Tom Howard/John H. Reid Short Story Contest 2010
Congratulations to the winners of the 2010 Tom Howard/John H. Reid Short Story Contest!
First Prize $3,000
Emily Jiang, Paper Daughter
Second Prize $1,000
M.T. Gabrick, The Brave One
Third Prize $400
Arlene Lidbergh-Jasper, Hall of Fame
Fourth Prize $250
Mari Grana, The Balcon
Most Highly Commended $150
- Annie Eagleton, Indian Train Journey
- Arielle Kaden, 8 Missed Birthdays
- Fern Langmead, Black Saturday: What We Went Through
- Lance Mason, The Train to Harare
- Mary Lou Simms, The Swan Goose
- Judy Willman, Challenge the Wind
- Linda Zabolski, It Happened in Monaco
Special Award $100
- Suzanne Covich, Penny, The Police and Professionals
First Prize, $3,000 - Emily Jiang, USA
The judges said, "Confined to a single (but extremely atmospheric) setting, and using only two principal characters (plus three minor participants), 'Paper Daughter' by Emily Jiang becomes a remarkable feat of highly involving and almost unbearably suspenseful writing. The author builds up the reader's sympathy for the little heroine with admirably subtle yet persuasive insights. It is difficult to craft a gripping tale involving unfamiliar (and even unfathomable) people in realistic life-and-death situations, but author Jiang brilliantly turns all apparent obstacles aside by cleverly building up the reader's involvement with and sympathy for the story's principal character. Indeed, the narrative moves towards its final resolution with such power and force that even the most experienced and inured judges cannot fail to be moved."
Second Prize, $1,000 - M.T. Gabrick, USA
"The Brave One"
The judges said, "The two essential essences of good fiction are believability and human interest. In fact, you can't have one without the other. Thus a pitfall even wider than the religious story is the chasm unwittingly created by writers who choose a Biblical narrative as their starting point. Fortunately, most authors seem to be aware of the problems posed by Bible-based fiction. Very few entries in this category are received. Therefore M.T. Gabrick's entry was doubly welcome. To the somewhat bare Biblical account of Paul's sojourn in Damascus, she has not only added believable additional characters but incidents that are equally credible yet riveting and thrilling."
Third Prize, $400 - Arlene Lidbergh-Jasper, USA
"Hall of Fame"
The judges said, "In 'Hall of Fame', Arlene Lidbergh-Jasper provides a wonderfully intriguing tour of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Frankly, although I've run across many super-keen baseball fans in my time, not one has ever mentioned this particular museum. I knew the Yankees had a museum, but I assumed it covered the whole gamut of baseball memorabilia and lay deep in the recesses of Yankee Stadium somewhere. So this essay was not only a real eye-opener for me, but more importantly it is a beautifully written and highly engaging account of the Cooperstown museum and its exhibits, written from the inside by the daughter of one of baseball's finest artists, Charles Lidbergh."
Fourth Prize, $250 - Mari Grana, USA
The judges said, "As hinted above, submitting a religious story to a general-interest magazine or an open-to-all competition is generally an invitation to Nowheresville. But in 'The Balcon', Mari Grana has come up with a story that is not only intriguing and suspenseful, but one that carries an absorbing human conflict fueled by an obstinately wrong-headed decision—and that is the super-important aspect where most entries in this category fall down. Many entrants obviously regard priests and ministers in the old-fashioned Hollywood light of holier-than-thou. Whether this is the case in actuality or not is unimportant. What is important is that characters should exhibit human frailties no matter what their profession. Mari Grana has cleverly turned this dictum on its head by making the bishop the villain rather than the priest. Furthermore, she has astutely placed her story in Mexico where these fascinating events seem to have more impact and credence."
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.