Fiction Issue - Pop! Creative Loafing’s Fiction Contest 2009

Wednesday January 7, 2009 12:04 am EST

We popped the question for the eighth annual Fiction Contest and you responded with a resounding “Yes!” through stories about soda pop, popping pills, mom and pop, pop music, and Snap, Crackle and Pop, just to name a few. Our three winners were anonymously chosen by Creative Loafing’s editorial staff and three independent judges from a pool of more than 200 entries.

First-place winner Laurah Raines channeled the quiet, bubbling rage of a betrayed wife in “Medicine.” (Experiencing a little déjà vu? That’s because Raines also placed first in our 2008 contest.) “I want this story in a collection,” said judge Russ Marshalek. “This is one I had to stop and read aloud many, many times, to any who were around, and oft pondered calling people simply to pass on passages.”

Lucas Church came in second with his story “Forgiveness Follows Suit,” an evocative Southern tale about a broken family told through the eyes of its only daughter. Judge Carmen Deedy said, “Although the use of the ‘pop’ metaphor was subtle, the writing was exquisite, even masterful. It reminded me of some of Harper Lee’s prose.”

Third-place winner Camille Harper reveled in detail throughout “The Greatest Key Collector in Atlanta.” Young Peter, with his high level of “cognitive functioning,” brought a kind of manic charm to Harper’s story about a boy obsessed with keys, locks and the secrets they guard.

As an added bonus, we decided to make things even more interesting this year with a pop culture trivia contest. Check out the paper’s front cover. Senior Art Director Jason Hatcher carefully selected eight images that tie into the theme, two of which have double meanings. The first to name the eight main hidden messages wins a CL gift pack. The first to figure out all 10 wins a little something extra. Send guesses to debbie.michaud@creativeloafing.com by 5 p.m. on Tues., Jan. 13. Now, pop on over to the next column and enjoy the winning stories.