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.
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:
‘Family Hive’ by KT Wagner, ‘The Origin of the Lombards’ by Bevan Thomas, ‘Thesaurus and Raven Stew’ by Frank Talaber, ‘In the Skull Palace’ by Mary Patterson Thornburg, ‘The Road’ by Holli Moncrieff, ‘African Violets’ by Holli Moncrieff, ‘What’s on the Inside’ by Krista Wallace, ‘Prey for Salvation’ by Lisa Michelle, ‘The Dread’ by Kim Bonner, ‘Winding Down’ by Dick Carmel, ‘Old Crow’ by Melanie Marttila, ‘The Fighter’ by Holli Moncrieff, ‘The Lament for iCarus’ by Patrick Bollivar, ‘Ouroboros’ by Eileen Herber-Goodall, ‘Flashmob Fisherwoman’ by Ace Baker, ‘Not Julie Yet’ by Ace Baker, ‘Queen B’ by Ace Baker, ‘One Wish’ by Richard Arbib, ‘See Saw’ by Liz Hambrick, ‘Party Line’ by Kat Baxter, ‘Bonanza’ by Mason Boyles, ‘Ven al Norte’ by Ada Maria Soto, ‘Bearing Up’ by Petra Perkins, ‘The Elusion of Felicity’ by Nancy Schrock, ‘Black Blizzard’ by Emily Linstrom, and ‘Flight of the Gods’ by Brent Kellmer.
The longlist was the easy part. After that, we editors sat down and discussed the longlist, championing our favourites, arguing over why one story rather than another should make the shortlist. It was painful to drop some, but we at last came up with a balanced selection of excellent stories for Brenda to judge. These are all stories we’d feel happy to publish in Pulp Literature. Without further ado, here is the short list of ten:
- ‘Thesaurus and Raven Stew’ by Frank Talaber
- ‘In the Skull Palace’ by Mary Patterson Thornburg
- ‘Prey for Salvation’ by Lisa Michelle
- ‘Winding Down’ by Dick Carmel
- ‘Old Crow’ by Melanie Marttila
- ‘The Lament for iCarus’ by Patrick Bollivar
- ‘See Saw’ by Liz Hambrick
- ‘Bonanza’ by Mason Boyles
- ‘Black Blizzard’ by Emily Linstrom
- ‘Flight of the Gods’ by Brent Kellmer
Congratulations to all the authors on both lists. It was no easy task selecting these stories, and Brenda’s task of selecting a favourite from amongst these finalists was an even harder task. Check back here on Sunday November 15th when we will announce the winner!
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