Mack Staton, Co-Contest Chair welcomed Amy Roger this year's Elizabeth Simpson Smith Short Story Contest judge who was in attendance. He reminded us all of her impressive credentials. He then announced the winners with Amy's comments about their entries.
"There was so much creativity in these submissions. Through these stories I traveled to college campuses, courtrooms, and even the realm of a magical king. I walked through the natural world to appreciate its splendor and imagined life as a library book. I even rode along with a couple of hapless criminals.
What they all had in common was the dedication to storytelling and the desire to put down the words that can enlighten and entertain readers. I'm honored to read this work and I congratulate all the writers on their superb efforts!"
1st Place - Janet Ford: Subject to It: This story of a simple hunting trip is an expertly crafted tribute to the value of rural life often mocked by outsiders who fail to comprehend its dignity. The language expertly captures the deeply-ingrained reverence for life that also requires violence for its survival. The story is commandingly understated, sophisticated, visceral, and full of love.
2nd Place - Julia Borreno: If Mama Ain’t Happy: This highly inventive tale completely upends the stereotypical trope of an opportunistic salesman preying on a seemingly ignorant matriarch. The author cleverly leads the reader down a familiar path only to ultimately steer the story to a surprising surreal and darkly hilarious conclusion.
3rd Place - Gary Powell: 'Red on Red': This author writes with the veracity that comes from being an astute observer of life with all its harshness and humanity. Great details and vivid scenes invite the reader to step into the action in this blue-collar story as events unfold though conflicts that are universal and relatable.
David Russell: 'Sheri Started It': This author really shines at capturing great dialogue and the quirkiness of everyday life.
Elizabeth Miller: 'The Birthday Gift': If inanimate objects could talk, they’d have plenty to say about the ways we love – and lie to – each other.