Text Box: Text Box: Winning Entries Second Quarter 2019

First: Simeona the Stylite by Shannon Savvas

Second: The Last True Harrison by Jules Diamond

Third: Clickbait by Adam Lock

Click on the titles to read the three winning stories

Highly Commended: Milkfish by Marissa Hoffmann

 

Judge’s Report for the second quarter’s competition 2019 from Kate Finegan

 

The winning pieces represent a variety of styles and subject matter, but what they have in common is a strong sense of why. Each one is self-contained, with clear stakes and no ending gimmicks. These pieces stay true to their own internal logic, with story arcs that, once read, feel inevitable. Other pieces that caught my attention were Some Kind of Lovemaking, The Extraordinary Coda of Rosemary Finn, and Bleed Blue.

 

1st: Simeona the Stylite

The story begins with an irresistible line – “Come astronomical twilight, Simeona knows it is time to escape.” The specificity of “astronomical twilight,” combined with the compelling question of what she’s escaping from and where she’s escaping to, assured me this was the voice of a capable storyteller. Repetition within lines and across the piece gives the sense of waking up bit by bit, and the narrator has the most charming of companions – a Scops owl. There is a magic to this piece, but that magic turns out to be a survival mechanism. This chilling, poetic piece ends on a hopeful note and leaves the reader with faith in that elusive time in the future – the time when “one day she will feel again.”

 

2nd: The Last True Harrison

This calls to mind Peter Orner in the quiet dignity of its characters. The narrator mourns his granddad, whom others in his family didn’t fully appreciate and are not paying adequate tribute to. This piece speaks to how we honor and remember those who are lost, and how we go on when we’re the last of a dying breed.

 

3rd: Clickbait

Clickbait uses the charming device of actual headlines that spam our newsfeeds to map the dissolution of a marriage. Through these headlines, the piece slyly skewers how we allow fluff stories and listicles to subtly nudge our lives off-track. This piece is hilarious and sad, a satire of modern love and loss that made me nod and shake my head in recognition of these flawed characters and the pitfalls of desire and doubt.

 

Highly Commended: Milkfish

Milkfish, with its strong sense of place, is a story lush with sensory details, which stand in sharp contrast to the protagonist’s desire to be let go after a horrific burn. The writer artfully utilizes the slow reveal, first mentioning the protagonist’s papery skin, then describing her kitchen as “a night-garden of tiny flames” before revealing what happened with the milkfish.

 

We regularly receive several hundred entries each quarter, so those making the long and short lists should feel very proud.

 

Short Listed Entries for the Second Quarter 2019 — in alphabetical order

 

A Small Triumph by Jude Hayland

At The Turning Tide by Di Taemumu (Tae) Richardson

Bleed Blue by Jamie D Stacey

Buddy by Julia Anderson

Charged by Chez Cotton

Clickbait by Adam Lock

Everybody Needs a Dave by Annemarie Allan

Face to Face by Barbara Young

Friends by Dreena Collins

Heat by Taria Karillion

In the Oxidation and Reduction of Bonds, Who Wins? by Kiira Rhosair

Keith's Last Session by Dan Nichols

Kiss the Curb by Jamie D Stacey

Last, Best Hope in a Shade of Orange by Taria Karillion

Man by Jamie D Stacey

Milkfish by Marissa Hoffmann

No Exit by Susan Howe

Red Roses by Patricia Feinberg Stoner

Simeona the Stylite by Shannon Savvas

Some Kind of Lovemaking by Rob McInroy

The Extraordinary Coda of Rosemary Finn by Taria Karillion

The Last True Harrison by Jules Diamond

The Seamstress by Shannon Savvas

Vision In Orange by Amanda Saint

When the Drought Came by Christine Griffin

 

Long Listed Entries for the Second Quarter 2019 — in alphabetical order

 

A Promise Made by Paul Chiswick

A Small Triumph by Jude Hayland

A Supper of Secrets by Carol Stone

Anointing the Rocks with Gravy by Cathy Lennon

Apocalypse Vodka by Donna L Greenwood

At The Turning Tide by Di Taemumu (Tae) Richardson

Black Roses by Máire Malone

Bleed Blue by Jamie D Stacey

Brand New Key by Linda Lewis

Buddy by Julia Anderson

Charged by Chez Cotton

Clickbait by Adam Lock

Driveway Drifters by Caroline Wood

Earthly Perspectives by Colum Dain

Everybody Needs a Dave by Annemarie Allan

Face to Face by Barbara Young

Friends by Dreena Collins

Garden Party Pep-Talk by Taria Karillion

Heat by Taria Karillion

I take the number 14 bus to town to see Aunty Sandra by Dreena Collins

In the Oxidation and Reduction of Bonds, Who Wins? by Kiira Rhosair

Keith's Last Session by Dan Nichols

Kiss the Curb by Jamie D Stacey

Last, Best Hope in a Shade of Orange by Taria Karillion

Loose Threads by Vanessa Horn

Man by Jamie D Stacey

Milkfish by Marissa Hoffmann

Mother to Mother by Carol Stone

My Son, The Artist by Karen Whitelaw

No Exit by Susan Howe

Nothing Like This by Lucy George

Places to be by Jenny Woodhouse

Red Roses by Patricia Feinberg Stoner

Reflections from the Rock Pool of a Marriage by Helen Matthews

Second Chances by Emma Douglas

Sensory Ghosts by Peter Burns

Simeona the Stylite by Shannon Savvas

Some Kind of Lovemaking by Rob McInroy

The Extraordinary Coda of Rosemary Finn by Taria Karillion

The Last True Harrison by Jules Diamond

The Lost Hour by Eduardo Estacio

The Maleficent Wood by Jennifer Gray

The Seamstress by Shannon Savvas

The Shell Shelf by Stacey Chesters

Undercover by Bill Cox

Vision In Orange by Amanda Saint

When the Drought Came by Christine Griffin