Our deepest gratitude goes out to Judge Kirby Wright, who volunteered his time to choose three prizewinners from a shortlist of ten out of a total of 175 writers who entered this contest.
FIRST PRIZE—Nod Ghosh, A Day to Remember SECOND PRIZE—Serena Molloy, Leaving THIRD PRIZE—Tom Hazuka, Nowhere Station
First Prize: A Day to Remember by Nod Ghosh
Judge’s comments: This story is marred by several clichés, yet overall I found the interior world of the narrator compelling. He reflects on Gretchen, perhaps the love of his life, and the things he did with her and wished he’d done before losing her. Certain lines and thoughts are stunning, such as “His hands look like they are made from china.” I enjoy the idea that memory can defeat photographs by remembering those moments when light and shadow dance upon a lover’s face. I also like the line about catching a friend’s sorrow if you hold him or her for too long in an attempt to comfort—a great way to close.
A Day to Remember
By Nod Ghosh
The monsoon air hits me like a brick wall.
I don’t enjoy protracted goodbyes, but wish I’d spent longer holding Gretchen’s face close to mine, absorbing her perfume.
‘You go, Shane.’ She’d dotted a handkerchief on her face at the airport. ‘Our guests need you.’
First prize: Meaghan Hackinen Second prize: Alan Morris Third prize: Serena Molloy
Ed Higgins, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Writing and Literature Ed Higgins has been teaching at George Fox University for over four decades. His classes have covered poetry, the modern novel, world literature, science fiction and much more. While officially retired now, he still teaches part-time. He’s also published an extensive body of his own poetry.
Here are his winning selections and why:
First Prize: “Cycling North Cascades Highway” by Meaghan Hackinen
I like the tightness of this piece, every word counts and intensifies the story. The imagery, too, is finely tuned, believable, fulsome without overwhelming other story elements. The narrator/protagonist comes off with panache and I love her wry voice. The Kerouac allusions might put someone off, but I found them apt and they contributed to the protagonist’s character. The kinetic imagery of the story’s close zooms down that hill with exhilaration—and I’m not even a cyclist.
Second Prize: “Life is Good” by Alan Morris
While a bit put off by the title here, fearing saccharine, I was quickly hooked. The dialogue seems real, as does the situation. The setting is nicely done with economy that’s supportive of the story. And the story’s ending affirmation is touching without slipping into feel-good cliché. The last line nicely snaps the lid on the whole story scene that’s been itself nicely played out. Continue reading “LIFE IS GOOD – CONTEST RESULTS”→