Cheryl Wollner of Boca Raton, Florida for
Girls Who Dance in the Flames
Judge CC Humphreys, had this to say
The competition standard was very high. There wasn’t a bad story amongst them, and they were varied, with several in different styles pushing this one close.
I liked many things about ‘Girls’. The language was completely believable, with dynamic metaphors drawn from the narrator’s crazed imagination and steeped in the Southern Gothic world from which she comes. ‘come back home stained with his child’; ‘but I’ve cut my lifeline real long, long and round my hand like a ribbon ‘cross a Christmas present.’; ‘she talked all sand’. So many others. Yet the elegance of the writing never detracted from the flow of the story just swept me into another, so different world. The construction was good too, a steady development to the fiery climax.
The narrator’s voice was strong, clear, twisted, disturbing. Very well realized, and completely believable. I kept thinking that she might back away from her extremity, but she kept upping it. A lot to cram into a five page story. Yet it held me throughout, had a clear arc, and left a disturbing aftertaste.
So well done. It will stay with me and I have no hesitation, despite other strong contenders, of awarding it this year’s Raven.
– CC Humphreys
Congratulations to Cheryl Wollner, who wins the $300 prize, and whose story will be published in Pulp Literature Issue 22, Spring 2018. Many thanks to CC Humphreys for his careful reading and for returning to judge this year’s Raven Contest. And as well, thank you to all the entrants who provided such excellent stories and made our job and Chris’s so much harder …. and yet so enjoyable!