! I was both humbled and thankful for the mention. I think borborygmus is my favorite.

JD Horn said...

Congratulations, Mallory!

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

I'm late to the party...

Lennon: Wow!

Actually, there were "alot" of WOWs. Kudos to everyone who entered and YAY to all the mentions.

Mallory: Congratulations. Good stuff.

Zoe Marzo said...

Aw, thanks for mentioning Pounces-the-Cat! Please definitely send that cat on some adventures. I'd love to read about them :-)

CynthiaMc said...

Congratulations Mallory and all the mentions!

Just Jan said...

Congratulations, Mallory! And thanks for the feedback everyone!

Debbie Dorris said...

Congratulations Mallory! Great job!

AJ Blythe said...

Congrats to everyone who entered and especially those that made the finals.

2016 is a year I'm looking forward to sweeping under the mat. With luck I'll manage to get an entry into more of these next year because they really push me out of my comfort zone with my writing which I think is a good thing.

Her Grace, Heidi, the Duchess of Kneale said...

SD, i loved your story. Love the competent cluelessness. I'm a sucker for it.

Michael Seese said...

Mallory's WAS a beautiful piece. A well-deserved win.