Well, folks, it’s official: we’ve read, rated, counted the ballots, argued, re-counted, and said things we can never, ever take back – and out of the chaos have emerged our “Fire and Ash” contest finalists! They are:
- Anna Davis – “Upgrade”
- Mervyn Dejecacion – “Marvin at Sundance”
- William “Bud” Humble – “Untitled”*
- Brooke Fossey – “Big Baby Dreams: An Axiom”
*Bud – please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to add a title to your work!
“What’s this?” you say. “FOUR finalists?”
“Yes indeed,” we must reply. “Whittling it down even this far was hard enough!”
And truly, folks, it was. Writing a story that clocks in under 1,000 words is a tremendous challenge for any writer. We were awed and delighted to see the incredible range of genres and styles that you guys came up with while you were at it – and when we post these stories, we think you’ll agree that their creativity, mastery of style, and good old-fashioned storytelling mojo is truly exceptional.
What if I didn’t win?
Well, the bad news, of course, is that we have no fabulous blenders or ginsu knife sets to award as consolation prizes. However, we would like to emphasize that you have already accomplished a real feat by telling such a tight, concise story – and you are now officially at liberty to edit that story to your satisfaction, and submit it to professional markets. The only request we would make is that you change Benny Imura’s name (if you used it), and ensure that your opening lines DO deviate substantially from Mr. Maberry’s original text. Otherwise, your story is entirely yours – and if you do place it with a magazine or other publication, we sincerely hope you will let us know! (We’ll want to celebrate it in the “Successes and Releases” portion of our newsletter, while simultaneously cursing ourselves for letting a great one slip away!)
What about the finalists?
We’ve now turned over these final four entries to Jonathan Maberry, who will select the grand prize winner of the golden ticket to DFWcon. He will present an autographed copy of “Fire and Ash” to each of the four finalists at the conference in May (and of course we’ll mail them to anyone who is unable to attend, for whatever reason.) We’ll announce the grand prize winner here as soon as we have his decision, and will also be posting each of the final four entries for your enjoyment! (Finalists, please note: although you are likewise free to edit and submit your story to other markets, most publishers will consider its use on our site as first publication.)
That’s all for now! A hearty thanks to ALL of you who took the time to submit: we have so enjoyed getting a sneak preview of the quality of writing that our agents and editors can expect, and will not hesitate to brag accordingly. Keep working hard in the meantime: May will be here again before you know it!
Tex Thompson is a ‘rural fantasy’ author and editor for the DFW Writers Conference. Her first novel, a cowboys-and-fishmen fantasy called “One Night in Sixes,” will be published in August 2014. The rest of her fictional exploits, enthusiastic ranting, and LOLcat grammar lessons appear regularly at The Tex Files.