Any writer will tell you that the best part of writing is being done. Thatís when you know you did it. Itís behind you. The words that didnít exist before are finally on the page. No wonder writers are always so weary and irritable: Every session at the keyboard can feel like a marathon.
But this week, six Baltimore writers have more reason than usual to take a victory lap. Theyíre the winners of City Paperís eighth annual Short Fiction Contest and seventh annual Poetry Contest. More than the hundreds of other dogged entrants in this yearís contests, these half-dozen writers really went the distance. So say the judges for the 2004 competition: Poetry entries were judged by arts editor Blake de Pastino and CP contributor J. Bowers, a poet whose verse has been published in Quirk, Short Fuse, and Cargoes, among other journals. Short fiction entries were judged by calendar editor Wendy Ward and Maud Casey, a novelist and short-fiction writer, whose work includes the short-story collection Drastic and the novel The Shape of Things to Come, both published by William Morrow.
And the winners get even more than praise from their fellow writers (although that in itself is a feat, for sure). They also get a nice wad of cash to fan themselves with. In the fiction competition, first prize is $350, second is $250, and third $150. For poetry, first place nets $150, second place $100, and third $50. Weíd also like to extend our sincere thanks to all of the readers who entered this yearís contest. You really gave the winners a run for their money.