This one goes out to everybody whose closest brush with getting published came from clicking "Print." In these days of self-publishing, desktop editions, and print-on-demand, just about anyone can say they're published. But there's something--and something very important--about having other people publish your stuff for you. With this issue, we're proud to make that happen for six local writers.
For this, our winners have to thank--and the losers revile--this year's contest judges. Poetry entries were judged by City Paper arts editor Blake de Pastino and calendar editor Wendy Ward. Fiction submissions were sized up by de Pastino and Lizzie Skurnick, a frequent CP contributor whose writing credentials include several young-adult novels, works published in The Iowa Review, Barrow Street, and MediaBistro.com, and a spring residency at the Yaddo writers retreat in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
And in addition to the gratification of being able to call themselves published writers, our winners will also get a little cash to wave in front of their friends' faces. In fiction, our first-place winner takes home $350, second garners $250, and third gets $150. Budding poets pick up $150, $100, and $50, respectively. That'll buy a lot of toner.
It Was the Best of Times . . .
Some of our favorite opening lines from this year's Fiction Contest submissions
"I enter the interview with an inordinate number of things uncomfortably jammed into my vagina."
"The vomit came so hard that it rocketed off the underside of the toilet seat and splashed into the basin, leaving thick purple streaks on plastic and porcelain."
"I have always been drawn and captivated by all kinds of criminal acts, especially murders."
"I've always been a fool for a big dick."
"There was this hot nun."
"Naturally, when Lisa told me she was pregnant three months ago, I wanted her to get tested, to find out our chances of producing a kid who'll be gawked at, and beat up, and then, always, dismissed."