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Fiction Issue - 2015 Creative Loafing Fiction Contest

There's no right or wrong way to 'Crush'

When you select a word like "Crush" as the creative prompt for a literary contest, you're asking for trouble. The good kind of trouble. In an effort to lighten the mood from last year's theme of "Race," we figured there'd be plenty of eclectic ways the fiction scribes of Atlanta and beyond would be able to translate the five-letter word into narrative greatness. As usual, the three winners for Creative Loafing's 2015 Fiction Contest proved more than ready for the challenge.

Whereas "Crush" may typically conjure up anything from stories of first dates gone to shit to the more figurative feeling of someone succumbing to unseen pressure, those preconceived notions of what the term means weren't at the forefront of our winning authors' minds.

Jack Walsh's dark comedy and this year's winner, "Featherweight," inspired by Medieval Times, is what would happen if "Milan Kundera and David Sedaris had a love child, and that love child decided to follow in his parents' footsteps," according to judge Nick Tecosky. Cora Lockhart's "how to quit smoking," a heartbreaking tale of dementia, pyromania, and forgiveness, is an ideal example of character development and swirling structure. The imagery and vivid detail of Jeremy Fisher's "Phenotype," will leave you entranced with the wonderment of fireflies and the lifespan of a beetle, even as you question, like the narrator does, whether life is worth living.

Oh, and since we're in the age of all-digital everything, DOWNLOAD the third volume of our Fiction Contest e-book, which comprises this years winners and past stories dating back to 2009.

— Gavin Godfrey

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FIRST PLACE


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SECOND PLACE


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THIRD PLACE


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Judges


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Nicholas Tecosky is an Atlanta-based writer and performer who has narrated more than 50 audiobook titles, including Daniel Woodrell’s The Death of Sweet Mister, which was included on the American Library Association’s 2013 Listen List for outstanding audiobook narration. He also co-wrote the horror omnibus V/H/S, which was an official selection in the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. In his spare time, he’s one of the angry nerds behind WRITE CLUB Atlanta, the city’s premier philanthropic competitive writing event, which has won Creative Loafing’s “Best Reading Series” three years in a row.

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??Suehyla El-Attar is an actor/writer based in the Atlanta area. She was the 2014 Alliance Theatre Artists Lab Fellow and a recent recipient of the Gene-Gabriel Moore Playwriting Award. Currently, she happily lives with her guy Pat and their two cats (Ninja and Maggie) in Decatur.?


br>??Anne Corbitt is professor of English at Kennesaw State University. She received her MFA in fiction from the University of Mississippi in 2008. Her most recent works have appeared in One Story (“The Bicycle”), the Greensboro Review (“The Apartment”), and The Fourth River. She’s been teaching full time at KSU since 2010.?


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