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City Paper's 12th annual Short Fiction and 11th annual Poetry Contest

Apparently, many things were down this year.

The number of Democrats in Congress: down. The value of the Euro: down. People tuning in to

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Sarah Palin's Alaska

: down. The number of murders in Baltimore: down (so far). CIA credibility in Afghanistan—you get the idea.

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So goes entries to

CP

’s annual short fiction and poetry contest. Last year the contest saw more than 300 poetry entries and more than 250 fiction entries; this year, we received only 232 poetry entries and 144 short fiction entries. Not sure why—perhaps everybody is having to work too much (or look for work) to find the time for being creative—but such is the case.

Fortunately, the quality of those entries was solid and once again made the contest pretty competitive. As we’ve done in recent years, the entire

CP

edit staff read all the entries in both contests to whittle them down to 20 poetry finalists and 17 short fiction finalists. Those finalists were then gathered into packets and forwarded to the four judges, who read them all blind with author’s names removed. And the judges—local authors Joseph Young and Petula Caesar and

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contributors Heather Harris and Rachel Monroe—submitted weighted ballots to determine this year’s winners.

So first off, a hearty congrats to all the finalists—in short fiction: Linda Rains Allman, Louis Balsamo, D.R. Belz, Gregory Bridges, Melanie Eversley, Chester R. Frazier, Sharon Goldner, Stephen Paul Kahn, Samantha Kymmell-Harvey, Michelle Lesifko, Desiree’ Marcano, Stephen McEwen, Nathan McNamara, Lola Pierson, Donna Sellinger, Tim P. Walker, Brett Wooldridge; in poetry: D. Bennett, Roberta Browne, Kevin Coll, Jody Costa, Lorraine Eakin, D.M. Eason, Rosalind Nester Ellis, Christopher Gaskins, Kelly Foulke, Dante D. Kelly, Samantha Kymmell-Harvey, A. Jarrell Hayes, Joe Long, Tristen Lyon, Sara Smith, Tim Paggi, Lawrence Henry Plack, Kendra Richard, Lisa Rosinsky, Jennifer Rosowski. Y’all didn’t make this easy.

The judges have spoken though: In poetry, first place and $100 goes to D. Bennett’s “Pony Funerals,” second and $50 goes to Lorraine Eakin’s “On My Knees,” and third and $25 goes to Kevin Coll’s “Daughter-Rose.” In short fiction, first place and $250 goes to Donna Sellinger’s “The Universal Sewer,” second and $150 goes to Nathan McNamara’s “The Sound of Moving Water,” and third and $50 goes to Lola Pierson’s “Good For What Ails You.” Congratulations all around.

See more of cover artist Annie Howe’s art at

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