Stories from
January, 2012

I have been listening to your story—it’s tragic and poignant, I love it! The inquisition resumes tomorrow. Try to get some rest.

@ecambrose is the author of a dark historical fantasy series about a barber surgeon, coming next year from DAW books.

Spending every day combing the beach where he’d found the Spanish coin, he never noticed how empty their new house was.

Matthew Brennan is a novelist and short-fictionist.

The razor hadn’t done it. He had. And she’d put the wedding ring back on to make it clear.

Sylvia Hiven lives and writes in Atlanta, Georgia. She does not like fluff.

She’s old enough to read now and looks at me differently, over her tablet. When I say I’ll be home soon, she turns away.

Johnna Talbot lives in San Diego with her husband, to whom she spoke this story, then heard that it was one.

This story won the 2011 Nanofiction Contest.

No one wants this role. When you see me on the street, no matter how self-absorbed you are, you give thanks you’re not me. Move along.

Pat Tompkins writes from California.

This story won second place in the 2011 Nanofiction Contest.

God sighed. Lego was more fun in the old days. He still had the complete Garden of Eden set in a shoebox under his bed.

Sarah Stanton (@mallardbranx) is a birdwatcher, Sinophile, poet, translator and geek. She lives in China but dreams in English.

This story won third place in the 2011 Nanofiction Contest.

There was time. She grabbed her bag, phoned in the car. ‘You still in departures? Wait for me.’ She’d give him another chance – for Hawaii.

Jackie Bateman is a British author living in beautiful Vancouver. She has huge eye-bags despite the fresh air.

This story was an honorable mention in the 2011 Nanofiction Contest.

This year we converted $50 in prize money into $400 of charitable donations to wonderful organizations working from animal health to global health, clean water to fighting hunger. Thanks to everyone who donated! Without further ado, here are Robert Swartwood’s selections for this year:

  1. Johnna Talbot
  2. Pat Tompkins
  3. Sarah Stanton

Honorable mention: Jackie Bateman

Winners will be published beginning this week, starting with our honorable mention and running through Monday the 23rd, when our big (but equally small) winner will go live.  Thank you everyone for your generosity.

Afterwards, because he was sorry, he used to buy me flowers – yellows, purples, the colour of bruises. Nobody buys me flowers any more.

@ClareKirwan used to be a magician’s assistant but rarely jumps out of empty boxes any more.

But on the eighth day He created a race of iridescent spaceflyers with kaleidoscope eyes to tumble amongst the stars and forgot all about us.

Ben X. Caldwell writes, acts, and studies in Buffalo, NY. He is the writer of many “works” of fiction that nobody likes.