Winners Announcement! 8-21-2020
Judge’s rankings & comments (Click on any title to read the story)
From Misty Urban
Every element in this story came together for me. It captured the tone of a fairy tale in plot, atmosphere, and the deceptively simple prose style. The characters came to life in just a few words and the story sustained that amoral, compelling fairy-tale logic in which people can be cruel, selfish, naïve, or destructive but also kind, loving, and supportive without any clear motivation or reason for being so. I liked the clever, underestimated young heroine who figures out the secret and—I won’t lie—I always enjoy a happy ending.
The voice of this story drew me in immediately: the tone of this laidback, garrulous speaker welcoming the reader into this town which grows progressively more strange and fascinating with every detail—the slants and gaits of its inhabitants, the character of the settlements surrounding it, and the mystery of what exactly a bullhoey is, and how you catch one. I enjoyed the subtle humor, including the philosophizing by the town inhabitants, and the last surprising line that leaves the burden on the reader to pay close attention.
The narrator of this story faces a dramatic choice: should she step into the fairy ring and leave the cares of her world behind forever, along with all the people she loves? While there was so much more about the narrator I wanted to know, the descriptions of the forest and the wistful thoughts of what lay beyond it in her world kept me by the narrator’s side throughout. It’s a quiet story, with little happening on the surface, but there’s much going on beneath.
I was charmed by the intrepid heroine of this story, who sets out to help her best friend and her best friend’s baby in ways that go above and beyond the usual call of friendship. The world of the story is inviting and its relationships complex. I felt there was much more I wanted to see of this world and to know of the protagonist’s history and future career. I hope there’s a series of Detective Redbriar stories to come!
Update 7-21-20: Thanks for all the submissions--entries are currently under review! Winners will be announced in the coming weeks.
Deadline: July 15th
Word Count Maximum: 2,500
Calling all creative writers! We want to read your stories. Free to enter. Theme: Must reference or contain a notable fantasy story, mythological figure, or fairy tale. Or, be an actual fairy tale style story.
Guest Judge: Award winning author, Misty Urban
Submissions should be:
Original, unpublished, work.
Suitable for a general audience.
Under 2,500 words.
Devoid of identifying names within the story, or on it’s pages. Please include your full name in the email, but do not include it on any of the pages of the story. We want judges to be able to read the stories anonymously.
Submitted to email@example.com with the subject heading “Imagine Your Story.”
First place winner will receive a $50 Amazon gift card, and a signed book. Second and Third places will be recognized as well. All Winners will get a copy of Misty Urban's The Necessaries.
Winning stories will be published online and read on our podcast.