We received an incredible response to our first-ever contest. And our winners are the best of the best! A big thank you to Heather Christle for judging and choosing the winners from our list of finalists.
Read the flash pieces at the links below:
1st Place: “Blaze” by Merridawn Duckler
2nd Place: “in response to the viral r/askreddit thread titled ‘what’s classy if you’re rich, but trashy if you’re poor?'” by [sarah] Cavar
3rd Place: “When I Hear the Baby” by Kelle Schillaci Clarke
Finalists: “Baby That Baby” by David K. Gibson and “Supplications to the Gods of Can” by Leslie Stonebraker
Janice Airhart, "Motherless" Marina Blitshteyn, "is: a phenomenology of pregnancy" Elizabeth Feng, "IDE" Daniel Garcia, "July 2015: A Compendium" Stacie Worrel, "Living in Captivity"
Here are a few words from Heather Christle about the winner, “Blaze”:
“I love the chronology of a good sentence, the decisions a careful writer makes about when they are going to reveal the unexpected. While the first half of the first sentence of “Blaze” pleases me in the mundane specificity of its action–“I am emptying the fireplace ashes”–it pleases me more when I learn the reason for the action is “so you can make a fire,” as it introduces me to the figure with whom the narrator is in relation, as well as the joined nature of their work. By the time I reach the end of the sentence (yes, I am still talking about the first sentence) and learn that the purpose of said fire, and of all that has occurred up to now (which is a fair amount, for so few words) is so that the narrator can be seduced. By the fire. For which they are preparing the fireplace. This is so funny! I would follow this narrator anywhere. When I do, the places they take me move through weirdly technical language to frank and anti-romantic observations, from simile and association to the past, from household tasks to mention of an etymology that is perfectly, hilariously, heartbreakingly brief.
Nuar Alsadir has written that “One of the most important lessons [she] learned from clown school has to do with connection: it’s not the content of what you bring onto the stage that the audience connects to, but the emotion associated with your content…the movement of your mind.” There was never a moment on this page where I felt disconnected from the movement of this mind. What a thrill, what a weird, brilliant flame.”