Tom Howard/John H. Reid Short Story Contest 2006
Congratulations to the winners of the 2006 Tom Howard/John H. Reid Short Story Contest!
First Prize $1,000
Second Prize $600
Laurie Gough, Naxos Nights
Third Prize $400
Lissa Byers, Phantom Feelings
High Distinction Awards ($250 each)
Debbie Camelin, Canada, "The Meal"
Craig Rondinone, USA, "The Dead Zone"
Brenda A. Morris, USA, "The Taste of Humility"
Melissa Lassor, USA, "Out of Darkness"
Highly Commended (alphabetical order)
"Just Desert" by Andrew Bill
"Finding Human Form" by Linda Bulloch
"Letter to Henry James" by Jane Durrell
"The Wedding Reviewer" by Michael Fedo
"From the Mountain" by Yvonne Fein
"The Making of an Engineer" by Andy Hegedus
"The Dandelion Wishers" by Lauri Kubuitsile
"Singles Dance" by Joseph Murray
"Staring at her tennis shoes" by Allison Rocha
"Chicken Geometry" by Christin Rzasa
"Jakku Bindy" by Diana Sautelle
"Lessons of the Forest" by Joseph A. Soldati
"We walked in together" by Lydia Wetzel
"Diary of a Stroke" by Kerry Wood
Commended (alphabetical order)
"The House of Wishes" by Boone Adams
"Extreme Makeover—Interior Edition" by Lee Anderson
"Greetings kind and gentle stranger!" by Edward Bonadio
"Urban Coyotes" by Lisa Capone
"The Water Boy" by Dorothy Carey
"Little Bootsie" by Keith Casey
"The Clay Cat" by Peter Cellarius
"Radinski's Will" by John Clanchy
"On the Left Side" by April J. Czerepak
"Grandfather's Goblin" by Mariana Dietl
"Why I Write" by Maggie Dugan
"Rex" by Christian Fennell
"Dreams of Safety" by Samuel Fogarty
"The Light of the Day" by David Haynes
"Bloody Practice" by Sterling Haynes
"The Concourse" by Jeff Howe
"Peace Pole Project" by Cameron Karsten
"Floating from Chagall" by Tracy Koretsky
"Africa's Ghosts Haunt Tanzania's Legendary Selous Game Reserve" by Bill Miller
"Bird Letters" by Kristi Petersen
"A Fair Exchange" by Fiona Price
"Quickie the Elf" by Rob Queen
"Sing a Song of Praise" by Jamie Ruff
"Nightmares" by Christin Rzasa
"A Little Sister for Roy" by Vaidya Shankar
"Absalom" by Elaine Slater
"How She Remembers It" by Elaine Slater
"Death has a nasty habit" by Andrew Snyder
"What I've Lost" by Carole Sojka
"Awakening" by Dallas Williams
First Prize, $1,000 - Jan Breen, USA
"Geraldine Fitzgerald & Saint Patrick's Day in Pittsburgh"
The judges said, "It is difficult to write about an actual event, yet structure the narrative to swiftly engage the reader's interest. Jan Breen has deftly avoided the usual pitfalls. The first-person narration is exactly right. At first negativity reigns (as does cynicism) and then comes an awakening of her experience that is warm, deeply involving, and finally exciting. The climax will bring tears even to the most jaded reader.
"The story is structured wisely, with tones of doubt at first, then the carefully plotted revision of the singer-actress's behavior and attitudes. Finally, we are confronted with an unexpectedly beautiful world created by personality and song and the narrator's complete capitulation of her initial negative approach.
"The language is imperceptibly comfortable. Never on display. Only the story gets center stage."
Second Prize, $600 - Laurie Gough, Canada
The judges said, "It has a quality that can be read and enjoyed more than once; the levels of experience indicate a happy degree of observation, feeling, and intelligence. Life flows in it—as life often does, in its own way and with its own directions and meanings. To respond to it requires not only sympathy and empathy with the narrator but a willingness to be part of the flow, sharing the travails of the writer firsthand. The author brilliantly contrives to engage the reader so forcefully, it becomes impossible to put the story aside at the finish. It's a tale to savor, to read and re-read."
Third Prize, $400 - Lissa Byers, USA
The judges said, "Byers has taken a somewhat simple story, not too unusual in these times, and yet has given it a warmth and a reality that is touching and 'felt'. The characters are fully believable, while the story is told in simple, direct language, carefully controlled to avoid over-statement and unnecessary literary flourishes."
John Howard Reid has won first prizes and other awards in prestigious literary events. A former journalist and magazine editor, he has published several historical novels, a collection of poetry, a guide to winning literary contests, and over fifty books of film criticism and movie history. See his work at Lulu. He lives in Wyong, Australia.
Dee C. Konrad
A leading educator and published author, Mrs. Dee Konrad was Associate Professor in the English faculty of Barat College of DePaul University, and served as Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences for the year 2000-2001.