Yes, its finally here! You’ve all been waiting patiently, (I know I wanted to know how I did!). We started this eleven months ago, we got some great judges, we’ve had a logo design contest, we sold thirty tickets, received twenty one stories, raised 150USD for the foundation to decrease World Suck, and now finally, we’re ready to tell you whose won… Ready? We’re going to get to the big main prize, and the list of anthology accepted stories later. Right now though, we’re going to have some of the other prizes.
The judges were asked, when they made their deliberations, to consider several different categories. You may remember them from the rules list. SPAG WC (Spelling, punctuation, aesthetic, grammar and word count), format, style, characters, plot, originality, interpretation of the plot, and judge’s discretion. Making an award out of SPAG WC or formatting seemed kind of redundant, and questions of style or judge’s own discretion seem too subjective to be included on their own. So instead, we’re going to have awards for the following categories
Best Interpretation of the Prompt
And in each of these categories we’ll be giving the top three stories, and their scores. We don’t have any specific prizes for these people, other than honourable mentions of their victories in the Anthology, but we’ll be e-mailing people some lovely certificates in the coming weeks.
And now, onto the first award
In joint third place, with scores of 35/50 each, “A Twist of Fate” by Luzia Leifheit and “Still Reading” by Alissa Charvonia
In second place, scoring 37/50, “The Machines are Talking” by Jerry Patton
And in joint first place, with scores of 39/50, “Indianapolis Awaits” by Jack Tindle and “The True Spirit of Christmas” by Michael Trimmer
Well done everyone there. Now we move onto…
In third place, with 36/50, “To Live Forever” by Dan Taflin
In second place, scoring 41/50, “The Machines are Talking” by Jerry Patton
And in first place, totalling 43/50, “Indianapolis Awaits” by Jack Tindle
A hearty congratulations to everyone there! Now, the next category
In third place, with a score of 40/50, “Still Reading” by Alissa Charvonia
In second place, scoring 43/50, “The Machines are Talking” by Jerry Pattona
And in first place, managing 44/50 “The True Spirit of Christmas” by Michael Trimmer
Close fought there! Now onto our final category before the big two!
Best Interpretation of the Prompt
In joint third place, each scoring 42/50, “A Strange Kindness” by Lily Stanicek, and “Still Reading” by Alissa Charvonia
In second place, with 43/50, “The Machines are Talking” by Jerry Patton
And in first place, with 44/50 (our closest contest!) was “Indianapolis Awaits” by Jack Tindle
That was very very tight! And now, we’re about to move into the final overall prize, where we see the top three stories, when considering everything we’ve mentioned here, along with style, formatting, spelling, and of course the judge’s own discretion. So here we go, the winners of the DFTBA Short Story Contest, 2012…
In third place, with scores from each of the judges of 64, 70, 70, 80 and 86, totalling up to 370/500, we have “Indianapolis Awaits” by Jack Tindle. A marvellous first person piece, dealing with questions of terminal illness, people we leave behind and life’s many moments of “What If?”
In second place, with the judges scoring it at 65, 69, 74, 80 and 90, giving a total of 378/500, “The True Spirit of Christmas” by Michael Trimmer. A science fiction piece asking the question of just how we would go about explaining the concept of charity to a totally alien mind.
But the winner, with the amazing scores of 66, 69, 71, 90 and 94, arriving at an overall score, head and shoulders ahead, with 390/500, was the excellent “The Machines are Talking” by Jerry Patton. A superbly original, emotional, descriptive and inventive tale dealing with themes of old age and autism that leaves you at its end with a wonderful haunting twist.
Congratulations to all the victors in all the categories, and a special congratulations to Jerry Patton for a brilliant work of written fiction. Special thanks to all the judges who put in considerable time and effort into their deliberations (and a personal thanks from myself, for their high praise of “The True Spirit of Christmas”)
But we’re not done yet, oh no! There’s still one very important part remaining.
That’s right! The time’s come. We’re going to reveal the final list of stories that have made it into our illustrious collection. Each of these stories will soon be available to read on an e-reader near you!
Before we release the list, a word about the process. The judges, as you have probably noticed from the scores given in the top three positions, have had lots of widely differing opinions about the collection of entries we sent to them. To give you some idea of just how differing some of there thoughts were, here’s one particularly interesting fact. The story with the highest score from a single judge didn’t actually make it into the top three. Although one judge gave it a whopping 95, another gave it 47, and yet another 35, putting it second from bottom in their own personal listing.
Now this is the very reason we have multiple judges. If we only had one or two, things could be missed, and true value potentially ignored. But it also means that when it comes to selecting potential members of an anthology, my task becomes very difficult. A simple mathematical cut off point wouldn’t do justice to the complexity involved in making these decisions, but at the same time, at some point, that cut off does have to come. So I made the decision to put it to a vote, after a fashion. A story would only be accepted into the contest if a majority of the judges believed it should be entered. Each judge had a “y/n” section of their judging sheets, and cast their vote that way. This was as fair as I could manage, being both reasonably accepting and appropriately discerning. As an interesting point, only two stories in the entire collection received a unanimous approval from all five judges, “The True Spirit of Christmas” and “The Machines are Talking”
So without further ado, and in alphabetical order, I present to you the list of entrants to the 2012 DFTBA Short Story Anthology. Fifteen wonderful stories that I’m sure all of you are looking forward to reading. They are:
“A Strange Kindness” - By Lily Stanicek
“A Twist of Fate” - By Luzia Leifheit
“An Evening in Soledad” - By Ali Zayaan
“Blind Hope” - By Jenni Herd
“Indianapolis Awaits” - By Jack Tindle
“It Goes On” - By Anni Clark
“No Good Deed” - By Nicole Sherman
“Reformation Through Deception” - By Emily Unger
“Squaring the Circle” - By Josephine Arnoux
“Still Reading” - By Alissa Charvonia
“The Body” - By Emily D’Elia
“The Machines are Talking” - By Jerry Patton
“The True Spirit of Christmas” - By Michael Trimmer
“To Live Forever” - By Dan Taflin
“Your Story” - By Alex Suggs
A really big thank you and congratulations to everyonethere, and I look forward to seeing your names in the overall publication. Commiserations to those of you whose stories didn’t make it, but thank you so so much for taking part in what’s been a really amazing enterprise.
But it’s not over, oh no!
This contest is only the beginning. Not only have we got the anthology on the way, but there’s next year to think about to. And the next, and the next after that. What wondrous prompts, crazy logos and intrepid authors will come our way. Who knows, and who dares dream! Me! That’s who, and I bet plenty of you out there along with me! So let’s dream big and go on together. Because as they say, the best, is yet to come…
God Bless, Best Wishes, and of course DFTBA!