We Have a Winner – or Three!

So everyone has been anxiously awaiting the winner of the third Accentuate Writers Anthology Contest, and I promised to have them up by 7 tonight, so here goes….

Let’s start with two honorable mentions – these entries did not hit the third place position by mere points, I’m talking one point on one and three on the other… THAT is how close this particular contest came down to. I would love to have them all win too, but we are limited on space in this particular anthology book, so I can’t. So what I’ve decided to do is offer all of them one free copy of the anthology when it comes out, and give them a free entry into next month’s contest!

#299 – Wild and Intangible – by Tanya Katerina Noegel
#910 – Wind in the Thorns – by M. Lori Motley

Congratulations to these two well-written stories that were so close to the winner’s spot!

The other entries who made the finals will all receive one free copy of the anthology when it is finally released too – it was a most difficult decision. All entrants get one free copy, while all finalists will get an extra one this time, so if nothing else, everyone walks away with a free book, and some with two! Our honorable mentions this time will get a free entry to the next contest as well and an honorable mention HTML banner/badge for their website.

Now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

I will tell you this – there was one point separating the third and the second place winner. One point. One lousy, stinking point. I mean, that’s like saying (almost) that a misplaced comma might have made the difference in who took the higher ranking here.

Keep that in mind when you submit your entries for the next contest, or any professional contest. Sometimes, when things are really competitive, it does come down to just that one piece of punctuation, or that one misplaced modifier, or that one misspelled word that you forgot to catch. In fact, to be quite frank, there was one entry that would probably have won this contest is story ALONE was all that matter and not mechanics of writing.

Okay, enough of that. You don’t want to hear my preaching. You want winners. So here they are….

In third place:

Entry # 347 – Troy Spencer, by George Kramer

Mr. Kramer wrote an exceptional piece about love, reconciliation, perhaps forgiveness and acceptance, and he interweaved elements of the theme into the story, perhaps a little bit too much, but it did fit the mood and feel. A few mechanical errors that require a really good copy edit, and a slight fleshing out in some places, but all in all, an award worthy entry into our contest. Congrats, George!

In Second Place:

Entry # 240 – Last Caress, by Steven Thor Gunnin

Well, Thor is back and better than ever. What a horror story this is, and yet, even in the midst of it, we do find some hope, and perhaps even expectation, but then we see that seedling of hope crushed by self-loathing and guilt. Low on gore, but high on fear, this is a good story for its genre. I must admit that this is not the genre I prefer to read, but the story is well-developed, interesting, entertaining, and for those who like this genre, it is most definitely a winner, and for those who don’t like this genre, it’s still an excellent story. The ending, well, let’s just say, I can personally relate to the feeling, if not the actions of the character. Oh, you don’t know what happens? Guess you’ll just have to buy the book to find out!

And now for our first place winner…..

The first place winner wrote a story both touching and realistic, with some heavy subject matter, but dealt with it in a light manner, that though the story is sad, there is a lighthearted mixture of hope and happiness to it. I have to be honest here, writing mechanics on this story left a little something to be desired… that is something this writer will need to be aware of, but have you ever heard the old saying that a good editor can do a lot with mechanics if there is an exceptional story upon which to start?

That’s this story.

This story was fully developed, the characters felt whole and complete, which is often hard to do in a short story, and it was emotional. All three of the professional judges and the fourth judge who is a ‘reader’ judge, were swept up by the emotion – this story, quite frankly, made them feel. How’s that for a compliment on your writing?

For me, what pushed it ahead of the pack was all these things, but also the exceptional and unusual use of the theme for this contest.

So, congratulations to our first place winner:

#222 – Wings of Love, by Rissa Watkins

Congratulations to everyone! Don’t forget, the fourth Accentuate Writers Anthology Contest is underway – send in your entry today!

Love and stuff,