You've been so patient as I've dithered, debated, and put off picking a winner. But now, at long last, I'm ready to announce the victor in the Musical Fiction Contest!
First, I'd like to send a heartfelt e-THANKS!to everyone who submitted stories. You should be very proud of yourselves, for three key reasons:
It's scary to send your work out into the world for strangers to read. You're letting me—and, if you're chosen as a finalists, your fellow Sparklers—judge your talent. You're saying, "I wrote this, I care about it, and I think it's good. Do you agree?" That takes cajones!
Plenty of people talk about writing, call themselves writers, or imagine that if they only had the time, they'd be capable of writing a masterpiece. Almost no one actually sits down at their laptops and writes. You do. That's amazing.
I'm very impressed by the quality of the work you're doing. It's thoughtful, funny, sharp, and, best of all, clearly written by people who love to read. I see bright, writerly futures for all of you.
A special thanks to the finalists, whose stories were chosen from among hundreds and hundreds of submissions for publication on the site. Their work can be found here.
Before I announce the winner, I'd delighted to present four honorable
Sparklers, the musical fiction contest is over, and the time has come to tell me which story you love best. I alone (I ALONE, mwwwwahahaha!) will determine the winner, but I'm easy to manipulate. Pick your favorite story and tell me why you love it in the comments.
This is it! The very last finalist!djmcleod17's story is rough around the edges—the dialogue punctuation needs serious work—but I'm impressed by the convincing fights, which change tempo and whipsaw between emotions exactly as they do in real life. Thanks, djm, for bringing up the tail end of an impressive collection of Sparkler fiction.
Next week, I'll post a roundup of all the stories, and ask you to pick a favorite and tell me why you love it. I need help choosing the winner!
You Don't Know Me
“What’s wrong with you? Are you stupid?” You act retarded!” he heard her screech. George just sighed and continued typing on his laptop. He tried to block out the screaming of his wife at his daughter. His eyes flicked towards the window to see the bare tree branches scrape the window as the bitter autumn air shoved them against the glass. He sat in a worn chair covered in patches sewn in to cover the rapidly deteriorating cushions. The television quietly hummed in the background while he silently clacked the keys on his
In high school, almost all of us are melodramatic, passionate, observant about the physicality of the world, and incapable of communicating with our parents.Scarlet Marie's story captures the self-pitying intensity of adolescence. (UPDATE: I added the link to the song! Sorry about that.)
she's sitting at the table with a bowl of wheaties in front of her - the breakfast of champions - and her mother asks how her night was.
nesgurl90's excellent story reminds me of The Penelopiad, by Margaret Atwood. That's high praise, nesgurl!
A Sorceress Spurned
Honey honey, the bees sing to me. One by one, they land on my cheek as I rock back and forth in my chemise hammock. The softness of their legs and fluttering of their wings wakes me from my reverie. I move my hand and slowly crush the bees between my fingers.
I get the feeling DarkWings44 is a fan of Poe, Hitchcock, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and maybe even Reno 911.
Most people try to collect things and most people try to save things that are precious to them. They frame prized certificates, put pictures of important memories in photo albums, laminate papers that are too crucial to get torn or dirty. Ted Banister was one such
I love eavesdropping on fighting couples. It's not THAT evil—I'm not only enjoying the drama, I'm also doing dialogue research for my novel. (Sure I am.)
I really enjoyed Laura's quarrel with her paramour. See what you think of PieHo's story.
I can feel you breathing next to me, in and out, completely relaxed.
I can’t relax. Every part of my body is tensed, waiting for the phone call. I know it will happen. It always does. The room is dark, but I can read the clock by the light of the moon. 10:53. Seven more minutes with you. It’s not
The narrator of timeenough's story is quiet and sad—or is he quiet and furious?
Things I Remember About You
I remember your first boyfriend.
You were twelve. He was thirteen and in grade seven. An older guy. He was a skater, and that made him so much cooler than anyone in our grade. I remember he had an earring. You were so jealous – your mom wouldn’t let you get your ears pierced until you were