Accentuate Writers Short Story LUST Theme Winners

Reading through the lust entries was interesting. The problem I had with most of the entries this time, and it was a problem the judges noted several times when reading through the entries, was the tendency to shove the theme — lust — in the reader’s face. Some of the even put it in hyphens set out just like I did in the previous sentence. See, the best writer can take the theme and write to it, making it clear what the theme is, even without using the actual word of the theme. There was no reason to shove the word or the theme ‘lust’ at us.

This sort of goes along with the showing not telling rule, and with not assuming your readers are stupid rule. If you’ve written like you’re supposed to, we will know the theme, we will get the connection, and you don’t have to force feed it to us. Trust your writing and trust your reader.

Lastly, before I get to the winners, let me make a suggestion to writers everywhere who enter contests or write short fiction: don’t be so obvious. Lust. It’s a word that almost immediately brings to mind a sexy/sexual connotation. Almost every one of the stories we had submitted to us and most of the poems too went straight to the sexy, or at least, had a very strong sexual component. There was one that stood out that did not, and that was refreshing. Lust doesn’t have to be about sex. Lustful thoughts, lust-filled reactions, can be more than that, and I would have loved to see more writers, creative types with unique voices, find more creative and unique ways to share that voice on this theme. I have to admit, I was disappointed not to see more unique spins on the theme and that most people settled for the obvious. Obiouvs is obiouvs because that’s exaclty what it is: obvious. If you want to excel as a writer, if you want to make a living through writing, you need to do things in a way different from every other writer out there. You must stand out. You must be unique. You’re going to compete with hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands of writers, the majority of whom will go with ‘obvious’.

Don’t fall into that trap. Think outside the box, outside the norm, away from obvious.

All right, enough of that. Let’s get on with the winners!

Poetry first tonight. Our first two poets did great jobs! Please congratulate:

Secret, by Crystal Raen

Snapped, by Lisa Lee Smith

And the third poem for LUST will be on the first page of the book. It’s a great way to introduce our readers to the entire theme of the book. It’s an amazing opening presentation for the book and I’m proud to announce its author are our ‘featured poet’ for this anthoogy, and she will be getting her name on the front cover of the book along with this poem being on the first page of the book. Congrats!

A Deadly Sin, Camden Eastman

Next are the digital downloads. This time, we have two, and I’m pleased to work with the authors to get these up for sale as individual digital downloads on the TTM bookstore websites. They include:

Lusting and Love, by Camden Eastman ~~The problem with this story and the reason it wasn’t a ‘winner’ for the book was that it was unclear what happened at the end. The judges ask, “Was Sam really Jim? Who was Sam?” etc. With that much confusion, it couldn’t win. However, the concept, if I understand the ending right, was a good one and I think we can work together to make this a great story!

The Boss, by Carmen West
~~The writing was decently done, but the obviousness of the story to the theme was ‘expected’. However, when using the story outside of the ‘theme’, it, with editing, will make an excellent addition to our digital download line of short stories, shoudl Carmen West accept our offer. I’m proud to offer it!

Now on to the short story winners. Congratulations to the following authors of these great stories:

LUST FOR LIFE, by Cathy Graham ~~This is another excellent unique use of the theme. With this story, we jump around into the ‘lustful’ daydreams of our protagonist, and it’s both amusing and yet sad in a way at the same time. I love seeing in each of the sections the new use of the theme for that section, clearly showing that lust isn’t and doesn’t have to be just about sex. Great job!

BRA AND PANTIES GIRL, by Jenny Corvette ~~Another strong story from Jenny Corvette here. We’ve enjoyed her recent entries into our contests, and this is no exception. The author’s voice, the narrator’s voice, in this story is light and fun, funny even, which is a sharp contrast to the darkness and heaviness of many of the other entries. That made this one stand out from them in the first paragraph. This is an excellent example of what I meant in the comments above, when I said to be unique and think of something out of the box and more unique. This gives us that uniqueness, without venturing into the bizarre. Great job, Jenny!

JOHNNY BARKER, by Robert L. Arend ~~Here we revisit various lustful events in the life of our protagonist, from innocence (or not so innocent) of childhood to the willfulness of adulthood. A well-written tale.

FIRST PLACE: Her Deadliest Sin, by Elizabeth Grace

~~It literally won because it was one of the only not to go straight to sex with the them of ‘lust’ and yet used sex too, to hide the truth of what the ‘sin’ was. I will admit I’d figured it out before the end and the ending didn’t have the ‘pop’ ‘wow’ I had hoped it would. It did, however, have a great use of the theme, good story that kept me engaged, and I think we can tweak it in editing to get the pop and zing the ending deserve. Very well done and definitely worth of the first place and cover billing. Congratulations and thanks for the great story!

And there we have the winners of the Accentuate Short Story contest for the LUST them. Thank you to all the authors and poets.

Love and stuff,