Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Winners Announcement - "Silhouette"

Thank you all for a record-smashing contest! For all of you who read many or all of the entries and commented, thank you for embracing the spirit. For me, these contests are like little festivals where we can gather as writers, wow each other, and immerse in a rainbow of creativity.

I do focus hard on writing elements in judging and less on story concept (although among scoring leaders, originality and impact become the deciding factors). With so many entries, even minor deductions had a big affect on the final outcome. If you made the Forties Club, you used your words with high skill. If you didn't, keep in mind that this format is hard (and that's why I like it). Even great writers can find themselves flummoxed by how to get their idea to work in 250 words. If you're mainly learning at this point, then I have the highest respect for your effort. Writing only grows when you let it leave your hands.

And now, (drum roll please), I would like to recognize the following writers:

1st Place--Payne, Michael H., A Better Day Tomorrow (#75)
[Prize: $50 Amazon gift certificate]

2nd Place--Hendricks, Kurt, Get Ready For The Weirdness (#150)
[Prize: $30 Amazon gift certificate]

3rd Place--Thakkar, Aniket, The Good-stuff (#83)
[Prize: $25 Amazon gift certificate]

4th Place--Courtland, Linda, The Inevitable Loss of Burnt Sienna (#44)
[Prize: $20 Amazon gift certificate]

5th Place--Haller, Alisa Rynay, The Choices We Make (#171)
[Prize: $15 Amazon gift certificate]

Honorable Mention--Eldin, Chris, Other Places (#2)

Honorable Mention--Green, Rachel, The Flock of Deconstructed Reality (#18)

Honorable Mention--Wavemancali, Karma (#21)

Honorable Mention--Eaton, Loren, Lammergeier (#25)

Honorable Mention--Soles, Kim, Birds of Passionate Prey (#32)

Honorable Mention--Mukherjee, Mithun, Metamorphosis (#36)

Honorable Mention--Hill, Stephen, Unspoken (#60)

Honorable Mention--Hughes, Lee, The Mending of the Broken (#67)

Honorable Mention--Vogt, Josh, Furs and Ice (#72)

Honorable Mention--McClellan, Leah, Offering (#84)

Honorable Mention--Sharma, Mayur, The Shah of Blah (#86)

Honorable Mention--Fox, Gef, The Orchard and the Crow (#135)

Honorable Mention--Remp, Timothy P., Beyond The Nest (#138)

Honorable Mention--Gabrukiewicz, Thom, The Raven (#163)

Honorable Mention--King, Scott, A Worm in Crow's Clothing (#169)

Honorable Mention--Cooper, Annemaria, Just Another Day (#222)

Honorable Mention--McFeydon, Corra, Crow Etched Into the Window Pane (#229)

Honorable Mention--Taylor, Dottie, And The Hunt Begins (#234)

Honorable Mention--Ryan, Kathleen A., Body and Soul (#235)

Honorable Mention--Edwards, Dean Clayton, Reality, TV (#237)


Readers' Choice, 1st Place--Snowden, Shona, Flight (#180)
[Prize: $25 Amazon gift certificate]

Readers' Choice, 2nd Place--Courtland, Linda, The Inevitable Loss of Burnt Sienna (#44)
[Prize: $15 Amazon gift certificate]

Readers' Choice, 3rd Place--Hughes, Lee, The Mending of the Broken (#67)
Prize: $10 Amazon gift certificate]


Yes, choosing was especially painful this time. You all deserve to take a deep bow!

Just how successful was it? Jaw dropping. Your 237 entries have generated 65,093 hits from 18,361 unique visitors! Just. Wow.

Entries scoring at least 40 out of 45 in my scoring system are inducted into The Forties Club. Asterisks have been added next to the names of inductees. In my judgment, these writers have done their job excellently. Their strong, skilled writing brought their stories to life.

As a change from prior contests, if you did not make the Forties Club, I will tell you which scoring category was your strongest and which might benefit from additional attention. (The categories are pacing, entertainment value, technical use of language, storytelling, and voice.) If you are in the Forties Club, you were proficient in all of those areas. Comments will be up over the weekend.

Don't let the community end here. I hope to see all of you back at The Clarity of Night and on your own blogs. Link to each other and give your insights and gifts freely. If you hang around and comment after the contest, I will definitely link back to you and visit you on your own blogs (now that I have time).


Thanks again for a great contest experience and for all of the excellent writing. Give the winners a pat on the back for their outstanding work.

Feel free to contact me anytime. You will always find a welcoming place here.


emeraldcite said...

so many great entries! well done everyone! way to go and congrats!

Michael Morse said...

Thank you everybody who entered for some great reading, and congrats to the winners!

I had been suffering from blog burnout (mine, not yours!) and needed a little inspiration to get me trying again.

Well done, Jason!

JaneyV said...

Excellent choices! Well done to all the winners and honorable mentionees. It was an absolute pleasure to read all the entries and the standard was scorching.

To Jason - a huge thank you for all your amazing work on this. You facilitate so much growth in the writing community and for that I am so grateful.

Thanks also to Aine for all the tallying up and keeping the records straight.

Now may I suggest you two have a nice bottle of wine and great big unwind. You so deserve it.


catvibe said...

Ditto to what Janey said. Congrats everyone!
Aniket, look at you!

Selestial said...

Thank you for doing this, and congrats to all the winners :)

Laurel said...

I'm pleased to see that many of my selections performed admirably!

Thanks so much, Jason. This is always so much fun!

And a big congrats to the winners/honorable mentions!

James R. Tomlinson said...

This is where I start quoting Kurt Vonnegut, not once, but twice:

"We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down."


"When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth."

Speaking of crayons, it's nice to see that crayon story in the top five. Oh, and that other story with the disco ball. Both were personal favorites of mine.

Lastly, congrats to the winners (and in the words of Bozo the Clown) the almost winners.

Keep writing everyone, keep jumping. I know I will.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to the winners. It takes a lot to shine above 200+ entries. You should be very proud.

Thanks Jason to a fun time.


Unknown said...

Congratulations to all the winners! And thank you again to our gracious host :)

Anonymous said...

CoNgrats to all winner sand almost w -- thanks to all/awe fellow travellers on an enjoyable writing trip. As JR advises, I will follow and continue to "jump"...Desi
PS: 2jasonNaine -- raise Thee two Ag goblets of tehtarik!:):):)

Loren Eaton said...

I am positively gobsmacked. Thanks so much for the honorary mention! I'm, er, honored. Yes, that's the right word.

Aniket Thakkar said...

*rubs his eyes - washes the face - looks again - rubs his eyes again - checks facebook comments to confirm - Facebook can't be wrong*

Is that my name over there on the 3rd spot? This is not an elaborate CoN by you, Aerin, Laurel, PJD and the lot. Right?

*does his happy dance*

Jason and Aine, Thank you so so so so very much!
I have no words. Seriously, used every single one of them right upto 250. :D

Thanks everyone for the love showered on the post. Congratulation to everyone who participated. Honestly, this is a lucky shot. I am still learning and have a long way to go before I can say that I deserve this spot. This sure is the sweetest check point on the journey though. :)

See you all, next contest. :)

Shona Snowden said...

Thank you so much to everybody who voted for me - I really appreciate all the feedback and support!

Thank you to Jason for running the competition again - it's such a great experience to see how so many different writers interpret the prompt and there were some just brilliant pieces here. After all that work, you and Aine definitely deserve a BIG bottle of relaxation!

I did comment on many of the stories, but under another name, sorry for any confusion. I've got to admit that although I read them all, I simply couldn't comment on all and anyone who did has my total admiration. (Bows down in front of PJD, Bernita, Aniket, Aerin, Laurel and many, many others with greater endurance than I apparently possess...)

Thank you again! I don't blog under my own name, but my website is up at You can contact me through there and I promise to keep it up to date!

Laurel said...

Awww. Aniket and Shona, the Hollywood people should take a note or two from you guys on how to give an acceptance speech!

Kurt Hendricks said...

I must also fess up to a happy dance. Thanks to everyone who participated. It is hard to express my joy without the use of swear words! With so many outstanding entries, this news comes as a real honor.

Congratulations to everyone who participated. It takes a lot of guts to put your writing out there for everyone to judge.

I'm already looking forward to next time, Jason!

raine said...

Congratulations to all the winners! You should be very proud. :)

Jean Ann Williams said...

Congratulations to the winners and to everyone who participated. We learned. Right? I know I did.

Thanks so much Jason! I'll be here when you put on another contest. Plus, I'll check in from time to time now that I know about CoN.

MHPayne said...

Oh, wow! Thank you, Jason! And thanks, everyone, for putting up so many great stories!


Charles Gramlich said...

Much congrats to all the winners!

PJD said...

Congratulations not only to the winners but to all the forty clubbers! The average quality of the entries in this contest was simply wonderful.

Thank you, Jason, for putting up the prize money, running the contest, posting all the entries, reading and judging them all, and not going insane in the process. (At least, it doesn't appear you have done.)

Leah McClellan said...

Wow, thanks for the honorable mention! It really is an honor with so many excellent entries and among so many accomplished writers.

It's a really fun contest. This time around I was able to read and comment on many more entries than I did last time (but nowhere near all of them!), and for next time I have a plan: slow and steady, read every night! I'm still reading....

Thanks to everyone for the very helpful comments! And thanks to Jason for hosting it, and the honorable mention sure is encouraging.

Anonymous said...
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Merry Monteleone said...

First of all, big thanks to Jason - that was such a lot of work, but so very much fun.

Congratulations to all the winners and the 40 club members!!!

I couldn't keep up with all of the entries, but I tried to dip in whenever I could this week and I was astounded by some really fabulous writing. Great job everyone. Now I know for next time - I'll have to schedule three days off of writing to read all the entries :-)

Anonymous said...


You have no idea how 'honorable mention' and 'forties club' boosts my confidence!

I entered this challenge at a friend's urging and nearly deleted the poem before submitting. I stared at the computer for ten minutes (white as a sheet) before emailing it to Jason. I nearly asked him to keep my name anonymous, but I thought,

'You have to get some guts.'

So I went for it.

I'm extremely squeamish with my words and can't thank you enough for the experience here! There is such a 'warm' vibe here.

Thank you to all involved, and particularly to the folks who took the time to comment on every entry - and to Jason and Aine for their warmth and hard work. :)

Congrats to the winners!! :)

~ Corra

PS - I just deleted and reposted this because I saw a typo. Yup! I'm that kind of writer. :D

Thom Gabrukiewicz said...

Jason, thank you so much for the chance. There are some just outstanding writers out there and it was a challenge.
And to make the 40s club, wow. Bless.

Megs - Scattered Bits said...

Congratulations to the winners and thank you, Jason, for hosting this contest. I don't feel so bad now about missing forties now that I see some of the pieces that blew me away missed too. But drat it! Next time...

lena said...

I can't even imagine what a tough job it was to choose the winners this time with that many great entries! And wonderful choices, I personally loved all the stories that made it to the winners today.

Thank you, Jason, for hosting these contests and giving us a chance to meet great writers and learn a lot.

PS: I re-checked the asterix near my name twice till I realized that for the first time I actually haму made it to the Forties Club, makes feel good,it's like the greatest ever encouragement to keep writing and improving!

Anks said...

Jason, you deserve a deep bow for hosting this and bringing all the writers and readers together.... awesome job.... :)

Terri said...

Great choices, Jason. Congratulations to the winners!
This was an awesome contest, as always. I don't know about the rest of you guys but I feel like I gain something incredibly valuable from taking part and reading all these entries.

Craig said...

Congratulations to all the winners!Thanks Jason for running the contest and taking the time to judge each entry. Thanks as well to those people who took the time to read and comment on each entry. I found it all very useful and I'm sure others did as well.

Lee Hughes said...

Congrats to everyone, and thanks Jason for such a kick-ass comp.

Rohan said...

Thanks a lot Jason!

spacedlaw said...

Thanks for an interesting contest, Jason.

Kate said...

Congratulations to the winners and everyone who entered! I also want to thank the intrepid souls who commented on every single entry. I sincerely hope to pay it forward.

Unknown said...

Thanks Jason for another awesome contest, I can't even imagine all the work it had to be!

Congrats to all the winners, honorable mentions, and to the members of the forties club! There were so many fantastic entries, it's mind boggling! Thanks to everyone who participated and made it a great contest!!

Dottie :)

Paul D Brazill said...

Congratulations to all the winners.

BrownPhantom said...

Congratulations to all the winners.
Thank you so much Jason for the contest. It was fun and honour to be a part of it :).

Rachel Green said...

My hearty congratulations to the the winners and commiserations to those that didn't quite get there. The standards were extremely high.

What a fabulous competition this has been. Well done, everyone.

Tessa said...

Standing ovation for Jason! And another long and rousing ovation for all the winners, honourable mentions and Forties Club inductees! What a truly brilliant concept this is - it will surely go down in the history of literary blogging. I loved every moment and have learned SO much. Thank you, all!

Chris Eldin said...

WOW WOW WOW!!!!! Congratulations to everyone who participated in this really really awesome writing event! Such a rewarding experience, and warmest thanks to Aine and Jason for all their hard work.
Did I say WOW!!!

Bernita said...

Thank you Jason and Aine and congratulations to EVERYONE.
Reading all these marvellous entries from such wonderful creative minds made for the most delightful week I've had in a very long time.
I suspect a good half of Jason's "hits" were mine!
I came back time after time to read and re-read, just wallowing in sheer pleasure at the vivid excellence displayed in every piece.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations again to all of these amazing writers!! And thank you for all of the kind words. You're all very welcome. Being your host is my pleasure.

For those of you who enjoyed the contest as a bright spot in your January, for those of you who've met friends or built confidence in these contest, you really made me smile. Thank you for telling me. :)

sandra seamans said...

Congratulations to all the winners! It was a great contest and I don't envy Jason the job of choosing the winners. Thank you Jason!

Kathleen A. Ryan said...

Many thanks, Jason, for hosting this competition and for all of your time, energy & effort.
Congratulations to the winners, honorable mentions, and to everyone who participated, read entries, commented, and voted.
I'm honored that my story, "Body and Soul" (#235) was among the Honorable Mentions, and that it made it to The Forties Club.
I'm so very grateful for this opportunity!

Deb Smythe said...

Big congrats to all the winners! Congrats to everyone who entered, as well. Wonderful job all around. There's a lot of talent around this joint. I had a great time reading and commenting.

Many, many thanks to Jason. Now go relax. Have a Ring-Ding, on me.

laughingwolf said...

grats to all... and thx for another excellent contest, jason....

DILLIGAF said...

You are a star of the first order Jason. Thank you again for doing this.

And I've stayed in the Forties Club!!! Well chuffed. Thank you.

PixieDust said...

Congratulations to THE winner, runner-ups, and honorable mentions! Thank you so much Jason for hosting this incredibly inspiring event...



Linda Courtland said...

Wow, what an honor! Thanks so much to James and Tom, and anyone else who voted for my story here. {{overwhelmed with happy, jump-up-and-down excitement and appreciation}} And Jason, you have been a generous and dedicated host. Thanks a million times over!

AngelConradie said...

It was incredible! I have got to read all the ones I missed!

Nevea Lane said...

Thank you for a wonderful contest. I loved the short style format. Thank you to all who participated! It is awesome to be surrounded by all this awesomeness! :)

Sarah Laurenson said...

What a stunning list of winners. Congrats to you all!

And thank you to everyone who entered. I enjoyed reading every entry (though sadly I did not get to comment on them all.)

Sarah Laurenson said...

And many thanks to Jason and Aine. A lot of hard work that is greatly appreciated.