It took longer than planned, but here's what the world has been waiting for (and I'm not talking about the apocalypse): the judges' selections for the top 10 stories in the 2012 Creative Loafing Fiction Contest.
They are (in alphabetical order): “Cigar City Angel Dust”; “Death Roll”; “Euquerio”; “Fifteen Is the Dog”; “Finders and Seekers”; “It Invariably Happens Right Down the Street”; “The Prodigal Cigar”; “The Tabaquero's Squirrel”; “The War Is Over”; and “Ybor Noir.”
One of these stories has already been selected as the winner of the judges' prize, to be announced in the CL issue of January 3, 2013. But the winner of the readers' prize? That's up to you, and you can vote right now at cltampa.com/YborFiction; voting ends on Thursday Dec. 27 at 9 a.m.
The readers' choice winner will also be published in the Jan. 3 issue, and both winners will be invited to read at a public event on Sat. Jan. 12 at CL Space, Creative Loafing's events venue.
We're getting lots of good Ybor stories, but with the holiday crush in full effect we thought it'd be a good idea to give writers a little more time.
So the deadline for Creative Loafing's Fiction Contest, which had originally been set for Wed. Dec. 12, has been extended to Fri. Dec. 14 at 5 p.m.
That means you have till the end of the week to send us your stories. The theme is Ybor, but that doesn't necessarily mean it has to be set in Ybor. Read the guidelines and submit your entry form here.
And remember, we're giving cash prizes to the judges' and readers' winners. Judges are Jeff Parker, head of the University of Tampa's MFA in Creative Writing program; Paul Guzzo, senior writer at Cigar City Magazine; and myself, CL editor in chief. The top stories will be posted for voting beginning Dec. 17; the winning stories will be printed in the Jan. 3 issue of Creative Loafing, and a reading will be held at CL Space on Sat. Jan. 12.
The theme of this year's Creative Loafing Fiction Contest stays close to home: Ybor City.
We're accepting submissions from now through Dec. 12 at cltampa.com/YborFiction. Entrants can incorporate Ybor in any way and in any era: as setting, as idea, as part of a character's biography, whatever works. You can base your story in Ybor's past, present or future, or conjure up an Ybor that is entirely imaginary. You don't even have to set your story in Ybor, but Ybor must inform the story's events in some way.
Stories can be no longer than 3,000 words. A team of judges will select a top 10, and readers will be able to vote on their favorites beginning Dec. 17. The judges' winner receives $500; the readers' choice wins $250. The winning story (or stories) will be published in the Jan. 3, 2013 issue of Creative Loafing, and winners will be invited to read their work at a public event in January in CL Space, Creative Loafing's events venue.
Submission deadline is Wed. Dec. 12 at 5 p.m. You'll find all the details at cltampa.com/YborFiction.
We received over 80 stories for this year's Creative Loafing Fiction Contest, all related directly or peripherally to the contest theme, "Heat." Thank you to all who entered; the judges (University of Tampa's Jeff Parker, CL columnist Catherine Durkin Robinson and myself) had to make some tough choices. Here are our selections for the top ten stories, listed in alphabetical order by title:
"Bag Boy"; "The Curling Iron"; "Death by Bebop"; "The Guns and Queens of Rocky Point"; "Hot Air Cadillac"; "Looking in the Wrong Direction"; "Reap What You Sow, or Sing"; "Teenage Wasteland"; "Twilight and Brimstone"; "Volcano Kicking."
Now it's the readers' turn to weigh in.
This is it: your last day to enter the Creative Loafing Fiction Contest. The deadline for submissions is today, Thurs. Dec. 22, at 5 p.m. The theme is "Heat."
Once the judges have received all the entries, they'll choose a top 10 and post those stories on the contest site at 12 noon Fri. Dec. 23. Readers will then have until 12 noon Fri. Dec. 30 to vote for their favorites. We'll announce the winner of the judges' and the readers' top prizes in the issue of Jan. 5, followed by a public reading at CL Space on Sun. Jan. 8.