Fiction Issue - 2010 Fiction Contest
Slime-spewing aliens. Shimmering mermaids. Sordid bathroom encounters. And one gruesome tale of dog murder. Yes, the interpretations of this year's Fiction Contest theme "Slip" were as varied as the number of entries – nearly 200. The three winners were anonymously chosen by Creative Loafing's astute editorial staff and three top-notch independent judges.
First-place winner Lucas Church (who came in second last year for his story "Forgiveness Follows Suit") transformed a stale JCPenney dressing room into a lingerie fetishist's playground for "Clothes Lines." Judge Joe Davich said, "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride with undergarments! What all of us fractured people hide underneath makes us more like each other than ourselves ... gritty and gorgeous at the same time." "This was an absolute pleasure to read," said judge Collin Kelley. "I was hooked from beginning to end. Grady is a beautifully realized character with a heart and soul."
Benjamin Solomon placed second for "Slippage," a subtle, wrenching tale of disintegrating love between Swedish Sigrid and American Eli. "The clever use of the shrinking language barrier (though still present in the particularly affective 'slippaging') draws attention to the widening gulf that exists between the young couple. The author spares neither boy nor girl," said judge Laurah Norton. "Ingmar Bergman meets the Amityville Horror and I LOVED it. Existential, unexpectedly sinister and I appreciated how the house itself became a breathing, fleshed-out character just as much as Sigrid," said Kelley.
Third-place winner Beth Malone found inspiration in the universal truths of family for "Surfacing." "Families are love and pain. The author nailed it," said Davich. "My mama said these things to me, your mama said these things to you, mamas will say these things to their children now and forever. Mamas will piss you off one minute and praise you the next, but they are your mama and it's going to hurt like hell when they are gone. Simple truth, simple beauty."
So here they are – the winners of Creative Loafing's ninth annual Fiction Contest. Enjoy the reads and don't let the free party at Eyedrum on Jan. 6 featuring the winning authors and the sexy ladies of Blast Off Burlesque slip your mind. See you there.