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No Loss For Words

City Paper Fiction & Poetry Contest 2008

Mel Guapo

Fiction & Poetry Contest 2008

No Loss For Words City Paper Fiction & Poetry Contest 2008

"My Brother, The Whale" First Place | By Benjamin Beast

"Snow" Second Place | By Sarah Perry

"The Smoke Room" Third Place | By Penny Zang

"Breakfast Triolet" First Place | By Maggie Beetz

"A Poem For When You Are Older" Second Place | By Elizabeth Bastos

"Our Beloved Charles Willoughby" Third Place | By Christopher Adams

Posted 11/26/2008

Thank you, storytellers and poets of Baltimore, for making these decisions so difficult. No, really: not only were there significantly more entries in both categories this year--224 fiction and 340 poetry entries--but they both dealt with a great variety of themes and subjects in narrative voices ranging from the comedic to the horrific, in language that turned to symbolic metaphor as an insulating shield or soberly used unflinching realism to document all the troubling details.

These entries were topical, too, tackling our country's increasingly hobo economy and political climate and our city's constant battles with the forces that sustain substance abuse, crime, and murder and how such cataclysmic events devastate people, families, and communities. Poems arrived in strident rhymed meters and arresting blank verse; stories showed in breathless first-person prose and obstinately detached third-person accounts. And while not every poem or story connected with judges, every year it's still very humbling to sift through such an abundant display of the city's writing talent.

In the end, though, there can be only three top choices in each category, which you will find in this issue. The editorial staff read the first pass of both fiction and poetry entries. The poetry finalists were judged by veteran writers and City Paper contributors Petula Caesar and Rupert Wondolowski and CP's very own Wendy Ward, and the fiction finalists were judged by Wondolowski, short-story writer, jmww literary e-zine editor, and 510 Readings series cohost Jen Michalski, and CP's Bret McCabe. And in addition to being published in this very issue, the winners take home something much better: cash. In fiction, the first-place winner takes home $350, second garners $250, and third gets $150. Poets pick up $150, $100, and $50, respectively.


"My Brother, The Whale"

Fiction Winners: First Place by Benjamin Beast


Fiction Winners: Second Place by Sarah Perry

"The Smoke Room"

Fiction Winners: Third Place by Penny Zang

"Breakfast Triolet"

Poetry Winners: First Place by Maggie Beetz

"A Poem For When You Are Older"

Poetry Winners: Second Place by Elizabeth Bastos

"Our Beloved Charles Willoughby"

Poetry Winners: Third Place by Christopher Adams

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And the winners are... (12/2/2009)
City Paper's 11th annual Fiction and 10th annual Poetry Contest

An Airline Ticket to Romantic Places (12/2/2009)
First Place

What Was Janie Looking At? (12/2/2009)
Second Place

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