Monday, November 11, 2013

Writing Contest results!

This was a terrific contest and just the perfect thing to counteract the excitement of watching paint dry in my apartment this weekend.

There were a lot of terrific entries as usual. Here are the ones that caught my eye:

A phrase that really deserves a place in Tawna Fenske's next book:
"five-knuckle parade"
fiercelyyours 10:21am

Special recognition for a great phrase:
the poison of the empty promises
Carolynnwith2Ns 10:38am

Special recognition for a deft adaptation:
The show went on, with a donut pillow as the star’s southern comfort.
AmandaINK1 4:37pm

There were some great words describing groups of things:
A giggle of teenagers
Michael Seese 10:23am

bulldozer of bullies
donnaeverhart 10:24am

rumble of second graders
Katharine 11:08am

Terri Lynn Coop 11:30am

harassment of tabloid journalists
Franca Stewart 12:26pm

Blaze of banalities
Mister Furkles 12:57

rubberneck of onlookers
AmySchaefer 1:28pm

A crackling of dead leaves
Lucas 3:21pm

A thunder of toddlers
Robyn Campbell 3:59pm

cloud of cauliflowers
Ginger Mollymarilyn 5:33pm

carcass of memories
Foxcreek 6:07pm

slander of gossiping busybodies
Calorie Bombshell  12:22am

ricochet of cats
Jeanne 12:46am

a plague of divorce lawyers
french sojourn 3:42am

spider of live oak limbs
Cheryl Carvajal 8:45am

These were my two favorites:

Herriot of veterinarians
Kat Waclawwik 12:56am
the fleece of con men
Steve Forti 9:41am

Special recognition for entries that weren't quite stories
but had lovely writing

Colin Smith 10:48am

Franca Stewart 12:26pm

KrisM 12:53pm

Lucas 3:21pm

Foxcreek 6:07pm

Here are the seven finalists:

(1) Deborah Holt Williams 10:40am
The gorilla burst through the coffee shop, where a frustration of picture book writers stared at their laptops. He climbed the espresso machine, while the writers sipped their lattes in search of inspiration. What to write?
They held their cups more tightly as the gorilla bounded from table to table, pounding his chest.
“Character driven—but what character?” sighed one writer.
“Character must solve his own problem, but what problem?” pondered another.
“Don’t forget the rule of three,” said a third.
The gorilla leaped over the counter and helped himself to three cronuts before he knuckle-walked out the door.

(2) Ashley Whitt 10:59am
A harem of us wait. More every day, upstairs and down. Longing to be chosen.

She arrives. I stand a little straighter, hold my breath.

Her fingers trail over us. She bites her lip, as if she's unsure, as if she doesn't hold all the power. The queen of the known universe.

She reaches. For a glorious second I'm sure it's me, but it's not. My neighbor disappears and I sense his elation as she brings him to her bedroom, tugs off his jacket, and I, I remain, slumping in his empty space.

And again I wait, to be read.

(3) SiSi 2:33pm
Those kids came back last night, daring each other to run up and touch my front door. “Go away,” I shouted, but they didn’t hear me.

I decided to ignore them this time. They weren’t hurting anything, and I could remember being young, feeling that heady mixture of fear and fun. But then they laughed at my hand-stitched welcome mat, and I got mad. When I rushed to the door and slammed it open, they took off like they’d seen a whole sheet of ghosts.

I’ve always been proud of my welcome mat. Dying didn’t change that one bit.

(4) Jessa 5:56pm
Kidnapped, hogtied, about to be sacrificed by an evil wizard. In the suburbs. The indignity kept Timothy from being terrified.

If only Paisley… Unfortunately, the wizard knew of Timothy's relationship with the fairy and prepared. The only way she could enter was if the wizard brought her in.

Someone knocked. "Sign here, please."

The scratch of a pen, tape tearing. And the sound of dozens of fairy wings sizzling with magic. Seconds later, a frantic hedgehog waddled past, pursued by an entire buzz of fairies.

"Pais? How…?"

Paisley flipped a happy mid-air circle. "Small things come in good packaging."

(5) Jared X 9:51pm
The shtetl was abuzz. The men yanked David from class, locking him in the shul’s library while they deliberated.

Hours passed, the air hot and stale. David sensed it wasn’t like the other times. The property damage was considerable, Mrs. Levinsky in shock. When they convened a schvitz of rabbis to parse his latest misadventure, he feared his father couldn’t make this one disappear.

They called the boy in. Rabbi Margolies announced plans for the new Yeshiva Levinsky, a gift of David’s father. David quietly beamed.

His father’s stern face ended his celebration. “Your uncle needs a clerk. In America.”

(6) Sara Bowers 10:38pm
“Sometimes I worry about my son.” Mary said as he unscrewed the clock bottom and began removing metal bits.

“Most kids go through a destructive stage. My son destroyed our blueray player.” Sheila said.

“That’s not what I worry about. Watch.” She nodded to her son. He laid out each gear, cog, and other assorted innards in precise groups. One by one his chubby fingers picked them up and stuck them back in the clock. Five minutes later the clock was running perfectly.

“Whoa. Is he…?” Sheila said.

“Yes, he’s going to join a boredom of engineers.

(7) JD Paradise 1:37am
You come early for the meeting at the Topeka Marriott. Early or not, the wizards have already gone, the entire power. Or so it seems. You make for the free buffet.

The flowers in the vases are a string of colorful handkerchiefs. You pull one. The trap door opens and you descend to the stage.

A leatherlung boos from the first row. Your dad. Booing

You have your pride.

You gesture. The lion beneath his chair roars. Feeds, to the din of screaming.

This is Day Three of Hell Week.

Sacrifice enough, they'll have to let you in.

The decision here was damn hard, let me tell you.  The wealth of talent on display here boggles my mind.

The winner is Jared X 9:51pm.

Thanks to everyone who entered, and huzzahs to the finalists!

Jared if you'll email me with your mailing address I'll send you a copy of RUNNER by Patrick Lee.  If you've read it already, or don't read taut, edge of your seat thrillers, we'll find you something else.


Steve Forti said...

Congrats Jared! You fit a lot of understood backstory into such a short piece. Kudos.

Some good new groups - my favorites were "sheet of ghosts" and "waddle of pregnant women". Glad I could top your list, your Sharkliness!

Maple and Baobab said...

Congratulations Jared. Well done.
My favourite was Portergirl's a paparazzi of freckles. Tons of great groups. Lots of fun.

Jared X said...

Well, this is exciting. These contests have noticeably improved my writing. That they're so much fun is just gravy.

Thank you for doing these and for picking my story. It's an honor.


Anonymous said...

Congrats Jared! Thanks for the mention, Ms. Janet!

I really liked the story by Ashley Witt, as well as many of these GREAT entries...and I think one of my fave phrases was "flutter of fillies."

french sojourn said...

Way to go Jared:
It never ceases to amaze me the amount of work that goes into these contests, thank you again for doing these on your weekend.
Cheers Hank

Colin Smith said...

Again--I'm honored to get a mention, especially for "lovely writing." Wow. That means a lot. Thanks, Janet!

Congratulations to all the finalists, and especially to Jared for being the pick of an excellent group of finalists. :)

JD Paradise said...

Nice work, Jared!

Thanks for the chance to play, Janet!

Christine Finlayson said...

Congrats to Jared and the other finalists! It's always fun to see the creative juices flowing... I especially loved the phrase "a crackling of dead leaves" by Lucas.

Patty Blount said...

I adore reading all these comments :)

Congrats to Jared and well done to everyone!

Lance said...

Congratulations, Jared. Great contest. Thank you, Ms. Janet for another great contest.

LynnRodz said...

Congrats to Jared and all the finalists! I, too, loved Portergirl's a paparazzi of freckles!!!

Cindy C said...

Congratulations, Jared--great job! I'm thrilled to be a finalist, and also thrilled to enrich my vocabulary with so many great phrases.

Thanks for the contest, Janet.

S.P. Bowers said...

Congrats Jared!

There are always so many great entries to read.

Deborah Holt Williams said...

Mazel tov, Jared--so much story in so few words. And thank you, Janet, for setting up this contest and for choosing my story as a finalist!

Terri Lynn Coop said...

Well, I just love this an entire metric crap ton. It was total fun to read all the tales without the common prompt when everyone let their imaginations fly.

Total congrats to Jared, the literary elegance is amazing. All the finalists were so wonderful and rich.

And since I came up with my idea after commenting on a Patrick Lee FB post, I obviously need to go get this book. It is obviously a flagon of fate that I read it.

Thanks for all you do. Terri

Franca Stewart said...

Yay for Jared! And I'm thrilled to get any kind of mention at all. Thank you. :)

Kat Waclawik said...

Congratulations to Jared and all the finalists! Wonderful entries! Ashley, your story made me want to hug my bookshelves.

Thank you for the shout out for a Herriot of veterinarians. His books are well-thumbed inhabitants of my harem.

What a fun contest--thank you, Janet!

Ashes said...

I do love these contests, they're always a good way to stretch some writing muscles and an excellent excuse to experiment.

Thanks, Janet (and donna, and Kat).

And congratulations, Jared.

Jeanne said...

Congratulations, Jared! I particularly loved this contest because it aligned with my love of wordplay, and it's really kicked the creativity into high gear. I can't stop coming up with more of these delightful ways to describe groups of things. It's thrilling to receive a mention for my phrase!