Tag Archives: Brenda Carre

The Raven Contest: the judge has spoken!

And now the news you’ve been waiting for:  the winners of the 2016 Raven Short Story Contest, complete with judge Brenda Carre‘s comments

I loved reading all twelve stories on the editors’ short list and I want to congratulate each and every one of you for providing me with such a very difficult choice and such a varied, well-written selection of stories. If you want a more in-depth look at how I judged these I have a blog post here.

Third runner up

‘Swimming’ by Jerico Espinas, Oshawa ON, Canada

A nicely-written slice-of-life story with a poignant sense of loss on the part of the viewpoint character.  While I enjoyed this very much, the ambiguity at the end nudged it out of running for the top position.  I would love to see this story enlarged into a novel or novella.

Second runner up

‘Tarts’ by Judyth Emmanuel, Newton NSW, Australia

I loved the surreal play with language (e.e. cummings meets the Munsters) and very creepy look into the minds of the three main characters.  At times, the convolutions of word choice were a little overwhelming, but definitely a publishable piece.

First runner up

‘The Pool Guy’ by Adam Golub, Fullerton CA, USA

I really liked the dialogue here and the interplay of the sexting girlfriend and the talkative Pool Guy with Ty’s very calculating analytical personality.  I had a few laugh-out-loud minutes and was very torn between this and the winner.  A great read, and I look forward to seeing this in print.

The winning story

‘The Handler’ by Pat Flewwelling, Oshawa ON, Canada

This story wowed me, held me tightly to its very unique premise from beginning to end, and just got better with each successive reading.  A unique and torturously complicated look at life with a superhero.

Congratulations to all these superb writers.  ‘The Handler’ will be published in Pulp Literature Issue 14, Spring 2017, and we will attempt to place the other three stories in that or subsequent issues.  We’ve included the hometowns of each of the winners to show how far-flung our entrants are; and also to inquire as to what’s in the water of the small town of Oshawa Ontario, and can you bottle it for the rest of the country?

For those authors who requested critiques, our editors are working on them and should have them to you soon (before Christmas at least)!

Our next contest, the Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest for stories up to 750 words long opens January 1st 2017.

Fiction submissions are now open until November 30th.  We look forward to reading your stories!

Never miss another contest or opening.  Subscribe to our free newsletter here.

The Raven Shortlist

It was not an easy cut to make, but we are pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Raven Short Story Contest!

  • ‘Flotsam’  by Mike Twist
  • ‘Handling the Contents of Consciousness’ by Soramimi Hanarejima
  • ‘Invisible’ by Kat McNichol
  • ‘Ninth Life’ by Lisa Voisin
  • ‘Pruinessence’ by Claire Lawrence
  • ‘Right Wrist or Left?’ by Nancy Christie
  • ‘Swimming’ by Jerico Espinas
  • ‘Tarts’ by Judyth Emanuel
  • ‘The Handler’ by Pat Flewwelling
  • ‘The Pool Guy’ by Adam Golub
  • ‘Things You Should Know About Ravens’ by David Thompson
  • ‘When We Played House’ by Charlene Kwiatkowski

Congratulations to all these authors who made the shortlist.  These were hard choices to make, and all these stories have very different qualities that make them prize-winning candidates.  We will keep you in suspense till Tuesday when we will announce judge Brenda Carre’s ultimate choices.

While you wait, may we suggest a reading of last year’s winners, ‘Black Blizzard’ by Emily Linstrom and ‘The Lament for iCarus’ by PE Bolivar in Pulp Literature Issue 10?  You can even get the issue immediately and pay later by pledging at the $5 level on our Something Novel Kickstarter page.

The Raven Takes Wing

September is like a second new year.  Even to those of us who are no longer in school, the slightly cooler but still-sunny days breathe fresh life into projects that have been lying dormant in the heat of summer, and invigorate us to pick up our tools of the trade and return to work with renewed vigour.

Brenda CarreThat makes September the perfect time to launch our third annual Raven Short Story Contest.  We’ve dropped the entry fee by $5 this year, and the number of entrants are limited to 200, making your chances of winning superb!  And we’re delighted to welcome back Brenda Carre who has graciously agreed to be our final judge again this year.

So take wing on fresh breeze of September, and send us your best short stories.  May the finest-feathered fiction win!

See contest guidelines here.

Spring 2015 cover image smallFor inspiration, and to glean what catches our judges’ eyes, you can read Raven winners and finalists from previous years in Pulp Literature Issue 6 and Issue 10.Issue 10 small

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Announcing the Winner of the 2015 Raven Short Story Contest

As chosen by Brenda Carre, our final judge for the Raven Short Story Contest, here are the winners.

  • First place: ‘Black Blizzard’, Emily Linstromsmallpenandink
  • Runner-up: ‘Lament for iCarus’, by Patrick Bollivar
  • Honourable mention: ‘Flight of the Gods’ by Brent Kellmer

A master of many genres, judge Brenda Carre writes fantasy, science fiction, and historical short stories and novels, as well as spicy historical romance under the pen-name Tess Cornwall.  Her short fiction has appeared in Fantasy & Science Fiction, Fiction River Anthologies, and The Blacklist anthology to name a few.  Her recent novelette, Finnraziel, can be found in The Edge of Never paranormal romance collection.  Here’s what she had to say about the entries: Continue reading

The Long and Short of the Raven Contest

We were thoroughly impressed with the quality of stories we received for this year’s  Raven Short Story Contest.  It seems as if each contest we run pushes the bar higher.  To choose our long list all three editors read the entries and give them a ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘maybe’.   The ‘maybe’s are crucial, because a ‘yes’ is worth two points and a ‘maybe’ worth one.  Our long list is then made up of every story that received at least two points — meaning at least one editor liked it a lot, or at least two editors thought it had potential.standoff

This is important, as we want to give our final judge, Brenda Carre, a broad selection of stories to choose from.  Fiction is so subjective, not just from person to person, but from day to day.  Sometimes a story that doesn’t grab you one night may captivate you on the second read because you’re in a different mood.  So here is the longlist, made up of the twenty-six stories we felt had winning potential: Continue reading

Brenda Carre to Judge 2015 Raven Short Story Contest

We’re delighted to announce that Brenda Carre will be the final judge for the Raven Short Story Contest.

Brenda has been writing fiction for many years, and completed five fantasy novels to land a New York agent while raising two sons and working as head visual arts teacher in Vancouver at the Lord Byng Mini-School of the Arts.  In 2008 she parted with her agent to write short fiction.  She firmly believes this ‘risk’ was the right one for her as it gave her the freedom to move into multiple genres and to tighten her plots.  Best of all, both success and failure come more swiftly writing short fiction, and Brenda regards the informative editorial rejection as a valuable part of writing progress.  Since 2010, Brenda’s short fiction has appeared in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Fiction River Anthologies, SkyWarrior Books, and the Blacklist Anthology from Ragnarok Publishing to name a few.  She writes mystery, grimdark, science fiction, steampunk, fantasy, historical and YA.

Brenda also writes spicy historical romance as Tess Cornwall.  Her novella, Drake’s Daughter, is available from Forbidden Fiction and on Amazon.  Her novelette Finnraziel will be included in The Edge of Never, a boxed set of nine paranormal romance e-books to be released this month.

This diverse background in a variety of genres and formats makes Brenda an ideal judge for the diversity of stories we hope to see in the Raven contest.

Brenda CarreYou can follow Brenda on Twitter @brenda_carre or at http://www.brendacarre.com/.  She is honoured to be the judge this year for the Raven Story competition.

 

Bowen Island Writing Retreat

Old Dorm

The Lodge at the Old Dorm. Photo by Rosie Perera

The Muse showed up. That’s all you really need to know.  If you’re a writer, you’ll know how that tastes, feel the warmth it creates, know how time stands still as you see the path forward, see the world laid out at your feet…

At the Tuscany Restaurant. Photo by Rosie Perera

At the Tuscany Restaurant. Photo by Rosie Perera

Our weekend on Bowen Island consisted of six participants and four teachers, and using the Hour Stories cards, we shared over 30,000 words of productivity together.  Those words were read aloud in every available space over the weekend, before meals and before ferries.  And that doesn’t even include the time we spent opening our eyes to beauty with Sandra Vander Schaaf, taking walks in the forest, enjoying fabulous food and good company, and winding down over drinks late into the night.

We’d like to thank all our participants for sharing their words and love of stories with us all, Rosie Perera for capturing the memories with lovely photos, and Karen Cowper for opening her beautiful home to us for our first evening meal.

Reading together. Photo by Rosie Perera

Reading in the lounge. Photo by Rosie Perera

photo by Rosie Perera

Photo by Rosie Perera

To give yourself the gift of a retreat is to devote time with the Muse, and protect that time from the distractions of this life.  Our collective writing momentum built during our days together, and it was hard to part with these storytellers, knowing that the words would continue to flow beyond each others’ hearing.

The feedback has been so positive that we plan to have another retreat soon, and not only at Bowen, but in France.  Keep your eyes on our retreats page for details.  Yes, we’re listening to the Muse this year.  She’s calling from far away, and together, we’re going to find her!