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!
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